This episode is justifiably celebrated as one of the best in 24's history, specifically for the bleak but utterly rewarding conclusion. Naturally, there's a whole lot more worth writing home about, as always, but the last few minutes mark something of an end of an era in the show's life.
Picking up from the previous hour, Nina is taken to the CTU and questioned by Tony, something that upsets Michelle a bit, given the history between the two. At the same time, Ryan Chappelle forces Jack to have a medical examination and explain his drug addiction to an Internal Affairs investigator. On the villain front, Amador meets with his associate Marcus Alvers (Lothaire Bluteau) to make the final arrangements regarding the virus, while Sherry (not a real villain, but still) tries to hide her involvement in Alan Milliken's death.
In a way, this episode of Season Three is reminiscent of the Season Two hour in which Nina was brought back to the show: almost every scene takes place in the interrogation room, with a past lover (first Jack, then Tony) asking the questions. This allows Sarah Clarke to use her acting skills to full effect, giving Nina another bunch of moments where she comes off as completely untrustworthy and calculating. The same goes for Penny Johnson as Sherry: a few hours ago, it seemed like she could actually do some good; now she's back to doing what she does best, namely lying and manipulating.
But the most memorable element of the fourteenth hour of Season Three remains the ending, as it marks Clarke's definitive departure from the series. Such an outcome was unavoidable, most will say, but the writers still manage to inject the epilogue with an extra something that makes it slightly unexpected. And that's without mentioning the poetic justice of Nina facing her destiny in the exact same place where she disposed of Teri Bauer two seasons ago - a bit contrived, maybe, but dramatically powerful.
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