It’s not often you get the silent clock to end an episode of “24.” If you count the 2-hour telepic “Redemption,” tonight marked only the 10th time that device has been employed. Teri Bauer, President David Palmer, and a few notable others have all received this treatment over the course of the show. While you can argue on whether or not the character that inspired this latest iteration deserved it, I think the silence was as much for the implications of said death as much as the character itself. But we’ll get to all that in good time. Say, the end of the recap. How’s that sound?
Since FOX aired two hours back-to-back tonight, I’ll try and keep things to their usual length, so I’ll break things up hour-by-hour, give you the blow-by-blow, and see what this double dose of Dana gave us.
[Full recap of Monday's double-dose of "24" after the break...]
Hour 1: 6 am – 7 am
Still underground, fresh from the attack from General Brucker’s wet team, Hassan is furious. The current moral dilemma (his life potentially costing the lives of tens of thousands just a few yards above him) gnaws as his soul. He understands all too well that President Taylor kept him out of the loop in order to save him from himself. Nevertheless, he takes advantage of one of Jack’s few unguarded moments, knocks his would-be bodyguard unconscious, and re-arms the one remaining American soldier. In short: he gives himself up to save the city.
At the U.N., Brucker and Weiss are thrilled to hear that Hassan is in custody, all the while fighting off Taylor’s insistent requests that Ethan be involved with the proceedings. The pair call Samir, and have the nerve to be surprised when it seems their new terrorist BFF doesn’t seem interested in holding up his end of the bargain. Sigh. A montage shows us the various parties of “24” waiting for the imminent explosion, but Samir calls off the bomb with just seven seconds to go. No one seems more thrilled than Tarin, whom I was sure was going to stop the countdown even if Samir hadn’t called.
Jack and company eventually bust free from their underground imprisonment. Renee thinks they should respect Hassan’s sacrifice; Jack feels his duty to the President of the United States supercedes Hassan’s feelings. (USA! USA!) He calls Chloe, has her tap into a nearby security camera to pick up Hassan’s trail, and then has her to obtain a secure line to Taylor.(In general, Chloe’s been KILLIN’ it these past few hours. Much more fun to watch this than those first few hours of the season in which Hastings wasn’t sure if she even knew how to play Text Twist on her PC.)
Once on the phone with Taylor, Bauer downloads all the information about Brucker to a shocked President. Working with the Secret Service, she shuts down the would-be cabal less than an hour after it started, but Weiss is defiant to the end: “I saved New York!” he screams as security leads him away. Horrible character, ill-defined, and there simply to provide conflict when conflict was necessary on a story level. Good riddance. Hope they give you a cell near Olivia Taylor in the Traitor Wing.
Meanwhile, Tarin arranges a switcheroo with Bishop: one IRK President for one radiation dispersal system. Ah, the good ol’ bartering system, still solid after all these years. Tarin manages to tactically run circles around Bishop, driving off with Hassan before Bishop realizes what’s going on. Luckily, Tarin left behind a little present: the keys to the van containing the weapon. As Bishop texts the location of the weapon to a mid-arrest Weiss, Hassan gives Tarin this great, “I TOTALLY knew you were evil! I so called it!” look as the two drive off to parts unknown.
With the location of the bomb discovered, and its dismantling underway, attention shifts to finding Hassan. And with that shift, Dana turns shiftier than ever. Now, she didn’t exactly wear a neon shirt that had the letters “M-O-L-E” across her chest, but she might as well have, given her insanely unsubtle methods in attempting to alert Tarin to his tail. Nearly every CTU agent notes that Dana’s acting weird, but is too focused on arranging an ambush for Tarin to truly notice.
In said vehicle, Hassan tries to calmly talk Tarin down in what can only be described as the IRK version of the Jack Bauer velvet voice. But Tarin’s not having any of it: while he seemed a little nervous to be a martyr to his cause earlier, seeing Hassan in person seems to have reinvigorated his sense of moral outrage towards his former employer. Rather than being interested in peace and a place on the world stage, Tarin feels that Hassan’s simply interested on a Time Magazine cover. (In fairness, Hassan’s hair would look awesome when viewed on an iPad. Of this, I am sure.)
At the U.N., Taylor wishes a weakened (but alive) Ethan well as he’s escorted to the hospital in the aftermath of Weiss’ impromptu incarceration. She then greets Hassan’s wife and daughter, with Renee having brought them both there. Nice moment for the four women, as Taylor bonds with Dalia and Kayla on a personal level and commends Renee on a professional one. The latter lights Renee up, a much needed moment of self-esteem for a woman whom a few hours earlier would have gladly eaten a bullet sandwich to dull the pain of her pathetic life.
Back to the ambush: armed with Dana’s inside intel, Tarin breaks for a parking garage three blocks before the intercept point. Jack gives chase, at this point only a few blocks behind him. He follows them up level after level, finally reaches the roof. Incredibly, Tarin then simply speeds off the top of the parking complex, killing both himself and Hassan in the process. That is, that’s what would have happened has Hassan not been switched into another car, thanks to the complex blocking satellite surveillance.
Onto Hour 2!
Hour 2: 7 am – 8 am
Figuring she’s called enough attention to herself to be arrested roughly nine times over, Dana tries to leave CTU and head to greener pastures. But in the aftermath of the EMP attack, Hastings has instituted a policy where he personally has to clear everyone that leaves. And Dana? Not on the list! She’s tempted to make a scene, but comes up with a Plan B and returns to the bullpen.
At the U.N., Taylor meets with the Russian ambassador. If Hassan is not found, he tells her, then his country will be pulling out of the peace agreement, irrespective of his successor. A later visit to Ethan at the hospital confirms that without Hassan and his unique charisma holding this accord together by a thread, there’s absolutely no chance for peace. Got that? No chance. Just make sure you’re getting this. Since “24” seems pretty insistent that you do. Moving on.
Renee arrives at CTU, fresh from her pep talk with the President. With the random rerouting of Tarin’s car, Jack’s more convinced than ever of a mole in CTU, and has asked Renee to work with Chloe to provide a secure line to upload the encrypted information on Tarin’s cellphone. Working with Hastings, they trace back an NSA-administered phone to Dana just as she reconfigures her keycard to leave the building. But rather than saying “Cleared,” the screen reads “Apprehend on Sight” when she attempts to leave. Dana sighs, and then proceeds to kill two guards before booking it to the garage. She nearly manages to escape before Cole shoots her tires out. I hope their wedding registry includes airbags.
Dana’s willing to talk, but only to Jack Bauer. Why? Because he’s the only one there “without his head up his ass,” she tells him. Hey, flattery will get you EVERYWHERE, Dana/Jenny. In return for her cooperation, she wants the typical things moles/villains want on “24”: immunity, cleared record, and oh yea, some compensation to boot. Man, she’s worse than some of the banks that received federal bailouts. When Jack tries to roughhouse her, she notes they have thirty minutes until Hassan is forced to confess his “crimes” before getting executed on the internet. “There’s been enough screw-ups for one day, wouldn’t you say?” she asks Jack. Yes, Dana, and most of them involved your storyline.
The kidnappers who got Hassan in the parking garage switch (a man and a woman, whom I don’t believe we’ve seen before, though please correct me if I’m wrong) take Hassan to a non-descript apartment complex, inhabited by what we would call “families” and Samir would call “human shields.” For the first time all season, Samir and Hassan face off. Turns out Samir once served under Hassan in the army, and wonders where that “great man” has gone to in the time since. Hassan appeals to his captor by referencing a mission the two endured once together: one seemingly hopeless, but ultimately successful due to Hassan’s perseverance. He begs Samir to see the peace process in the same light, but it’s no use: it’s time to torture a confession out of his former general.
Taylor signs off on agreement for Dana, and Cole has to deal with the facts that his ex-fiancée is 1) a terrorist, 2) probably going to rat him out for the murder of Kevin, and 3) ileading the briefing on Hassan’s retrieval. Tough hour for Cole, ladies and gentleman. Dana’s immunity hinges upon the successful retrieval of Hassan, in order to give her incentive to give worthwhile intel. But things aren’t looking too good for the IRK President: he’s bloody, beaten, yet unwilling to follow Samir’s script. So Samir decides to give Hassan’s lines to himself and be judge, jury, and executioner live for the world to see.
As Taylor and CTU watch the live feed in horror, Chloe does some neat “CSI”-esque work, figuring out both the floor and direction in which the room is facing in the building provided by Dana. Already on the ground, Jack gives the orders: silent, coordinated kills all around. He asks Renee to be on point with him, even though it goes against his usual instincts. Uh oh. Jack, your instincts are awesome: just leave Renee in the car!
With all eyes on Samir’s lists of “crimes,” Cole coordinates the simultaneous takedown of the roof-perched lookouts. Jack and Renee make their way into the building, and use sound-detecting technology to locate the room in which Hassan’s being held. The open the door, and find…well, what looks like a simple apartment, with a young girl coloring on the couch. Her mother soon comes in, and Renee shuffles the daughter out of the room and holds the mother at gunpoint while Jack investigates further.
Just as he finds a secret, concealed hole in a closet wall, Renee’s attention is distracted for just a second by the family’s pet dog. This gives the mother enough time to pull a gun out from under a couch pillow, but luckily, Renee’s quicker on the draw. Jack peeks in to see a partial view of Hassan sitting in the chair, hearing Samir wrap up his litany of charges. He takes down all three men inside, including Samir, but then realizes in horror that the tape was on delay. In the room sits a dead Hassan, his throat already slit. Turns out that “live feed” wasn’t so live after all.
CTU and Taylor see what Jack sees maybe 15-20 seconds later, which feels more like 15-20 minutes, quite frankly. Looks of horror, disgust, and helplessness cross all their faces. Jack, in particular, cradles Hassan’s head in disbelief, unable to understand how he failed. Renee crumples up in sadness. Taylor’s left to break the news to Hassan’s widowed wife and daughter. And the aforementioned silent clock counts down this hour of “24,” with the silence as much for the former president as the chance at global peace that may have passed with him.
Did Hassan’s death surprise you? And with eight hours still to go, where does the show go from here as it wraps up its final season?