When we last left the dynamic duo of Weiss and Brucker, they had locked poor unconscious Ethan in his office and were not seeking medical assistance, although Rob was suffering from the guilts and wanted to get help.
Below the UN, Jack, Renee, the Hassans, and a limping Bishop were making their way through the tunnel. Hassan was upset that his life was spared in exchange for the possible death of thousands in Manhattan. He decides to act; grabbing what looked like a tire iron and whacked Jack from behind, and knocks him out. Wait, let’s reexamine this.
Hassan wields a longish metal pipe thing, strikes Jack across his shoulders, and knocks him out. Knocks out Jack. Jack, as in Jack Bauer. Right, it didn’t look authentic to me either. But I get it. Hassan was not mad at Jack, per se. We’ve got to assume that he didn’t want to actually hurt Jack, but still wanted to do what he thought was the right thing. So to be clear, Jack would not typically succumb to such an ordinary attack.
So Hassan now has a gun, and asks Renee to drop her weapon, and locks her, his family, and Jack in a storage room while he heads to the street level with Bishop. But Jack breaks out of the room quickly enough, has Renee bring the Hassan’s to the Air Force base, while he calls Chloe. (“Can you hear me now?”) He briefs her on the treacherous acts of General Brucker and the covert op to kidnap Hassan, and asks for a connection to President Taylor.
And around the city, everyone who is anyone is watching the clock, watching the skyline, watching the news, and watching the street, hoping that nothing will happen.
Bishop calls Brucker who contacts Samir, and announce that Hassan is in their custody, and if it’s not too much trouble, could they please STOP THE BOMB. Samir calls Tarin to stop the clock with seven seconds to spare.
Taylor is shocked when she hears Jack’s news, but plays it cool on the phone. Shortly she has Secret Service ready to arrest not only Brucker, but Rob Weiss as well.
Meanwhile Bishop and Tarin do a sort of blind exchange of Hassan and the bomb. (Actually it was rather fun, all very cloak-and-dagger). Tarin, still the cool customer, does a casual drop of the van keys (the van that holds the bomb) on the ground for Bishop to find. When Bishop does find them, he looks at the keychain fob with trepidation, as if he were at the rental agency already planning on an upgrade.
And at CTU? Dana grasps for excuses to leave the floor to tip off baddies:
“I have to pee.”
“I think my aunt sent my monthly gift.”
“A girl’s gotta floss!”
“I heard there was a magician in the cafeteria today!!”
“Cole is here, I need to remember which lie I’m working on what loser.”
And let’s move through the rest of the double episode, going to cheat with just highlights so I can spend more time on the climax.
Jack, in pursuit of Bishop and Hassan spots a beauty of a car (a BB Gencoupe it seems), and helps himself.
“Mmm, nice car, it’s sexy time.” Chloe, on video surveillance works hard to not bust out in a grin.
Now in these Very Special Episodes, some great Jack Bauer tropes came out to play. Now before you get too excited, there was no Thigh-Shooting. But still, Jack Stealing a Sweet Ride fit in well just there. And before that, it was Jack in full M2Bze2Xpl8n mode (I’m Too Busy to Explain) when he reminds someone that he just doesn’t have time to explain the finer points of an upcoming op or a new monkey-wrench. We’ll see more of these in the next hour.
Note President Taylor’s growing battle fatigue. Allison moans, slaps, yells, and has an all together very emotional couple hours. She looks like she wants to kiss Ethan, hug Renee, and adopt the Hassan ladies. Ethan should ask for a damn raise while she’s all emo.
Now, Tarin is bringing Hassan back to the rebel base. Hassan tries to be calm and reasonable. I wonder if he’d go as far as singing to his captor? Tarin is having none of that and just chastises Omar on his wicked ways, reminding him about his Western Whore, Meredith the journalist.
Another special moment was when Arlo asked one too many questions cornering Dana in a geek room where she’s supposed to be checking a trunk line. “Where are the diagnostics?” “Why is that a map of the city?” “What size should I get you at Victoria’s Secret?” Out comes the killer USB cable turned garrote…Dana advances on Arlo while he’s fooling around on her computer…she’s ready, she raises her hands…blip-beep! Arlo’s Bluetooth thingie pinged, saved by a phone call!
And there’s more blah blah talk between Hassan and Tarin, with Tarin telling Hassan repeatedly to shut up. “And stop using so much freakin’ mousse!”
It’s been several hours before the last big scene – the “spooked” Tarin tries to hide in a parking garage, with Jack in pursuit. Out of sight Hassan is transferred to another car. Then Tarin’s SUV does a suicide dive off the roof of the garage. Big Horrific Crash, but no Hassan. Tarin is useless since he’s dead, but lookey! Got his mobile! Now we can look up his most recently placed calls!
The next hour begins with Hastings cursing “damn it”, after hearing that Hassan is gone again, and Renee and Chloe whispering and giggling about the possibility of a mole in CTU. Of course they weren’t giggling since this is 24, but I wanted them to have a bit of fun.
The noose is closing around Dana. This is going to be interesting. Hastings, Chloe, and Renee play ?ber-detectives and find out the mole is….Dana. Cue organ music. Oh no, she’s gone! Quick, put up the alerts. Oh no, she shot Jim the Guard! We liked him. Dana goes postal in the parking garage. Finally Cole catches up to her and in a bit of foreshadowing, he yanks her by the throat, calling her a “lying little bitch” and slams her up against a column.
The whole thing brings out Cole’s “dems and dos” in his speech, as we see in the debrief conversation with Hastings, “Sir, you need me on dis.” Odd. Anyway, Dana is in custody, and asking for Jack Bauer. Oh, and doesn’t she give the camera the stink-eye? (And Chloe continually does her own version of a stink-eye, her patented stink-scowl. (Say that three times fast).)
And now Jack has a chance to shine with another beloved script device. Into interrogation he goes. He quizzes Dana on the scheme, and why she asked for him. “Because you’re the only one here who doesn’t have his head up his ass.” He becomes more and more disgusted with Dana, as she grubs for money.
He’s heard enough. Jack advances on Dana and performs a beautiful Throat Slam up Against the Wall move, “Little bitch, let me explain something to you!” Hastings is aghast, all he can utter is a weak, “damn it Jack.”
Hassan, done up like a proper hostage with a bit of dirt and blood about his face, is delivered to the Rebel Base. Hey, is it just me or is Samir wearing makeup? He looks a bit too artificial. A lot more organ music is required for the remaining dialogue in this scene.
Okay, I’ve been ‘cueing up organ music’ steadily throughout these recaps, but it has to be said that the scoring in every episode is due to the brilliance of the Emmy winning (and deserving) Sean Callery. Wonder what project he’ll end up on next?
And it took me too long to get here, but oh what a climax!
Finally, Jack, Cole and other TAC Team men find the apartment building that houses the Rebel Base (Samir’s hideout). And as they move inside, the actions are reminiscent of the penultimate scenes in The Kingdom, as Jamie Fox, Jennifer Garner, and friends attempt to rescue Jason Bateman in a Riyadh dwelling. Much pointing and whispering and encountering what seem to be regular civilians, but of course everyone is suspect.
Back at CTU, Chloe is displaying even more Geekery than ever thought possible. Chloe Holmes. Sherlock O’Brian Whatever, that girl is good. “That light is coming from an east-facing window, judging from the angles of the shadows they are on the fourth floor. Samir ate home-made hummus for an early morning snack, that henchman over there gulped down a Venti French Roast, but he really wanted an Ethiopia Sidamo. You’ll notice the lines of regret along his jaw, and the crossing of his legs. That man sure has to pee!”
And now, it gets serious. In the stealthiest of movements, Jack, Renee, Cole, and others continue through the building. They determine which apartment Samir is using with an audio surveillance device. So tricky, so careful, so nerve-racking. We can’t stand it, not easy to hold one’s breath for so long. Jack and Renee come upon a woman and child. They quickly remove the squealing boy out of the apartment, while the woman sulks on the couch.
While Jack investigates a false wall inside a closet, Renee nearly gets shot by the woman, but she is able to draw first, killing the woman. She then follows Jack through the secret compartment into another set of rooms. They are following the sound of Samir reading the list of Hassan’s supposed war crimes. Okay – there they are! Jack bursts into the room, shooting every hostile he sees. Even Samir goes down leaving only a smear of blood as a remembrance.
No, wait, why is Jack seeing a camera trained on a computer monitor, a monitor with a “live” feed showing Samir standing over Hassan? Because it wasn’t a live feed after all. Now Jack looks all the way around the room. It’s not good; it’s very, very terrible. Hassan is motionless on a chair, his neck slashed; lifeless head thrown back, the blood drenching his shirt to an unrecognizable shade.
Jack rushes over but can do nothing except close the man’s eyes and whisper an apology. As his jaw clenches, and his stomach churns, we all fight for composure. And the video feed is still being broadcast over the Internet, and into the situation room at McGuire Air Force Base.
Allison watches, disbelief rolling into nausea. She chokes back bile and tears, bracing herself to deliver the horror to Dalia and Kayla. The women can barely comprehend the news, and certainly don’t want to accept it. And the clock silently ticks on.
Certainly unexpected, and definitely compelling, the climax death scene in this hour was one of the most devastating of all the seasons. This was an Edgar death. And Edgar, although beloved, wasn’t as wholly important to the plot as Omar Hassan was. This was as surprising as David Palmer’s death, but since he (and Michelle Dessler) died so early on during Day Five, it wasn’t as shocking. As startling as Tony Almeida’s demise? No. Curtis Manning? Yeah, that’s a little more like it, but not as sad as Bill Buchanan’s.
Hassan’s death was really more like Terri Bauer’s unmerciful end at the finale of Day One. What happened to Terri proved that 24 was not going to be a conventional show. And call it coming full circle, or going out with a bang, during these last few hours of 24 – we should expect anything.