You know “24” is slipping when the acronym of its fictional country is IRK. Go ahead, sound it out. I’ll wait. Yup, the show that IRKs me to know end didn’t quite think through the implications of having President Hassan rule over the Islamic Republic of Kamistan. That sort of short-sighted viewpoint is a hallmark of the show, which should probably be put into the bottom of the lake alongside the not-so-dearly departed Kevin sooner rather later. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here with that reference. Onto the recap!    

 

[Click through for a full recap of Monday's (March 1) "24"...]

Kayla visits Tarin before he’s sent to the embassy for “questioning.” Note the quote marks there. He tells her about a plot to set himself free (using an inside man as aid) in order to hide until the Americans grant asylum, and he wants her to come with him. Hey, how can she resist cheekbones like his? 

In the park, Cole is trying to resuscitate Kevin, and by proxy that terrible plot that died with him. Dana tells him to flee, noting there’s nothing connecting him to the murders. “I’m already involved!” he screams, and outlines a plan to clean the scene. Hopefully, it doesn’t involve an overly choreographed dance that he learned in high school. A shaken Dana sits there while Cole goes to work.  

Hastings calls President Taylor to discuss Farhad’s desperate call to CTU, detailing news of the dirty bomb plot. He asks for the IRK files, containing information of all of Hassan’s assets both domestic and abroad. Chief of Staff Weiss thinks Hassan will be loath to release them, but President Taylor insists such a request may break Hassan from his recent funk. Once Taylor leaves, Hastings tells Weiss that he didn’t follow through with pressing charges against Renee, and insists that Hall will have to fire him if need be. 

On the way to Farhad’s location, Jack talks to him while Super Mole Owen flanks Bauer in the van. 

At the U.N., Taylor fills in Hassan on the current status of the nuclear rods. Hassan’s skeptical, and even more skeptical when asked for the IRK files in order to Farhad to iID the terrorists. He wants to handle things on his own terms, but she insists that CTU needs to interrogate him onsite. When he balks, she throws down the hammer: if the attack is successful, America will have no choice but to retaliate. When the camera cuts back to Hassan, my wife whispers, “Is that your final answer?” Heh. Hassan tells Taylor that he’ll have the files to her in a few minutes. 

As Tarin is escorted to the embassy, he escapes from his handcuffs, disarms Emir, and gets them both out of the car. Hassan picks that time to call. Bad timing. It’s like how my mother always knows when I’m eating dinner, even though I never eat at the same time twice. With Emir not picking up, Hassan orders a team to track the car down. Tarin locks both men into the back of the van and arranges a meet with Kayla. Can I see a show about Tarin, please? Because he’s kind of awesome. 

Hastings tells Farhad to stay still, but he’s feeling the heat from his would-be assailants. So he stands up, and feels about 12 bullets go through his chest. Sigh. The assassin calls Samir, the planner now in charge, and tells him mission accomplished. Samir’s in what looks like the diner from “Seinfeld.” Sure, why not? At the scene, CTU spreads throughout the ground as Jack tells a dying Farhad to ID potential suspects. Unfortunately, the files aren’t ready yet on Jack’s phone. I guess CTU is using AT&T. 

President Taylor gets a security briefing at the U.N., where possible scenarios for a dirty bomb attack in NYC. The basic gist? Not. Good. Tens of thousands of deaths, mass panic, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA! Taylor agrees to keep the information mum from the public, but allows the information to be disseminated amongst the delegates currently in the city. 

Hassan gets words not only of Farhad’s capture, but Tarin’s escape. He realizing that Tarin’s flight was probably an inside job, and learns that his daughter might be involved. This is a bad five minutes for Hassan. He calls his daughter, but gets only voice mail. Just as he’s calling her, she meets up with Tarin. He’s contacted a lawyer, who will meet them in two hours. Everybody got that? Two hours! Not within the hour, “24”? Guess you don’t want to give those playing the “24” drinking game a chance to pass out before the end of the hour. 

Bauer has a plan to salvage the mission: leak word that Farhad’s OK and on transport to a local hospital in order to draw out attack. It’s basically stolen from “The Dark Knight,” with Farhad taking the bloody place of Harvey Dent, but hey, I like “The Dark Knight.” The idea of a high-speed explosive chase in NYC? About time. Haven’t seen anything like that since Horace Goodspeed tried to take out Hassan in the show’s first few hours. 

Back in the park, Cole and Dana sink Kevin’s body to the bottom of the lake. “It’s over, Dana,” he says. If only Cole. If only. As the two wade out of the muck, Dana wants to know if their relationship is over. Yes, because the man’s focused on the disposal of the bodies and she’s focused on the wedding. Sometimes I hate you, “24.” 

As the local news broadcasts Bauer’s fake mission, Samir and Co. freak out at Seinfeld’s diner. Samir is calm: he’ll send his soldier Marcos, who has an American mother, in for the kill. Meanwhile, Marcos is in the van with the rods, calling his mother and begging her to leave the city. Ah, this old chestnut: the cryptic “just leave the city” call that almost always backfires in ways the caller cannot imagine. As he hangs up, Samir comes into the van to tell him it’s time. 

Hastings lets Bauer know that the plan is in motion. Or, as he puts it, “The hook has been baited.” I’ve literally never heard anyone say that phrase in that way before. I guess I should stop killing the show for its lack of originality. Before setting out, Bauer notices Owen all but peeing himself outside the CTU van. He assures the field noob that if they come under attack, there are plenty of support units there to back him up. The velvet seems to steel Owen’s spirits, and the two enter the van, hands entwined. OK, I made that last bit up. 

Weiss confirms with Taylor that the delegates have been properly evacuated from the building. Hassan enters the room, having learned of Farhad’s death. He wants his body back once CTU’s mission is over; he could care less about burying him, but apparently Farhad’s a momma’s boy. Moreover, Hassan informs Taylor that he won’t be part of the evacuation: he’s going to stay behind and look for his missing daughter. He’s worried that Kim’s cougar from Season 2 might be stalking her. 

Bauer and Co. arrive at a NYC hospital as Chloe scans its security feeds using facial recognition software. See, this is why I hate hospitals: Big Brother’s checking up on me while I’m getting a check-up. Awesome. Outside the hospital, Marcos (who looks like a poor man’s, ‘tween Scott Wolf, aka, ‘Tween Wolf) hops out of a van strapped with explosives. Inside the hospital, Renee calls Jack, thankful for his deal to free her from certain jail time. I understand that she’s grateful, but Renee: HE’S ON MISSION! TO SAVE YOU! CALL HIM LATER! YOU CAN TORTURE PEOPLE TOGETHER AS A WEIRD FORM OF FOREPLAY! He reiterates his desire to “be with” her when this is all said and done. I’d bust out the Caps Lock to remind Jack that he’s on mission, but I’m too annoyed. 

Chloe interrupts the lovefest to alert them to Marcos’ presence. Unfortunately, the nearest man to Marcos is our main man Owen. When he tries to stop Marcos at the door, he um, fails. Badly. Marcos uses his own IRK version of the velvet to psych Owen out, getting the outmatched agent to hand over his gun, and lead him directly to Farhad. Bauer looks on via security feed and wonders if he jinxed himself with all that “when this is all over” talk with Renee a few minutes ago. 

At the airstrip, Dalia gets a call from Hassan. He’s annoyed that she knew about Kayla’s relationship with Tarin. He thinks that she might answer her phone if it were her mother, not father, calling. 

‘Tween Wolf walks Owen through the halls, hand on the detonator. This dude does. Not. Blink. It’s kind of freaking me out. On com, Jack orders Owen to get Marcos to somehow show the vest to the security cameras so they might know how to defuse it. When Owen stands his ground, Marcos tries to give him the Crazy Eyes technique again. This time, it doesn’t work, and Marcos ends up showing the vest in plain sight of the cameras. Chloe works on disarming it remotely, quickly figuring out the frequency. Hey, I guess CTU doesn’t need Dana: Chloe’s working it all by herself! 

Marcos gets into Farhad’s room, but unbeknownst to him, it’s already disarmed. When the bomb doesn’t go off, he shoots Farhad in the chest. He’s more than a little confused when his heart monitor stays steady. Jack busts in, ready to make the arrest. But Marcos simply backs up and jumps out the window. Naturally, he can walk away from that with only a small limp for his troubles. Naturally. He ends up locking himself inside a pressure chamber for protection. Inside, Marcos calls Samir, who orders his soldier to detonate the bomb manually. “You cannot let them take you alive,” Samir says. When Jack tries to use reason on him via intercom, Marcos gives one last Crazy Eyes for good measure before smashing out the video feed inside the chamber. 

Are you hoping “24” soon sleeps with the fishes, or are you into this year’s NYC-centric storyline? Leave your comments below!