24: Season 7, Episode 3

Day 7: 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (12 Jan. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Mystery
8.9
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Conspiracy may be deep within the President's administration, her dead son may not have killed himself, and a colleague Jack thought was dead has turned terrorist: how are these surprises related?

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Title: Day 7: 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (12 Jan 2009)

Day 7: 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (12 Jan 2009) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Conspiracy may be deep within the President's administration, her dead son may not have killed himself, and a colleague Jack thought was dead has turned terrorist: how are these surprises related?

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12 January 2009 (USA)  »

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When Jack springs Tony out of interrogation, he has the guard and agent remove their sidearms. No agency would have allowed firearms in an interrogation room with a suspect. See more »

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Jack Bauer: [to Tony Almeida] So help me god, I will kill you, and you will stay dead this time!
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A fun, twisty installment that recalls 24's glory days
3 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The third episode of this season features one stupid scene in the midst of several other excellent scenes. The scene in question is a moment when Larry Moss interrogates Tony Almeida, without force I should mention, and attempts to play on his sympathies and sense of moral outrage by throwing pictures of the victims of the genocide in Sangala.

It's a dumb scene because it frames Tony's anger toward the government as something no understands, besides probably Jack. It also undercuts any sympathy and basic common sense Larry has been building as a leader. His alienation to the government is clear, even to a simpleton. I don't like this scene because it also implicitly presents a clear cut line of how impotent the show views the FBI compared to the "more macho" CTU.

Larry and Tony's scene run parallel to greater overarching plot of Tony's capture following the end of the last episode. The FBI transports Tony back to HQ and Larry allows Jack to interrogate him because of their history. While Jack has him pinned against the wall, he gives an old CTU call sign which he calls and reveals the person on the other end of the phone to be...Bill Buchanan (James Morrison), with Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) for tech support.

Buchanan reveals that Tony is undercover with Benjamin Juma's mercenaries, lead by David Emerson (Peter Wingfield), whom Tony works under. Jack needs to break Tony out to reestablish his cover with Emerson, Bill tells him.

He also states that they'll need to work alone because there's corruption leading up the rungs of government and President Taylor's administration. This poses the question, "Just how reliable is Taylor as a president if her government is THIS corrupt?"

The show utilizes the rest of the hour to their escape. Producing engrossing action scenes have always been second nature to the series, however; Jack and Tony's exodus from FBI custody features many fun twisted turns before they can get away.

Janis and Sean (Rhys Coiro) finally prove themselves by uncovering Chloe cloning the surveillance footage to aid the escape from the interrogation room and subsequently lock her out. Once their escape route is compromised, they break out a stairwell window leading out to a parking garage.

Before they can fully flee the perimeter with the help of a Bill in a nearby van, an FBI SWAT team pins them down in the parking garage. This leads Jack to hot wire a parked car and drive it off a second story to escape the barrage of arms fire. Bill drives away with Tony and Jack in the back, and before he can elaborate to Jack what is going, the clock runs out for the episode.

It between beats, Tony and Jack, together and separately exchange some nice staccato exchanges that only this show can pull off. "Jack, sorry what I said back there." "Just be glad I didn't break your neck." "Yeah..." (followed by a slight smile from Tony.)

In short, this was fun and it broke the tedium of what's been on the show in the last handful of episodes from this season and some of the last. The hour complicates itself repeatedly and it forces our good guys to improvise every chink in the chain: basically part of what makes "24" and the real-time format fun when the show operates at full capacity.

Long term fans will remember the time in Season One when the show spent a hour getting Jack to carjack a waitress and spent the rest of the hour staked out from police, occasionally threatening and talking to her. The episode is a bigger version of that earlier one. During the last few seasons, the writers have done numerous variations of "Jack goes undercover to facilitate...," which lost its luster quickly. And it's fresh when they (re)break the mold as in here.

24 doesn't often complicate itself as the result of Jack Bauer's actions, yet when it does, the show produces excellent episodes like this. If the show wants to relive its glory days and improve their plotting, episodes like these are good to draw from.


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