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24: Season 7 - 4pm to 5pm (Review)

24, Day 7

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 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 4pm – 5pm (as aired on Sky1 on Monday, February 23, 2009).

What’s the story? Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and Renee (Annie Wersching) track a lead to Dubaku (Hakeem Kae-Kazim)‘s unsuspecting girlfriend, who, after learning of his true motives, agrees to help lead them to Dubaku before he flees the country. Meanwhile, Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is brought in to the FBI to run tactical, but her progress is thwarted by a mole inside the agency. President Taylor (Cherry Jones) is stunned to hear that her husband has been shot and is escorted to the hospital by Bill (James Morrison). She requests that her daughter be brought in… a task that Bill delegates to an old friend

Was it any good? 4pm to 5pm was classic 24 – tense, exciting and with plenty of twists and turns. It didn’t involve much action, but was all about setting up possibilities for the future. What’s more, it included the returns of two former series regulars… as well as the revelation of another series turncoat!

(SPOILERS AHEAD) The main bulk of the action concerned Jack and Renee’s attempts to track down Dubaku by using his girlfriend. As ever, morally dubious choices were discussed and tough decisions made.

But it all helped to flush out the mole in FBI HQ… revealed by an intriguing double bluff on the writer’s part. With Chloe O’Brian now entrenched within FBI HQ and co-ordinating the efforts to find Dubaku, suspicions initially fell upon Janeane Garofalo’s hitherto reliable Janis Gold as the primary suspect.

Her decision to hack into Chloe’s system and temporarily hinder the tracking of Dubaku’s girlfriend appeared to point the finger. And it would have been a shocking revelation. But just as we were coming to terms with the possibility, the previously shady Sean Hillinger (Rhys Coiro) showed his true colours, having used Janis’ blip to engineer his own move to disrupt Jack’s pursuit of Dubaku.

In doing so, he brought the episode to a typically tense cliffhanger climax. Jack and Renee have been intercepted by police, FBI boss Larry Moss (Jeffrey Nordling) is frantically trying to engineer their quick release, and Dubaku’s girlfriend’s complicity in the FBI sting has now been revealed to the African dictator. Who will survive the outcome? We can hardly wait…

Elsewhere, the life of President Taylor’s husband Henry (Colm Feore) continues to hang perilously in the balance… prompting an urgent hospital dash from the president and a request that her estranged daughter be found. And who did Bill Buchanan ask to do this? Ex-Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce (Glenn Morshower), appearing in a hotel lobby to make a very welcome comeback appearance.

And talking of comebacks, we also caught sight of some unexpected personal happiness for Chloe, who was driven to FBI HQ by Morris O’Brian (Carlo Rota) and their child. It’s good to know their relationship survived the trauma of Day 6 intact and that they were still clinging together. Have we seen the last of Morris, though?

Chloe, meanwhile, got to re-emphasise her lack of tact during several humourous exchanges with Larry Moss over the quality of the FBI computer set-up. It was classic Chloe… and nice to have her back in the frame.

So, Day 7 of 24 continues to impress… suggesting that it has properly recovered from the wobble that blighted Day 6. And after last week’s high intensity, action packed hour, 4pm to 5pm offered more intrigue, character and plot development, as well as humour to strike a nice balance.

Long may the quality continue. It’s great to have 24 back and firing on all cylinders!

What did you think?