After last week’s fabulous episode (it’s all relative, man), I was sure that ’24’ would end up dropping the ball tonight. Because a good thing rarely seems to last these days. Suffice it to say, I was wrong. Way wrong. I definitely feel like we’re back to the ’24’ I know and love — Bauer ass-kickery, CTU drama, political intrigue… I’m a happy camper. I’m not sure I feel about the twist at the end, but we’ll get to that in a second.
So last week’s EMP took out all of CTU’s resources and, in the aftermath, chaos reigned supreme! I’ll admit, the EMP was a nice twist on the typical “CTU got blow’d up!” trope that the show is so fond of, so I’ll let it slide. In the midst of the chaos, Dana got annoying with Chloe, Hastings got whiny with everyone, and Arlo remained a serious creeper. CTU sent Hassan’s daughter back to the UN to identify the IRK terrorists. She was reunited with her parents (awww) and apologized for her disobedience. And because the Hassans were in an apologizing mood, Hassan apologized to Mrs. Hassan for being such a dick. Awww, again! That little family tussle resolved itself nicely, though I’m not sure where it leaves the peace talks.
On the Bauer front, Jack realized that CTU was in trouble and called his buddy at the NSA, who agreed to shut down all the traffic routes into NYC, leaving, for whatever reason, the East Bank as the terrorists’ only way to get into the city. Really? It’s that simple? I’m not very familiar with NYC geography, but it strikes me as verrrry convenient. Jack pulled into the dock with Cole and two other CTU agents, saw the IRK loading the nuclear rods onto a boat and — OMG FIREFIGHT! I loves me a good firefight. In the midst of the gunfire, Tarin recognized Jack (“one of their best agents!” – heee) and ordered his snipers to keep Bauer pinned down while Tarin and the rest of the IRK cronies got the rods across the river. Even with Cole helping him out, Jack was having trouble with the snipers and he couldn’t call for backup because the terrorists were jamming his signal. Again — how convenient! If there’s anything wrong with this episode, it’s that there are a few too many, “Oh, that’s nice!” moments, but it wasn’t nearly enough to ruin the episode for me. Pinned down, Jack jury-rigged some sketchy metal-plated armor for a phalanx-esque breakthrough and it was all looking good until one of the dumbass agents broke formation and got himself shot. Bauer, Cole, and the young CTU agent from the Markos incident took cover, but the kid reallyreally wanted to save his buddy and got himself shot as well. The first dumbass didn’t make it, but when the kid asked Jack if he did (he wanted to be a herrrrro!), Jack LIED and says he did. So noble. Jack wasn’t able to save the kid, but I don’t feel that bad because he was STUPID. Jack instructed Cole to go for the call box on the other side of the dock while he drew the snipers’ fire. “But it’s a suicide mission!” said Cole, and Jack was like, “Don’t you know I have a death wish?” Okay, not really. Jack told him to screw off and just make sure that Hastings kept his promise about not bringing Renee back in. Cole said he would. Jack did a pretty damn good job holding the snipers off, but eventually got hit. OMG. Good thing he was wearing a vest. Just as one of the snipers went for the headshot to take ol’ Bauer out for good, Renee showed up and shot the sniper him in the back, took out another couple guys and allowed Cole to get to the call box. It was so cool! I’m glad we’ve moved past the Damsel in Distress stage and the two of them are together again. Then Renee saw Jack on the ground, ran over, ripped off his clothes — I mean, vest — and he sprung to life, ready to kick some ass… except I think he has a collapsed lung. Cole was able to get in touch with CTU and headed off in the chopper, looking for the IRK boat. DUN DUN DUN.
Meanwhile, the NSA people who showed up to help CTU were asswads, particularly Frank Hayman, the Head Dick, or whatever his title is. He basically told the CTU staff and Chloe to f- off and actually sounded crazy suspicious for a while, so I’m still not sure where he stands. Hayman ignored Chloe’s offer to get a workaround going that could get their systems up sooner, but was more dangerous (I heard “electrocution” and “massive fire” in there somewhere). Chloe got frustrated, called Renee, who suggested she take more… extreme measures. Hehe. It’s like a disease or something. (That conversation was also the source of Renee saving Jack’s ass.) So Chloe held Hayman up — with a gun! Chloe! I know. She got the NSA out of the server room and locked herself in to start the workaround. Hastings broke back in and Chloe plead with Hastings to give her ten more minutes to make her workaround happen and Hastings caved, to the chagrin of Hayman and, of course, Dana, and agreed to give her a shot because she “earned it.” Damn straight. And the workaround works! Sorta. Comms back up. Hastings thanked Chloe, who said she’s not good with praise. Come to think of it, she’s not that good with criticism either.
And Dana. Oh, Lucky, lucky Dana. The EMP wiped out the security tape that LeoLite’s parol officer wanted, so she was apparently home free. Except the officer went directly to Hastings. Oops? Hastings made him wait in the holding room, and Dana headed up there to ask him to leave. Or so we thought. The parole officer told her he knew she was involved, so she beat him up and garroted him. AND THEN SHE HID HIM IN THE VENTILATION SYSTEM. Dear god. So stupid. And then… she called the head IRK dude and.. She’s a mole.
Hold on, that is my brain exploding. I… I just don’t even know. Just… what???? I had to sit through her frackin’ stupid dumbassery only to find out that she’s EVIL? She’s too stupid to be a mole! I am just not entirely sure what the point of the runaround with the robbery and LeoLite was if she was evil all along and could’ve taken care of the whole damned business with a bullet. Right? It seems even more useless than it was before this episode, and that was pretty damned useless. And she probably wasn’t helpful to the IRK while she was putzing around in the New York swamps. We’ll see where this goes, but I feel like a TV Tropes link is in order, if only for posterity’s sake. Even if I’m a little “Wha?” about the whole thing, it was a solid twist, capping off a highly enjoyable episode.