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'24:' Jack throws a hail mary

March 1, 2010 | 10:01 pm


Trying to cut deals with CTU may be hazardous to one's health.

A few weeks ago, it was Josef the Russian arms dealer who was gunned down just after agreeing to cut a deal with CTU. On Monday night, Farhad Hassan, the traitor brother of Kamistan President Omar Hassan, is killed under similar circumstances.

Hassan, who betrayed his brother because he thought Kamistan was kowtowing to the West, was himself betrayed by his own henchmen. They decided they'd rather explode a dirty bomb in New York City rather than try to get the weapons-grade uranium they've acquired back to Kamistan. Farhad Hassan may be a rat, but he's not stupid. He knows Kamistan will be toast if that were to happen. So he speed dials CTU chief Brian Hastings and asks to be taken in.

Unfortunately for Farhad, he's shot to death before Jack Bauer & Co. can bring him in. But since the terrorists who turned on Farhad are not 100% sure he's out of the way, Bauer and CTU tell the media Farhad survived the shooting in the hopes of luring the terrorists out of hiding to try to finish the job. It's their only hope to get a lead on the uranium. 

The ploy works. The terrorists see a news report that Hassan is still alive (real life WNYW New York anchor Ernie Anastos has a cameo, no doubt hoping to have something else to be remembered for other than the guy who suggested his local weatherman commit an unnatural act with a chicken) and send one of their own to the hospital to take care of Farhad for good. The man chosen for the job, Marcos, is half-American and before he heads out on his mission he tells his mother to get out of New York.

Marcos is lured into the hospital and escorted to Farhad's room by Agent Owen. Faithful readers might recall I've been wary of Agent Owen thinking he was up to no good. Turns out he's not a spy, just a nervous rookie who sort of blows CTU's chance to capture Marcos. While Chloe manages to deactivate Marcos' bomb, he still knocks Owen out and escapes Bauer. The episode ends with Marcos in some sort of oxygen chamber trying to figure out how to blow himself up and Bauer trying to talk him out of there to get a lead on the uranium.

Meanwhile, Omar Hassan seems to be getting his bearings back. Worried that everyone is against him, he has spent the last few hours cracking down anyone he thinks might have betrayed him, including his most trusted aide Tarin, who just happens to be in love with Hassan's daughter Kayla. Tarin manages to escape and arranges to have Kayla meet him in a hotel. They even manage to get a quickie in while waiting for a lawyer to ask for amnesty in the U.S. President Hassan seems genuinely concerned for his daughter and seems to recognize (but maybe I'm misreading him) that he has gone too far in his efforts to purge his administration of back stabbers. For trivia experts, Tarin makes his escape from Hassan's men right down the street from News Corp.'s corporate headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

As for the plot everyone loves to hate -- CTU Agent Dana Walsh and her knucklehead ex-boyfriend, Kevin, and his psycho sidekick Nick -- it may be petering out. Nick killed Kevin and then CTU Agent Cole Ortiz, killed Nick. Cole wants to dump their bodies in the river and move on, but Dana may have a problem with that. We're with Cole, who hit it on the head when he said, "We're cleaning this up, and no one's ever gonna know this happened." Except of course us viewers who have had to endure this tortured story for the past month and a half.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Kayla (Nazeen Contractor) and Tarin (T.J. Ramini) get close on "24." Credit: Fox Broadcasting.