As the White House invasion is resolved and before this hour even hits its first break, we bid farewell to one of 24's longest-running characters, who goes out in a literal blaze of glory.
But first there is the statement General Juma is forcing President Taylor to recite while the whole world watches. Taylor tries to demand Juma release the hostages in a show of good faith — and the General actually seems to be extending an olive branch when he offers to release one person. Then he promptly shoots that hostage in the head and tells Taylor her daughter will be next. The President immediately begins reading a statement in which she brands her country a "tyrant state" for its invasion of Sengala.
As spineless Vice President Mitchell Hayworth (Cameron Daddo) continues to refuse authorizing a White House rescue op until he gets more intel, Jack and Bill hatch a plan for the former to create an explosive diversion while the latter gets the President to safety. But before Jack can create that diversion, Bill takes the shot himself, firing into a grouping of C4 charges and triggering a massive explosion.
In the chaos and confusion that follows, Jack and Aaron leap into action, acquire automatic weapons and take out a number of Juma's men — as well as the General himself. On the outside, Larry pulls a Jack, defying the Vice President's direct order and launching an assault on the White House.
When the smoke clears, the hostages, including President Taylor and her daughter, are safe. But Bill, a fan favorite and staple of the show since Day 4 (played by James Morrison) — has died to make that happen. And so another weight is added to Jack's already heavy conscience. "It was supposed to be me," he tells Renee, sounding like he really does wish he were dead.
Following the ordeal, Taylor makes the strange call to bring her daughter, Olivia, on as a special advisor. Though Ethan objects — on the grounds that Olivia leaked sensitive information about Taylor's opponent during the campaign, nearly costing her mother the election — the President ultimately gets her way, as presidents usually do.
But Ethan is running his own game on the side. After Renee goes behind Larry's back to report Bill's belief that someone in the White House was working with the terrorists, Ethan orders another interrogation of Burnett — courtesy of (who else?) Jack Bauer.
Meanwhile, Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight) and Greg Seaton (Rory Cochrane, of Empire Records and CSI: Miami) continue to plot vaguely evil things involving a cargo of weapons and unspecified targets. Looks like we've made the jump to our next set of villains for the second half of Day 7 — though, so far, they seem a whole lot less menacing than Dubaku or Juma.
Olivia shows a hint of evil (and word is that there's a whole lot more to come) in her stealthy interrogation of Aaron Pierce. After he's saved the young woman's life, she still feels the need to question his presence in the White House, and twist the knife about what happened to former First Lady Martha Logan. Wait, what happened to Martha Logan?!
In the next scene, Olivia shows an even darker side, setting her sights on Ethan and telling him that he should have already resigned after allowing Taylor's administration to be corrupted. "I'm going to find out exactly who failed my mother," Olivia spits. "And I am going to make sure that person is never in a position to do it again."
Unsurprisingly, Jack's second interrogation of Burnett doesn't go much better than the first — but for very different reasons. After suffocating an old man in the hospital (Apparently I missed something — who was said senior citizen?), Hodges and Seaton's man moves onto Jack.
After subduing Jack with a paralyzing nerve agent, the man drops from the ceiling, slits Burnett's throat, and then slips back out of the room, all while Bauer watches helplessly. Jack then awakes and flees the scene himself. Larry bursts into the room, finds Burnett dead and Jack nowhere to be seen. And just like that, Jack has been framed for murder and is on the run, yet again, for a crime he didn't commit.
We've certainly seen this plot device on 24 before, but Jack's always more fun when he's on the wrong side of the law (when isn't he, really?), so I'll go along for the ride, hoping it leads somewhere surprising.
- Larry on Renee: "I've known this woman for years, and I've never seen her do the kind of things she's done in the last nine hours." Come on Larry, in a 24 day, nine hours is plenty of time for a person to do a whole lot of things you never thought they would.
- Watching Jack intimidate Burnett is deliciously creepy. As the handcuffed man cries for help, Jack (slowly removing his tie and wrapping it around his hand) informs Burnett, "They're done talking to you. That's why they sent me."
- While he was paralyzed, Jack drooled — a lot.
- The White House assault and hostage situation was thrilling and action-packed, but I was a little disappointed to see it all resolved so quickly and tidily. Hopefully the second half of this day will offer something comparable — but, complete lack of realism aside, it would be pretty hard to top.
As the White House invasion is resolved and before this hour even hits its first break, we bid farewell to one of 24
's longest-running characters, who goes out in a literal blaze of glory.
But first there is the statement General Juma is forcing President Taylor to recite while the whole world watches. Taylor tries to demand Juma release the hostages in a show of good faith — and the General actually seems to be extending an olive branch when he offers to release one person. Then he promptly shoots that hostage ...