Monday, January 25, 2010

24 Season 8: 8PM-9PM Quick Review

Renee Walker is in full Nancy Sinatra mode!  While it's fun to see Renee acting like a complete sociopath, I think it's a little goofy that she cuts a Russian mobster's thumb off to prove to him she is willing to "cut him in" on some big deal? What? Ehhh, I'm not following that logic.

And after 5 episodes, I'm willing to comment finally on Dana Walsh/Jenny. Her subplot rivals that of Lynn McGill, the hobbit CTU director from Season 6 5 (Editor's note: Thank you, Hatch for the catch). Remember when it was revealed that McGill had a deadbeat sister who wanted money from her CTU sibling? Well, The Dana/Jenny subplot is kind of similar in that it's distracting and not really worthwhile. Yet. I am hopeful that this will tie into some bigger story point, but as of now, I shrug my shoulders, drink my seltzer and ignore what's happening with her character.

Now, onto other subplots- Russian mobsters are fantastic. There's no shortage of material you can delve into with these guys. Yes, you've got the run-of-the-mill sadists, pederasts, schemers, etc. But then you find these two Russian brothers- one exposed to radiation from smuggled nuclear material and the other brother who feels really bad for the guy. They are off on their own little adventure to cure the sick brother, risking the authorities learning of their plight. No, it's not quite Coen brothers material, but I like where this thing is heading.

Back to the Russian with 1 thumb, Ziya.  I am amazed at his calmness 30 minutes after his major reconstructive surgery. Ya know, I bumped my knee a month ago and it still hurts. Ziya gets his thumb cut off and he's cooler than a pack of menthols! And you can't have a Russian mob without a dude named Vlad, the big kingpin that Renee is trying to get to in order to crack open the case.

Meanwhile, Jack spends 40 minutes chatting in Renee's ear about his overly elaborate cover story. Jack's a professional, I admire that about him, but his backstory became downright boring 20 minutes ago!  But before I can groan any further, Jack figures out that Renee was the victim of some serious abuse while she was undercover several years ago. I suppose this makes better sense of her general instability (Moss' death last season set off a mental relapse). But wow, did she cover it up really well for 99% of last season... anyway.

Let's get to the big point- is "24" becoming the Renee Walker show? So far, her character has been the most interesting, well-written and best-plotted. I definitely admire the strong work by Annie Wersching and all parties involved. But we're 5 episodes in and I have not witnessed "The Power of Bauer" grab hold of this season yet. I'm not complaining, I'm just making note. I want Bauer to unload some chaos, and soon. In the end this was a strong episode, branching out subplots in mostly interesting ways. Next week looks very good too.

By the way, check out this week's Carnival of Bauer, hosted by the glorious AmyV of Blogs4Bauer and social networking fame.


J. Todd Hatcher said...

The thing about the "Rudy's cokehead sister" storyline was that it actually tied back to the main story, as the Russians were using her and hey boyfriend to gas CTU. Here's hoping that the Dana storyline follows. Surely they know that the fans aren't partial to irrelevant side plots by now? The misadventures of Kim, Palmer's white girlfriend, Driscoll's zombie daughter, Sandra and Wal-eeed? Surely?

Oh, and the cracksister was in Season 5, not six. Cripes, how dare you confuse the two.

TheJackSack said...

I stand corrected, and I will update this terrible oversight! Thank you, Señor Hatch, you're good peoples.

BigEasy said...

Yeah, I gotta say that this Dana sub-plot is getting weird. How's about she just calls Super Chico boyfriend to get medieval on Kevin, and she can get back to being harassed by the slightly less sleazy Arlo.

As a side note, it kinda seems like Jack has mellowed out. Sorta like he is good cop (Renee of last season) and Renee is bad cop. Here's hoping Jack starts bringing the pain soon.


Sunny said...

The Dana backstory just isn't believable even for 24. She's a felon and wouldn't her fingerprints be on file? What type of vetting do they do at CTU? I once applied for a part-time job at the IRS and they took fingerprints.

Anyway, I do believe the Dana sub-plot will tie in to the rest of the story. She needs "six figures" so she will sell out and become a mole for $$$.

Justin said...

The Dana subplot has always felt to me like it was ripped from The Unusuals.

Then again, I'm about the only person who watched that show, so go figure...

Granny Annie said...

You are so right that "The Power of Bauer" has not taken hold yet. Renee is not going to have the star appeal they seem to be hoping for and as far as Kevin and Dana, they need to link arms and jump off a tall building. However if thumb amputation is not painful, people can probably survive jumping of buildings too.

Sunny said...

I predict Renee is gonna go Tony Almeida on us. She is not to be trusted. Jack will have to step in and save the world. Again.

Brian Pelts said...

I suppose this makes better sense of her general instability (Moss' death last season set off a mental relapse). But wow, did she cover it up really well for 99% of last season... anyway.

Well, in her defense, she didn't know all of this last year. Making shit up as you go along, FTW!

Now, as to the rest of the episode...*deep sigh*

The Dana/JEN-NAY thing: When, oh when, will the writers realize that we neither need nor care about every single secondary character's backstory? Seriously, I understand it's hard to fill 24 hours with bad-assery and you have to let Jack have pee breaks every now and again, but COME THE FUCK ON. All this serves to do is remind me why I watch the episodes on the DVR, so I can skim over Starbuck: Battered Woman. Katee Sackhoff is the P Diddy of acting, really; first she replaced Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, now she's playing the Julia Roberts role in Sleeping With the Enemy. DO NOT WANT.

I agree on the lack of Bauer Pouer, but at least we got a slight glimmer of hope with our first "DAMMIT!" of the season. Hopefully we won't have to wait much longer before he stops with the mollycoddling and makes with the ass-kicking.

And Renee, hoo boy. It's like I always say: Bitches be crazy.

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