One can sense the that the writers may have learned from past mistakes, as we are only one episode away from 8th episode of 24
, the first of three acts. When Dubaku selects the chemical plant in Ohio, you don't know how to react or feel. Sure it would be bad if the gas is released, but this has already been done before on this show numerous times, and most effectively in season 3. So it does become a bit of shock when the gas isn't fully released, and they contain the threat. The story splinters off in unexpected directions, so hats off to the writing staff for handling certain delicate plot points with care.
The strong point of the episode is Jack, Tony, and Buchanon's attack on Dubaku's secret hideout. While you weren't sure on how or when it was going to go down, the all out assault with massive casualties is a solid example of why this show is so exciting to watch, Jon Cesar set the bar for action scenes on television. The story takes a surprising turn after the module is destroyed, ending the chemical threat in Ohio, and Dubaku escapes.
A small detail that was noticeable, especially this episode, is what Sean Callery has done with the musical score. He has changed it up considerably this season, and it really adds a nice element to the action scenes, the pace seems faster, with techno-like inspirations.
All those who were concerned about the subplot with the first man were in for a surprise. While his fall over the banister during the closing moments of the last episode was predictable, the next few events were not. Since Ethan is looking for the first man and can't get a hold of him, he informs the president that Henry is missing. Meanwhile, one of the "corrupted" agents ends up taking Henry to Dubaku after the assault on their secret hideout. What the writers do with this situation is key. They cannot drag this out longer than necessary and whatever happens has to feel organic. Again, if we look to the past with this show, key figures of authority often have loose cannon or crazy family members with huge problems. This was pathetically done with Eric Driscoll's annoying daughter, who when offing herself, brought a smile to many fans of this show. While Henry isn't at all crazy, he definitely is the baggage so far this season and they need to run that course without getting redundant.
The story also has done a strong enough job in making the FBI not like CTU, which was one of the fears going into this season. We aren't sure of the importance of the ending scene with that girl and Dubaku, but this was another quality episode and a good piece of the puzzle for this season. We know that Dubaku is on the loose and aren't sure where the plot is going, and that should be a good sign of things to come.
Grade: 8 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