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'24' recap: Cue the harps! Jack meant it like it sounded!

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Good things come to those who wait: Dana (or is it…Jenny?) haters finally got the resolution they were longing for from this C-story about a gal, an ex-con, and his loco buddy Nick. Tonight, a silencer-packing Dana followed Kevin and Nick to an isolated park, where she pressed her lips together and plotted the exact moment when she’d leave her sedan and blow her adversaries to smithereens. But dammit, what’s this? It’s Cole coming to foil her plans, thanks to a little meddling from Arlo who managed to convince Freddy Prinze Jr’s alter-ego that the nuclear rods will have to wait – he’s got a far more explosive situation unfolding with his fiancee!

Finally, Buffy’s hubby got to utter more than a quarter-page of dialogue (even though his weak attempt at a Brooklyn dialect made me wishing this show was back in L.A.). Though clearly pissed off at Dana – who admitted her real identity and the fact that she’s a convicted felon – Cole still gave Kevin and Nick the chance to skip town as long as they didn’t return. Huh? Up until this point, Cole seemed like a stand-up law dog, but letting these two douches skedaddle made about as much sense as Dana prancing in the wild while wearing a short skirt and heels.  No matter; Nick made the far more plausible decision to stab Kevin and go after Cole himself, but not before Kevin could shout out a warning to his Jenny, giving Cole a chance to end this whole mess once and for all. The scene ends with Nick bleeding out and Dana cradling a dying Kevin in her arms, which suggests that maybe she had more than just ill feelings toward her fellow con. Judging by the teaser for next week, however, this arc that you find frustrating but I found mildly entertaining is far from over.

And who knew CTU medical could do wonders for a gal’s complexion? Renee emerged this week looking as fresh and pretty as a bundle of daisies, even though the pink in the cheeks disappeared as soon as that gal from Justice started interrogating her about Vladimir’s death. Sent at the personal request of Rob Weiss, it’s now Justice’s job to find a reason to hang the failure of this mission on Renee’s shoulders – something Jack picked up on immediately (almost too immediately) when he arrived back to CTU. But there’s just one problem: Justice – in this case, Kristin Smith – was right to treat Renee like a hostile witness. After all, Renee did lie about how Vlad met his maker. She did stab him 15 times out of revenge, not self defense. She was an angry woman seeking vengeance, not a damsel in distress who was fighting for her life. Wasn’t Kristin actually doing her job well here?

That was no concern for Jack, who first took out a guard and then put a chokehold on Kristin, all while muttering “How dare you? After all (Renee’s) lost, have you no decency?” I don’t know about that, but she certainly appears to have no worth – at least not to Hastings, who seemed all too quick to forgive Jack this little trangression if it meant keeping him on the mission (it was either him or some ROTC graduate who looked way too young to scout the city for bad guys and nukes). Wow, not only does Renee dodge another bullet but she’s managed to commandeer Jack’s heart, too…at least that’s what I think she got, judging by this short and cryptic exchange: Renee, “Jack, I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it cuz I need to make sure I’m not misunderstanding but… when you said that I have you ….” Jack, “I meant it like it sounded.” Renee, “So now what do we do?” Jack, “We’ll figure it out.” Seriously, my fellow 24 admirers, could Jane Austen have written it any better?

And now back to those nukes. I blanched at how swift Josef agreed to give up those rods before the opening credits were done rolling, but the arrangement was short-lived – Farhad immediately took him out (oh no, Sergei lost yet another son!) and grabbed the nukes for himself. At least, that’s what he thought: Farhad’s partners-in-crime Samir and Marcos (Rami Malek – recognize him as Ahkmenrah from Night at the Museum?) had a much bigger plan in play; since there was no shipping the rods out of the country, Ali and his crew would detonate the bombs on U.S. soil. Fearful of making an enemy out of America, Farhad manages to escape and contact CTU. It’s now Jack’s job to retrieve Farhad before Samir kills him, instead.

In all, I actually had a swell time watching Kevin and Nick get their just reward tonight and I am eagerly awaiting the return of Fantastic Sam next week, who’s now looking at the possibility of President Taylor ordering a full-on attack on his country because of Samir’s threats. The nerve! So what do you think? Are you blissfully satisfied that Kevin and Nick are gone? Are you in agreement that a giant can be toppled by a single stone? And how lovely did Annie look tonight?