24 season 7 episode 12 review

Jack Bauer faces a crisis in the White House itself...

As predicted, like in previous series, 24 likes to have a good old ‘Die Hard in a government facility’ scenario from time to time. Forever being a show that likes to up the ante (no matter how unlikely), this time round it’s the White House itself!

Jack, Bill Buchanan, President Taylor, her daughter Olivia, Aaron Pierce, Kurtwood Smith’s senator Meyer and a whole host of secret service agents take it right in the face as Candyman (Tony Todd’s General Juma) wastes no time in successfully storming the facility with his mini army.

Despite looking more like a homeless man these days, Bill Buchanan puts up a good fight as does 24‘s favourite former-Secret Service Agent, Aaron Pierce. It is good to see a bit of solid action take place which gets the supporting cast involved, and not just Jack. You never know who might go at any moment. And for both Bill and Aaron it comes close as both are captured and Aaron even takes a bullet.

This is what we finally have been waiting for. So proper, nail-biting tension. Perhaps the problem in the past isn’t just the repeat procedures the show takes, it’s that when the action happens, it is Jack who is at the centre of it all. It isn’t like they are going to drop their leading man mid-show, now are they? Won’t happen. Not ever. Even if it would actually surprise us! We have to at least concede the fact that Jack is here till the end. But 24 is also a show known for bumping off key supporting players. So at anytime they get involved in the action it becomes tense. And finally that tension is here!

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As well as Todd, Jon Voight has been making more of a regular appearance now as co-conspirator, Jonas Hodges, to General Juma. The problem is that at this stage he is sat behind a desk talking on the phone a lot of the time, looking and sounding very much like Jon Voight. A bit of a dullard to be honest. (At least when Dennis Hopper was brought in for season 1 he injected a bit of vigour (and a dodgy accent) into the show. Voight, though, is not a physical enemy, and clearly he will be brought to the fore further into the show as the main bad man to take down. But his phoned-in Desk Jockey routine isn’t doing the show any favours. Not that we want him to start overacting, but Voight is capable of so much more.

The end of the show finds Jack and the President locked in a secure room with no way in or out. Juma calls on the assistance of Voight’s Jonas Hodges who manages to inform him about the presence of the President’s daughter. Once she is in place as leverage, the President, of course, forces Jack to open the door in order, thus giving themselves up, and saving the daughter’s life.

Jack must be getting soft, as surely a president under duress is a president worth ignoring. But Jack gives in to her demand, the door opens and both are taken into the hands of the enemy. The general wastes little time in physically slapping the President when they face each other. Political leaders actually striking each other is something for fan boys to get excited about. This can give us a promise of not just mental anguish but also physical abuse between leaders. And let’s face it: The sky is the limit as far as dramatic prospects go.

The next episode can’t come soon enough. We are set for a face-off perhaps between the always wonderful Cherry Jones and Candyman! (Er, I mean Tony Todd.)