Episode: 24 8.10 – “1:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.”
Original Air Date: March 1, 2010
Colleges and universities all over the world are suffering with the enforced demise of the Jack Bauer Dammit Drinking Game. Students are just sitting around, beer bottles in hand, waiting, waiting, waiting. What’s up with Jack this season? Have TPTB sanitized him too much?
In tonight’s ep, his last connection to finding the nuclear rods couldn’t be saved from fatal wounds, dying right there as paramedics desperately worked to save him. Did Jack say “Dammit”? Nope. Tough luck, dudes. Better come up with another game where you down a brew every time he doesn’t say it when he should.
The old Jack did surface a few times this season, like ripping a dagger out of his own torso and swiftly hurling it into the throat of a villain, but where’s Heroic Jack, Smackdown Jack, Anti-hero Jack? It may be intentional, but what we’re seeing more of now is Grandpa Jack.
If 24 doesn’t become more inventive, as in earlier seasons, it might as well be a sketch on SNL. It’s becoming more and more of a caricature than a thrillfest. Dumb Dana has a lot to do with my sinking attitude, and now she has taken Cole down with her. I had high hopes for another Tony Almeida-type, but even after Tony got dead, he wouldn’t be this stupid. In this ep, Dana wants to call the cops (why the cops? Who knows?) and confess all, but dumbed-down Cole talks her into a cover-up, resulting in tamping down the expired pair of clods into the swamp. They should also submerge themselves… permanently.
A pair of balls arrived in tonight’s ep, one for Hastings and one for President Allison Taylor. For once, Hastings (if he stoops over any lower, he’ll be talking to his kneecaps) stands up for CTU against Weiss, the mole in the President’s office. President Taylor swings her newfound ball at President Hassan, forcing him to cooperate by letting the U.S. use Krapistan’s official spy arm called IRK (do they know what the word “irk” means?), to locate his covert operatives in order to thwart the threatened nuclear attack on the Big Apple. She then, believe it or not, hugs him. What’s the penalty for dropping a ball?
In this ep, Tarin, Hassan’s former head of security who’s also his daughter Kayla’s lover, escapes custody and phones Kayla to meet him in a hotel. Hassan phones his estranged wife… yada yada yada.
President Hassan’s hair seems to be getting higher each week. Maybe the producers should create a spinoff starring Hastings and Hassan and call it Quasimodo and Eraserhead.
Farhad, former terrorist and traitor to his brother, President Hassan, and now a cowardly turncoat groveling by phone to CTU, is apprehended by the guys he thought he had escaped from, and shot almost dead, just as we hear Jack Bauer and his team noisily arrive to get him. Too late, dudes. This is where Jack yells orders to paramedics to save Farhad for questioning, but Farhad dies anyway. Action Jack would’ve said “Dammit!” What does this Jack say when the paramedic apologizes to Jack? Paramedic says “Mr. Bauer. We did our best. He didn’t make it,” Jack says, “I know you did. Thanks.”
Jack phones Hastings saying they can still save the mission by faking it, taking Farhad’s corpse across town to a hospital, and telling the bad guys, via the media, that Farhad is still alive, thereby forcing them to come and “kill” Farhad. Sounds like a plan, and the bad guys believe it… for awhile. At the hospital, Jack gets a call from Renee, and reinforces his remark about getting together “after this is over.” Sounds like maybe there’s a romance budding here, except for one thing: Renee’s expression is that of a functioning psycho and I get the feeling she’s either not long for this world, or that she’s ready to go over the mental edge altogether.
Samir, head villain, sends Marcos, a young American-born suicide bomber to the hospital. Using IRK’s intel, Chloe identifies the guy to Jack, spies the suicide bomber’s remote detonator in his hand, gets a visual of the bomb when Marcos opens his vest (thanks to Owen), and Arlo manages to disarm it by computer.
CTU’s Owen made his bones tonight by following Jack’s pep-talk instructions in dealing with the suicide bomber who came to the hospital to blow up Farhad. What the terrorist doesn’t know is that Farhad is really dead and the media announcement that he was wounded and en route to a hospital was a Jack Bauer ploy. Jack, Owen, and the team crash into the hospital room almost in time to see the now-disarmed bomber whip out a gun and riddle the corpse with bullets. Oops! Marcos sees that Farhad is already dead.
Jack advances, whispering calmly to Marcos, who backs up against a hospital window, and then dives right out of it. But wait, he doesn’t die. He somehow gets into a hospital oxygen chamber which must be the only sealed chamber in the world where your cell phone works. He calls Samir whining that his bomb didn’t work. Samir tells him he’ll talk him through manually detonating the bomb because he can’t be taken alive. Jack, outside the chamber, tries to get Marcos to talk to him, but Marcos smashes the audio/visual, rendering Jack and team helpless to know what’s going on inside.
To be fair, Jack may have been made a shadow of his former self because Kiefer Sutherland, who does his own stunts, was ill at the time, or because Jack Bauer is really tired, is really a grandfather, and really wants to quit saving the country and begin to enjoy life. He might even want to do things he has never done before, like eating, sleeping, and peeing.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars