5:00 am-6:00 am
While Jack was this hour's hero for saving Tony's life, the entire 60 minutes really hinged on Michelle, who did the right thing by telling Buchanan she was being blackmailed by the terrorist. For a second I really thought Michelle might call off all those field agents, especially since Tony once committed treason to save her life. (Here's an idea for a required course at CTU school: "Relationships with a Fellow Agent: Don't Do It. No, We Really Mean It.") Talk about an ethical dilemma — your love interest/ex-husband or millions of dead people? Luckily, her choice set in motion the capture of the terrorist who then led Jack to Marwan. Here's what I learned:
1) Marwan knew some freakin' hot terrorists. Mandi's a cross between Jennifer Connelly (long, straight, black hair covering intense eyes) and Angelina Jolie circa Tomb Raider (complete with teeny-tiny, tight black shorts and gun strapped to her way-muscular leg). No wonder Marwan wanted her to escape the country with him!
2) Rain doesn't wash away bloody footprints. A smart move by Tony, who cut his toe so that Jack could find him.
3) But rain should have been heard on tape if Miss Hot Terrorist (MHT) was indeed the one inside the getaway car. Which can only mean one thing: Tony's still alive! Oh, and that MHT sent her two neighbors to die in the car blast. (Reminder to self: Be really, really nice to the people living next door.)
4) Logan suffered more meltdowns than a thirsty Courtney Love fresh out of rehab. This time I half expected Palmer to slap him across the face. "Act presidential!" he barked at him after Logan whined about the missing missile. How about acting normal instead?
5) CTU needs to train their agents better. Man, did Burns give it up too fast or what? And they didn't even lay a hand on the guy. What a wuss!

6:00 am-7:00am
Our poor hero, Jack, forced to fake his own death... Looks like he got the raw end of the deal with Marwan dead (who really expected him to be taken alive?), the missile shot out of the air (phew!), the war with the Chinese averted (phew again!) and Michelle and Tony living happily ever after (awww!). Guess that's the burden of saving the world. Here's what I learned:
1) Palmer should have run for (and won) a second term. What was classier than signing off on the MHT's (see above) immunity deal even after finding out she once tried to kill him?
2) If you can't escape the country with MHT, then you might as well free-fall to your death off a parking-lot deck.
3) A point-blank shot from an automatic weapon won't wipe out the hard drive in a GPS system. (I drop my laptop once and I lose everything. Go figure!)
4) You can't decode any information with a correlation matrix unless you expand the parameter. Duh! (Just ask Chloe.)
5) Never trust a politician. Did you notice how fast Logan turned on Palmer after thanking him for saving the day? Same goes for security chief Cummings, who immediately went against Logan's wishes by putting a hit on Jack.
6) When absolutely necessary, find a way to stage your own death. Do a really good job of stopping your heart and your breathing, and bring along some fake blood. Oh, and hope like hell the epinephrine works. (Good thing it did....)

Talk about a looooong 24 hours. But you did good, Jack, and saved millions of people. Hope you find your way back to us and to CTU. See you next year. — Robin Honig

Cue the sensitive Natalie Merchant "My Beloved Wife" tune over an image of a distraught Harold Abbot praying in the toilet while Andy slices and dices that terrible tumor and the weepy waterworks start flowing for this Everwood fan and don't stop until after the show returns from the commercial break. Thankfully the heavy drama took a slightly more upbeat turn with news on the romance front: Andy kissin' Nina and sparking even more conflict in the love triangle with Dr. Dimples; the often unseen Delia making the first move and telling Ethan that she likes him; and last, but certainly not least, Hannah ditching Shasta McSpastic and finally getting her first "sweaty" kiss from Bright. YAY! I've been waiting all season for the show's two most likable and endearing characters finally to give in to their mutual attraction. I just knew that once he licked her butterscotch-pudding top, things were going in the right direction. And speaking of the right direction, glad that Dr. Abbot finally gave Andy what-for. The no-nonsense doc took his partner to task for just about every wrongdoing imaginable — what a brilliantly composed wake-up call! — then apologized (unnecessarily, if you ask me) and just as convincingly gave an emotional speech begging his best friend to stay in town. Color me teary-eyed again over that, and over Harold's honest admission that he trusted Amy to do the right thing after he hit her with the zinger about Zoloft. So perfect. Frankly, the Abbot family is the best reason for anyone to stay in this small town. From the gruff head of the household to the ailing true head of the household and town mayor to the sometimes self-involved but always interesting Amy to the adorably sensitive Bright to no-nonsense Grandma Edna — these are people worth knowing, and I'm glad that I get to watch their little fake family every week for an hour and a good cry. — Angel Cohn

Las Vegas
Hey, kids — a history lesson! And I know the info must be legit because it's an old guy talking and David Bowie's singing. (What, you don't think Bowie's a sign of integrity? Why, he sang "Dancing in the Streets" with Mick Jagger!) And now we have the obligatory ass shot. With that, the show's officially started, as John Elway, Jon Bon Jovi and Gladys Knight are here to make clear. But y'know, I'm beginning to think this Toyota Avalon giveaway might just be a product placement. Just my gut talking. Anyway, where'd Sam's Silly String hairnet go from the time we jumped away from her and Dean Cain to when we came back again? (Cut to the producer slapping himself in the head. He knew they shouldn't have let that nice continuity lady go before the finale was in the can, dammit!)

But now Sam's quitting, Mike's going out on the road to sing backup with Aunt Gladys (ain't he a Pip?), Delinda and Nessa are on a plane with an assassin, Mary's left Danny behind to fly off with the rich guy, Danny's detective gal pal just showed up to tell him his dad's dead (which didn't stop her from first yelling at him for not returning her calls — nice bedside manner, hon) and... holy crap! They just blew up the Montecito! Talk about razing the stakes.

Viva Las Vegas, folks. (Cue the FX of the last brick hitting the ground, followed by the final tinkle of broken glass.) See you in the fall. — Michael Peck

Nick and Jessica: Tour of Duty
I officially apologize for ever watching Newlyweds and allowing these two to resuscitate their careers. Because let's be honest, if we hadn't watched that show Nick and Jess would be off in popstar heaven with Vitamin C, Aaron Carter and the rest of 98 Degrees. But alas, we've let them back into our lives, and we must suffer the consequences. But did we really need to force them upon soldiers who are putting their lives at risk for us? That's how we say thank-you? The more I thought about it, the more baffled I was by this entire evening and the more questions I had. And since I've yet to come up with answers, you're getting the questions. Like, did Jessica (and Nick for that matter) really need to change outfits for every song? When did her singing get so bad that it sounds as if she constantly has a milk bubble in her throat? Couldn't someone have taught her how to pronounce Fallujah? Or at the very least the name Jamie (which she so eloquently read as "Hymie")? Who the heck decided it was a good idea to give her a loaded M4? Why didn't anyone advise her not to laugh while shooting the M4? Or at least not to giggle when uttering the phrase "when the house-to-house fighting was at its most intense"? I really can't believe this is the best we can do for our troops. Where's Bruce Springsteen when you need him? Or Justin Timberlake? Or any other number of singers who could at least have read the TelePrompTer correctly? Sure, they tossed in Big and Rich and Brian McKnight, but they certainly weren't enough to compensate for two hours of Patriotic Barbie and Ken. — Ali Gazan

Dammit, I absolutely hate "to be continued's." I can barely wait a week, let alone an entire summer, to find out if Captain Push buys the farm after cutting the wires to his heart monitor. Is he really that sure if he dies (again, but this time for good) that he'll come to Allison in another dream and help her solve the crimes of the Phoenix Phantom? (Talk about altruistic. He might have blown the case the first time around, but who would give up their life to catch a killer?) Meanwhile, poor, long-suffering Joe; his wife's vocation has finally taken its toll. Not only is he stuck taking care of three kids while his wife is sleeping off a night filled with phone calls, strange visits and bizarre visions, he's feeling awfully ignored and neglected when she is around. Do you blame him for getting blitzed on wine (that he bought for her) and passing out on the couch? I'm not sure how much more tolerance he has for this. Then again, he's got a few months off to get over it. Joe's got such a big heart, we know he will. — RH

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