Monday, February 22, 2010

24 Season 8: 12AM-1AM Quick Review

Renee, let's play "24: The Blame Game!"

I guess stabbing Jack Bauer (accidentally or not) results in some problems with the 'ol boss.

But before we get into that mishegoss, we start off with the Russian family, which is quickly diminishing in ranks. Right when Joseph is about to cooperate and bring the much-talked about "Rods" into CTU, he gets shot by a well-positioned terrorist working for Hassan's emo-brother. But worry not, the phone line was open long enough to narrow the terrorists location down to 10 square miles. And right as Jack realizes he's gotta go driving again, he makes time to chat with Renee and make sure they're all on the same-page. But what that same page means goes quickly from "Remember, you stabbed that Ruskie in self-defense" to Renee responding "Jack, wanna come over later and split a bottle of chablis?"

These "living on the edge" types really don't know how to do anything romantic without bloodshed, do they? I wonder what their wedding will look like... 'Nam, most likely.

But the great melodrama of tonight's episode centers on Renee Walker being set-up for some political fallout surrounding the death of some scumbag Russian arms dealers. I've been silent on the idiotic political stuff happening on the show this season but tonight's bureaucratic angst has pushed me over the edge. Blame Renee for what exactly? For them losing the rods that she got them close to in the first place? I predict the following scene will eventually take place, resolving Renee's legal woes: 

JACK: Madame President, this girl is kinda my lady friend now. Give her a blanket pardon, ok?  
PREZ TAYLOR: You want fries with that, Jack?  

Jack returns to CTU in a hybrid-powered SUV brigade and quickly puts together the whole set-up. He then engages in very Jack-like behavior, breaking into the interrogation, choking some Justice Dept. "hack," liberating Renee from the room and getting a whole 5 feet out before a CTU "redshirt" (this year they're wearing a neutral beige) tazes Jack. What a wuss move! Jack was on a roll! Bah! 

As for these nuclear rods, the fugitive emo-Hassan turns out to have a conscience after all- he's called CTU (how did he have their number?) to inform them that while he is, in fact, a terrorist, there are more terrible terrorists terrorizing NYC. It seems the convoluted plot to smuggle rods into the US to then smuggle them out was not really a good idea in the mind of emo-Hassan's terrorist cohorts. Ha! 

But the greatest moment in all of Season 8 took place as Jack was walking out of CTU. Hastings runs after him yelling "Jack! Jack! You complete me!" Jack offers to save planet Earth if they let his new girlfriend off the hook. Hastings whines about some work-related pressures but finally says "Are you in or are you out?"  

Jack's response? He pulls The Jack Sack strap from one shoulder, over his head, onto his other shoulder-- like a symbol that the manpurse just became "active." The music swells. Hastings kneels down and kisses Jack's pinky ring! Oh heck yes!!!  

There was some stuff with Jenny/Dana and the Brothers Dim, but I don't recall any details at the moment. I am in Jack Sack afterglow. So, make sure you all activate your manpurses, copy that?


J. Todd Hatcher said...

Every time I answer a question in the affirmative now, I'm going to signify it by switching the strap to the other shoulder.

I thought tonight's ep was on point. Great dialogue, especially on Jack's part. Plus some of the characters really came into their own - Hastings, Dana, and Cole were all given some meaty stuff to deal with.

Anonymous said...

The best part was Jack putting his man purse over his shoulder.

Jack is back to rescuing the damsel in distress.

Damn it. Dana didn't even get to off Dumb and Dumber. SHE had to be rescued by Cole.

This was my least favorite episode yet this season. I miss my favorite show.

Paladin said...

Good Call on Hassan having the the CTU phone number on his cell. Like they wouldn't have been tracking his cell the whole time anyway right? I liked how the chick from the Justice Department beat Jack to CTU in New York even though he was only "15 minutes out." Not only that, she had time to fully read Renee's file and get extremely familiar with her backstory. I loved how Jack shows up at CTU figures everything out and goes to medical to break Renee out. Then he assaults the brownshirt CTU cop and the representative of the Justice Department. Nice!

Brian Pelts said...

I knew I wouldn't be the only one who loved seeing Jack switch his manpurse from "stun" to "FUCKING KILL KILL KILL".

I agree with Hatch regarding the development of Saved By The CTU: The New Class. I've been waiting for Jack to point out to one of the recent interchangeable useless CTU directors that, you know, he used to do their job. He has wisdom. Listen to it, DAMMIT. And hopefully now that we've dispatched Vance and Coy, we won't have the every-five-minutes cutaways to Starbuck's clandestine phone calls. Man, I hope Sprint's got her on unlimited mintues. Otherwise, she'll have to take the stolen drug money just to pay her bill.

As for Renee, well, I knew it all along. The suicide attempts, the psychotic eye-stabbing, it was all just a cry for help to get Jack to notice her. Which, you know, seems like overkill. She probably had Jack at "redhead with big boobs".

Anonymous said...

This season Jack has lost much of his complexity. He used to be a character than folks could really argue about...he'd surprise us. This season he is very predicable.

Save the little redhead from herself.

Anonymous said...

Dana should just drown herself in the nearby lake, so we can concentrate on the plot.

@Brian Pelts: hilarious comment :^)

Anonymous said...

B said...

You want fries with that? BAH HAH HAH. Mother Ef. Good stuff.

And Paladin, clever points.

But I agree with Anonymous #1 --- why the heck do the girls always have to be "rescued" by the guys? No matter how much determination, vengeance, or balls they've got, they're never really able to take care of themselves. I say, boo on you for that, 24. Can't we all just get along and kick some ass together? All this bad-guy-killing would be a whole lot more efficient if the guys weren't always having to cover for the girls.

Probably not the most popular thing for me to say on a site that's mostly guys, I'll probably regret it, but ah. I say what I say.

Granny Annie said...

You must write Season 9 using your entertaining dialogue i.e. "Jack, Jack you complete me" coming from Hastings and Jack actual verbalizing "Man purse Activate!" It is at least worth watching the show to read your commentary later. And why not ignore Jenny/Dana? I can't even remember if she survived and if she did, I still won't know she's back next week.

Paladin said...

Is it me or does President Hassan look like Wayne Newton?
Maybe at the end of this season Jack and Renee can settle down and buy that little cottage in New Hampshire. Starbuck is killing the show. Hope they off her soon but, it looks like she's going to be in line for a Presidential Pardon before the season is over. President Taylor should just give Jack a stack of those things to keep in his man purse and give out as needed.

Sunny said...

I agree with Grannie Annie. Adam should write season 9. Just tell us who to write to and I will start an email campaign. Until I guess I can always go to Youtube and re-watch the Jack vs. Grimace video. Now that's funny stuff!!!

TheJackSack said...

@Hatch: Right on- Hastings showed some more dimension and we finally got something new out of the Dana/Cole subplot. As ridiculous as that storyline has been, at least something new happened!

@Paladin- It's like the Justice Dept. in "24" is just waiting for CTU to screw up!

@Pelty- yeah, did Renee need to go that far to get Jack's attention? Because she played it a LOT more stable when she was fooling around with Moss last season. Jack shows up, and suddenly she's "complex"....

@Brittany- I couldn't agree more. I thought Rene was going to be the one to break with past women of "24" but you know what- they couldn't help themselves. So far, the only two legitimately strong women on this show have been the villainous Nina Myers and the assassin Mandy.

@Annie- Thank you very much, my friend.

@Sunny- Start the petition! :D

TheJackSack said...

Actually, Brittany- add Sherry Palmer to that list of strong ladies too.

Chuck Finley said...

....I still don't get why Hassan's treacherous brother is actually Lester from 'Chuck':

....wait....unless it is a crossover spy story between '24' and 'Chuck'

Brian Pelts said...

@Adam - It's almost like one of the writers thought he had a moment of clarity when he recalled that every woman Jack loves gets chewed up and spit out irreparably damaged and/or killed, and decided that if they were hooking Jack and Renee up she'd better come pre-batshit-crazy. That's what passes for breaking the cycle in the 24 writers' room.

TheJackSack said...

@Pelty Yep- I think they have a bunch of Mad Libs in their desk and they just keep using them over and over again.

Imagine a season of "24" where people at CTU are trained and talented and mentally stable, where Jack isn't tied up in red tape and where his lady friend is smart, strong and crafty in her own right. And imagine a season where the terrorists have an actual friggin' plan.

Yeah... I know, I should watch a brick wall instead of holding out for that one. Oh well, at least we can make fun of the bad stuff, right?

B said...

Well, good to know that eRocks weren’t thrown at me for speaking my mind there. So I’ll say a bit more.

@Adam I guess - You’re right: we did see a kick-ass take-charge character in Nina, but she also had that whole “evil” thing going on...therefore negating her as a positive BAMF female role model. Sherry Palmer was a pro too, but in a different way (soft power…blekh), not quite as balls-to-the-walls, high-octane & exciting. I didn’t see S3 so a) don’t ruin it for me and b) I can’t comment any further on Sherry & Mandy. We’ve also got Michelle, Chloe, & a few other analyst-type females who rock at what they do, but you have to admit it’s a completely different ball game. Mad computer skills isn’t quite on par with complete domination over any situation and the fate of the world.

Now, let me say that I practically pledge allegiance to 24/Jack Bauer, guzzling down the whole “badass-motherfucker-gonna-save-the-world-and-kick-ass” thing. I wish I could have even one ounce of this BAMFness. It’s kind of my dream. I see him take charge and think, “damn, that’s what I wanna be when I grow up” (figuratively speaking). I mean, sure, I’m a small girl who probably wouldn’t last seconds in Jack’s situations. But surely some women can hold their own, right? It’s not impossible for a chick like me to be a BAMF like Jack? A girl can dream, right?

Wrong. I so love learning that apparently women just don’t have that capability - unless they choose to be a tad on the malicious & conniving side. I suppose S7 Renee was as close as we ever came to having a BAMF-in-her-own-right female who could kick ass & take names right along with the best of them (i.e. Jack). But now they’ve turned her into a freakin mess. Who - worst of all - is no longer a formidable peer to Jack, but a weaker teammate who must be protected like something delicate and weak. (Why? Why was this necessary?) So thanks, 24, for opening my eyes to that reality now, before I waste my life in a futile pursuit of BAMFness. I knew I wasn’t worth much after all.

Okay. I’ll shut up now. Sorry, I just can’t help myself sometimes.

(P.S. - "lady friend"...he he.)

Anonymous said...

...'BAMF' has a deep X-Men comics meaning...

...look it up, fangirl...

B said...

Whoops. As my only exposure to X-Men has come from cartoons and movies, I was unaware. The term pretty much means one thing to me.

Was that a bad thing? Should I be embarrassed or something?

TheJackSack said...

No, you did not commit a cardinal sin or anything close to that, trust me. I, like "Anonymous" thought of the X-Men when you wrote BAMF because that's the sound effect Nightcrawler makes when he teleports. But after two seconds I translated BAMF into your meaning (which I appreciate as well). You just stepped accidentally into a geek puddle. :)

B said...

Yeah, I feel like there are a lot of those around here. Kind of like landmines. ;) But that's okay, 'cause I'm learning from them (ex: "retcon").

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