My friend IndianJones sent me a message last night bemoaning the latest episode of 24. He called it “boring.” I think he’s on crack. Sure, last night’s ep wasn’t the most intense installment of all time, but it certainly had me excited, especially with a nifty moment taken right out of The Hurt Locker. I won’t say any more in this paragraph, lest DVR viewers haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but needless to say, I was pleased with the hour.
First things first: let’s give a mighty huzzah to the writers for finally bringing Dana and Cole back to CTU. It took about three or four episodes, but the two wayward characters seem to finally be back in the fold. OR ARE THEY? Okay, Cole looks like he’s back in the the thick of things as he led a surprisingly speedy Fetch-Mare-Winningham expedition in Harlem. Dana, however, has more silly problems on her hands. You see, a bizarrely intrepid parole officer (played by veteran character actor Stephen Root, a.k.a. Milton from Office Space) has come a-callin’ for Dana, wondering where that scumbag ex of hers has gone off to. Turns out Kevin had made several calls to her from a motel phone, which of course is what led the parole officer Dana’s way. Uh oh. Here we go again. Mr. Parole Officer requested a private moment with Dana, but having just been scolded by Hastings, it didn’t seem like this was a terribly wise idea. Nevertheless, she agreed because Mr. Parole Officer threatened to speak to her supervisor. We don’t know how this will play out, but odds are it will be ridiculous. Lesson to Dana: start screening your calls, bitch.
And so it appears Dana will be off on some other stupid adventure next week, which is too bad since once again, it looked like we’d be in for some fun friction with Chloe. You see, Hastings happily demoted Dana and put Chloe in charge, which was fun for about thirty seconds until Chloe uncharacteristically marched up to her new underling and told her to keep her head high. What the? Since when does Chloe dispense with friendly advice to new people who aren’t doing their job properly?
Meanwhile, Dana’s brief return to relevance meant that poor Renee Walker and President Taylor got the shaft this episode. Neither woman was seen this hour, which is fine. The Prez was probably getting a much-needed power nap, and Renee, well, she was probably out Renee Walkering some bum with a steak knife. Getting significantly more screen time were the ladies in Hassan’s life: Kayla and Dalia. Reunited with her husband after a brief interlude, Dalia was not pleased with Omar. Not pleased at all! She unloaded on him with a tearful, angry speech that proved that actress Necar Zadegan is certainly one to watch. It turns out that Dalia was rather peeved that their daughter Kayla was missing. Where could she be? Enjoying some late night falafel? Perusing a twenty-four hour pantsuit boutique? Or merely boinking Omar’s head of security Tarin. If you guessed the latter option, you’d be right. The two lovahs were rolling around in the sheets, providing some always welcomed eye-candy for all the boys and girls watching the show. They were so swept up in passion that horny little Kayla refused to answer the phone, even when Mother called for the umpteenth time.
Now what did I say last week? Sex on 24 is about as bad an omen as it is in a horror movie. And I should add that sex in a hotel room is even worse. Going back to season one when that random Palmer staffer went berserk and totally Renee Walkered a witness after having slept with him, the hotel room tryst has long been a sign of imminent death. But who would be slain this time? Kayla or Tarin? Well, it looks like little K might be in the hot seat. Turns out Tarin is kiiiiiiind of a bad guy. This wasn’t a great surprise — at least to my father and I, who agreed on the phone last week that the only reason why this lovestory would even be on the show would be if Tarin turned out to be evil. Aren’t we just so smart? Yes, news broke of Tarin’s duplicity when Jack cornered the Bambi of suicide bombers, Marcos. The wide-eyed terrorist from last week had managed to re-arm his bomb vest, but thanks to some manipulative use of Mare Winningham (the best kind of use for her, in my book), Jack was able to get Marcos to surrender. One problem though: the bad guys were totally spying, and when they saw Marcos step out of the oxygen chamber he had barricaded himself into, they triggered a fail-safe mechanism that caused a 60 second countdown to BOOM. Jack tried to stymie the bomb, but there wasn’t enough time. He pleaded for Marcos to give him a name, and while I clutched my pillow, Marcos revealed that it was Tarin who was behind all this nefarious activity. Two seconds later, Jack pushed the kid back into the chamber, and KA-BOOM! Marcos was now nothing more than several bloody splatters in the annals of 24 day players.
Now’s not a great time for a cat nap, Jack.
I was pretty bummed by this turn of events, but not because I had any real affinity towards Marcos. I just wanted to see more Mare Winningham. Maybe, if we’re lucky, the producers will find other ways to bring the cast of St. Elmo’s Fire onto the show. Rob Lowe? He’d be perfect as an FBI type. Ally Sheedy? I’m sure there’s a place for some crazy cat lady. Andie MacDowell? Michelle Desler’s long lost sister! Demi Moore? Well, clearly she should be the Big White Villain in the second half of the season (maybe she can even share co-villain duties with Andrew McCarthy. I’m just thinking out loud here). As for Emilio Estevez… well, clearly he has to be Jack’s boyhood friend. I’d suggest a Young Guns reunion too, but sadly Lou Diamond Phillips got offed all the way back in season one. Those are the breaks.
Anyway, now that Tarin has been revealed to be a bad guy after all, Omar can totally give his wife a major “I’m not gonna say I told you so, buuuuuuuuut…” She still does have some upperhand though, mostly because she actually managed to get through to Kayla. While Tarin was in the shower, Dalia rang her daughter again, and this time, the sweaty girl answered the phone. Dalia revealed all and managed to extract an address from her daughter, but of course, we all know it will take CTU way too long to get there. Never mind that they can travel from outside Manhattan to Harlem in about five minutes time, when it comes to going someplace useful, they’re suddenly the slowest squad in town. It’s too bad because Kayla’s stalling skills leave something to be desired. She’s not the worst ever — and her willingness to slut it up with another round in bed was totally admirable — but clearly her excuse for hiding away in the bathroom needed work. Kayla muttered something about cleaning up, but it was unconvincing. Tarin will totally be on to her. If she were smart, she’d say something like “Oh man, I gotta take a dump” or “That Au Bon Pain in the UN lobby totally is giving me diarrhea. You do NOT want to see this!” I guarantee that would have worked in a heartbeat.
But alas, Kayla said no such thing, which means that based on next week’s previews, she may or may not wind up beheaded by the hour’s end. What did you think about this episode? Do you think Kayla will survive the Tarin attack?