'24' - '4:00 AM - 5:00 AM' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 23rd 2010 4:56AM
(S08E13) Jack Bauer may be the star of '24,' but this week it was Ladies' Night -- or maybe the expression should be Ladies' Hour in this case. Regardless, it was the fairer sex that did the ass-kicking and the ass-saving this week. More impressively, this was accomplished without a single appearance by President Allison Taylor.
Luckily, I'm far enough away that the EMP that took down CTU didn't impact my systems, though our regular reviewer, Mike Moody, didn't fare so well. While he works to recover his systems and get back online, I agreed to pinch-hit and see how CTU handled their own electronic crisis.
If last week's episode was the best episode of the season so far, this week just knocked it back to number two. I'll even forgive that we got one of the oldest and most tired '24' cliches ever in play again, because everything else was just so damned good!
Jack called his friends at the NSA once CTU was taken out of the equation, so Agent Dick (I know that's not his name, but that's what he is, so that's who he is to me) showed up and immediately started slinging insults and taking charge. It was incredibly satisfying when Chloe pulled a gun on him. Doesn't he know who she is? Of course Chloe has the best idea on how to bring the systems back up. What Jack Bauer is to field ops, Chloe O'Brien is to computer systems.
I'll give it to our girl, though. Not twelve-and-a-half hours ago she was still struggling to learn all the protocols and wrap her brain around the advances in the New York CTU system, and now she's the only one who can save their asses. Who says there are no superhero shows on television (technically, 'Heroes' isn't on right now)?
While Chloe was saving the day at CTU, Renee Walker rejoined the show just in time to save Jack from a bullet to the face. I do have a point of contention here, though. Renee's had a horrible day, and it's after four o'clock in the morning now. Why the hell was she fully dressed and ready to go when Chloe called her? Plus, I want to know how she found out where Jack was so quickly. Woman's got mad instincts.
The beauty of '24' is that you know it's an exaggerated reality. The good guys always win, the surprises and twists keep coming, and just when things get their darkest, Jack Bauer hulks out and breaks all possible pretenses of what can be done and saves the day. That doesn't mean we don't get tired of seeing some of the same old ploys season after season. Just as I was beginning to think that CTU hadn't been infiltrated by an enemy agent for once, Dana revealed that she is undercover for the IRK, working to help them smuggle in the nuclear rods.
Of course she is. It makes her ultimate downfall more emotionally challenging because of her engagement to Cole. It does explain why she was so willing to help her ex-boyfriend steal from the government, and work with Cole to dispatch their bodies later. Her past is clearly littered with horrible indiscretions. I would feel more sorry for Arlo than Cole, except that Cole will now have to face the fact that he did unspeakable things on behalf of a love that wasn't real. Both men were played, though, and hard.
If Dana is that hardcore, though, then she should have just killed her ex-boyfriend and his stupid friend long before things got as out of control in that situation as they did. She had no problem dispatching Officer Prady this week, and all he was doing was asking questions and threatening to nail her ass to the wall. Maybe feelings got in the way with an ex-con love.
Even though they went the lazy route with Dana Walsh by having her be yet another enemy agent who's infiltrated CTU (who must have the worst screening process in the US Government), I'm still fully behind the twists and turns of this season. It's been a lot of fun getting to this point, and it's hard to imagine we're barely more than halfway through the day. Hopefully, things will shift into more unfamiliar territory as the sun comes up and the threat becomes more real.
I can't help but think there was more to Stephen Root's parole officer character than we saw, but perhaps that was it. I don't think that's the last we'll see of him -- or at least his body. And we're inching ever closer to the return of Gregory Itzin as the best/worst President '24' has ever seen.
[Miss even more sleep with clips and full episodes of '24' over on SlashControl.]