24 season 8 episode 7 review

Day 8 of 24 reaches a calmer hour... until the final frantic minutes in this more sedate episode...

UK readers please note: this is the episode that doesn’t screen until mid February on Sky1.

Day 8: 10:00 – 11:00pm

This week’s episode of 24 was a far more sedate outing, with the hour mostly trying desperately to cover a collection of bases. Even though there were quite a few plot asides, nothing much really happened that hasn’t already been alluded to previously. Still, it was all worth it for Renee’s inevitable shift into total madness.

Despite Jack and Renee’s escapades dealing with the main plot, the two were mostly in the background this time, and much of the episode focused on the other storylines. Most notably here was the continuance of Dana and Kevin’s story, which although apparently not the favourite of viewers (certainly here at DOG), still managed to be of some interest, in my opinion, if a little Knightmare for criminals, as Dana tells her ex and his bumbling partner to walk that way and type a code in there, all from her oddly secluded office.

Ad – content continues below

Despite nothing but glass walls surrounding her, like a covert fish bowl, no one apparently notices her doing her dodgy deals with Kevin, although the constant mobile phone breaks would surely have caused concern enough to report her by now. Arlo and Chloe are clearly being set up to interfere, and Hastings also takes note of Dana’s day dreaming, so if he’s now noticed, as inept as he is, then Dana’s subterfuge should be plain for all and sundry to see soon.

Predictably (I’ve been using that world a lot haven’t I?), the heist on the NYPD storage warehouse didn’t go well. Although Kevin found his money, in a convenient McDonald’s-style take away bag, no less, his partner got greedy and began to rifle through the rest of the goodies on offer. Quite why the whole childish water pistol hold-up was in there, though ,is a little bemusing. We already know Kevin’s partner isn’t a full deck. Surely there was no need for a clearly out of place childish prank in the middle of an NYPD facility, but there you go.

As they dally around they end up almost getting caught by a patrol cop, and despite Dana’s hel,p they beat the poor copper ‘round the head and escape, leaving the ramifications, and Dana’s eventual spot of trouble, in their wake.

Meanwhile, we saw a bit more of Hassan and Taylor. It would seem that while the cameras were focused on other matters last week, Taylor has managed to get the peace process back on track, but the good old Brits, as cynical as ever (makes you proud, doesn’t it?), suspect foul play, and Taylor rather quickly dishes out the whole kit and caboodle, telling the UK representative about the nuclear threat. Way to keep some national security secrets there, Pres!

Far more interesting, though, was Hassan’s growing paranoia. Not only has he now sunk to rounding up his own staff member’s family in order to make him talk, he also begins to suspect Tarin, his closest advisor. This isn’t looking good for Tarin either, as he just so happens to be getting his groove on with President Hassan’s daughter. Hmmm, that’s not going to end well.

It was all pretty slow-burning stuff, though, and not one of the most dynamic episodes, but that all changed when Jack and Renee’s plot caught up, even if only for a few seconds. After successfully getting Vlad to call his Facebook friends of doom, with fruitless results, Renee is attacked by him when she tries to persuade him to keep trying. It’s then when Renee’s build-up into a truly warped individual plays out as she stabs Vlad in the face (literally – ouch!) and begins to use him as a makeshift pin cushion. And then, as Jack tries to restrain her, she stabs him as well for good measure.

Ad – content continues below

However, and this is where I start to get mad, Jack simply shrugs off a knife wound to the stomach as if he’d just cut himself shaving. Come on, people! I know Jack’s hard, but a stab wound to the mid section isn’t something you can bandage up and carry on stomping with. Hell, he didn’t even sound like he was in pain. This was just ridiculous, and although 24 is far from a real life documentary, it took a lot away from what was otherwise a great scene. I just can’t suspend my disbelief that far.

Eventually, the episode ended in another 24-staple cliff-hanger. Jack lets himself get taken away by the Russians who show up to kill Vlad, and much to the distress of CTU, he’s lead away via an underground pipe, so CTU has no idea where he is. Queue ticking clock and the end of the hour.

I must admit, although my initial outlook of day eight was filled with expectations, I’m starting to find the series a little stale as time moves on, and there’s not a whole lot of effort going into injecting a fresh vibe into things. It’s been seven episodes, and while we’ve had a couple of highlights, and the promise of a decent main plot, it’s starting to drag on a little in places. Hopefully, with Jack now finally in the hands of the real bad guys, we’ll get to the meat of the story. Just please make Jack a more believable hero and less Terminator.

Read our review of episode 6 here.