UK readers please note: this episode doesn’t screen for another couple of weeks on Sky1 and this review contains major spoilers.
24 Season 8 9:00-10:00am
It wasn’t so much guns, guns, guns, but more politics, politics, politics in this week’s 24. This was no bad thing, though, as, despite being low on action, this episode served to push the central story along nicely, and gave President Taylor something substantial to do at long last, having been sidelined for the majority of the season so far.
With Renee dead, Jack’s emotional state is certainly not in good health, and he wastes no time in following up on Chloe’s reveal that Renee knew one of the EMTs at the site of Samir’s death. As expected, this lead to the resurfacing of Bashaev, the man who lead the mafia group the EMT assassin belonged to.
Meanwhile, in a sign of almost superhuman recovery, Ethan Kanin is back on his feet, suited and booted and ready for some governmental action, and we also get to see ex-president Logan do his thing in a meeting with Novakovich, effectively blackmailing the superpower to capitulate and return to the peace treaty.
This was a great little plot device, and reveals that Logan really is as slimy as we remember. Could he have stopped this before the events happened? Or, did he hold off, watching the crisis grow, just so he could arrive and save the day? Great stuff.
Jack meets with Bashaev at the Russian mobster’s court appearance, and manages, by threatening Bashaev’s family, to confirm the Russian government’s involvement, and also finds out that Dana Walsh was the main contact for the sinister government plotters all along. Don’t fancy being in her shoes…
As the Russian’s announce that they’re back to the table for the treaty, much to Logan’s joy, the disgraced world leader reveals even more character flaws. He finds out that Jack is a possible threat to his plan, and knows about the Russian government’s involvement. Logan has kept this from Taylor thus far in an effort to shield the President, and create plausible deniability. Well, that’s what he claims, at least, and I’m betting he’s got far more up his sleeve than Taylor’s reputation and his apparent goal of improving his own.
Even though Jack does get to interrogate Dana, and, after beating her up a little (that’s not very gentlemanly, you cad!) she agrees to tell him everything, including names of those involved, but she wants her immunity back, after it failed to stick due to Hassan’s death.
Unfortunately for Jack, and in the best scene of the episode, Logan has already worked his magic on President Taylor. Forced to tell her the truth about the Russian’s involvement with the day’s events, he tries to convince her that she should keep the information secret. Taylor, although visibly unhappy about her choice, agrees that this is the best course of action, and plans to keep the details secret, even to the point that she’ll hide the truth from Dhalia Hassan, who will end up working with the very people who killed her husband.
Taylor promptly decides to head to CTU to speak to Jack in person. Well, I say promptly, but light speed would be more appropriate, as she somehow gets to CTU in record time. Maybe her limo has some nitrous onboard or something.
On her arrival, and after another helping from the Big Book of Presidential Speeches 2009, Taylor confronts Jack. She refuses Dana’s immunity deal, flat out tells Jack to leave things well alone, and even packs him off to some airbase for ‘debriefing’. Needless to say, Jack’s not happy, and you know what, President Taylor? You may be the big button presser, but getting on the wrong side of Jack Bauer? Ouch!
And so, we close the episode with something anyone with a couple of brains cells could see coming a mile off. Jack quickly turns the tables on his guards, grabs a pistol and, as you do, steals the helicopter, before heading off into the distance. Chloe, now head of CTU, is forced to order the air force to bring him down. Ohhh, Chloe, of all the people!
As I said, this was a very political, and dialog heavy episode, with little action, but this worked very well. We now know for certain that Russia is involved in the whole scheme, and we’ve got a couple of relatively unknown quantities, including Charles Logan’s true agenda. President Taylor’s struggle to keep quiet about the truth will no doubt come to a head too.
I foresee Jack having to work with Dana Walsh in some capacity (probably after breaking her out of prison, or intercepting her transfer), and with him going against the orders of the president herself, things could get very interesting, very soon.
Hopefully, this will lead to the ending we’ve all been hoping for, and while it won’t make up for the poor majority of the series, at least the curtain may fall to some applause.
Read our review of episode 17 here.