Dana calls Kevin, who’s celebrating at a strip club. He asks her to join them, but she says all she wants is for him to leave her alone, like they agreed. “Yeah, that’s not gonna happen,” he tells her, and for some reason she’s shocked by this news. Arlo walks in and asks who she was talking to; he thinks she’s cheating on Cole, and threatens to tell him if she doesn’t do it first.
Cole informs CTU that they don’t have any way to track Jack. Hastings blames this on Renee and the fact that she killed their only lead. He orders her back to CTU, where she’ll undergo debriefing and, on Cole’s recommendation, a psych evaluation. As Dana appears, he asks her where she’s been – Chloe covers for her as Arlo watches, interested. When Hastings is gone, Chloe tells Dana that she can thank her by “putting aside whatever it is that’s bothering you and helping me find Jack.”
The Russians enter Bazhaev’s hideout with Jack. Bazhaev wants to know how he knows about the nuclear rods, and Jack – still undercover as Ernst Miir – says that communications between Farhad’s people were intercepted. He won’t tell them who he works for, and Bazhaev orders his men to “work on him” until he’s ready to share. Back in the kitchen, Josef enters after burying Oleg. He hands his father a cross necklace that Oleg wore, but Bazhaev says that he should keep it. He tells Josef that because of Jack he’s halted the transport of the rods until he knows more. Jack, in the meantime, is hanging from a pipe by his wrists as Demetri sticks a taser in his fresh stab wound. That’s got to hurt.
Back at CTU, Hastings briefs Taylor and Weiss. Nobody’s very optimistic about their chances of securing the rods anytime soon.
Farhad speaks to one of his men, who’s worried about Hassan’s crackdown back home. Farhad assures him that there’s nothing to be concerned about, but he’s starting to lose his composure, which becomes even more evident when Bazhaev informs him that the transport has been halted; his ranting is cut off when Josef puts a gun to his head and orders him removed from the premises.
Cole and Renee return to CTU. Hastings blames Renee for the failure of the operation; his words hit home, and she’s convinced that whatever happens to Jack is because of her. Chloe awkwardly tries to comfort her. Meanwhile, Dana pulls Cole aside – she says she has a problem and that there are “things in my past that I haven’t told you about.” He claims that he doesn’t care what happened before they met; she says she doesn’t want to lose him and that she knows what she needs to do now. This can’t be good.
Jack is still being tortured. The next time he “passes out” he doesn’t wake up, prompting Demitri to go find some smelling salts; when he returns, Jack pulls off a particularly cool move in which he uses his feet to pin the hand holding the active taser to Demitri’s chest. He falls to the ground, and Jack turns the pipes he’s tied to into his own personal playground as he uses his feet to make his way to the juncture in the corner of the room
At the UN, Kayla Hassan demands to know why her father had Tarin arrested; he blows her off until she drops the “bombshell” that she and Tarin were more than just friends. This simply convinces him that Tarin was trying to get close to the family for nefarious purposes, and he forbids Kayla from seeing him again.
Demetri starts to wake up, prompting Jack to get even more enthusiastic in his attempts to break free from the pipes. He manages just in time, killing Demetri and arming himself, all the while showing off his bare chest. He’s a multi-tasker, that Jack. He tries to call CTU but there’s no phone service. By the way, the phone he’s using isn’t Sprint. Just saying. He sneaks from the room and shuts off the lights in the compound, alerting Bazhaev to the fact that he’s escaped; when someone goes to check the fuse box, Jack attacks him from behind and steals his (Sprint!) cell phone – it works this time. He calls CTU and orders Chloe to trace the call before putting the phone on a shelf.
I’m getting tired of describing fight scenes, so long story short: Jack kills off Bazhaev’s flunkies, leaving just the two of them; a lot of glass breaks; Jack hides under a table; one of them ends up unconscious. I’ll let you guess who won. (Hint: it’s the one that should be in a hospital.)
Cole and Hastings notice that Dana’s missing; Arlo informs them that she logged out of the building fifteen minutes ago with some technobabble excuse. Neither he nor Cole seem to buy it. Hastings briefs the group on Bazhaev, who will be transported back to CTU. Renee is relieved to hear that Jack is safe, but isn’t too happy when Chloe tells her that she has to go to down to medical.
Jack approaches a sullen Bazhaev. He offers him, and his sons, a reduced sentence if Bazhaev tells him where the rods are. Bazhaev tells him that he murdered Oleg “for nothing” and forces a few tears out before demanding full immunity. Jack calls Chloe and is patched into a conversation between Hastings and Taylor; Weiss isn’t happy with the idea of immunity, but Taylor and Hastings trust Jack’s assertion that it’s their best option at this point. Taylor demands to speak with Bazhaev.
Cole approaches Arlo and asks what’s going on with Dana. He doesn’t believe that she’s cheating on him, but is shaken when Arlo shows him the video footage of Dana with Kevin in the CTU parking lot. He pulls himself together when Hastings orders him to lead the team to recover the rods, but before leaving, he asks Arlo to track Dana down. As he heads out, he leaves a message for Dana, who’s watching Kevin and Nick at the club and not looking very happy. In the elevator, Cole fixes the vest of a young agent that I’m shocked didn’t die this episode, but there’s always next week.
Kayla demands to see Tarin, but is denied access. She guilt-trips the agent into agreeing to find a way for them to see each other before he’s transferred to the Embassy.
Hastings warns Cole that two hostiles will be guarding the rods; as they approach the truck where the rods are supposed to be hidden, they see no sign of guards. They find them quickly enough once they’ve landed; they’re both inside the truck with bullet holes in their heads, and – of course – the rods are nowhere to be found, though the radiation levels show that they were moved not long ago. A cross necklace hangs on the side of the truck.
In the final splitscreen, a lot of people look pensive, and Dana pulls out a gun.
Hastings calls Jack and informs him that the rods are still missing. Bazhaev doesn’t know how that’s possible, but puts it together when Hastings mentions the necklace. Meanwhile, Josef tells Farhad that he’s five minutes out and has the rods in his possession.
It took me until Thursday to start this recap, because I really didn’t want to watch the episode again. There was literally nothing going for it. Every other episode this season – just about every episode in the entire series – has had some plotline, some character, something to invest in, but I was really reaching here. This episode made me realize how much Renee is carrying the season so far; taking her out of the equation wasn’t a good idea.
There were a few nice moments. Jack climbing like a monkey down those pipes was fun to watch, and I’m always surprised that they can come up with new and creative deaths after eight seasons, especially since they seem to have run out of interesting ways to torture people – I know I’m not the only one who was having season two flashbacks. There were also a couple of lovely moments between Renee and Chloe. It’s so funny to think about the Chloe of season three – she’s grown so much! She still doesn’t do very well in emotional situations and was clearly desperate to get as far away from Renee as she could, but she’s making the effort. It’s sweet.
Aaaaand I think that’s about it on that front. It looks like the Dana storyline is actually going somewhere, and I don’t really care where, just so long as it ends soon. There are no words for how annoyed I am that Katee Sackhoff has been reduced to this role; she deserves better. I wanted so much to like this character but it’s getting to the point where I don’t even dislike her; I’m just annoyed that she’s taking up screen time. That’s not okay. (On the other hand, I still like Cole a lot more than I expected to, and hope that he stays awesome.)
Speaking of characters that are being misused, I’m not sure what’s up with the lack of President Taylor these last few episodes. Unacceptable. I’m also kind of surprised at how quickly Hassan has gone from an interesting and likable character to a vaguely psychopathic stereotype. The writers of 24 have lost the ability to surprise me on most fronts, but there’s always something. Now they’ve added the soap opera twist of the daughter and her forbidden lover, and all I can think is that at least it can’t get much worse.
Other than that – the rods are still missing! Josef turned against his father! Oh my God, I wonder what’s going – no. Sorry. I don’t give a damn.
He’d make out with Michelle in a corner. Hey, it’s what he did last time Jack was tortured like this, and there’s the added benefit of having nothing to do with an episode this lame.
Best episode of the season, can’t you tell from my glowing review? (Sorry, I’m feeling sarcastic today.)