So far, Season 8 hasn’t exactly gained much by moving the action to New York City. I guess I should be pleased that the show’s not exploiting overexposed landmarks in order to consistently remind viewers of the setting, but given the rather generic settings so far (The U.N. being the notable exception), the city itself hasn’t leant anything new to the proceedings. Did this hour bring anything new to the table? Not much, except to bring its female protagonists down even further. Here’s what went down.
[Full recap of Monday's (Feb. 1) "24" after the break...]
A flop-sweaty Jack Bauer gets to meeting place by the river. He phones CTU to tell Hastings about Renee’s suicidal tendencies. He wants to pull her out, but Hastings insists she’s in play for now until a better solution presents itself without blowing her established cover. Jack then volunteers to take her place in the mission, using their backstory as grounds for the eventual switcheroo.
Back at CTU, Hastings asks Dana to update the mission brief given the latest developments. However, she’s busy looking up armored car info for Kevin Exposition back at her apartment. She’s found a recently procured stash of drug money, holed up in a warehouse where the only security is electronic. She promised to manipulate the codes remotely so he can walk in to steal some drug money. Because clearly, this is the only time he’ll ever, ever call in a favor from her. Sigh.
After arriving back as his HQ, Vlad wants to talk to Renee alone to discuss the new mystery buyer. When Renee brings up the nuclear rods as the item to be purchased, he denies knowledge of any weapons-grade uranium on the market. “You’re chasing the devil,” he says. Vlad is an old-fashioned guy: he likes buying and selling guns, not nuclear rods. Charming, really. She offers 30% as a finder’s fee if he can inquire about them. He’s skeptical, but agrees to start asking around for a cool $5 million.
At the hospital, Dr. Levine is treating Olag as Josef keeps a watchful eye. When the nurse returns the test results, she and Dr. Levine perform that classic, “Oh, there’s no reason I’m only opening the door eight inches and all but screeching when you ask to come in, really, I’m fine and not under any duress at all,” routine. Upon reading the results, Dr. Levine realizes that Olag either needs a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that requires a 6-person staff, or a course of meds that promises nothing in terms of a cure. Josef, having already lied to his father on the phone about their whereabouts, goes for door number two.
At the staging ground, Cole and Jack argue over the proper extraction technique for Renee. Honestly, at this point, everyone in every level of federal law enforcement should have gotten the memo that reads: “Follow procedure, unless overridden by Jack Bauer.” This would save an inordinate amount of time. Over his com, Jack listens to Renee and Vlad passive aggressively (and then pretty much aggressively) relive their past. “You should watch your tongue, you might lose it one day,” he tells her. Such a sweet talker, Vlad. After he leaves her alone to clean up before the buy, he tells his first lieutenant his real plan: secure the $5 million, kill the buyer, and convince Renee she has to stay working for him from now on. Seems like a flawless plan, except that it involved Jack Bauer and his female clone.
At the U.N., President Taylor sees more footage of the Kamistanian crackdown. She tells her team that she will make a personal appeal to those delegations already there to witness the peace accord, but decides to leave Hassan himself out of the loop for now. Meanwhile, Hassan receives new intel from Kamistan that directly links to a member of his staff in NYC. He orders Tarin Faroush, head of Hassan’s security force, to take the potential mole (himself a high-ranking public official) to the embassy and place him under arrest. Looks like Hassan’s still taking that whole “my brother tried to kill me a few hours ago” thing to heart.
Over at CTU, Arlo’s droning on and on and about needing memory freed for his drone. (See what I did there?) Dana’s too distracted to help him, so he seeks a sympathetic ear in Chloe. Ha. Clearly he doesn’t know Chloe very well. She notes that she’s lucky Dana hasn’t filed a harassment suit, and sarcastically notes that she’s upset he doesn’t look at her butt as well. She stands up, and, you guessed it, the camera follows her butt. Did “Mad TV” come on while I was distracted? After ogling Chloe, Arlo takes a break from his continual harassment to notice Dana outside of CTU. I would note that she’s “acting suspiciously,” but that’s sort of a given at this point, right?
Renee pops out of the shower to see Vlad lurking nearby. Awesome. Not. He gives her about fifteen variations of, “Come on, you’re totally asking for it,” since every woman on “24” this season is either part of an affair, an abusive relationship, or both. Finally, he gives her an ultimatum: kiss me or the deal’s off. (Arms deals are one of eHarmony’s dimensions of compatibility, I suppose.) She does so, which could buy her enough time to get dressed. As she speaks to Jack over the com, her eyes turn from hollow to hardened, unable to deal with the stress and trauma of the situation except to subsume completely. “I’m going dark,” she says, cutting off communication with the outside world.
Hassan’s potential mole, Jamot, is speaking with the British delegate at the U.N. Tarin interrupts the conversation, and quietly informs Jamot of the situation under the British delegate’s watchful eye. Looks like “British delegate” is the new “radiation nurse” here on “24.” After escorting Jamot from the premises, he phones Hassan’s daughter to confess his worry over her father’s mental state. Oh man, we’re totally headed for the Kamistanian version of “First Daughter,” aren’t we?
Speaking of the hospital, Dr. Levin is giving Josef the 411 on maintaining an IV drip on the go. The lesson’s short-lived, in that the knock from the friendly yet suspicious nurse turns out to be a welcoming party from Red Square. They quickly shoot the doctor, force Josef to lower his weapon, and start escorting them back to Papa Sergei.
At the staging ground, Vlad’s lieutenant tests Bauer’s knowledge of German. Jack’s outfit is great: he looks like a cross between Daniel Craig and Drew Carey. The eyeglasses are hysterically nerdy. Both men exchange less than pleasantries, with Jack insisting to speak with Vlad before transferring the money. When he speaks to Vlad, it’s clear that he and Renee have had sex since she went dark. When Renee snaps, she’s going to do more damage to NYC than the “Cloverfield” monster.
Vlad’s idea of pillow talk is revealing how he’s about to betray her buyer and use the $5 million to give them a better life. Funny, that’s exactly what “The Bachelor” said during tonight’s rose ceremony. She tried to text Jack a warning, but gets a throat-full of Vlad’s hand for her troubles. On the docks, Jack transfers the money successfully. Just as Vlad’s men unholster their weapons, Cole snipes all of them but Vlad’s lieutenant from atop a nearby building. OK, THAT was pretty cool. Vlad agrees to meet Jack in person to re-open negotiations.
At Sergei’s hideout, Papa’s none too happy about Olaf’s medical treatment. I had no idea Sergei was a tea bagger. Huh. Josef insists that he can treat his brother if only he can get the proper medicine. Sergei puts a beatdown on his eldest son, and puts a few bullets into his youngest son. “Never disobey me again,” he tells a stunned Josef. Wow. These guys are like the Russian Bauer family. The parallels are just uncanny.
Is the Renee storyline providing tension or revulsion? Is Dana’s boyfriend this season’s cougar? And should Jack just wear those glasses for the rest of “24”? Sound off below!