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'24': Omar Hassan shows his bad side

February 8, 2010 | 11:35 pm


Kamistan President Omar Hassan is still paranoid about his brother's failed assassination attempt, and that  growing paranoia may cost his administration its legitimacy with the United States and the rest of the free world. Not content with just rounding up his known enemies, Hassan is now looking at his inner circle for traitors. He has his United Nations delegate tortured and, when that doesn't work, has authorities back home round up the man's family. When one of his top aides -- who also happens to be in love with the president's daughter -- tries to reason with him, Hassan has him detained as well.

None of this is sitting too well with the U.S. president, Allison Taylor, who is worried that Hassan's despot-like behavior may scuttle any hope for peace in the Middle East. She manages to buy time with the U.N., but her allies, including Great Britain, are getting antsy.

Meanwhile, Hassan's traitor brother, Farhad, still hasn't resurfaced since disappearing with two girls provided to him by weapons-grade-uranium Sergei. Lets hope he's having a better time than Omar. Sergei, you may recall, is the evil Russian gangster who last week killed his own son who had been exposed to the uranium. I must confess I screwed up last week when I said Sergei had killed Josef. Apologies and thanks for the readers who caught my mistake.

As for our hero, it was a tough hour for Jack Bauer. Still undercover as German arms dealer Ernst Meier (the disguise consists of big black glasses), Jack sits passively while Vladamir reaches out to all the likely uranium dealers he has on speed dial. He's not getting anywhere and becomes convinced that there is no uranium to be had.

But Renee isn't ready to quit. Like a crack addict in need of another hit, she pleads with Vladamir to keep calling people, annoying him so much he tells her, "Just because I like your face doesn't mean I have to put up with your crap."

Apparently, he doesn't like her face that much because of what he starts doing to it. Bad move, Vladamir. Renee grabs a knife and performs a little eye surgery before stabbing him in the chest several times. Bauer rushes in and tries to stop her, but a deranged Renee accidentally stabs him too. Fortunately for Jack, it's just a flesh wound, and though he has a bloody stain on his shirt, he's back to his old self in no time.

Alas, although Renee's safe and Jack is bouncing back quickly from a knife to the side, it appears that, with Vladamir and all his henchmen dead, the CTU team is back to square one. Of course, at that moment a bunch of Sergei's Russians come storming into the the bloodbath that is Vladamir's headquarters and Bauer allows himself to be taken with them while Renee hides in a closet waiting for CTU. The good news is that Bauer is inching closer to Vladamir, the gatekeeper to the uranium. The bad news is CTU has lost Jack, so he's on his own.

Comic relief in Monday night's episode came from Kevin and Nick, the two loser petty thieves who are trying to make a quick score with a little help from CTU Agent Dana Walsh. Kevin used to date Dana when she was a bad girl and now he's blackmailing her into helping him pull some heists. It's the weakest of all of the stories in "24" this season, but on the other hand it's good to know you don't have to wait until a commercial to get some food out of the fridge.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: "24." Credit: Fox Broadcasting