I think we can all agree that ’24’ is long past its prime. The show peaked in Season 5, when Jack took down President Logan. Season 6 was an unholy abomination of recycled storylines. Season 7 seemed like somewhat of a return to form at first. Even though resurrecting Tony Almeida from the dead was a terrible cop-out, it was just nice to have him back… for a while. And then the writers turned him into the bad guy, and the whole thing went down the crapper again. Thus far, Season 8 certainly hasn’t been the show’s rock bottom or anything, but it’s still pretty disappointing on the whole.
That Dana-is-the-mole storyline is really one of the dumbest plotlines the show has ever had. If she was working with the terrorists all along, what was the point of the subplot with her dirtbag ex-boyfriend? Couldn’t she have just called up her terrorist buddies and had one of them take out the jerk? The revelation that she was evil doesn’t hold up to scrutiny with the previous episodes, and basically makes no sense at all.
Anyway, where does that leave us now? Recent episodes have fortunately returned the show to the realm of competence. In this week’s episode (‘Day 8: 10:00AM – 11:00AM’ – Don’t you just love these exceedingly literal titles?), essentially the whole world has turned against Jack. President Taylor ordered him to stand down, because she cares more about preserving the Mid-East peace accord than in revealing the treachery of the Russians. But Jack just can’t deal with that. His personal sense of justice demands that the truth come out at all costs. Also, there’s the little matter of his vendetta against anyone who might have been responsible for Renee’s death.
I kind of like the idea that Jack may be in the wrong this time. Perhaps it really would be for the greater good if he could let this one go. There’s some nice moral ambiguity in that, which of course the President has also been wrestling with on her end. It’s also great to have the devious Charles Logan back in the game. He’s easily one of the most compelling characters the show has ever had. Is it just me, though, or do his eyes seem much more intensely blue this season than I’ve ever noticed before?
Chloe is in charge of CTU now. The circumstances that put her in that position strained credibility, but I’m down with the decision. However, this week she very stupidly underestimates Jack. The entire miliary junta of Sangala couldn’t stop Jack Bauer, and she only sends Cole and a small handful of Red Shirts to bring him in? She ought to know better than that by now.
Other things of note:
Ethan resigns over the President’s decision to cover up the Russian’s plot. But at least he’s recovered quickly from that heart attack that left him near death a couple hours ago, right?
Michael Madsen shows up as a convenient equipment and weapons supplier for Jack. He looks like hell, but then he always looks like hell.
Those helicopters flying through the city looked really fakey in HD, didn’t they?
I don’t really understand the plotline about needing to interrogate Dana. The President and Logan both kept saying that once they got the information about the Russians out of her, she’d be harmless. How? She could still tell someone else and leak that info, thus ruining the peace treaty, couldn’t she? Why does the President need to get the information out of her in the first place? Doesn’t she want to bury it? Wouldn’t it be better if Dana doesn’t talk? I think I’m missing something here.
That’s D.B. Sweeney from ‘Strange Luck’ (or more recently ‘Jericho’) as the jerkoff from the Blackwater-like “security firm.” The episode ends with him about to torture Dana. I say, go for it! Make it really painful. That bitch deserves it, for wasting so much of our time this season, if nothing else!