UK readers please note: this episode doesn’t screen for another couple of weeks on Sky1.
24 Season 8 – 6:00-7:00am
With the imminent threat of a nuclear blast, this week’s episode didn’t take too long to get going, and thanks to President Hassan’s decision to play the martyr, Jack’s best-laid plans were firmly in mice and men territory.
Appalled at the senseless loss of his would-be guards at the hands of the black-ops team sent to get him, and not willing to sacrifice the citizens of New York for his own safety, the good President decides to hand himself over to the remaining covert ops guy. After laying out Jack and locking him, Renee and his family away, he allows the soldier to escort him to the terrorist drop-off point.
Meanwhile, General Brucker and Rob Weiss, still mooching around in Kanin’s office are informed about Hassan’s status and promptly call Samir, the terrorist puppet master. Samir then calls Tarin, who’s looking more than a little hesitant, perhaps not that ready to meet his maker in the service of his country, and orders him to stop the bomb – with a mere seven seconds left on the clock.
I thought the build up to this last second save was actually pretty good, and I thought the story could take things either way. After all, in previous series we’ve had bombs detonated more than once with dire consequences, even in the middle of a city, so the threat really was quite viable. I must admit, though, I was keen to see just how the story would play out should the bomb go off, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
One brief moment of silliness struck me with the bomb, though, more specifically with the bomb disposal team’s arrival on scene. I can fully understand the use of a robotic drone to disarm a bomb, to save life and limb, but when working with a nuke, even a ‘radiation dispersion device’, is there any point? Really? What difference would it make if it went off? Okay, if you’re miles away controlling the ‘bot, fair enough, but when you’re a few feet away at the end of the alley, you may as well just do it yourself. If the bomb goes off, the robot’s not gonna save your ass, no matter how much it costs. Just a thought.
After Tarin’s rather smooth hand over of the bomb in trade for Hassan, and the apparent safety granted with the bomb in safe hands, things didn’t slow down. While all this was happening, Jack managed to escape, and with Hassan’s family out of danger for now, he contacted the President to warn her of the betrayal in her midst.
Taylor wasted no time bringing her former aids to justice, and managed to get to Ethan Kanin before he shuffled off the mortal coil. However, even with the threat of the death sentence, Weiss refused to give her the location of Hassan, defiant to the end, and though Weiss and Brucker were portrayed as the bad guys, you can’t help but agree with them, at least a little. They did effectively save New York, after all.
Even without Weiss’ information, Hassan’s location didn’t remain secret for long, and thanks to Chloe’s ever ready mad skills with CCTV cameras, CTU tracked down Tarin’s SUV. Jack and Cole set up an ambush but, unbeknownst to them, Dana Walsh had other ideas, and after a couple of attempts to discreetly leave to warn Tarin of the ambush, finally gets some time to herself in the server room to warn him, until Arlo slinks out of the shadows – go, go Arlo! Can you actually do something useful?
Alas, no… no, he can’t. While he clearly suspected Dana, and with the viewers undoubtedly egging him on to turn her in, he didn’t discover anything useful, and if it wasn’t for a timely phone call, he’d only be so much CTU wall insulation, as Dana was ready and willing to send him to meet Prady in bit-part heaven. Bah!
The seeds are sown for Dana’s eventual comeuppance, though, and Arlo (along with Chloe, if her errant glances are anything to go by) may still spell the end of her yet.
The closing minutes concentrated on the chase, with Jack in a stolen sports car bearing down on Tarin for the kill. With Dana’s information, Tarin diverts into a multi-storey car park and Jack is forced to follow. Ending up on the roof, Tarin makes a leap of faith, ending up in a twisted metal wreck on the ground. Then came another twist, and, although not as poor as Dana’s recent reveal, it was stretching things a little too much.
Somehow, in the midst of a high speed chase around a multi-storey car park, and with Hassan handcuffed to the dashboard, Tarin managed to un-cuff the president and kick him out, only for him to be picked up by a couple of accomplices, who somehow managed to get to the car park in a flash. All of this was apparently achieved in mere seconds as a car pulling out momentarily blocked Jack.
It was all a little much, and reminded me of the equally poor demise of Agent Francis in Fringe, where the shapeshifter killed and stripped him, changed into his clothes and shoved him into a boiler in about five seconds.
So, after another fast moving episode, and apart from a dubious quick-change, 24 is looking better and better. Hassan’s fate is looking grim, and now that Jack’s onto the CTU mole, Dana’s days are surely numbered. Better get running, love!
Read our review of episode 14 here.