Tuesday, February 23, 2010

24 “Day 8 12AM to 1AM” A Disappointing Hour

It’s hard to believe that ”24” (Fox) has already reached the doldrums. I suppose that not every episode can have that “edge of your seat” feeling, but I would have liked to see SOME life. Not much happened in this episode to change the feeling that we’ve been though all this before in many “24” days past.

We open as Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is trying to get Bazhaev (Jürgen Prochnow ) to get his son Josef (David Anders) to bring the nuclear rods back. Bazhaev, the once tough guy, practically rolls over and asks Jack to tickle his tummy, and vice versa, because Jack is able to get Bazhaev immunity – along with his son’s – in a nanosecond, as long as Josef brings the rods back. Josef is finally convinced to do so, and right at that moment is shot by a man who is with Farhad (Akbar Kurtha). (I know, so many people, so many names to remember.) Lucky for Josef he drops his phone and leaves the line open, which helps Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and the others at CTU help find Josef’s location. Chloe is also able to identify one of the voices from heard on the open line (using voice recognition) as Farhad, so they know he is involved.

Jack, meanwhile, is coming in with Bazhaev and phones Chloe so he can get patched in to Renee (Annie Wersching), who is in medical. He wants to be sure she keeps her story straight that she killed Vladimir in self defense, and also indicates he cares for her. I find myself thinking that this is a relationship that has zero chemistry and has no chances of working anyway because people usually involved with Jack end up dead or in serious trouble, sometimes both. But when Hastings (Mykelti Williamson) is told by the While House - Ron Weiss - to question Renee on the mission failure, Hastings has no choice to let in an investigator named Smith from the Department of Justice to question Renee. When Smith pressures Renee, saying that it looks like her stabbing of Vladimir 15 times could look like revenge for his attack on her while Renee was attacked by him when previously working undercover, Renee looks trapped.

Since the people at CTU are inept, when Jack returns to CTU with Bazhaev, he goes to the medical area and quickly disables a guard and enters the room to stop the interrogation and get Renee out. Renee tells Jack it is too late, but he pins Smith against the wall, his hands on her neck, and asks how she could do something like that to Walker after all she's sacrificed. Clearly, Jack is unable to communicate without violence, but even so, this behavior seemed a little out of place and over the top. Is it because Jack!Is!In!Love? He doesn’t get far with Renee; he gets nabbed and tasered as he stepped out of the room. Nice going Jack.

Back to the fuel rods, where Samir decides he is going to use the rods for a radiological bomb in the US, and Farhad pretends to go along. with the change in plans. He uses an excuse to get help with their new plan, then disables on of Samir’s men. Farhad takes off, injured himself in the process. Lucky he has a phone and gets to CTU to get help, and promises he will tell them everything they need to know if they get him out of there. He apparently can’t tell them exactly where he is as the complex he is at is so big, but CTU is on the way. Meanwhile, Samir goes off with the rods, telling one of the guys to stay there to find Farhad.

After Hastings and Jack argue about the Hasting handling of Renee, and after Jack basically tells Hastings he’s worthless, Hastings wants him out of CTU. When Hastings hears about Farhad, and since he can’t find Cole, he gets Owen to get Farhad out of there. When Jack makes a side comment about Hasting’s action, saying the problem is more complicated than he thinks, Hastings asks for Jack's input and then agrees to leave Renee alone if Jack stays to help on a full-time basis: "I want you in with both feet," Hastings says, and Jack says "Deal."

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, Dana (Katee Sackhoff) is not at her CTU post. She is out in her car, with a gun, is following Wade and his pal Nick, intending to shoot them. Her CTU fiancé Cole (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is also away from his job and is now tracking Dana. He catches up with her as she is approaching Wade's van with her gun. Cole stops her and demands explanations, shocked that she has a gun and shocked – shocked I tell you! – that she appears to want to use it to kill. Of course, when she tells him her story of her past and that her name is really Jenny Scott, Cole takes the gun and approaches the van. Cole looks like he is going to kill them, but instead uses the gun to threaten Wade and Nick. Wade folds like it is laundry day, but Nick will not go so quietly. Cole thinks he has their gun, but Nick has another gun and goes after Cole, that is, after he stabs Wade. When Wade screams a warning to "Jenny," Nick shoots at them but Cole returns fire and gets Nick. Meanwhile, Wade dies with Dana cradling his head. I am sure Cole is touched (not).

The episode also contained the usual pouty, cranky faces from Chloe, and the usual meddling from Arlo (John Boyd) who, after fueling the fire with Cole about Dana, seems to be sending opposite signals, something that not only annoys Cole, but annoys me as well. It’s just another case of CTU workers looking like incompetents. I’m also very disappointed in the overall acting this season and character development in general. Jack Bauer is still in what seems to be in a constant, barely restrained rage; Chloe is still the same pouty brat, but now we add Arlo, the meddling brat; Hastings is the designated “leader of CTU who is worthless because he’s not a leader like Jack Bauer”, therefore, he never makes the right decision; the terrorists are always turning on each other; and we have a s storyline that seems to have nothing to do with the terrorist plot. I feel like I’ve been here before, and I think we have in many of the previous 7 seasons of “24”. There is nothing new to see here, and, as a result, the series is losing much of its excitement and drama. I still hope that this day of “24” begins to have real purpose and the drama returns. It can't be too soon.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved episode 8 and was bored to tears with episode 9.

The budding romance with Jack and Renee is painful to watch.

Renee, please give me the knife and I'll gouge my own eye out.