I’m starting to wonder if should start my Monday night ’24’ viewings at 9:30pm instead of 9:00pm because tonight’s episode was a snoozefest until the halfway point. There was a serious lack of movement during the first half hour and I was getting terribly bored. The Jack/Marcos standoff remained at an impasse as Marcos tried to get The World’s Most Ineffective Suicide Bomb re-wired. Dana and Cole returned to CTU and got a slap on the wrist and handwave by Hastings, which was WAY too mild considering they suspiciously ditched their posts during a national security crisis, but whatever. I was willing to let it go if it meant the last of the Dana’s Dark Past storyline, but noooooo. We’ll get to that in a second, because I’d prefer to pretend it never happened. Hassan’s daughter and Tarin recovered from their romp between the sheets long enough to reveal that they’re trying to get asylum from the State Department. At two in the morning. I guess the Chief of Staff was able to get a DOJ lawyer to CTU a couple hours earlier, so at least the writers are being consistent in their ridiculousness. Tensions continue between Mr. and Mrs. Hassan. Aaaand… I don’t know what’s happening with Madame President, because she and Renee were woefully lacking from this episode.
But things really picked up as soon as Cole cornered Marcos’ mom in her home. First of all, kudos to Cole for calling Mrs. Marcos out on her sketchy activity at two in the morning, UNLIKE SOME OTHER PEOPLE I’M LOOKING AT YOU DANA. So Cole dragged Mrs. Marcos back to the hospital where her son was about to blow himself up in a hyperbaric chamber and what an awesome plan, right? At that point, I was a bit unclear about how large the explosion was supposed to be, but I figured Marcos wouldn’t blow himself up if it would endanger his mom. So were I Jack Bauer, I’d just leave her in front of the door and presto! An even more inefficient suicide bomber. Alas, it ended up being a wimpy little bomb because otherwise Marcos’ tiny little bits of flesh would’ve been intermingled with Jack Bauer’s following the explosion, and that’s simply not the case.
Anyway, Mare Winningham’s performanceas Marcos’ mother was gut-wrenching, the guy playing Marcos had the perfect blend of anxiety and desperation and Jack… oh, Jack. I know, I should be immune to Jack’s negotiating tactics by now. It’s always the same:
- Step 1: Reason with the bad guy in hushed, velvety tones.
- Step 2: Let the bad guy know who he’s messing with (“I’m more of a specialist.”).
- Step 3: Threaten family, especially small children, if available.
My favorite part of the tactics, as applied tonight, was Jack’s “Look into my eyes… Hey. You. LOOK INTO MY EYES.” Like Marcos, I ended up averting my gaze because I was mildly terrified that Jack Bauer was about to reach through the television and grope around for some small children as bargaining chips. Props to Kiefer Sutherland there. The whole scene after Marcos came out of the chamber and begged for Jack to take the vest off was one of the more tension-inducing scenes of the season and I “Awwww”-ed when he blew up. Yeah, that’s right. I felt bad for the suicide bomber. So sue me. And then I laughed because there’s no way that there was enough blood spatter in there to support a very large dog, much less a 175 pound grown man. I guess that head wound was gushing a little more than we saw.
With the good stuff out of the way, we shall return to the Dumbest Subplot in the History of This Show That WILL NOT DIE. Really, Show? You could have left Leo Lite and his Partner in Crime in that New York swamp to rot and I wouldn’t have given a damn. I probably could have dealt with Dana’s guilt as well, if only because I love Katee Sackoff. But then you had to go and bring in a parole officer who has nothing better to do than venture from Arkansas to New York, call Dana at two in the morning. “I was gonna leave you a voicemail because I didn’t think you’d be up — AND NOW I HAVE TO TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW NO IT CAN’T WAIT.” Excuse me if I just don’t get the finer points of parole officering, but who the hell does that? Lazy writers who won’t let this subplot die, that’s who. AAAAAAAGH. So frustrated. I don’t know why I’m getting so caught up in it, but this whole Dana business is dragging down the entire season for me. Just kill it! Kill it now!
Nggggh. Okay, in actual relevant news, Tarin’s bad. Legitimately. Hassan was right all along. Except there’s the teeny little problem of Hassan’s daughter. She’s still with Tarin and although she was able to convey her location to Hassan, who alerted CTU, Tarin’s privy to her “disloyalty.” So as the episode ended, she managed to retreat to the hotel bathroom while Tarin plotted eeeeevilly outside. I gotta give the girl props, though — she’s a damn good liar. Too bad for her it looks like she’s being elevated to the level of “hostage” next week. Whoo hoo potential tension!