So this could well be the most highly anticipated episode this season. Ok that isn’t saying much, even after the pretty good White House Capture incident. But then it says it all perfectly really, because the reason it’s the most anticipated has nothing to do with tension, or storytelling. It’s purely to find out just why for the sake of love and logic did Tony Almeida turn out to be a bad guy after all?
Those of you that have been watching will know what I mean, those new in, basically Tony started as the bad guy, but he was actually undercover with help from Bill and Chloe, and then proceeded to help shut down every attempt made by other bad guys along the way, including getting into fire fights and even making a hero of himself recently by blowing up a silo full of missiles. Then momentarily later he murders poor Larry Moss whilst chasing a new suspect who had bagged a mini-canister.
So he planned to steal this canister all along? Makes no sense. How could he have planned to have been in that exact spot at that exact time after all the chasing and backing up Jack? If he wanted that he could have taken it a long long time ago inI the show. And much more subtly as well.
So here we are. Tony shoots himself in the arm to cover his tracks (obviously doesn’t want to get caught and plans on being around the goodies a little while longer before he runs off into the night forever). We find out that the other guy is only doing a temp job for Tony. Tony himself is working for someone else (oh great! Another MR BIG!)
(Let us count. We started with TONY as the villain, then DUBAKU, then GENERAL JUMA, then JONAS HODGES, Then TONY (again), and now someone else is in charge?). That’s a lot of MR BIGS for one season.
Jack is, of all things, being extremely co-operative (whilst his mind starts to go from the toxins in his body) and conveniently we are reminded that Tony was a high source of intelligence, but that his sources are unknown to Jack. Hmmm. Of course the moment Jack finds out what’s going on he insists in the way he knows best to get back into the field.
What is interesting is that the mysterious “BIG MACHINE” that Hodges is merely a cog in send in someone to murder his lawyer, take their place in order to access him in jail. Not too trusting of him now that he’s been caught they insist that he put himself out of his misery with a magic pill. They aren’t too happy he was using their chemical weapons for his own needs.
It turns out this young lady’s boss is Will Patton (Armageddon), a decent character actor. It also seems that these two have been pulling Tony’s strings all day, which might explain the erratic change of heart from him. Jonas takes the magic pill and goes into cardiac arrest and then off to the hospital instead he goes.
Tony’s man sets up explosives in an abandoned apartment block (course had to be abandoned, we can’t have innocents getting killed by these baddies now can we? You think Jack will figure something out?)
We also see that Kim Bauer has a daughter named after her own Mother Terri. (The way this show is going we’ll probably find out the baby’s behind it all!)
Tony’s little trap sees a building detonated with minimal casualties. Jack is onto the idea of them trying to create a hole in the FBI fence and gets mobile again. Just after the guy back at FBI informs Jack of a hole in Tony’s lead.
The trouble is that as much as we love Tony and wanted him not dead and back in the show, he’s not going to be much use as a bad guy. We can believe why sure. And he’s a good enough character. But Jack caught him dead easy at the start of this season, and even whooped his ass a couple of times in the past when Tony was with CTU. We can’t for one second believe that Tony is ever going to match up to Jack in a fight. It’s real obvious that he can and will get taken down.
But Tony could do some damage maybe before he goes. Knocking off Jack’s Daughter might be a surprise! That might work! But seeing that Tony already offed a season 6 lead in the shape of Larry, it’s doubtful he’ll do much more serious dramatic damage to anyone save for the occasional extra in the show.
Tony hooks up with the dude with the canister and makes prep to slip the net. Jack finds Renee. They figure out that someone “INSIDE” gave away the info and Jack makes the leap to Tony. All these clues conveniently coming out in this one contained episode!
Jack confronts Tony only to have one of his seizures. But its pretty much confirmed for Jack now. Tony wanders away. The canister is gone in an ambulance. The clock ticks. Although this show does seem to be stalling for time again, it does finally have all the main players’ cards on the table. The show may be finally back on form from here on in. About bloody time!
Read Steven’s review of the previous episode here.