24 Episode 7.18: ‘Day 7: 1:00am-2:00am’ Review

Posted on April 15, 2009

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Teaser

TVSummary: A wallop of an episode that gets to the point and shocks us with a twist.
Rating: 7/10


Review Trailer
The quick skinny on the episode.

President Taylor’s just called off the air strike on the Starkwood facility to torch the bioweapons, much to the chagrin and befuddlement of the Joint Chiefs and her staff. Tony and Jack quickly deduce that Hodges has acquired some missiles and more than likely plans to use them as a delivery device for the pathogen. Tony can get into the fuel depot for the missiles and plant C4 to blow them up. Jack contacts the President to let her know of their plan and she gives her approval without officially authorized any such action. Hodges arrives at the White House with Seaton to meet with the President and present a proposal: to make Starkwood a fifth branch of the military and to be intimately involved in all defense matters for the country. The effects of the pathogen continue to wear on Jack and he’s visited by the last person he wanted to see. This sets up an engaging episode with a patented 24 twist ending.

Feature-Length Review after the jump.


Feature-Length Review
The in-depth review.

** Note: Review contains spoilers if you have not seen the episode.**

Damn you, Tony. Damn you. Just as I had thoughts about the weird setup to your storyline this year and your true intentions, you go and confirm the worst case scenario.

Going into this season I’d heard that they were bringing back Carlos Bernard’s Tony as the bad guy. This was baffling for two reasons: 1) Tony was dead. 2) Tony as a bad guy? Did I mention that Tony was dead? At least that’s what we were led to believe in Season 5 and we were just as surprised as Jack to find out he actually survived. It was even more surprising to find Tony on a makeshift CTU team with Bill and Chloe, infiltrating his own homeland terrorist cell because it had gone too far. Tony was ready to make right and to stand up for the things that he’d done against his country in the name of his wife’s death.

So far he’s made good on that front this season, eventually finding his way in to Starkwood to identify the bioweapon canisters for the FBI so that the President could call in the air strike to destroy them. As Tony went along, it was nice to see him in action again and working so closely with Jack. Still, for some reason, I found myself questioning him – or rather, the turn of events for him this season – and wryly commenting to myself on how he’d gotten to this point. Here he was, suddenly the front line of defense against this threat, the only man capable of any action to stop it. I was right to listen to my instincts if not fully trust them. Evil Tony rears his head again full force.

It’s not hard to see that another twist was going to have to happen to spin the remainder of the season off towards its conclusion. Part of the structure of 24 is that there are primarily three or four plot arcs in a season that drive the action. This season we’ve had the CIP module arc; which gave way to the Juma arc and the White House invasion; which gave way to the bioweapons and Starkwood arc. Seeing that that had to come to a conclusion – and was rapidly moving there – I knew another twist was coming. We get it in Hodges’ threat that he’s but a small piece of a grander plan when taken into custody in the White House. And Tony.

I like that they’ve given Jack back a closer relationship to the President. One of the unique and winning elements of 24 in its first seasons was the relationship developed between David Palmer and Jack Bauer. These were two men in very different worlds whose paths had crossed in very harrowing ways. They might now have kept in contact on a frequent basis but these events bonded them together. They had an amazing respect for one another and an unshakable trust. When Palmer was assassinated in Season 5, it wrecked Jack’s world. Since, we’ve had a succession of ineffectual or self-serving Presidents who didn’t forge any kind of significant relationship with Jack. To have Taylor concerned with his health, especially with the yo-yo type of regard Jack has been held in during Day 7, was a nice callback to that previous kinship. I hope that Cherry Jones is around as President in Season 8 and we see the two interact more.

Jack’s health concern brought on the return of what can safely be called the most divisive character in the history of the show: Kim Bauer. The lightning rod for the majority of the criticism on the show in its early seasons, it was somewhat excruciating to see her return in Season 5. The prospect of her arrival this season didn’t instill great confidence, but I have to say Jack and Kim’s reunion was nice and small. Elisha Cuthbert turned in a decent performance and Kiefer Sutherland was suitably torn between not wanting his daughter to experience what Jack was going through and making piece with the only true link to his past. The scene was only undercut by the odd way Cuthbert and Sutherland’s chemistry ebbs and flows even in a single scene. We were oscillated in and out of the scene in just those few minutes. But the scene overall worked and it was a useful reintroduction of Kim to the show. I know she’s not gone – Kim is a Bauer; no way she let’s her dad go down without throwing herself into the experimental treatment for his pathogen exposure – which opens up the possibility that she can blight the season as much as she has in the past. But the writers have a distinct purpose for her and it looks like that purpose will help contain her. I look forward to seeing how this reunion and Jack’s recovery play out.

This hour gives us an engaging episode with a nice face-off between Taylor and Hodges, backdropped by Tony’s efforts to take out the missiles at Starkwood. If only the episode could have given us more of Jones and Jon Voight head-to-head. I like what happened here but it would’ve been more fun – at least from an actor’s standpoint – to see Jones and Voight go at one another more with teeth bared. The Tony Twist is a nice spin into the last episodes of the season. More importantly, it’s not an out-of-leftfield twist. You can go back through the previous episodes and make perfect sense of Tony’s actions. I’m intrigued to see what his group’s clandestine plan has been all along. Is this a new development or has Tony’s group been playing the Juma/Starkwood factions from the beginning?


Where Does This Leave Us

  • Soul Patch returns to the Dark Side.
  • Dark Tony’s group controls a canister of the bioweapon that can easily take down a whole city.
  • Larry Moss, the FBAss, is dead, just when he starts to punch his ticket to the Super Friends and the Jack Bauer Power Hour.
    (I have a feeling Moss will stay alive long enough to tell someone about Tony.)
  • Kim is at the FBI field office, ready to tap a vein.
  • Kim is actually in her early 30s, per the show’s timeline.
  • Rack Bauer is going to flip upon Larry’s death – though she’ll be glad it’s not Jack – and finally step fully over to the Grey Side.
  • Chloe waits in the wings to go at Janeane Garofalo again.

More next hour…

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Posted in: 24, Television