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`24:' Omar Hassan RIP

April 5, 2010 | 11:04 pm


If there was one good thing about the death of Kamistan President Omar Hassan, it's that Dana Walsh's immunity deal went up in smoke.

In a wild two-hour episode, "24" cleaned up a lot of its more outrageous plots. CTU Agent Walsh is finally discovered to be a spy. Amazing that a day of shifty stares and long disappearances didn't alert anyone sooner, but as Arlo -- the male version of Chloe observed -- perhaps everyone was too busy staring at other parts of her body to notice those beady eyes.

Two more traitors are also unmasked. President Taylor's chief of staff and General Brucker are both busted after Jack Bauer manages to defeat their efforts to stop him from getting Hassan to safety. Unfortunately, Hassan himself decided that his life was not worth more than the casualties New York would have experienced from the dirty bomb that the terrorists were going to set off. He escapes from Bauer and Renee and turns himself over to the terrorists.

The terrorists actually live up to their word and do not detonate their crude bomb, which was set to go off at Amsterdam Avenue and 93rd Street. On a side note, I used to  live on 93rd about two blocks from there and can tell you none of those scenes were shot on location. Where was my laundry? Where was my bodega?

But I promised myself I wouldn't be so nit-picky tonight. I won't obsess on figuring out how Bauer got back and forth from Upper Manhattan to Lower Manhattan not once but twice in the morning rush hour. I won't get snarky about all the Hondas being driven in tonight's episode and ask if they were part of a product placement deal. I'm not even going to wonder how the terrorists had time to move Hassan from one car to another without Bauer catching them in the dramatic chase in the parking lot. I won't ask why President Taylor would let Hassan's wife and daughter watch a live feed of CTU's failed attempt to rescue the Kamistan leader.

No, instead I will say that tonight's episode was pretty darn exciting. Every "24" fan got what they've been waiting for since episode one -- Bauer with his hands around Walsh's neck while he tells her to "stop screwing with me." That alone made the episode worth the price of admission.

Walsh is finally busted when CTU's plans to get Hassan back with an ambush in Upper Manhattan are foiled at the last moment. Bauer finally realizes that there must be a reason why every time they are about to capture someone, there is a screw-up and before you can say "holy fiance," Cole is firing shots at Walsh as she tries to flee CTU.

Once she's captured, she demands to talk to Bauer. As usual, she cuts one of those only on "24" immunity deals. She even wants her payoff from the terrorists. "You're telling me all this is about money?" Bauer asks. "Isn't it always?," she says back.

Bauer and Renee and Cole (yes, being unaware that the women you are engaged to is a liar and a traitor apparently doesn't get you tossed off active duty as a counterintelligence agent) head uptown to try to stop the terrorists from getting to Hassan. Alas, seems that like U.S. broadcast networks, the terrorists operate on a tape delay and while Bauer thinks he's going to get there in time to save Hassan, in truth he's too late. His murder is streamed live over the Internet.

"Call CTU. I want to know what the hell went wrong," barks President Taylor. While she can blame CTU for Walsh, Weiss and Brucker are her responsibility and the blood of Hassan is on her hands more than it is Jack Bauer and CTU. 

With Hassan gone, it is anyone's guess where the rest of the season is headed. But if it is anything like tonight, the ride should be pretty fast.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Dana Walsh gets busted. Credit: Fox Broadcasting.