24 Season 8 episode 19 review

Jack takes on everyone in this week’s 24, and the President may have gone too far…

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 10:00-11:00am

As a fan whose been severely let down by season 8’s overall quality, I’m very happy to see that the show has finally begun to reclaim its former glory, even if it’s doing so in the dying hours, and this week was another prime example of why we like 24 so much, with the series pitting Jack against the world, aas he faces Taylor, CTU and old friends. There was a great smattering of characters this time, and both President Taylor and Jack got prime billing, with some great behind the throne ruling from Charles Logan.

Things kicked off a little disappointingly though. Jack’s escape and apparent upcoming helicopter chase was more of a damp squib really.

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Despite two Air Force Apache attack choppers flying into the scene; there was little aerobatic action as Jack quickly landed on a nearby building, and did so rather calmly, making the whole helicopter hijack a bit of a wasted opportunity. He then quickly dropped to ground level where, although having a clear view of the direction Jack was going, the Air Force chopper pilots decided to keep the information from the Cops, and BAM! The chase was over. I was hoping for some Jack-tastic escape tricks here, oh well.

President Taylor was the focus of much of the episode too, and although seemingly a strong-willed character, and a poster child for people doing the right thing, this episode showed that she’s far more susceptible to suggestion that we previously thought. At first, after a heart ot heart with Kanin, she agrees that she’s gone to far. Kanin warns her that she’s in danger of being impeached, or even facing the harsh end of the law, and so she relents, asking Kanin to draw up a speech in which she’ll announce that the U.S. is to drop out of the treaty.

Then, in a quick turn around she meets up with Charles Logan, who promptly convinces her that the right thing to do is to continue with the cover up and proceed with the treaty. Logan has hired a private security firm, with the goal of moving Dana Walsh to a secret location and ‘extracting’ the extremely voliatile truth from her.

With her out of the picture, Jack’s escape, and plan to make the truth public won’t be a problem. Taylor changes her mind again, and sanctions Logan’s plan, evne if it involves the use of some creative interrogation to get the job done.

Meanwhile, Jack pops into his local Phone 4 U and grabs a few disposable mobiles, and I had to chuckle at the line “I don’t need the chargers”. Jack, you’ve never used a charger, ever! He then contacts Chloe, convinces her to help, before throwing away one of his phones.

Jack then contacts an old friend, played by Michael Madsen. He supplies Jack with a veritable armoury of guns and gadgets, and Jack ditches his manbag in favour of a large, not entirely inconspicuous green duffle bag, and then contact Chloe for Dana’s location.

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It’s here where the episode really began to mix things up, and we see Chloe’s character take a turn for the worst, as she proceeds to set Jack up, feeding him a dummy address for Dana’s location. She moves Ortiz and a team to the fake safehouse with the goal of capturing Jack. Chloe is, of course, troubled by her forced choice, but she sticks to her guns, and decides to go against Jack.

Luckily, Chloe forgot one major thing – no one fool Jack, and he sees right through her plan. He effortlessly takes Ortiz and company captive, and then forces Ortiz to inform Chloe that the operation was a success. Jack then convinces Ortiz to help him find Dana os they can unveil the truth behind the day’s events.

While all this was happening, there was quite a bit of stirring in the UN. Ethan Kanin, long time advisor and friend of President Taylor announces his resignation. He’s unable to carry on with Taylor’s plan, and feels she’s going down a dangerous and unethical road.

Taylor, clearly starting to falter in her determination, still goes ahead with the press conference, announcing the continuation of the treaty and Dhalia Hassan’s rise to power. As this is going on, a rather brilliant screen spit is used, depicting Dana’s fate at the hands of the private security firm.

As Taylor is waxing lyrical about truth, freedom and peace, Dana is subjected to water boarding, all sanctioned by the President. This was a great touch, and shows that Taylor has really taken a wrong turn, thanks to Logan’s venomous behind the scenes whispering. Her determination for her much vaunted peace treaty is her only concern, even if it means using totally unacceptable and unethical means.

This was quite a packed episode, and it served to cement Jack’s position and future plan – the rescue of Dana Walsh and the toppling of President Taylor. It also further fleshed out President Taylor and Logan’s story, which is a very interesting thread that could develop into something special. A great showing, and I look forward to seeing where events lead us in the next few, final hours.

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Read our review of episode 18 here.