Monday, January 18, 2010

Review - 24 Season 8 Episode 1 + 2 Day 8: 4:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.

I'm a huge fan of 24, and some of you may be wondering why. The show is repetitive, unrealistic, predictable, and formulaic. Yes, it's all of those. But it also delivers the best adrenaline filled thrill ride TV can offer and hits the right notes on the emotional level more often than not.

I'm not, however, a fan of the beginning of 24 seasons, and season 8 was no exception. The set up is rarely as exciting as the development, and I was begging the action to pick up. The writers tried to make the plot more personal like in season 1. Instead of an attack with the possibility of thousands dead, there is a single assassination plot to kill President Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor).

The first episode was spent with Jack getting Victor Aruz, a shady character with information on the assassination, to CTU. They are ambushed along the way, and make it to the rooftop where a team lead by Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) arrives, but the helicopter is destroyed by a missile. All Jack learns from Aruz is that someone close to the president is part of the assassination plot.

In the second episode, a reporter, Meredith Reed, is found with U.N. files, and is sent to CTU for interrogation. President Hassan's brother, Farhad, pushes Omar on who she is and we learn she has been having an affair with him for two months. At CTU, Director Brian Hasting (Mykelti Williamso) asks her a series of questions, and since she's hiding the affair, he thinks she's lying about the assassination. Obviously she is not involved, and will be released soon, never to be seen again.

Setting up the next episode, Arlo (John Boyd) thinks there's a mole in CTU after Chloe hacks the drone satellite images. It looks like some people in the U.N. security detail are in on the plot, and the president's brother is in on it.

Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is back at CTU and is having problems adapting to the new systems. Katee Sackhoff's character Dana Walsh is really helpful, but this is Chloe we're talking about. She doesn't want to be condescended to, and she doesn't want to be told she's bad at her job. This means Mary Lynn Rajskub can show us her great scowl.

Dana Walsh has a generic story that may or may not be interesting. She's getting calls from someone in her past that knows her real name is Jenny. With her marriage to Cole coming up soon, she's clearly worrying about it, which means she is hiding something bad.

In the beginning, Jack is ready to leave for Los Angeles with Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). He's smiling, happy, and is a grandfather. As the events transpire and Chloe pushes on her theory, he is slowly dragged back into the world he thought he'd left. The one time he's ready to walk away from saving the world, Chloe and his daughter both push him back in. Ironic isn't it. And at the end of the second episode, we see the rule breaking, blackmailing Jack who will stop at nothing to beat the bad guys.

24 usually has some political undertones, and the Islamic Republic of Kamistan seemed to be based on Iran. There was talk of mullahs, and dismantling of the nuclear program. Ethan Kanin (Bob Gunton) is now Secretary of State and pushes for American inspectors and comes to a compromise with Omar. He's seen taking some pills, and I have a feeling the Chief of Staff Rob Weiss (Chris Diamantopoulos) will take advantage of that.

Score: 8.7/10

Random thoughts:

When Reed asked for an attorney, I wanted someone to yell out "This is CTU bitch!"

Biometric package? The FBI is supposed to be pussified like that, not CTU.

Elisha Cuthbert has barely improved as an actress since season 1.

Shooting in the leg as coercion has gotten old.


24thecomicstrip said...

There's a reason they only keep Elisha around for a few episodes. And I think you found it.

Shooting someone in the leg may have gotten old, but it sure gets people to do what the person holding the gun wants. Except in season 5.

As you recall, they played up the whole "no to torture as a method of coercion" to fit with the whole waterboarding scandal that was prevalent at the time in the real world last season, so why couldn't that happen in CTU?

Anyways, now that I read your review, maybe you could come and read my thoughts--and the new comic strip--about it, since I did from when you posted your link 5 times in the comment section.

chankansin said...

watch each and every episode using DVRs which comes through Satellite TV ..

Bob Weber said...

Was it just me, or was Victor's theft of the car in the very first scene really lame. He pulled wires from under the dash like it was a 1968 model? What is this, Starsky and Hutch?

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