24: Day 8 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Today, with perfect timing, my laptop decided to stop working. Luckily, I’m somehow still managing to post something up here on the blog, only using a PlayStation 3, my phone, some sellotape and bits of string. Anyway, tonight’s two hours of 24 on Sky1 HD were, once again, great fun.

Annie Wersching returns as Agent Renee Walker, joing the rest of the Day 8 cast.

The episode starts with Jack looking for Davros, who has killed the cop he was with and has fled the scene. When Jack gets there, two more police turn up, including Herc from The Wire, who promptly tazers Jack! While Davros heads towards the United Nations to try to exterminate Hassan, Herc takes Jack into the basement and starts beating him up, thinking he’s a cop killer. It’s as if he’d never left Baltimore. Eventually, after Jack manages to fight back while STILL TIED TO A CHAIR, Herc’s partner (no, not Carver) realises that Jack should be at least listened to and calls in for backup.

CTU find a schematic of a bomb in the UN building (a seriously detailed one, the terrorists have got some decent graphic designers) on the files planted on Meradith’s laptop. Once again, Chloe’s got it completely figured out and even Cole thinks something’s odd, but the boneheaded head of CTU Brian Hastings, as usual, gets it wrong. As Chloe suspected, the terrorists wanted the file to be found, so that the UN would be evacuated, causing the motorcade to be forced towards the real location of the bomb, under the streets.

As the clock ticks towards 7 o’clock, Hassan is being evacuated from the building. The cops who are with Jack realise what’s happening just in time, and Jack tells Cole, who swerves his car in the way to take the full impact.

Cole survives and gets Hassan away before spotting Davros acting suspicously. He give chase, while Jack races to the scene. Hassan’s brother talks to Davros on the phone in front of the rest of the family, who are instantly suspicous, as you might expect when you tell someone to “get away, they’ll suspect it’s you”, so he stabs a security agent in the neck and scarpers.

In a brilliant, tense scene, Davros holds Cole at gunpoint and tells him to call in to say the area is clear. He seems to do so at first, before quietly telling CTU that he’s with the suspect, thinking they will be the last words he’d ever say. Shots are suddenly fired, but it’s Jack, who’s arrived to save the day yet again.

Back at CTU, Hassan arrives under their protection, while video arrives of tattoos on Davros’s body, which are apparently linked to the Russian Mafia. An expert on the subject is brought in, and who’d have guessed, it’s Renee Walker. Meanwhile, to underline the like to the Russian mob, Hassan’s brother calls up the big bad guy (until we meet the big big bad guy later in the season), who appears to be about as stereotypically Russian as it gets. It seems that they’re involved because they have some uranium the brother wants to buy.

As Reene arrives we get a little bit of backstory, Chloe says she’s had a breakdown. The reason Chloe’s back in CTU is because Maurice lost his job, another victim of the recession.

Not for the first time this season, Jack says his goodbyes and gets ready to follow Kim to LA. And not for the first time, he stops, this time because he hears that Hastings has asked Renee to go back undercover with the Russian Mafia. He’s concerened because it’s clear that she hasn’t yet recovered from the events of the brilliant Day 7, where she learned to do the things Jack Bauer does but couldn’t shut herself off from the world in the way he has to. It was one of the many brilliant things about the last season, essentally saying “this is what realistically would happen if a normal person had to do what Bauer does”.

Obviously, Jack doesn’t go to LA, and asks to join Renee undercover, something that she objects to but Hastings agrees. At this point I realised that it’s only been about an hour since Jack had been beaten to a pulp by Herc out of The Wire, and yet he was looking in pretty good health.

The person who has been calling up Dana and calling her Julie arrives the the entrance to CTU’s new underground base. He asks if he can crash out at her place overnight, which she grudgingly agrees to. It seems that he’s an ex boyfriend who has just got out of jail, and he’s not happy to find that she now has a new identity and is engaged to Cole. This is by far the least interesting plot thread at the moment, but it still might be good later.

Renee goes undercover and talks to an old contact who we know is Russian because he sounds exactly like the meercat from that advert. She asks him to take her to someone called Vladimir to put in a rival bid for the uranium but he’s got a parole bracelet on, but she puts the bracelet in a vice and says she can take it off, simples. She takes a saw and starts cutting – not the bracelet but takes his hand off. As Jack runs in yelling, the clock ticks down to eight o’clock and we realise that Renee has indeed gone a little bit mental.

This was a really enjoyable double episode of 24. It had some great action scenes, moved the story along quickly and of course it’s great to have Agent Walker back, even if she’s not quite the same as she was before. The undercover stuff in 24 is always very good, if unbearably tense, so I’m really looking forward to where it goes next week.


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