I have mixed feelings about this hour. On one hand, it was a great episode, on the other, some things fell flat.
I can almost get around the whole "holding your breath to get around nerve gas" part, but it still seems like too much.
Lynn and that red shirt's deaths were very well done. Lynn got the Chappelle/George Mason inspirational music and heroic sacrifice exit, and I think he ended up being a worthwhile character for the few episodes he was on. Now, it looks like Bill Buchanan, who's gotten the shaft all day, will have to deal with these Homeland Security people.
Buchanan pretty much just stood in an office all episode.
Tony's death was rushed at the end, and I wasn't sure once the clock hit 8:00 that he was dead or not. I had to look around for confirmation, because it didn't make sense that they'd hold off and then bring him back to die like that. No silent clock, no real indication that he was dead aside from the music and Jack bawling like Season 3.
Still, I like where this is going in the big picture. And who better to kill a Season One character like Tony than Robocop himself? (I was half-expecting Weller to stab Tony with a metal spike exending from his middle finger) Henderson now has Nina-like credibility as a villain. He's responsible for several major deaths, has ties to pre-Season One CTU and Jack, and seems to be a born killer just like Jack Bauer.
Chloe is last on the list. Will she die or not? Season 4 ended with Palmer, Tony, Michelle, and Chloe all helping the selfless Jack to survive. What if Jack ends Season 5 all alone with all of his friends dead? Irony, I tell you.
It is a good thing the show was not on for 2 hours last night, there is no telling who all may have died! I wanted to see Tony seek just a little more vengeance for his dead wife and singed soul patch.
Jack can stop his heart and play dead, I guess it only makes sense that the guy who trained him can go in and out of comas at will. I think this requires the obligatory "You taught me everything I know." "Yes, but not everything *I* know *mwah hah hah*"
As much as I like Tony, he had it coming. After his conversation with Jack I figured he'd just walk up and blast Henderson. I mean, he had the gun in his hand. Just walk up and pump a couple bullets in the guys heart. No way he could "play dead" after that.
But to hover over the guy's body with a syringe full of death when the man isn't even strapped down is just stupid. His hesitation and inability to make the big decision got him killed.
Personally I think this was the hokiest episode I've ever seen. It seems like CTU's closet can clear poison out of the air faster than the AC unit on the starship enterprise. And nerve gas doesn't seep into your clothes and leak out later?
'But if one is struck by me only a little, that is far different, the stroke is a sharp thing and suddenly lays him lifeless, and that man's wife goes with cheeks torn in lamentation, and his children are fatherless, while he, staining the soil with his red blood, rots away, and there are more birds than women swarming about him.' Diomedes, The Iliad of Homer
Looking back on Tony's history, I guess this was exactly how he should have gone out, since he was always something of a screw-up. He would always be a few steps behind, or getting captured, or being forced into committing treason, or failing at trashy affairs, or trying to get all badass with Jack and getting punched so hard he had to walk around on crutches for a few hours or drinking booze from the Cubs Mug (Cubs Mug is totally going to kill Henderson this season, by the way).
When it came down to it, Tony couldn't even die right. He blew up in the morning, but only ended up with mild burn marks on his face. Of course, that may have been due in part to his mutant healing factor, which saved him from a bullet to the neck in years past. But anyway, trying to get revenge and ending up fatally hoisted on his own petard was the only way to give Tony a proper send-off.
Henderson is also Nina-like in that he replicated her Zombie Sit-up in a CTU hospital from her last season, too. I'll assume he's actually getting out of the hospital, though.
The best part of this episode...well, no, OK the best part of the episode was seeing McGill froth at the mouth and die, because I've been waiting for that since Rudy. But the other best part of the episode was when McGill and Swinton the dead security guy finally decided to do what was right and open the door, and they both took deep breaths and brought their hands cupped up to their mouths, and for a brief moment, I was convinced they were going to have a human beatbox battle. This would have been awesome.
I was also briefly convinced that Edgar wasn't dead when they showed him again, and that he'd just passed out and had too much Strawberry Quik.
Oh, Jack choking out C. Thomas Howell was great, too. More of that, please. And then Chloe telling Kim to shut up was possibly better. I think Jack's psychotherapy was more effective in the end. My man C. Thomas had this week's best unfortunate choice of words (following up on Kim's "Chase couldn't hold on to anything" from last week) when he told Kim "don't hold your breath" while Jack was crawling through poison gas filled rooms holding his breath. For what it's worth, I think Jack only held his breath for about a minute and a half, which puts him almost two minutes under the world record held by Batman. Kind of disappointing, guess they teach that in Tibet.
And to SKLOK above, forget "holding your breath to get around nerve gas," the real trick when dealing with nerve gas that we learned was: wear a hood.
I think Chloe is almost out of danger now, and Curtis is still the one with the giant target on him. He's already been shot and forced to run around with an exploding cannister of nerve gas today, so I think the next few hours will see the stakes for him getting upped, leading to him being forced to wrestle a shark, go through a series of ancient puzzle traps to grab the Holy Grail, defy direct orders from Logan by combining Pop Rocks and Coke, cross the streams on two proton packs and drive Kim home. Good luck and Godspeed, old friend.
If they were going to kill Tony off, why didn't they just have him die in the explosion that offed Michelle? It seems like a waste to have him survive that and then start to make a recovery, only to get killed by Henderson.
So the only originals left are Jack, Kim and Novick?
I think Mandy counts, too, since she was in Hour 1 and has been in every season except 3. We were introduced to Fake Mandy last night, but here's hoping the real Mandy returns this season.
Tony was originally supposed to die in the premiere, but the writers felt it would be "too much" to kill off 3 major characters in the premiere. Instead, they wanted to string us along and kill Tony later in the season.
I think the way Tony went out was fine, and in the end he hesitated and wasn't going to kill Henderson out or revenge ("Evil always triumphs because good is dumb." - Ancient Proverb), so this accomplished two goals: give Henderson more heat and let Tony go out with a measure of integrity.
I'm sure there's a towel ready to be shoved down Henderson's throat, or a hacksaw at the ready, by the end of the season.
I'm not sure if I liked all the quick cuts back to Henderson while Tony was prepping the syringe. On the one hand, the cuts told you that he was going to wake up, but on the other hand, it took a few cuts for him to do it, so the suspense was there. Poor Tony though.
I can't believe they wouldn't strap down Henderson at all. Regardless of how comatose he seemed, they should have known he was dangerous enough to keep him restrained at all times.
I kept waiting at the end for Henderson to pop back into the room and shoot Jack in the back while he was holding Tony.
Is Henderson liable to grab Kim and C. Thomas Howell on their way out of CTU?
I liked that Kim pointed out that whenever she's around (Jack), lots of people die. Efficient way for a character to realize that they need to leave the show.
It's comforting to know that, in the event of a chemical attack at CTU, that the gas masks are nowhere near the rooms that can be sealed off.
Palmer, Michelle and Tony are going to get their proper send-off. Their deaths were sudden and completely unexpected (well, they were *supposed* to be), and meant to give you a heart attack. Edgar's death was supposed to give you a heart break. The 10 seconds that he stood there looking at Chloe felt like 10 years, and you let the tears go right there. We don't have the time to cry for the others yet. I'd like to see a scene at the end of the season with Jack looking down at Michelle and Tony's bodies at the morgue or Jack watching a motorcade transporting Palmer's body.
Yeah, we all know that Jack is a dark, dark man deep down inside. But after what's happened to him today, especially in the last hour with Tony and Kim, he's going to become really, really dark...like Henderson-dark. There is NO way that Jack should be able to practice what he preached to Chloe and get on with the job at hand. There have to be some blatant effects showing immediately. How can he possibly put this last hour in the back of his mind?
Was anyone else chanting "Rudy, Rudy. Rudy!" when Lynn was running down the corridor with that heroic music playing? Also, that scene with the security guard saying goodbye to his daughter was hokey, but damned if it didn't work on me.
"He looks like a perverted roofer who knocks off early on warm spring days to drink beer and ogle teenage girls at the river, but wrestles like a man who actually cares about his job." ---DVDVR's Raven Mack on "Gigolo" Jimmy Del Ray
I actually got farther through that list than I thought I would, but after the splinter went through the chick's eye, I said "OK, I'm done." Some pretty inventive death scenes there, but I was reminded why I don't like horror flicks at all.