After a 4-hour extravaganza debuting the launch of another of Jack Bauer's Worst Days last week, hour 5 arrived tonight. Tonight's episode offered up some tantalizing detail and acting chops the likes of which I would pay to see in other programs I watch, and folks - this was only a bridge episode.
It's clearest to me how all of the people that create 24 when I can watch an episode that's supposed to just help fill in the gaps, and get the kind of satisfaction I did tonight.
Once again it’s time to take the safety off your .40cal H&K, pop-in your ear comm and strap in for a spoiler-ridden review of the fifth hour of 24 Season 8!
These reviews are filled with story-decimating SPOILERS. If you have not yet seen this evening's episode, this review will ruin many aspects. Readers beware…
Already, as news of President Hassan's attempted assassination spreads, suspects and those who have already been judged as guilty are being rounded up and taken into custody to begin the process of finding more answers in his native country. Ironically, President Taylor now puts the peace talks ball into an incredibly strange court: SHE announces that if President Hassan doesn't call off the rounding up of people in his country to "prove" his interest in peace, she will call off the peace talks conference.
Jack and Renee are tending to what we initially thought was a severed hand, but turns out to be only an amputated thumb to remove the parole bracelet from Ziya, a Russian mafia underling. Renee is able to stabilize him and they eventually head toward Vladamir's hideout which is a truly dicey move. Her goal: Get Vladamir interested in acquiring/buying/getting into the middle of the uranium purchase in an effort to find out more information. I'm incredibly interested to see not just how the Russians will be rolled into the mix, but I was very interested in how the two Russian brothers (one of whom is sick from toting the weapons-grade uranium carelessly) story will weave itself into the general lay of story land here this season.
Dana receives another call from Kevin, who now wants her to make her way home. Unbelievably she makes her way out of the office in the middle of her shift, stops at an ATM, grabs $500 and heads home to find not only Kevin but some other shady house guest. After a short throat-grabbing session and some smarmy, forgettable dialog, we find out that she is an ex-con (former accomplice to murder). While this section was the most detail-laden of the tired, old intra-personal relationship lines of story here this season, I am still inclined to hate not only the Kevin/Jenny/Dana line of story, but the unbridled waste of actress Katie Sackhoff when she is put into blubbering heap of blonde hair and running makeup.
Ziya and Renee head toward Vladamir's secret warehouse-based hideout where Ziya paves the way for Renee's return. Jack and Renee go over the cover story and details that will be the foundation of her attempt to reintegrate into the Russian mafia fabric and continue the mission. Actress Annie Wersching puts on an acting clinic in several parts of this episode and once again, I am more impressed with her as she acquires more screen time this season. She's easily the strongest part of this season and I can't wait for more.
Jack and Chloe are able to use one of the apparently thousands of mobile video drones over the city of New York to track the armored car trunk that Ziya and Renee have been packed into. Jack follows not too far behind but - it's a ruse! It's the wrong car and they have actually been taken to a seaside dock where they will more than likely be executed. What follows here from Annie Wersching is again one of the best showcases of acting 24 will have this season and a great sample of the best craft contained inside of the show. While Ziya is unceremoniously shot, killed and dumped into the ocean, Renee's answers, attitude, perfectly-timed tears and completely sold cover story get her "IN."
And the beeping clock countdown of 24 continues...
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