SPOILER ALERT: You know the drill... if you haven't seen this episode of "24" - and don't want to know what happens - don't read any further!
"24": Day 8 - 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Greetings Bauerites, I'll get right to it. Mark down another lightning-paced, thrill-ride-of-an-episode of "24."
Let me be blunt. This space is not reserved for hugs, kisses and kudos for the writers and cast of the show. When they make me watch paint dry, I say so. If I'm reorganizing my sock drawer, checking e-mail and playing Jenga (simultaneously) while I watch, that pretty much means I'm not feeling a particular episode.
However, I also give credit where it is due. Lately, the show has gotten things right in bunches. Sure, there are idiosyncrasies that faithful Bauerites can spot quicker than Arlo Glass can punch up a drone feed, but this is fun and we're officially having it. The "24" ride is thrilling, and we've got six hours left in the park to ride this roller coaster before the gates close... so strap in and hang on.
I gave this week's show high marks for these five reasons, in order from least to greatest:
5. Mrs. Hassan will become the new leader of Kamistan.
That's right Bauerites, you made the call in last week's comments (yes, I read them all). A few readers suggested that Mrs. Hassan would be asked to step up after her husband's assassination, and she indeed answered the call.
4. Hastings is out, and Chloe O' Brian is in!
Finally! Our favorite analyst-extraordinaire gets the chance to prove herself running point for CTU's operation. As I watched, there were fist pumps and high-fives all around. At one point, I even overheard myself say "Hey bartender, we need another round over here, and send one over to the lady in charge with the permanent frown and poor social skills!"
3. "Logan's back?" or "Logan's back!"
Question or exclamation mark, you decide. Its always great to see a hated character make a return, because it feels like springtime. This means I get to grow my hatred for Logan's spineless, smarmy, backstabbing nature like a chia pet that's completely bald and right out of the box. Maybe this time, he can actually get what he deserves in the end - a sniper's bullet.
2. OMG! Renee! No!
Speaking of sniper's bullets, I could feel some coming in the air, but I wasn't sure the Russian guy would actually "get" Jack... or Renee. But then, as we heard the thud of a body hit the floor, the cut to Jack was perfectly timed as he noticed the hole in the window.
The subtle buildup of tension in that well-timed piece of editing hit us hard with the first view of her bloody foot, and climaxed after Jack's mad dash to the emergency room. As a viewer, I felt the sense of urgency every step of the way, and I'm sure you did too. We all wanted Renee to make it, but she didn't and it hurt.
1. The look on Jack's face
There are many moments in television that are simply unforgettable, and the moment Jack was told that Renee has been killed ranks among the most gripping I've ever seen. There seemed to be so many emotions bottled up in his eyes. For all the things he's seen, all the predicaments he's lived through, and all the bullets that have whizzed past him, THIS moment seems beyond his comprehension. It was a finely tuned, well-oiled moment of epic drama.
I don't think I could take much more. That makes two straight weeks of silent countdowns at the show's end. I think the show's writers have packed the script with situations that will keep us engaged even as the plot goes in yet another direction with the mystery still to be revealed of the Russian government's involvement.
As a bonus, the show ran the full hour without ANY Dana Walsh sightings (score!), but we will be seeing her in next week's episode.
Speaking of bonuses, CNN.com also has something special for fans of "24." Howard Gordon, executive producer of "24" stopped by to talk about the end of the show and also gave us a glimpse into the upcoming movie.