Monday, January 25, 2010

Review - 24 Season 8 Episode 5 Day 8: 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

I gotta admit, Ziya is a trooper. After getting his thumb sliced off, all he needed was a promise of money to stop yelling. Essentially, his pain tolerance goes to Bauer-level if there's the slightest chance of a payoff. Once money is offered, he goes along with whatever Renee does. It's not the fact that she just cut his thumb off that makes him go with her. He goes with her because she can make him rich. It's unrealistic, it's disturbing, and it's awfully fun to watch.

Renee meets with Vladimir who isn't an average Russian mobster. Chloe finds out that Vladimir was obsessed with her and beat her to the point of broken bones. There isn't anything about rape in the report, but I think we can assume it happened. Jack still wants to pull her out, and for good reason--normal people don't cut off fingers--but she is the only (in the 24 universe) chance to find the nuclear material.

Everyone is distrustful of her, so Vladimir asks her a series of questions which she answers correctly with the help of Jack. Even so, he doesn't believe her, so he throws her and Ziya into a trunk and drives off. Jack follows, but doesn't know the real car is leaving out the back. He follows a decoy and must turn back, so we get a glimpse of Jack's amazing driving skills as he does a uturn in an uncrowded NYC street. Vladimir executes Ziya quickly, but waits to see what Renee will do. In the best non-action scene of the season, she gives a heartbreaking speech about how she's sick of living without anyone or anything to go to. The deal is the only thing she has and if it can't go through, she wants to be killed. She literally begs to be shot.

Renee is undercover and lying about who she is, but the difference is not big. When the FBI approached her, she had nothing and the mere thought that someone needs her is what she needs to stay alive. Vladimir buys her story and she is in. At the same time, Jack is listening on the com and gets a little teary. Great acting by Annie Wersching and Kiefer Sutherland in the last scene. There are many people that hate 24 for the way it simplifies complex issues, has ludicrous plotlines, and is predictable, but scenes like these are truly worth watching the show for.

And there are still three very distinct stories going on. President Taylor's agreement with President Hassan has gotten much more difficult now that Hassan's forces are moving against his opponents. I have no clue how he managed to get his police out so quickly, but he is cracking down on people left and right, violating human rights agreements. Meanwhile, Hassan's wife has had enough of him and there is no turning back. The story has no room to grow, so I will be disappointed with his wife or reporter when they show up again unless they are tied to the conspiracy.

Dana goes back to her home where Kevin and his deadbeat friend are waiting for her. She still excepts a peaceful ending to this and offers him $1000. By the way he was bothering her, Kevin was never going to give up. He asks for a whopping six-figure payout which she could probably get with the access her job allows. Like I said last week, I'm still waiting for her storyline to intersect with the others. He's asking for money now, but I'm really hoping he wants something else.

I'm not sure where Josef (David Anders) and Sergei's story is going. Josef is sympathetic and tries to save his brother by pulling a gun on a doctor. Ok, so he might not be the nicest guy ever, but it's the thought that counts.

The episode was setup for bigger things to come and did a nice job with the pacing. There wasn't much happening on the action side, but there was a lot of tension in every scene and was every bit good as more action filled episodes.

Score: 9.1/10

2 comments:

iamnoahjames said...

Great review!

However, if you are a complete series watcher of the show, don't be TOO upset if the reporter or wife come back. Many times there have been characters who have walked away, only to come back later in the day. Either they gain perspective while away, or they are summoned. For example, last season with the Secretary of the State. He was brought back hours later.

http://iamnoahjames.com/category/netspec/

TV Obsessed said...

Many characters have left completely e.g. Behrooz and Dina Araz, Diane and Derek Huxley, and all the terrorists the kicked off the day.

Family members that aren't Palmers rarely come back after they've left unless they are moles. In that case, I could imagine Hassan's wife making a return.

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