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'24:' Jack Bauer is back in with both feet

February 22, 2010 | 10:30 pm


Sorry Kim Bauer, dad's not going to fly to Los Angeles on that last flight out of JFK after all.

It was commitment night for Jack Bauer. First he makes a pledge to rogue ex-FBI agent Renee Walker to be with her. Then he follows that up with a promise to CTU chief Brian Hastings to return to full time duty. He does that as a way to get Renee from taking the fall for all that's gone wrong in their efforts to get their hands on some weapons-grade uranium that's floating around Queens.

Meanwhile, Farhad Hassan, the treacherous brother of Kamistan President Omar Hassan, manages to get the uranium and lose it in less than an hour. Turns out Farhad is not nearly as ruthless as the henchmen he hired. While Farhad still wants to get the uranium back to Kamistan and use it not only to take over the country, but also to get the U.S. to back off, his backers want to attack New York with the uranium. Farhad thinks it's an insane plot, but goes along anyway. "So many targets in New York, it'll be hard to choose," he says. 

Farhad manages to escape his henchmen, who didn't seem to really believe that he was with them anyway, and phone CTU to say that he wants to come in. Just curious, but in a day and age where one can't dial any business or government agency without getting an automated response  how do all these people a) have CTU on speed dial and b) get right through to the right people? I'm picturing Hassan in a field hiding from his pursuers and listening to a recording saying, "Press one if you are in contact with weapons-grade uranium." 

Anyway, back to CTU. While Hassan's busy losing control of the uranium,  Bauer is busy losing his emotions. When he returns to CTU, Chloe informs him that Renee is being questioned by a Justice Department attorney (I bet the lawyers from Justice probing the Comcast - NBC Universal deal don't look anything like the one questioning Renee at 12:30 a.m. on a school night). Bauer can smell a rat and subdues the guard watching over the interview and then puts the lawyer in a chokehold and leads Renee out of there. Of course he gets about10 feet before he's subdued by stun gun. That marks the second time in two hours that Bauer has been electrocuted. At this point he probably has enough juice in him to light up the Empire State building.

Even though he's beaten up a guard and choked a lawyer, Bauer isn't arrested and ultimately convinces Hastings to find some, uh, guts and back Renee and the CTU team as opposed to offering up a patsy to the White House. In return, Bauer agrees to bring Farhad in and takes that mysterious young agent from last week with him. I still don't trust this Agent Owen. Not sure why, call it a hunch.

As for Cole, the young Jack Bauer wannabe, he's been dragged into his fiance's bad plot line. Instead of tracking Farhad Hassan or doing something useful, he's stuck in a field with CTU analyst Dana Walsh who has followed her ex-boyfriend Kevin and his running buddy Nick out in the middle of nowhere. Walsh wanted to kill the two of them, but Cole shows up and instead issues the good ol boys a warning to get out of town or else. Kevin is willing to leave but Nick still wants to play. He stabs Kevin and then gets shot by Cole. One hopes that we're done with these two and this subplot, but somehow I doubt it. I just hope that Cole and Dana at least give the two strippers that Nick and Kevin dragged out to the middle of nowhere with them before making them walk home a lift back into town. It'd be the classy thing to do.

For what it's worth, the actress who plays Walsh has been cast in a pilot for ABC next season, which I trust means she won't be annoying us on "24" for much longer.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: "24's"Jack Bauer getting the low down. Credit: Fox.