24: 4:00AM - 5:00AM
(S07E21) "I have to see this through." - Jack
After a run of so many good episodes, it had to happen sooner or later - the calm before the storm. Hour 21 wasn't much more than that. A lot of filler and only a little bit of action.
All the events that are going to play out over the season's final three episodes were set in motion, but it was done with such a deliberately slow pacing that you probably would have been fine just watching next week's "Previously on 24" clip.
The biggest lingering question? Who killed Jonas Hodges? Despite the fact that Olivia decided against sending payment, I'm still inclined to believe that Martin Collier's shooter went ahead with the job. However, there's still the possibility that Aaron, sympathizing with Olivia's situation, went above and beyond the call of duty. The latter would certainly be exciting, especially considering Aaron's squeaky clean record. That being said, I didn't like how Olivia wussed out at the very end. All season long she's been groomed as Sherry Palmer Jr. and now she gets a conscience?
As for Tony, Cara, and their goons, no real surprises there. The target's reveal was fairly predictable - a DC Metro station makes perfect sense. With only one canister of the bio-weapon, they need to spread it in a place with the most impact potential. I suppose Union Station could have worked too, but what makes for a better Jack/Tony showdown? Duking it out in front of a Starbucks or trading punches down a dark subway tunnel?
Regardless, one thing that doesn't make sense to me? Why the government ever shut down CTU?!? Granted, Chloe is a genius and was key to everything, but if this hour proved one thing, it's that the CTU servers are far better than the comparable FBI equipment. Faster than Janis could whine "racial profiling," Chloe zeroed in on Jabraan Al-Zarian and another five minutes later she had cracked all of Cara's algorithms, confirming that Jabraan was being set-up. CTU 1, FBI 0.
Another thing I didn't like? The whole plot with Jabraan's Imam from his mosque. The whole point of bringing him along was so that he wouldn't warn Jabraan (before they knew he was being set up) and it just turned into an opportunity for the guy to get all preachy with Jack - enough of that already. The last person in the world who needs saving is Jack ... scratch that. I meant to say "the world needs saving and the last person who can do it is Jack." Trust me. In three hours, he will again ... assuming Jack doesn't have another nasty seizure at an extremely critical moment. Stuff like that that never happens on 24.