With the Matabos locked in a concrete safe room, Jack Bauer creates a deadly gas from some household cleaners to try and force them out. This leads to an interesting situation with Mr. and Mrs. Matabo. He values his cause over his life and is explaining to his wife he will never give up his contacts in Senegal and cannot afford to be captured by Dubaku. His cowardice wife feels otherwise and opens the vault door last minute leading to their capture.
The scene was well executed and it really made the audience question on whether or not these people were both going to die. Jack and Tony aren't working with any branch of government and it would be nice to see in the future a task that would involve condemning someone to death to persuade Emerson without a shadow of a doubt that Jack is indeed a rouge agent.
The great plot point of the episode involves Agent Walker being captured by Emerson's men. The interaction between her and Jack while she is being held captive is outstanding, and should help convince the surrounding cronies where Jack's loyalties lie.
The subplot with the first man's investigation into his son's death takes an abrupt and surprising turn as the secret service agent babysitting him turns out to be one bad dude. The setup for future episodes looks like they are trying to create a murder suicide situation. One thing on 24 that we know from past experience, is few things go according to plan. It was nice to nip that plot point in the butt before it grew out of control, and it will be interesting to see where writers take it from here.
One of the weak points of the episode involves rumblings at the FBI, where Agent Moss is acting irrational because of his crush of Renee. Not only that, but the Attorney General wants to get involved on the actions of Renee and her actions on becoming Renee Bauer at the hospital. It turns out they weren't too happy she stuck her gun in a suspects wound. Why does the government get involved in investigating people on a day with such a crisis? The writers need to stop doing that with 24
, it is getting really old. While the plot doesn't advance much from that, let's hope that this doesn't pop up later, been there done that.
The episode closes brilliantly as Emerson orders Jack to shoot Renee. With no real way out of this situation, Jack has no choice but to shoot her, but does so in a grazing fashion. It looks real, Emerson is convinced, and was insane to watch and wonderfully executed. The final seconds close with Renee's face being covered with dirt after being ordered to bury her. What an ending!
You have to hand it to the writers so far this season with 5 consecutive quality episodes, and a setup to the season that could still can go in a variety of directions. With blistering pace, this is a great start to the season so far.
Grade: 9 out of 10
24 Cast: Kiefer Sutherland
, Leslie Hope
, Elisha Cuthbert
, Sarah Clarke
, Dennis Haysbert
, Penny Johnson
, Tanya Wright
, Mia Kirshner
, Carlos Bernard
Story by Anthony Liccardello
Starpulse contributing writer