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24 Review: 7 PM - 8 PM: Only the Good Die Young

Tony AlmeidaPreviously on 24: last hour's recap.

This week's episode has a lot to live up to. Last week was a classic. Despite the glaring plotholes of the baddy getting into CTU with the nerve gas, the return of Kim was emotional and the death of Edgar was very well done. Unfortunately, this hour just doesn't do it. It's good and all in the way that 24 is always good, but not one of the episodes that'll get praise at the company watercooler.

There are some great performances, especially from Chloe, but the plot of the hour is silly, and the deaths aren't meaningful. Anyway, let's get into it.

Most of the team is locked in the conference room. Bill's up in his office, Lynn is in holding, and Tony is in the medical room. Amazingly, all of these rooms can be sealed from the nerve gas. Curtis, however, is on the outside, but he and the Hazmat team won't be able to get to CTU for awhile -- the only thing that has ever taken time in this show.

Chloe is freaking out over Edgar's death, but not crying-freaking out -- she's in shock. Mary-Lynn's performance here is amazing; she really captures the look and act of seeing someone so close to you die. Easily the best acting of the night. Obviously, Jack Bauer needs her to get to work, but she can't pull herself together. Kim's boyfriend Barry the-rapist ("That's therapists, Mr. Connery") talks to her to cool her nerves (get it? nerve gas? Yeah - bad taste).

Lynn confesses to a red-shirt that it's all his fault for not reporting his keycard stolen (how did he get back into CTU, anyway?), while Tony's sight-seeing in the medical room. Jack calls over to the med area to find out that Henderson was moved there before the gas was released, but Tony hears it too, and wanting revenge, he knocks out the doc. Agent Burke (this year's Howard Bern) is with Henderson, and Tony steals his gun to kill RoboCop. Jack talks to Tony over the intercom (like a voice from Heaven) and tells him not to kill Henderson, because it won't bring Michelle back. Tony doesn't, but he still isn't happy. Burke keeps working on Henderson with the needle-of-doom.

The prez and the Veep chat with a head honcho over at LA Homeland Security, who wants to climb on top of the chain of command, and Gardner signs off on it. He still really wants to declare martial law, and Logan's probably going to give in.

Barry isn't working quickly enough on cooling off Chloe, who Jack needs to decrypt those files on Henderson's computer. When Barry gets a little testy with him, Jack grabs the-rapist by the throat. Chloe says she'll work if everyone cools down. So she does. And then the alarm goes off.

Apparently, the strips in the cracks of the doors/walls keeping the nerve gas out are slowly decaying. Like, in the next 20 minutes or so, and they'll all be dead.

Mike and the Veep are having a spat about who gets to tell Logan what to do. Mike's just the chief of staff -- wait, wasn't that Walt? -- but Martha's pretty sure that the veep just wants to be the prez, so she's weary of his influence on Chucky.

Over at CTU, Chloe finds out how to get rid of the nerve gas in the building, but the only computer in the office she can't access remotely has some program open that is stopping the A/C controls. Yeah, that's believable. Jack doesn't want Kim to die, so he volunteers to sneak through the non-nerve gas area and then through the contaminated area to shut off the program (didn't see that one coming). So he does.

When Jack gets to the computer screen, it's stuck behind some bars. Guess his Treo phone couldn't turn it off either. So Jack runs back, still holding his breath until Chloe flushes out some other room where Jack is hanging. PLOT HOLE: Doesn't the nerve gas affect the skin, too? You don't just have to breathe it in, right? Somehow I don't think Jack's hoody could save him from the nerve gas.

Since Jack can't turn off the program, the only other way to get there is from the holding room, where Lynn is. Except the second he opens the door, he's SOL. There are no magic rooms he can go to to escape the nerve gas, so he's goign to sacrifice himself for the others. But there's a red-shirt in the room with him, Harry Swinton, who will die too.

In the situation room, Kim and Chloe have a moment, where we learn that Chloe sent Jack updates about Kim (and some homemade chocolate chip cookies) while he was in hiding. Aww, how sweet.

While Harry finishes a phone call with his daughter, Lynn gets ready to go turn off the program. He heads out of the room, holding his breath (still! no skin problems??), and makes it to the terminal. He turns off the program, and heads back. After he gets there, Harry can't hold his breath any longer, takes a big puff ... and then realizes he can breathe! No, he can't. He dies.

Lynn holds on for a bit longer, but can't force it anymore. He breathes in the nerve gas, then keels over and spazes to his death. Samwise, we hardly knew thee. So the two guys are dead, and they've got it all on videotape (check out the music video at YouTube next week).

Jack doesn't want Kim to leave CTU when the nerve gas is cleaned out so they can have tea and crumpets, but she wants out. So he goes to his backup blonde, Audrey. Hey, they haven't seen each other for almost 18 months, right?

Mike and Martha read over the martial law press release with the prez, and Mike's po'ed still. Martha wants to talk to Logan alone, and she says if its what he really thinks is right, she'll back him up. But she's worried about Gardner's political ambitions. Chucky almost breaks down, recounting all of the things that have happened so far today, a nice reminder of what we've been through. Glad they didn't forget about David Palmer's death.

Bierko is planning for his next attack, where he'll release all of the nerve gas. But he needs the schematics, so he calls up some chick who's busy getting it on with her man. Could this be Henderson's girl from before? She tells Bierko she'll get it to him in a bit, and her man doesn't know what's going on.

The Homeland Security chick and her cohort are on their way to CTU to take it over. Everyone will report to her, but most of the CTU folk won't be working there anymore. Can you say "Erin Driscoll 2.0"? Remember how that one ended.

When the nerve gas is cleared out of CTU, Kim heads out, and Jack tells Barry to take her out of the city, no stopping or necking along the way. And she's gone. What ever happened to Curtis? Maybe his passenger kicked him out of the car again.

Jack calls over to the medical room and Tony answers the phone. "Almeida." Classic. Henderson's in a coma (remember this: a coma) and Tony wants to take him out for good. Jack runs to the medical room (which also, curiously, takes a long time) while Tony takes out Burke.

Now if only Tony had used the gun he took off of Burke, then the unthinkable would not have happened. Instead, he goes to inject Henderson with a needle ... but RoboCop wakes up and stabs Tony in the chest with the syringe. He falls to the floor and Henderson leaves. Wait, Henderson woke up from a coma? This guy really must be superhuman. Or related to Nina Myers.

Jack rushes in, sees Tony on the floor, and they embrace. Jack cries ... and Tony is dead. No silent beeps for Tony.

Wow, that's a lot of deaths. Overall, the episode was good, but it gets an automatic downgrade in my book for two reasons. One, it's not obvious that Tony is dead. Two, they did not give him the silent beeps. Out of all the characters, Tony did not get silent beeps. I loved Edgar and all, but this is Tony Almeida we are talking about. Show the man his respect.

It's not that I have a problem with them killing Tony -- you know they had to do it at some point, just like they will kill Jack -- but to bring him back and then just knock him off? And they didn't even give him a tragic death. If he died in a gunfight with the person who planted the bomb that killed Michelle, that would have been good. But from a syringe-of-death from a guy who is supposed to be in a coma? Come on. -- Jason Unger

Posted by Jason on March 13, 2006 10:02 PM
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Best quote of the episode came from Chloe (of course):

"What's with you and breathing? Is that your thing?"

-- Posted by: mac at March 13, 2006 10:49 PM

That's really going to kill me. After season three started stinking and I quit watching, his return on season four is what got me back whole hog.

No one, and I mean no one, does a full-screen closeup emotion shot like Tony Almeida.

-- Posted by: Morgan at March 14, 2006 1:42 AM

Now that I've had a night to digest it, Tony's death was a major cop-out. Even though they're trying to pull our emotional strings, what with Edgar's death last week, then losing McGill, Harry Swinton and his family, and now Tony, Soulpatch should have gone out in a blaze of glory ... not killed by a guy in a coma with a needle.

-- Posted by: junger at March 14, 2006 7:42 AM

Tony's "death" was weak. Why did they bother bringing him back? He was in a coma for most of the season then woke up, got pissed, and died. Yeah. Great drama.

-- Posted by: mac at March 15, 2006 10:41 PM

Are we sure that Tony is dead? I read this article recently - and the DATE made me do a doubletake as it seems to be referring to season 5 if it was posted in Jan 2006: and Mandy (Mia Kirshner)is due to appear in next week's episode according to the show's cast list...which leads one to believe that Tony and Mandy will once again grace our screens again and maybe...just maybe... this time, he'll get to keep his shirt on?? Here is the article link:

-- Posted by: 24junkie at March 19, 2006 4:45 AM

they really fuc*ed up by killing tony

-- Posted by: Arjun at April 26, 2006 6:54 PM

i honestly cannot believe that they killed off tony in that way! i mean its like killing jack off to the flu!!! and tony is well the best 24 character in the show!!!

oh yer and i dont know whether or not it was a mistake but to give so many other characters a silent tribute at the end of the episode and to leave tony out is a disgrace!! tony has done more to 'save the world' than most (or even all) of them put together!

-- Posted by: emilie at May 11, 2007 2:35 PM

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