The following review takes place between 7:01 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. Words are written in real time...
This was our favorite episode of season eight, and not just because we could actually say: Jack Bauer has gone rogue!
The 9 a.m. hour was tight and focused, filled with intense confrontations, solid performances and fascinating moral dilemmas. Let's start with Charles Logan.
I'd watch an entire series built around this character. He seems like a self-centered prick (and he is), but that self-centeredness is based around a need to do good for his country. Granted, Logan's idea of "good" might not jibe with that of Ethan or others in government - but it brings an interesting element to the man when even his most evil plans have the interests of America in mind.
Gregory Itzin plays him perfectly, of course. At times, the actor is sly and restrained as he calmly blackmails a Russian official. But he can also be louder and more passionate than Jack interrogating a subject. Whatever the situation calls for.
In an intriguing ethical debate, I found myself taking Logan's side, just as President Taylor did.
What would be gained by exposing the Russians? This would lead to anything but peace, and as long as the U.S. is aware of its enemies' shady dealings, it can watch that nation more carefully. But it's far more important for the rest of the world to see peace in that region.
Jack's failure to grasp this idea was proof that Renee's death doesn't have him thinking clearly. Typically, there's no bigger picture thinker than Jack Bauer. He tortures suspects, he breaks rules and he'll do almost anything with one goal in mind: the greater good.
That's difficult to do when your loved one was just gunned down, however. Jack may claim he's seeking "justice," but it smells more like "revenge" to me.
This debate also allowed Cherry Jones to shine. For almost two years, the Tony Award winnerhas been resigned to do nothing but worry in the White House. I don't understand. How is that possible?!? Those were her reactions to most situations.
But this episode brought Taylor to the forefront, while also elevating the responsibilities of a President as a key storyline in the show. That office can only think of what's best for the country as a whole. Not even her closest advisers can relate, nor can a CTU agent that's dealing with personal threats and deaths.
In closing, no one has hated the Dana Walsh character and angle more than me. However, I still hope this wasn't the last we see of her. At some point, the show has to make it at least somewhat clear how she infiltrated CTU and what, exactly, she knows.
Any confrontation between Kiefer Sutherland (outstanding in his quiet rage and insurmountable grief) and Katee Sackhoff is also welcome.