Last week, we stated that the 4-5 a.m. episode of 24 was the single worst episode of the show’s run. Not everyone agreed with that, but we stand by our review.
However, despite the show’s cancellation between last week and this week, we saw a significant rebound in watchability from one episode to the next. Let’s just chalk that up to 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. being the only real dead hour in the city that never sleeps.
The main plot of the 5:00-6:00 a.m. hour was the choice between handing President Hassan off to Samir and avoiding the nuclear attack on Manhattan, and keeping the President safe and keeping America’s moral high ground.
It was a very interesting argument to make – who is to say that Hassan’s life and the nation’s honor is worth more than hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lives?
Were General Brucker and Rob Weiss really the villains of the episode, or were they heroic for making a tough decision that could be considered treason in order to save American lives?
Rob Weiss battled these thoughts internally, and his performance in the episode was admirable. He went from being the one-dimensional whining staffer to a man of conflicted moral bearings - someone we were interested in watching.
In the end, it was Rob’s decision to go ahead with General Brucker’s play that gave us a second shootout in as many weeks. Both have been in enclosed areas, increasing their intensity.
The slaughter of the Secret Service agents and the counterattack by Jack, Renee and even President Hassan made for some excellent screen time.There appears to be internal conflict within Samir’s organization, as well.
After spending the entire episode directing Samir and his men away from CTU’s searches, and even sabotaging the satellites to enable their escape, Dana suddenly implores Samir not to detonate the nuclear device in Manhattan.
Will she come around next week and let CTU know about her betrayal in hopes of stopping Samir before it’s too late? She may not have to. Tarin, already on shaky ground because of his love for Kayla and what he was forced to do to her, does not look like a man devoted to dying for Samir’s cause. Will he shut down the device before it detonates?
This episode did an excellent job at bringing the season back from the brink that the previous hour brought it to, and even managed to provide us with not only some terrific action but plausible cliffhangers for next week.
However, this being 24, there were still some ridiculous moments:
- In all of CTU, no one hears Dana, or Jihad Jenny, whispering intel into her cell phone from her desk? Not one co-worker catches her giving those creepy, “Hey! Audience! I’m a bad guy!” looks? And even more implausible, no one finds it a bit odd that Dana is finally at her desk working instead of being off on any number of errands?
- When Dana’s sabotage causes the satellite to click off just before CTU could close in on Samir – something that happens at least twice a season on 24 – Cole remarks to Jack, “I know what you’re thinking, Jack: odd we lost the feed just as we were closing in.” Cole Ortiz: avid 24 viewer, apparently
- We understand that it’s a sticky issue, but didn’t President Taylor seem far too adamant far too quickly that keeping President Hassan was more important than stopping the nuclear device from going off and killing thousands of New Yorkers? She must be a Democrat; New York is a blue state, so Taylor probably already has those votes in the bag.
- What was with all the shocked gasps from CTU staffers when Hastings announced that the White House has just received word that the terrorists plan on detonating a radiological device in New York City? Um, haven’t they been figuring on this very scenario the entire season? Are even the characters in the show no longer watching the show?
- Last week, Renee arrived with just her one pistol and was able to take out an entire group of heavily armed terrorists. This week, she couldn’t hit a thing in the tunnel. President Hassan, however, was like Deadshot and Bullseye rolled into one. Jack must have given him Renee’s gun by mistake.
- And finally, a severe tactical error on Samir’s part. He’s planning on detonating the weapon on the Upper West Side? Big deal. Everyone who lives there is 85 years old and near death anyway.