'24': Explosions of all kinds rock our heroes

24-season-8.jpgTwo more hours of " 24" brings us 1/6th closer to the end of Jack Bauer's eighth longest day of his life. The man might be a grandpa, but he still has the magic.

Decrypting is hard work, yo. For CTU, it'll take them roughly 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, Brian Hastings has become the personal butt monkey to White House Chief of Staff Rob Weiss. He asks for everyone to step up their game. Jack's still on his own with Chloe in Queens. Even after getting the info he needed from bribing a baller on the local hoops court, he still runs into bad luck when a corrupt cop Tasers the living daylights out of him. Seems the bad cop has fingered Jack as the cop (and cop's wife) killer. Good cop wants no part of this, but he's in too deep now! "Mike" (he's officially Davros now) is already off to the UN. And Meredith still won't spill about the affair, even though a key card linked to Hassan has been found.

Oh, and the whole Dana/Jenny/Kevin Wade deal... now the redneck scumbag has weaseled his way into staying at Dana's place. This better pay off big time, because I'm already tired of it.

Meanwhile, Meredith finally admits to the affair, but Brian insists on asking Hassan himself, who's currently engaged in negotiations with President Taylor.  Even Chloe wants in on this action to prove herself: if Meredith isn't the bad guy, Brian has to go find Jack. Speaking of, he finally musters the strength to beat down the bad cop and gets the good cop to verify his credentials and take him to the UN. Once Hassan is asked about the affair, Farhad pleads with his brother not to admit to it... except Hassan totally does, leaving Farhad to call Davros and set the assassination plot in motion.

Cole has been placed on Hassan's security detail... which is good, because once the decryption reveals the blueprints to recent UN upgrades, Brian orders an immediate evacuation of the building, sending CTU into a Code Red and both presidents into the underground parking garage. Chloe still has her doubts that a bomb could be in the UN, but they move ahead with the plan just as Davros arms the IED. The evacuation proceeds smoothly, save for Hassan and his family being split up by Farhad. Jack knows it's a trick, and once he gets patched into Cole's ear, Cole moves heaven and earth to keep Hassan's motorcade from blowing up... only to be blown up himself.

As we open the fourth hour, Cole is indeed okay, if temporarily trapped after the IED took it out. Hassan is shaken up, but alive. Davros sees a chance to finish off the President of the Islamic Republic of Kamistan, but Cole gets Hassan in a car and off to CTU. Davros notices Cole looking at him funny, then proceeds to run away. Cole gives chase, ultimately getting caught by Davros himself. The bad guy demands Cole officially clear a path out of the building, but just milliseconds after he refuses to go along, Jack just happens to appear and shoot Davros dead. Upon further examination of the deceased, they find gang tattoos galore.

Back at the crash scene, Farhad knows he's screwed. On the surface, he tries to calm Dalia and Kayla down, but instead he stabs a CTU redshirt in the neck and runs away. While running, he calls his contact in a Russian crime syndicate. Hooray! The Russians are the bad guys again! CTU determines the Russians involvement as well, meaning there's only one person that can help them now... Renee Walker! Once she lands at the CTU bunker, we can tell the time between Day Seven and Day Eight hasn't been kind to her.

Hassan assures President Taylor that he's up for more talks, if only he could escape CTU. In the meantime, he personally thanks Cole when the HazMat alarm sounds. Yep, Davros is chock-full of 94.7% pure U-235 uranium. Tasty. Now that Renee's participation is all but assured, Jack wants no part of the plans... mostly because he tried calling her after Day Seven and not getting any response. Renee breaks down the tattoos on Davros and other gang members, linking it all to a near-mythical gang known as Red Square. The absolute only way to defeat the Russians is if Renee goes back undercover to unravel the gang from the inside. She agrees to it, but not to regain access to the FBI. Once Jack hears of this plan, he puts his return trip to Los Angeles on hold and tries to talk Renee out of it. He simply doesn't think she's of sound mind (those scars on her wrist don't help, either), but they are out of time and she is simply the only option.

On her way out, Meredith gets the standard CTU "apology" from Brian, and gets one last visit with Hassan. She herself becomes apologetic to him over her betrayal, but he'll have none of it. As he sees it, it's more or less a "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" situation. Thus ends the saga of Meredith Reed.

The big bad guy of the day appears to be Vladimir, working down to restaurateur/mob boss Sergi Bazhaev, of whom Farhad meets to discuss the planned sale of the nuclear rods. Initial distrust that the rods even exist is swept away when Sergi reveals one of his sons is dying from the exposure. Farhad wants to oversee the transfer of the rods, so the deal is back on. Meanwhile, Jack and Renee work another mobster on parole, Ziya. He's working at a store, but when Renee shows up, fresh from her "release from prison," he reluctantly agrees to help... except that darned parolee tracker device he's wearing keeps him from helping too much. Renee's answer: place the wrist in a vise and saw the arm off. Awesome! Jack's not as enthusiastic about the plan. She leaves him with a damaged Ziya and a witty comeback for the ages...

"Better get something to cauterize that wound." I'll say!
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