Previously on 24: Well, I took the last three weeks off, and instead of the more comprehensive recaps; below are quick bits, reactions on hours 11, 12, 13, and last night’s 14th hour in a quick look at the craziness that is 24:
So, we know that handsome and virile Tarin is a no-goodnik. Damn it! It did seem too good to be true, that he’d be so sweet to Kayla, and trying to do the right thing for his country. But we saw that it was not to be, as he manhandled her through the hotel and allowed her to be taken hostage by Samir and his gang. Tied and hooded, Kayla was not having her finest hour. And neither was crazy-eyed Marcos.
CTU brought his mother Elaine to the hospital to reason with him, which did not work. The crazy kid was trying to rewire circuits in his explosive vest – so it could be detonated manually. So Jack tried another way, telling Marcos that if he does not cooperate, his Mom will NOT be allowed to leave Manhattan, that Jack will personally bring her to the explosion site so she could absorb as much radiation as possible. Finally Marcos let Jack open the door of the hyperbaric chamber, but suddenly Samir’s gang remotely started the detonation. The countdown for 30 seconds began. Jack pleaded for intel – a name, a place – anything.
But too soon the time was almost gone, so Jack shoved Marcos back into the chamber, shut the door, and with a loud bang, Marcos became just poof of pink mist. But he managed to give up Tarin’s name before he died.
Another development of the last few hours was the introduction of Bill Prady, the dead Kevin’s parole officer played by Stephen Root. Although his “Aw shucks”, “just folks” demeanor was meant to be reassuring, and of course, disarming, Dana was about to go through the roof with anxiety. Jaws around the world ached from watching her grit her teeth. She complained to Cole, but he was little comfort.
There was also a tense discussion about File “33”. (Which curiously, was not located in the glass-lined tanks of Old Latrobe?) Hassan had file “33”. Samir wanted it. Badly.
We also had a momentary reprieve from hating Tarin. When at the end of a deadline agreement with President Hassan (to furnish Samir with file “33” along with a case of beer), Tarin was supposed to bring Kayla back to the room with the camera, presumably so she could be executed while her parents watch the live streaming footage. But suddenly he seemed to have a change of heart and helped her escape to the street into nearby car. He was shot before he could drive her to safety, but Kayla managed to drive herself away, hysterically calling CTU for help.
Damn it! It was a set-up. Not only was Tarin not really dead, but he was still a bad guy! The vehicle that Kayla drove was wired with an EMP device, and as it entered the CTU tunnel, the device was activated, setting off a huge explosion of a magnetic pulse. Not only was there physical damage to CTU, but all electronics were killed. Of course. Computers, cameras, phone systems, and more computers. But this was actually a boon to Dana – now the camera footage (of the theft at the police impound) that P.O. Prady wanted to examine is unavailable. Wiped. Gone. Bummer, man. But pretty Kayla was whisked to safety just in time, so there’s that.
Then in the next hour we were treated to the Gunfight at the OK Corral on the Waterfront. Great fun, watching Jack, Cole, Owen, and another agent named King get pinned down behind their SUV. Their cell phone signals were scrambled, so they could not call for back-up. Resourceful as ever, Jack instructed them to dismantle the SUV in order to use the armored panels to shield them as they moved across an open area towards a call box. Nice. This ploy naturally reminded us of tiptoeing feet hiding under a canoe, or shrubbery, or some such subterfuge.
Speaking of gun-slinging, our gal Chloe got to shine nicely. Not since Days 4 and 5 has Chloe been able to get her paws on nice Sig. And why now? Because the NSA jerk-off Haynam that was sent to help CTU get back online was not willing to listen to Chloe’s work-around geekery. On the telephone advice from Renee, Chloe got tough and at gunpoint, ordered Haynam out of the server room. Yes! But security was able to drill through the door before she was done. Hastings arrived, ready to lecture, but Chloe gave a quick impassioned speech about giving her the chance to use her skills, and Hastings ordered Haynam to help Chloe. Of course, Chloe made it work and the server was back online.
Oh, and an interesting little moment earlier between Hastings and Chloe when she asks him if he’s okay. “An EMP just took us out of play, and now we’re dropping the ball on a radiological threat against New York City, so no Chloe, I’m not okay.” Now, close your eyes and remember that priceless line from Ving Rhames as Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, when Bruce Willis’s Butch asks him if he’s ok, “No man, I’m pretty fuckin’ far from okay.” Wouldn’t it have been great fun if Hastings answered like that? We hope that maybe something like that might have made it onto a gag reel for Day 8.
More news from hour 13, Renee saves Jack’s life at the waterfront, so he and Cole are alright, but Owen and King have died. It’s a shame, but we saw it coming. Owen was much too nervous throughout this day.
And Dana, silly Dana, she’s really in the horrors now. When Prady confronted her about her possible involvement in the police impound robbery, she responded by killing him. Silly, really. She roughed him up, strangled him, and then stuffed him in a vent. She then called Cole presumably, to tell him the recent development. “It’s me, CTU is back online” But, um…no. it’s not Cole on the other end. It’s Samir. “I know”, he says, “Helicopters are searching the river, you should have warned us.”
OK, what? Now Dana is the mole? (yes, there’s nearly always a CTU mole). Fine, we’ve accepted that part. But Dana? Dana? I don’t know. One wonders if this wasn’t concocted hastily in the later days of scriptwriting, as behind-the-scenes folks reacted to audience grumblings about Dana and her secret past. Compared to Nina from Day 1 as a benchmark role, Dana does not equal the task, IMO. Even little Marie Warner was a better surprise nasty girl. Sure, Dana can have that scary evil face, but the fact is – this is just weird!
And last night’s episode had its bizarre moments too. From the OK Corral, the gunfight was now moved to A Subterranean Tunnel Filled with Conveniently Placed Pallets that Strangely Offer Protection from Whizzing Bullets Shot from Only 100 Yards Away. And how did we arrive at this fine mess?
Remember that now Kayla had been united with her family at the UN, and they all need to be evacuated. President Taylor asked Jack to lead this mission. He does so, with Renee in tow. As Jack and Renee set up tactical measures, Taylor speaks with the National Security Team assembled at McGuire Air Force Base. While they are meeting Samir calls for the President. He threatened to set off the bomb (radiological dispersal device) if she does not turn over Hassan. Cue organ music.
Ethan Kanin and Taylor both agreed that they could not give up Hassan. The rest of the room seemed to assent, but then Rob Weiss spoke up, saying that one man’s life isn’t worth the many thousands that would surely die, not to mentioned ruining part of New York for countless years. Then some of the other gents seemed to agree with Weiss. Allison Taylor reminded them that America does not negotiate with terrorists and they need to work together to stay strong. Well, General Brucker broached a plan to Weiss; how about if they let a black ops team capture Hassan, turn him over to the baddies, but make it look like the Americans were trying to do the right thing.
Weiss mulled and anguished over this – for about a minute. Then he and Brucker stole into Ethan’s office, drawing the blinds. (Which of course, is the universal sign of “please investigate, there’s surely something shady or sexual or both going on behind these covered windows.”?) They fooled around with Ethan’s computer, attaching a thumb drive with some sort of important intel to upload or download or what have you. Naturally the Secretary of State chose that moment to stop by his own office. Upon confrontation, the two came up with some sort of song and dance about maybe planning a surprise party for President Taylor, or for Jack Bauer, or for Ethan himself. “Say old man, you’ve got to be having a birthday at some point this year, why not now, in the middle of a miserable nuclear crisis!”
Ethan, although a bit older, was no fool. He spied the thumb drive, and cut right through the confetti. “This is beyond madness!” He tried to pocket dial Jack Bauer, but Brucker grabbed his phone away. Then poor Ethan suffered what appeared to be a heart attack. Rob Weiss panicked and gave Ethan one of his spilled pills. He wanted to call for help, but Brucker said no, if Ethan regained consciousness, he’s alert everyone as to the secret birthday party.
And now Jack, Renee, Hassan, Dalia, Kayla, and some Secret Service folk are working their way through the aforementioned tunnel. Jack’s phone rang, it was Ethan, but of course, he couldn’t answer him. When Jack tried to have an operator at the Air Force base ring up Ethan, there was no response, so Jack became increasingly suspicious. Finally he decided that the entourage would all turn back. And that’s when the fun began, shots ringing out; smoke grenades, the IRK First Family scampering, the requisite twisted ankle (Kayla) and even President Hassan got to wield a weapon!
And the melee came to a close when they disarmed the last “hostile” and found that he was not only American, but he was sent by General Brucker to avoid having President Taylor refuse to give up Hassan – in order to keep Samir from setting off the “device.” Jack, Renee and Hassan know nothing about this threat, but they do know that they only have about twenty minutes to fix it. Tick, tick, tick!