Monday, March 01, 2010

24 Season 8: 1AM-2AM Quick Review

Previously on "24"- Dana Walsh told Chico, Jr. that she's really Jenny The Redneck. The subplot I've been aggressively ignoring has finally made it to top of my Quick Review article. Why? Well, come on now- how many more photoshops of Jack and Renee do I need to do before I make my own self throw up? Well, this is probably (hopefully) the last one I'll ever do of Cole and Dana/Jenny.

Meanwhile, the writers attempt to try their hand at politics (again). They gum up the first 15 minutes of this episode with some convoluted negotiation over intelligence files. I will continue to hold back my simmering rant on how terrible the political angle has been so far this season, just suffice it to say this is about as amateur a reading on geopolitics that I've ever seen on "24."

The best thing that happened early on was CTU Director Hastings taking his size-12 and delivering it firmly up the White House Chief of Staff's arse. It looks like Jack Bauer's rubbed off on our slouchy bureaucrat. Man, what a great scene- I'm glad the showrunners have let Hastings take on some likable qualities. When Jack calls him later and comes up with an inventive plan to use Emo-Hassan's dead body to lure the bad guys, Hastings kinda digs the idea- almost cracking a smile when he says "Ferrying a dead body around the city isn't standard procedure" but... sure, why not?! Apparently Hastings' favorite comedy is "Weekend at Bernie's."

Well, the latest batch of bad guys (holed up in an undisclosed diner, killing cups of coffee like they are infidels!) send their most disposable reliable operative (who weighs 80 lbs) to kill a dead Emo-Hassan once and for all. When the operative arrives at the hospital, he takes CTU's version of Jimmy Olson (who weighs 79 lbs.) hostage by threatening to use an explosive vest. What do you think happens next? That's right, the vest is psychically disarmed by Chloe!  But then the little terrorist runt somehow barricades himself in a hyperbaric chamber. What? I'm confused... and bored to be honest.

In any case, I had fun making pictures tonight. But I'm running out of stuff to say about "24." I don't want to become a serial cranky blogger.  Are there things outside of this show that you'd like me to write about? I'm open to suggestions! (Seriously).


B said...

Well, what other things have you written about in the past? Back in the good old days of 24 yore, did you write solely about Jack Bauer & co. and feel completely satisfied about it?

I'm not sure about any suggestions off the top of my head. (Plus, I'm still fairly new here, so I think others should have a bigger say.) I guess I'll try to think of something if no one else does...

Sorry your show's not throwing its "A" game, man. Hang in there, champ. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, the episode last night introduced a couple angles. Hassan's daughter and his former head of security going at it like teenagers was interesting. I'm guessing the girl is a bad guy ala season 2 with the blonde girl.

Renee going back to Jack's apartment to "wait"? I think not.

The final part was kinda dumb, running into that chamber? WTH? Is this like the reverse of last year when Jack and the Pres ran into the lock down room? Wut?

TheJackSack said...

@Brittany- I've mostly written about other shows and movies here. I guess the natural progression is to keep this an entertainment/humor blog. I'm just looking down the road past this season and trying to come up with something durable, consulting you good people in the process. :)

@Anon- Hassan's daughter... I get what you're saying about her subplot evolving into something more active, I'm just not there yet in terms of enthusiasm. If she turns out villainous, that would make TWO close relatives of President Hassan's going evil. At that point, Hassan should just apply for US citizenship and get a job driving an 18-wheeler.

Next week- Stephen Root shows up. I like that guy, and it reinforces my theory that the writers are making a 24 hour long Coen Bros. movie- Root was in O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

J. Todd Hatcher said...

Oh, come now. This season may not be the best and I'm with you on several issues, but I'm enjoying it miles ahead of where we were at this time during S6. Plus you can't abandon the blog just yet; I only discovered it last year!

I will say that while I enjoyed the hospital action at the end, Jack's actions were kind of bizarre. The bomber kid is now completely unarmed (thanks to Chloe and SCIENCE), yet Jack offers to put his gun away instead of just tackling the little bastard or busting one in his kneecap? I didn't get that at all.

TheJackSack said...

@Hatch- I'm definitely not abandoning this blog- I've been here the longest and I'm definitely invested in its future! I'm just feeling out you guys to see what else you're interested in reading from me.

To your point about S6, I agree- I actually cannot remember much of S6 thanks to my selective memory defense-mechanism. And as for the stuff at the hospital in last night's episode- dude... windows in hospitals don't break when an 80lb. kid throws himself at them from a distance of 5 feet. And why wasn't there an agent hiding in the room before Owen and the terrorist showed up? They knew where the two were eventually going! And you're 100% correct- why was Jack so gentle with the guy when he was rendered harmless by Chloe's magic? Oh, that's right, so he could jump out the window and continue a series of ridiculous events which would culminate in a hyperbaric chamber!

That said, what an awesome looking hyperbaric chamber- LCD screen intercom, a fresh coat of paint... top of the line!

brandon curtis said...

I'm starting to dig on the idea that the season is slowly starting to introduce of redemption being out of the question. Whenever someone has taken a side, any attempt to cross it or grow a conscience results in an almost immediate death.

Maybe the issue gets a little tricky with Rene, perhaps she wants redemption for crossing the line at the FBI. Maybe she just wants revenge but its always been in the service of good. To be fair, they found a way to marginalize her in last night's episode so maybe she's done all the damage she can do for now. If it stops here then her redemption becomes a moot point.

Jenny, of course, is taking Cole down with her like a champ...or at least it looks that way.

The downside to this is how many interesting story threads they've killed this way...Bazhaev, Farhad, this all-American Muslim kid.

Craig said...

Surely something has to be said about the fact a secret government agency submitted a press release to Fox news telling them about the transport of a major terrorist suspect.

It wasn't "leaked" or "our sources claim". It was a press release! :O

Sunny said...

I love your photoshop capabilites. Both are great, but the Weekend at Bernies is my favorite.

Hopefully we won't have to suffer through another "Wyattastic" episode next week.

Granny Annie said...

I'm still in there with you Adam. Actually this was an almost enjoyable episode with little of Dana/Jenny and Junior. I must say I would have bought CTU ignoring the multiple helicopters at their disposal and caravaning the dead brother across town in an ambulance.....NOT! By the way, Hasting's posture was quite straight when he delivered his knock-out punch then he did return to his squint-eyed slouch.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Adam.

This week wasn't special, but overall it's still enjoyable, especially with your reviews :)

TheJackSack said...

@brandon- interesting stuff. Yeah, maybe this is the season without pity, where once you commit some awful act, you get knocked off or written out of the show soon thereafter. That would be a change for 24.

@Craig- Oh this is a slippery slope you're approaching... I agree with your take on the "news report" though!

@Sunny- Wyattastic is the new internet buzzword! :D

@Annie- Hastings is on our good list! But your observation about his spine makes me wonder if his slouching was an obvious choice by the actor- to make him appear untrustworthy at the beginning. Talk about dedication to your craft.

@Anonymous- thank you very much- I'm ready for anything the show throws at us. And I'm happy you're enjoying my humble operation here.

B said...

So I took a look through some old posts for this site and I realized that there are quite a few of your fun trademark gigs that have been missing lately (and might help in your quest to spice things up, although none of it lends to “durability”):
- Dear Chloe advice columns
- Picture books
- Motivational posters
- Promos for fake pop culture references (movie posters/previews, songs, etc.)

All those old posts also made me realize: I miss the momentum of season 7. I feel like this one’s all stops and starts, a trail of disjointed mishaps instead of one big 24-hour long debacle with a driving force that feels like propulsion. I’m not feeling propelled. I’m feeling dragged. And it makes me sad!

Speaking of sad: suddenly Renee’s all calm & collected and “I’ll just go sit on the sidelines and wait for you,” peachy keen? Okay; wait, wait, wait. Several things. A: Bummer the writers had to make her so nuts in the first place that it disqualified her from ass-kicking action alongside Jack. >:( B: Oh, how lovely, she "has" somebody now. Because we all know people can’t pull themselves out of despair; what they really need is a significant other to save them from themselves. (Gag. >:( Do they just need to prove that Jack is capable of tenderness? Is that what this is about?) C: Are they gonna kill her off? From the perspective of the show might be ending soon and they don’t want Jack to end up alone, I’d guess no. But from the perspective of IF YOU ARE ON THIS SHOW YOU WILL DIE, I’d guess yeah.

Random notes:
I miss Bill.
I had other thoughts about the latest episode but I kind of feel like a freak for writing so much already, so I’ll just let it go 'til next time.

TheJackSack said...

@Brittany- Yeah, I'm definitely open to bringing back some of those "Jack Sack" staples in the next few weeks- particularly the Picture Books which are my favorite things to write. I did one set of motivational posters for this season a few weeks ago and I think with the introduction of these new Kamistani villains and CTU Owen, we may have some new material. Thank you for your ideas and your awesome support of my efforts, I truly appreciate it.

As for the stuff you mention re: Renee- I couldn't agree more. The battered woman complex that seems to define Renee and Dana/Jenny so far is an unfortunate choice by the writers in my opinion. And who was the first person to get the tough CTU interrogation treatment this year? The female reporter- which was a bit over the top.

I think it's likely that the writers will just as easily drop Renee's fragility as quickly as they made it appear in order to make her an action hero in the coming weeks. Let's just hope the stabbings stop!

As for your other thoughts, fire away, my friend. I may not be able to respond so quickly but I encourage other readers to jump in as well.

Larry said...

I wasn't crazy about this episode either but at least we didn't have much of pouty teary-eyed Renee.

Jack isn't very compelling as a character this season. He's not stress out, he's giving advice to the rookie and reminding Renee every episode that he is "there for her." Part of the tension comes from Jack being stress-out and desperate which he clearly isn't. He's only motivation is Renee.

The unfolding romance with Jack and Renee is truly cringe worthy.

Dietcoke219 said...

Hey could you post this link on your website? It's a Renew 24 for a 9th Season facebook page. In a few days there is already over 650 members.

B said...

@Adam - Well, I say...bring on the action heroics! (Although I don't get why you say, "let's just hope the stabbings stop." Knives are fun...right? No? :) )

@Larry - "Truly cringe-worthy?" Ouch. I mean yeah it's a little weak and makes them both look a bit like needy teenagers trying to find their identity and salvation in a significant other, but I'm not sure I'd go so far to use that word to describe their "unfolding romance." Just a personal opinion. ;)

But yeah, Jack has definitely mellowed out. I almost feel like he's grown up, and now he's some responsible fellow who reads the newspaper every morning with his coffee, takes afternoon walks in the park, and turns in by 10 pm.

@"Dietcoke" (if that is your real name... ;) ) - Is it terribly unloyal for me to admit that I'm not sure whether or not I want to see them push for a 9th season? I'm just thining it would surely suck for them to go downhill even from here (although you gotta admit they were able to pull themselves out of that shallow grave they dug in season 6) and end on a sour (boring) note. If that makes me a terrible fan, then I bow my head in shame.

P.S. @Adam - Well, I did it again! I wrote half a novel! But you said "fire away," so I'm using that as permission to not feel like such a freakin' weirdo for doing so. :) (If you change your mind and want me to stop taking up half your comment page, let me know.)

Dietcoke said...

I do find the Renee/Jack romance the worst part of the season. Yep, even more so than the Dana storyline if you can believe that.

While I think season 7 ended on a low note overall the season was pretty good.

I'm just not sure they will be able to dig themselves out of this season. Everything seems pretty predictable so far.

TheJackSack said...

@Brittany- I love all forms of violence, I just want Renee to knock off the stabbings because the inevitably lead to her having an emotional breakdown. Ugh...

@Dietcoke- Let's see how tonight's episode goes (I say to myself every Monday!). We're 1/3 of the way through Season 8. Plenty of time to do good things... but they best get cracking soon, like tonight.

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