Quick Hits: 24 Season 8 — 22:00 to 01:00
I’ve been a bit delinquent in my 24 reporting. I watching the 22:00 and 23:00 episodes last week but didn’t report in the initial thoughts. A shame that is, because the second of those two episodes included the perfect exchange of 24 dialogue. Jack Bauer interrupts a call between the President and the head of CTU to inform her that he, as he does every season, needs to cut a complete immunity deal with a terrorist mastermind to obtain information that is certain to prove useless in the grand scheme of things.
Notwithstanding the efficacy (or failure) of Jack’s negotiation tactics, relative to his torture tactics, Allison Taylor could not have been happier to speak with him, commenting that she was [paraphrasing] “Sorry it had taken so long for her to speak directly with [Jack] on the phone.” This comment absolutely sums up 24 in one simple soundbite.
Find out why, after the jump.
In every single season, Jack Bauer is a) the only person who can possibly save the day, b) in constant, direct contact with the President of the United States (even though half the government believes him to be an untrustworthy rogue) and c) able to negotiate deals directly with the President on behalf of criminal masterminds… none of whom ever actually seem to know who Jack is despite his apparently having saved the world on 7 prior days and having had public Senate hearings on his torture tactics which resulted in the closure of CTU. Yep, but we’re to believe that he still has the ability to a) go undercover with terrorist agents, b) be unknown to Freddie Prinze Jr’s character Ortiz, and c) walk unnoticed and be questioned by the NYPD.
In spite of his being the anonymous national hero, it was truly shocking that it took four hours of TV for Jack and Allison Taylor to be united on telephone. Of course, now that they have been, it’s time to take down some terrorists.
First, however, we had the important mission of doing away with Starbuck and Prinze’s dilemma. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the episode yet, but we’re mercifully granted a reprieve from the ridiculous notion that two people can be so self absorbed that they would abdicate their responsibilities in a mission to recover highly enriched uranium in order to deal with an old boyfriend. Starbuck tries to off her ex, but is interrupted by Ortiz, who scares off the ex before needing to kill his associate. The associate was heroically trying to kill Ortiz (and more importantly Prinze Jr) in order to save viewers from the pain of listening to a Native New Yorker (I think) and his brutally fake and over-the-top New York accent. Unfortunately, he failed, but we’re hopefully done with this unnecessary storyline.
The sideline did, however, give the writers the opportunity to push forward the young CTU agent who represents the most clear cut “redshirt” of the season. I don’t remember his name, though he was granted one this week. I was surprised he survived the 22:00 episode in which I was convinced he was going to bite it when they raided the uranium truck. Nevertheless, he’s now going to lead CTU’s swat team with Jack’s help. I give him maybe two more episodes.
Back to Jack and Renee, somehow Jack gets away with strangling and assaulting a DOJ attorney and CTU guards in an effort to prevent Renee’s interrogation. Or, as my brother put it, “DOJ atty, no match for Jack Bauer.” Of course, they had Renee being persecuted because the Taylor administration has an intense need for all heroic Americans to die for their own sins. First it was her daughter, then Jack (who somehow survived) and now Renee. The question is how someone who was made to be an over-the-top hard-ass version of Hillary Clinton could ever be elected. It’s like they mixed Olympia Snow with Kathy Bates’ character from Misery.
Anyway, I’ve got to hit the sack, but I was thoroughly entertained by this week’s episode. It had the right balance of action and attempts to kills Freddie Prinze Jr. Additionally, I was genuinely surprised by two twists: a) Fareed’s turning stooly and b) the killing of David Anders/Sark’s character. I was sad to see Sark bite it, as poor Anders hasn’t had a real role since Alias went off the air.