I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the final run of episodes on “24” feel no more or less urgent than…well, any other episode of “24.” At its best, the show has built upon its long history to give both context and weight to the overall proceedings. Even in its shaky seventh season, the Big Bads has a history with the show going back several years. But this year, even with the insertion of figures like Charles Logan, feels self-contained. Even if the show wasn’t aware this would be the last season at the outset, there’s just no sense that the show’s total run has led up to this current state of affairs. It’s just another (admittedly awful) day in the life of Jack Bauer. No more, no less. It’s not bad, but it could have been so much more.  

But less about what might have been and more about what actually is. Let’s see what went down tonight. 

[Full recap of Monday's (May 3) "24" after the break...]

Dalia Hassan addresses the media at the U.N., praising President Taylor’s “moral integrity.” File under: irony. From the backroom, Charles Logan is grinning ear-to-ear at his handiwork. There’s just one small snag: Bledsoe’s confirmed to Logan’s assistant Jason Pillar than Dana Walsh isn’t talking, water torture be damned. Her eyes bespeak fear, but her mouth bespeaks “you sonofabitch.” 

Outside, Jack scopes out the building in much the same way he did the CIA safe house last week. While explaining the plan to Cole, Chloe calls. She’s still sorry about what she thinks was a successful capture of Jack, but also freaked out by his early threatening of her. That apparently had never happened before, except once in a dream when they were both pirates on the high seas and…oh, where were we? Right: outside the private security’s facility. 

Jack and Cole work their way up to the roof, spot the sentry, and use misdirection to take him down without killing him. They then descend inside the building, using the sentry’s walkie talkie to lure the rest of the guards up to the roof. Jack then learns of Dana’s location by introducing his gun to the commmander’s genitals. The dynamic duo bust in, only to find Bledsoe behind Dana, gun to her temple. He states Jack doesn’t have a bad shot, and furthermore…Jack shoots him in the forehad before he can continue. Wow. D.B. Sweeney sure got toepicked like a muthah. 

While driving away, Jack lays out the new plan to Dana: the incriminating audio file in exchange for her freedom. Somehow Dana’s not too convinced by his sincerity, and a quick detour under a bridge to threaten her at gunpoint over the file’s whereabouts doesn’t help matters. Eventually, though, she gives up its location: in a safety deposit box where she and Cole have accounts. Cole’s worried about Jack’s motives, with Dana’s words worming into his head despite his best efforts to keep them out. The two of them engage in what can only be described as a “heave-off,” which each actor trying to outdo the other in the arena of gasping breaths. 

Back at the U.N., Taylor gets word of Jack’s escape during Dalia’s Q&A. She phones a frantic Logan, who insists, “It’s a little late for buyer’s remorse, Madame President.” No worry, he’s got yet another plan, to cover up the last plan, which was in and of itself a cover of the last plan. It’s like real-time geology, only with more guns and conspiracy. His newest tactic? Employing Pillar to head up Jack’s investigation, while feeding Novakovich’s attaché (the same man that killed Renee) information of Bauer’s whereabouts so a covert Russian agent can take care of him. 

At the bank, Cole and Dana enter together while Jack stays as sentry in the lobby. Dana continues with the “Jack is going to do a one man’s Sherman’s March” routine, whereas Cole prattles on about international tribunals and The Haige. Even I’m siding with Dana at this point. By this point, Pillar has shown up at CTU, causing the mother of all potato faces on an already frazzled Chloe. He hands her Taylor’s executive order, and while Chloe bows down to it eventually, you can tell she’s already regretting her loyalty to Taylor in this matter. Then again, how long has she known Jack? If ANYONE on the show should give blind allegiance to him, it should be Chloe. And not just because of the pirate fantasy, either. Anyways. Moving on.  Pillar’s first move as acting lead? Declaring it Bauer Hunting Season in NYC. 

Down in the vault area, Dana decides to come clean about her past with Cole. She doesn’t exactly shed much light we couldn’t have deduced ourselves: after her lengthy juvenile jail term, a Russian man offers her a fresh start. The rest is mole history! But that all changed when she met Cole, she insists. (Really? Was it the blank stare? Bad accent?) That’s why she made the audio file in the first place: to get them out from under the Russian’s thumb. Cole doesn’t believe her, but before this turns into the anti-terrorism version of “Desperate Housewives,” the bank employee returns with the safety deposit box. 

Cole insists that he opens up the box. Bad move, Cole. Inside? The audio file. And some passports. And a gun with a silencer on the end. Oh, and a flashbomb. Cole gets blinded by the light, then knocked out by the Dana. She plugs the man that was going to help secure the soon-to-be-married couple a mortgage, then makes an anonymous phone call to 911 to give up Jack’s location. She caresses Cole’s cheek (shorthand for “the stuff about Cole wasn’t total BS”) and leaves. The Beastie Boys might go so far as to call this girl crafty. She gets around. 

CTU picks up the 911 call, and soon ID’s Jack through surveillance footage. Cops soon descend on the scene thanks to the call…all of TWO OF THEM. Ugh-o-rama. Pillar calls the attaché, who will have to kill Jack while under custody. But once he sees a solo Dana walk by, Jack decides to not go quietly into that good mid-day. He overpowers one guard and screams, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” to the second. The cop guesses Jean Valjean, but he’s wrong. He gets a bullet to the foot for his troubles, and after Jack knocks out the second officer, he gives chase after Dana. 

He eventually follows her into an abandoned building, because in the world of “24,” apparently 75% of New York City’s buildings are abandoned, used as CTU safehouses, or hotbeds of criminal activity. (Put THAT on your tourism brochures, Big Apple!) Eventually, she runs out of ammo and directly into a room with loads of thick, plastic wrap everywhere. She knows as well as we do how this will end, but she tries her best to stave off the inevitable. After kicking the audio file over to Jack, she pleads, “Tell me what I can do.” A blank Jack states, “Nothing. Nothing.” Then, he shoots her repeatedly, leaving her to lie in her makeshift body bag. Looks like her assessment of Jack’s plan wasn’t too far off, was it? 

Is Dana just the first body in a long line of corpses over the final four hours? Or did Jack just need one scapegoat for Renee’s death? And how long until Jack and Chloe are on the same page? Leave your thoughts below!