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'24': Charles in charge

April 12, 2010 | 10:01 pm

It's a tough hour for Jack Bauer. Very distraught over being unable to save Kamistan President Omar Hassan, he heads back to his Chelsea apartment (I have a hard time seeing him living there; I picture Bauer more as a Murray Hill man) with Renee.

Once there, we get to see something we've never seen before -- Jack Bauer being intimate. Frankly, I could have done without it. But considering that he's been shot, electrocuted and stabbed, all in less than 24 hours, he still managed to deliver the goods.

Unfortunately, the post-lovemaking bliss was short-lived. Bauer and Renee had gone to his apartment after leaving the scene of Hassan's execution. While exiting, Renee thought she recognized one of the emergency medical technicians who had been tending to the wounded terrorist Samir. She couldn't quite remember from where. He made her as well and, since he had just finished giving a lethal injection to Samir, was worried that she'd come after him.

Turns out he's a Russian. Yes, we're back to the Russians again. This being "24," you knew it would be only a matter of time until it turned out that they were behind the terrorists out to kill Hassan all along. He follows Jack and Renee back to Bauer's apartment and, in another let's suspend all disbelief moments, knows exactly where Bauer's apartment is and goes to an office next door (killing its occupant) that provides him with a perfect view to assassinate Renee. 

The Russian, by the way, is working for our new bad guy Novakovich, who is that country's United Nation's attache or something. Novakovich is very wary of President Taylor's efforts to continue to try to reach a peace accord with Hassan's widow Dalia as a stand-in for the Kamistan president.

Before Renee dies, she talks to Chloe, who is now the boss of CTU. (Something else I never thought I'd see.) Hastings has been relieved of duty and O'Brian, of all people, is named interim chief. Even O'Brian doesn't think she's leadership material. "You're making a mistake," she tells the White House aide who appoints her the new head of CTU.

But she takes the gig and in no time is trying to upload photos of Russian mobsters Renee crossed paths with years ago. Too late now for Renee to help out, but hopefully the writers remember that Cole Ortiz was also on the scene and actually interacted with the EMTs.

Back at the United Nations, having persuaded Dalia Hassan to take over for her husband, Taylor now needs to persuade the Russians to back a treaty that, uh, they secretly sabotaged. Ethan, apparently already recovered from that heart attack/stroke thing he had just a few hours earlier, tells Taylor that none other than former President Charlies Logan has offered to make things right with the Russians.

The return of the sleazy Logan is most welcome. Watching him try to stay one step ahead of everyone and knowing that there is always some angle in it for him provides a nice contrast to the one-note Taylor.

-- Joe Flint