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24: Day 8 (7am - 8am) - Review

24: Day 8

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

What happened? After her cover is blown, Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff) agrees to give up President Hassan (Anil Kapoor)‘s location in exchange for full immunity, but only if Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) leads the assault team. Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is forced to face the fact that Dana is the mole. Samir Mehran (Mido Hamada) makes his final plans to execute Hassan live over the internet, but not before torturing him.

Was it any good? The eighth day of 24 has only really hit the heights the show has been capable of on a few occasions; fortunately, the hour between 7am and 8am was one of those.

Despite operating on tired twists and repeat scenarios (the Dana Walsh revelation being a carbon copy of the Nina Myers twist that ended Season 1 in such memorable fashion), the show’s creators did at least manage to show they still had some surprises left up their sleeves.

Hence, the final few minutes of 7am – 8am were as jaw-dropping as those that greeted Jack’s ‘assassination/murder’ of CTU boss Ryan Chappelle in Season 3.

The shock scenario involved Jack and his team racing against time to prevent the ritual killing of President Hassan via live Internet feed… the type of situation he has capably averted on numerous occasions with seconds to spare.

Only this time, Hassan perished… the twist being that the Internet feed that everyone thought was live had been pre-recorded.

As US President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) looked aghast at the events as they unfolded, a crestfallen Jack was forced to ponder what might have been had they arrived a few seconds earlier. The traditional 24 clock then ticked down to the closing credits in respectful silence.

The scenes marked a powerful, even moving end to a thrilling episode in which all the 24 components fell nicely into place – deceptions, torture, races against time, expertly executed set pieces and so on.

What’s more, the impact of Omar Hassan’s fate was made all the more telling thanks to the good work put in by Anil Kapoor as the dedicated but flawed political leader. He has, without doubt, been one of Day 8’s greatest new assets.

Likewise, Mykelti Williamson’s CTU Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Hastings has grown nicely into his role as CTU boss, juggling his own sense of disbelief and betrayal with a growing confidence in the role and all that it demands.

And Freddie Prinze Jr. showed just the right amount of anger and hurt as Cole Ortiz, once Dana’s ultimate deception had been made obvious to him.

Sadly, Katee Sackhoff’s Dana continues to be one of the major thorns in Day 8‘s side. She has continually struggled to convince as a main character and even when putting Jack through his paces, lacked the gravitas or lasting emotional impact of Sarah Clarke’s Nina Myers.

It remains to be seen where Day 8 will now take us, with a peace agreement hanging in the balance and most (if not all) of the main terrorists dead. As ever, the central villain of this continually unfolding scenario has yet to properly reveal himself.

Given that this is the final series in the show’s illustrious run, however, we’re promised fireworks. So, let’s hope that the remaining episodes can be as taut and shocking/surprising as this week’s episode, so that 24 can be allowed to finish on the high it deserves.

24: Day 8 is screening on Sky1 on Sunday nights from 9pm. This review relates to an episode that aired on April 18, 2010.