24: 1:00AM - 2:00AM
(S07E18) "Kim, I'm dying." - Jack
That, my friends, is what you call a game changer. Initially, I wasn't feeling the vibe of this episode. It was slow, predictable, and the Kim/Jack reunion that we've known about for ages was about as anti-climactic as you can get. But it worked. Kim's return created precisely the distraction we needed so that hour eighteen's final minutes made our jaws drops. When I spoke with Carlos Bernard recently, he said that production was shut down for over a month at one point to reassess the direction of one episode. I'm guessing this was it.
OK, let's get the return of the prodigal daughter out of the way first. Don't get me wrong - the reunion was heartbreaking. Any scene where Jack breaks down and cries usually is. I was just hoping for more. Turns out Kim was at the Senate hearing earlier in the day and had been trying to see him.
The fact that Jack is dying obviously softened the blow, but I was hoping for just a little anger. Maybe something along the lines of, "You were captured by the Chinese, held for 18 months, came home for one day, and then disappeared for three more years. WTF?!?" In Jack's defense, he and Kim didn't exactly part on good terms in season five. There was no mention of Barry either. Oh well. Despite Jack's demand that Kim not donate her stem cells for the CJD tests, I'm sure we'll see her once again by the end of the season with a syringe or two full of some family recipe antidote. But how much damage will have already been done to Jack's brain?
Anyway, that was all just one big distraction. The missiles were destroyed, Hodges was arrested, and all seemed right with the world ... except that there are still six hours left. It was clear that Hodges' stand-off couldn't go on any longer and I think the writers were wise to end it now. However, the logical next step wasn't exactly clear and now that we know where they're going, it poses a ton of questions.
Tony killed Moss and with the help of a Starkwood employee, has stolen the last remaining canister of the bio-weapon. It feels an awful lot like the final hours of season three as Jack and Chase tracked down the last of Saunders' devices, but the stakes are obviously much higher this time. Especially since Tony killed kill Larry to cover his tracks.
So what are the possibilities?
Well, the big thing to take away from all this is that Tony has had a guy (the creepy black dude ... not sure if we got a name) inside of Starkwood the whole time. How deep was Tony's knowledge of what was going on? He clearly had more up his sleeve that he let one.
So was he just using Buchanan and Chloe earlier in the day?
Is he working for Starkwood and this is what Jonas meant when he said to Allison, "You'll find out?"
Or has this been Tony's plan all along and this play originated with Emerson's crew?
Could this be Tony's backwards ass way of trying to get an antidote made for Jack? I'm guessing no on this one.
Regardless of the answer, at this point, one thing is clear - Tony has had some sort of ulterior motive the entire day and has used everyone (Jack, the FBI, Chloe, Bill, the President) to achieve his endgame. It's looking more and more like the arguments we all made early on in the season about Tony may actually hold some weight after all. He still has a pretty big problem with the US government - he's been used by them and lost Michelle as a result of it. What does he have to lose at this point? Hard to say, but I'll reserve judgment until we know what his plan is.