I haven't written a 24 review in a few weeks, because there just hasn't been much to review. The writers were having a hard enough time keeping things going during the nuclear bomb threat. In the end, they just kind of wrapped it up in about twenty minutes...only to discover they still had another eight hours to fill. I had thought when they dropped a hint earlier in the day that the China/Audrey thread might be a good plot for the much-rumored 24 movie, since it could be relatively self-contained and wouldn't need to tie into a bunch of other stuff in a 24-hour season.
But the writers apparently decided to play it out now, and they're doing it in a very ham-handed way. There just isn't enough there there, and the filler they are giving us (Bill being fired, the interminable Chloe-Miles melodrama, the VP becoming P) is all being handled incredibly poorly. All this filler leaves us episodes of Jack waiting around - waiting for the Chinese, waiting for Audrey, waiting for Heller - and Jack waiting is not as good as Jack acting.
The top-of-the-hour cliffhanger is supposed to be the hook to get us to next week. Something bad always happens just before the clock ticks off the last few seconds of the 59th minute - but not this week. Instead, Jack is told to stay away from Audrey by Heller. That's it. A poster on another board called it a Days Of Our Lives cliffhanger rather than a 24 cliffhanger, and they're right.
We're now heading into May, into sweeps, and into the last few episodes. Both 24 and Lost need to find a way to kick it into gear as we head towards the season finales, because both of them have regressed this year.