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24 8.18: "Day 8: 9AM - 10AM"

After the previous episode, a number of fans and critics alike were floored to discover that Renee Walker’s death was a pre-planned plot point. Apparently Howard Gordon defended this plot twist as a great move, and praised the notion of sending Jack into a tailspin at the end of the season/series. And apparently Keifer Sutherland was on board with the idea, which just goes to show that some producers should stay the hell out of the writers’ room. Frankly, this is exactly the kind of thinking that has plagued “24” for years. It has also been a hallmark of Howard Gordon’s writing style. To be fair, this is not something that falls on Gordon’s shoulders alone; there is an entire writing staff that shares the blame for carrying forward a vision for the eighth season that undermines Jack’s heroic journey and therefore the entire point of the series. But longtime readers, going back to the “X-Files” days, know that Gordon’s plot and character choices have always been a subject of criticism. Despite the grievous error of the previous episode, this installment manages to bring matters into focus. Jack’s personal response to Renee’s death gets some well-deserved attention, but there is also a welcome depth to President Taylor’s plot thread. Jack manages to keep himself reined in for the most part, but something has definitely come undone behind those eyes. The difference is simply his self-control. Earlier in the series, Jack would have gone on a massive rampage from the beginning. While Jack doesn’t quite hold back with Dana Walsh, he does manage to keep his wits about him. Yet during his confrontation with Bazhaev, there’s no doubt that Jack is primed and ready for violence. And his moral compass is spinning completely out of control. There’s no doubt that he would kill anybody who got in the way of putting those responsible for the atrocities of the day where they belong. And that’s what makes President Taylor’s decision to let the Russians get away with Hassan’s assassination, the terrorist threat against New York, and so many other things such a punch to Jack’s gut. He is completely floored by the notion that President Taylor is choosing political expediency over such a clear-cut moral imperative. This isn’t a debate over counter-terrorist tactics; this is real politik at its ugliest. Of course, it all comes back to the symbol of all things ridiculous on “24”. No, not Kim Bauer; she was just poorly written and stuck in inane plot threads. Charles Logan, on the other hand, was the terrorist President of the United States. The concept itself boggles the mind. As does the notion of ever trusting someone like Logan when he comes calling with a solution to a problem that didn’t exist just a few hours earlier. That’s the one thing that hobbles this episode. It’s pretty damn clear that Logan knew about the Russian collusion with the IRK dissidents because he was knee-deep in everything that happened. He’s all but caught red-handed halfway through the episode, and yet, President Taylor just lets the matter go in favor of listening to the former Terrorist-in-Chief’s advice. While the advice does have a certain “ends justify the means” logic to it, it is predicated on two erroneous assumptions. First, that Charles Logan would ever give someone such strident advice on something that wasn’t of deep and abiding value to his own self-interest. And second, that any peace accord for the Middle East, particularly one forged with a progressive Islamic regime, would truly end the conflicts in the region. The problem is that Taylor is falling into the same trap that so many other politicians and leaders encounter: the Legacy Hunt. It’s not enough to be a strong and competent leader. There has to be something monumental that history will always remember in their section of the textbook. When presidents go tilting at the legacy windmills, they almost always leave ethics and morality behind. In a sense, this fits the overall theme of the season, which is not a bad thing. Taylor is failing to learn from the mistakes of the past, and she will find herself on the wrong end of Jack Bauer’s resolve as a result. Of course, this is also quite unfortunate, because the series should have ended on a better note. President Taylor had grown to be the first president since David Palmer to trust Jack’s judgment. Jack’s restoration, and that of CTU, was bringing the series full circle. It’s hard to imagine that happening now. Overall, this episode managed to make the best of a bad situation, even if some of the logic was twisted to make certain characters make uncharacteristic choices. It was good to see a lot more of President Taylor; the writers haven’t given her nearly enough to do. Though it’s hard to see how the writers are going to end this season/series well, this isn’t a bad start.

'24' Season 8, Episode 18 - '9:00AM - 10:00AM' Recap

Things got ugly last night on '24.' Jack Bauer threatened the lives of women and children, brutally smacked the smirk off Dana Walsh's face, and President Taylor decided to turn a blind eye to the Russian conspiracy. This episode traded the usual action, explosions and gunplay for serious political drama and some very entertaining, dialogue-heavy scenes featuring the double-dealing Charles Logan. Let's start with Logan. Gregory Itzin is obviously having a ball walking in Logan's shoes again. It's a pleasure to watch the character play and manipulate everyone he meets, including President Taylor. The standoff between Taylor and Logan in the middle of this ep was the best scene of the hour; it was second only to Logan blackmailing Novakovich with a wink and a smile. Itzin brings a welcome subtle comic air to '24' with Logan's sleazy gait and devious stare. It's great stuff. Logan has quickly become one of the most compelling people on the show right now. What is his true and complete agenda? Who is his intel source? I can't wait to find out the answers to those questions. To Read More Click Here . If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

24' Season 8, Episode 18 Recap: Et tu, Madame President?

Allison Taylor, you truly vex me. Wasn’t it just a few hours ago that you excoriated Rob Weiss and General Brucker for wanting to submit to Samir’s demands by saying something presidential like “the worst will happen, we’ll deal with it. Because that’s what we do. Americans don’t stay down, we rise up together in times of crisis, we carry on, is that clear?” So where was that can-do attitude when it came to the Russians, eh woman? Logan can quote Caesar all he wants but it still didn’t make a dang bit of sense that Taylor would want to continue with the peace agreement while knowing the Russkies had zero intention of walking the talk. And really, Allison, you don’t think Dalia would want to be clued in on the fact that Moscow had a hand in Fantastic Sam’s death? Sheesh, I haven’t seen such a strange series of knuckle-headed moves since - well, since last week, when the Russian sniper missed Jack but managed to lodge a bullet into this season’s most undeserving victim. (And boy did that get you folks worked up! I especially appreciated this post from Nihilistic: “I know 24 has always been infamous for featuring the most quixotic and unrealistic gunfights on television but that took the cake.”) To Read More Click Here . If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now

24 Season 8 Episode 18 Recap: 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.

As the hour opens, Jack is a complete mess, and understandably so - he just saw Renee shot to death and is now wandering around the ER wearing a shirt stained with her blood. Thankfully, one of the doctors takes the initiative to grab him a new shirt and a pair of boots for his bare feet. Once Chloe calls to offer her condolences, though, Jack snaps back into being Jack, demanding to see the recently MIA Papa Bazhaev, who is currently CTU's only lead. Chloe isn't quite so willing to circumvent the official channels and processes now that she's running CTU, but she ultimately relents and tells Jack where Bazhaev's bail hearing is being held (which, unsurprisingly, he's denied). Then it's time for a little face-to-face chat, and once again, Jack goes right into threatening the family. "Let me explain myself. This agent Renee Walker. I considered her to be my family," he tells Bazhaev. "So take a long, hard look into my eyes and realize that I will have no problem taking out any of yours before they even get home today." That, and a promise that the remaining members of the Bazhaev clan will be put into witness protection, is enough to get an admission that high-ranking members of the Russian government were behind Renee's murder. With help, of course, from our favorite CTU mole, Dana Walsh. Meanwhile, the former President Logan sets about exercising his "leverage" over Novakovich, interrupting the Russian foreign minister's breakfast to openly accuse him of orchestrating President Hassan's assassination. Logan's ultimatum is simple: tell President Taylor that Russia will sign the peace agreement, or else. "If neither of us hears from you before I get there, I'm afraid what I'll have to tell her is the unvarnished truth." To Read More Click Here . If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now