'24': File 33 leads to the demise of CTU NY

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Fox hyped this hour of " 24" like crazy, saying it would be a game changer. Not quite, Rupert, but it had to have been fun to thoroughly destroy another expensive-looking set.

I fear it isn't over by a long shot, but at least Bill Prady (no, not that one) has committed himself to exposing each and every one of Dana's more recent lies to him. Once he barges into CTU, he entrenches himself and begins drilling her on every conceivable question he can ask about Kevin and Nick. After she apologizes for the earlier fibbing, she tries to cover by blaming it on wedding planning stress and whatnot. Of course, Bill still isn't buying it, even going as far as to wander unescorted onto the main CTU bullpen in order to get his answers. He launches into how he knows she disabled the NYPD security cameras for Kevin... a thought that nearly makes Dana hurl right onto his face.

Scared for her life (and rightly so), Dana calls Cole to tell him that she may be facing hard time in the Supermax for all her sins. Maybe not that harsh, but Cole comes to realize that Dana's in deeper than he first thought. And yet, somehow (ever the consummate professional), he's able to keep his composure in the presence of Jack Bauer.

Back at the Teodore Hotel, Tarin knows that Kayla knows that he's up to no good. He begs for her to leave with him, but is forced to bust through the bathroom wall in order to get her out. This is about the time Jack and Cole arrive to take him out. Thanks to the NYPD, they disobey Jack's order to stand-down and three officers are lost in the process of Tarin escaping. Bauer is really on his game this hour, as he's easily able to detect Tarin's attempt at fooling CTU... yet with the help of a friendly cabbie, Tarin escapes with Kayla in tow.

President Hassan is now faced with his biggest challenge yet: Save his daughter but give up File 33 (detailing every flaw in the nuclear defenses of the USA), or protect America and watch Kayla die. Jack proposes transmitting a fake File 33 and stalling long enough while they attempt to extract Kayla. Naturally the back-and-forth proves irrelevant as turncoat Tarin turns yet again and helps Kayla escape her captors, only to be shot as they start the getaway car. Her lover dead, Kayla speeds away.

When the time to produce File 33 is up and Kayla hasn't returned to the private web stream, everyone begins to fear the worst. Indeed, mere seconds later, the endangered daughter calls CTU (just like Tarin told her to do), and they guide her to the bunker. At the same time, Evil Team Samir makes its exit from the vacant bank with Jack and Cole hot on their heels. Just before they get away, Arlo isolates the face of one of Samir's henchmen... it's Tarin! He's alive! Jack (still on his game this hour) finally realizes the true plan all along: Kayla was allowed to get away as her car contained a bomb designed to take out CTU. Brian Hastings alerts the CTU crew to save and shut down the computers before the car arrives. No one can stop Kayla from making it into the CTU tunnel, where the device turns out to be a highly charged EMP that detonates and practically destroys the New York branch of the Counter Terrorism Unit.

If ever there was a worse time for Jack and Cole to be operating completely disconnected from CTU, it would be now... the official halfway point of Day 8.