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24: Season 7 - 1am to 2am (Review)

24, Day 7

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from current television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the Season 7 episode of 24 entitled 1am – 2am (as aired on Sky1 on Monday, April 20, 2009).

What’s the story? Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight) meets with President Taylor (Cherry Jones) to outline his demands involving Starkwood having a seat at the highest government level, but Tony (Carlos Bernard)‘s plan to detonate Starkwood’s weapons systems dramatically reverses the control of power. Renee (Annie Wersching) calls in Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) to see her dad, Jack (Kiefer Sutherland), who refuses to get her involved in a possible treatment option to stop the degeneration caused by the bio weapon. One Starkwood operative manages to sneak a canister off the premises and is pursued by Larry (Jeffrey Nordling).

Was it any good? So much has happened already in this series that it was difficult to fully process the fallout from this episode. One thing’s for sure, though, Day 7 of the real-time series has been a real thriller.

Highlights of 1am to 2am included Jack’s emotional reunion with daughter Kim and the jaw-dropping final twist that threatens to shatter everything you thought you knew about this particular series.

First, the emotional stuff. Having recently been exposed to the toxin Jonas Hodges was threatening to unleash, Jack has been steadily getting worse and appears to be staring death in the face.

A remote possibility of a treatment option exists if he was willing to involve his daughter. But Jack defiantly urged Renee not to venture down that path. She did, as we all knew she would, paving the way for Kim’s long-anticipated series return.

And no matter what you may have thought of Kim’s antics in the past, including the long-lamented cougar episode, there was no denying the emotional intensity of what unfolded between them.

Kim, it transpired, had been trying to track down her father all day (and so was in Washington, conveniently), and was willing to participate in the treatment that could save her father’s life no matter what the risk to herself.

Jack, having made peace with his own impending mortality, was put through the emotional wringer once again as, first, he had to be reunited with his estranged daughter, and then urge her not to stay and watch him die. He steadfastly refused to place her in danger by allowing her to participate in the treatment.

The two cried, hugged and apologised for everything they’d put each other through and our hearts went out to both of them. It’s a tribute to the sustained writing quality of 24 that even when the stakes are still so high, they can still drop in an intimate moment involving two central characters that capably tugs at the heart-strings.

And now to that twist – with Tony (Carlos Bernard) having thwarted Hodges plans to blackmail his way towards a seat of power at the White House, and seemingly turned the tables in President Taylor’s favour, everything seemed to be fine… too fine.

But when a Starkwood employee suddenly broke ranks and fled from the base with a hand-held canister of the biological toxin, Larry (Jeffrey Nordling) took pursuit with Tony as back-up.

The chase that ensued eventually found Larry wounded in a shoot-out, leaving Tony to pick up the chase once again. Rather than doing so, however, he opted to place a hand over Larry’s mouth and smother him to death, as the Starkwood employee watched over them both.

Tony and said Starkwood man then exchanged words and Tony encouraged him to disappear with the cannister. But why? What is Tony up to? Why help Jack and the government all day, only to turn renegade in the final moments of this episode?

Is there an ulterior motive for good? Or has Tony turned bad once more?

The questions set the mind-boggling, while the adrenaline just flowed and flowed. What the hell is going on, we asked?

As ever, 24 managed to exhilarate, emotionally connect and then completely wrong-foot us with the complexity of its intricate plotting. Day 7 has already delivered some cracking twists and turns but this one tops the lot, and with the clock ticking down ever more rapidly, and Jack’s health firmly on the decline, we can only wonder in excited anticipation what further twists this still brilliant series has in store for us.

Bring it on!

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