Monday, March 22, 2010

24 Season 8: 4AM-5AM Quick Review

I hope you brought your flak jackets tonight!

Jack, Chico, Jr. and some collateral damag-err "backup" close in on the terrorists once they realize that the terrorists were actually following them in the first place! Here's a little Chemistry 101 quiz: What happens when you mix one part Jack Bauer with even one molecule of terrorist? Oh yes, you get combustion!

Meanwhile, Brian Hastings is "not okay" with things going tits-up at CTU. Chloe has a momentary lapse in common sense and we get a classic exchange between her and our slouchy, cranky CTU Director about his overall feelings. Arlo keeps bringing useless updates to Hastings, which accounts for even more crankiness! But what's worse is the inevitable bureaucratic turf war that is a hallmark of this series. Some cocky NSA guys show up and makes Hastings feel really dumb for breaking his brand new CTU toys.

Unfortunately, this one-dimensional NSA prick is not privy to the genius of Chloe O'Brian. She offers some efficient workarounds which are summarily dismissed by Mr. Personality. Chloe opens up her one-woman CTU in her head and starts marshaling resources on her own, including the dormant doormat Renee Walker. Walker is DONE being put in a corner! All of her previous psychosis is resolved with one loading of the pistol. Welcome to 24-therapy, folks.

But then just as I'm rolling my eyes at the continuation of "Danas of our Walsh" Chloe busts into the server room and pulls an appropriate amount of attitude, telling the NSA guy to do it her way or eat a healthy serving of lead. YES! Chloe pulls a pistol and psychoanalyzes the NSA guy all in the span of ten seconds. He is predictably offended by her conclusions regarding his work persona.. and the threat to his government-scale pay life.

Meanwhile, back on the quietest streets of New York City, Jack resumes his ridiculously violent gunfight, shepherding his Fisher-Price® crack unit of "My First CTU Agents" through danger times one-thousand! The weakest links, including Owen the Intern, take some hits and one of the guys dies defending America. Owen, through blood-soaked teeth, screams a Klingon Death Growl and Jack nods at him saying "Now, you're a man."

And speaking of men, Brian Hastings is THE MAN (not "The Man" as discussed at length in the attempted comedy UNDERCOVER BROTHER, but rather the coolest cat in ALL of the world!). Chloe gives a very impassioned, awesome plea to Hastings to let her "tap dat trunkline" and Hastings, feeling his own awesomeness bubbling to the surface agrees to her plan, telling NSA dude and a back-stabbing Dana to shut their mouths (for ten minutes, at least). Hastings, you're no Bill Buchanan, but you're a worthy successor. You'll be getting a photoshop tribute later this week. I promise it will be badass, just like you, sir!

Back on the mean streets, Owen dies quietly, giving Jack and Chico, Jr. free license to resume kicking terrorist ass. Just as Jack is about to receive a round to the head, Renee Walker appears, exacting her timely awesomeness and saving Jack's life. But then there's the twist, the one I called a couple of weeks ago....

Dana Walsh is the mole. Well, now we can shoot her in the face without worrying about the paperwork.


brandon curtis said...

Dana being the mole is something I like to call the mother of all anti-climaxes, but a good call nonetheless.

Despite a hefty dose of Insta-Awesome, this episode went out of the way to be mediocre as fuck...but I'm glad they finally got around to letting Rene get her Tony on and not a moment too thirty minutes late. I was sad that Rene was at Jack's apartment when Chloe called, meaning that if Chloe had waited just a couple of minutes we could've caught Rene mid-slipping into something sexy.

I sure hope it improves, both in terms of execution and timing.

Also, you won't believe what happens next and the most shocking twist in 24 history are actually code for we just wrote ourselves into a corner with this "awesome" twist so bear with us next week while we take something else exciting and turn it into a long protracted mess for about an hour.

I'll be back to whine some more next week.

Pamela in Arcady said...

If we could all just blink and be able to forget Danas of our Lives -- wipe her out of the entire season -- oh, what a wonderful world. Lame. Just lame. I didn't even blink when she was "revealed." It was simply annoying. She's not interesting enough to be a terrorist.

Thank goodness for Chloe and Renee and Hastings this ep. The whole Jack, Chico, Jr., terrorist thing was okay, but really. You don't fire that many rounds from weapons like that and shoot NO ONE. Then Renee comes in and takes out two. C'mon.

Wouldn't it have been cool if Dana had strangled the smart ass NSA guy instead of the bounty hunter? Then the bounty hunter could have strangled Dana. Ah, well. One can dream.

J. Todd Hatcher said...

At least now Starbuck gets to showcase her ability to exude badass-ness.

Was I the only one thinking "Full Metal Jacket" with the snipers drawing them out by non-fatally shooting the injured guy? 24 turned into a straight up war movie there.

Sunny said...

I know Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer is a friend of mine. This is not Jack Bauer.

Brian Pelts said...

"I'm not good with praise." Don't worry, Chloe. Even though you and Hastings brought the restaurant-quality awesome, there's not very much of that forthcoming.

You know, when the writers' union went on strike a few years back, I felt for their plight. I took their side. But now that I'm being subjected to the most insulting, predictable, paint-by-numbers season ever, I want to take their 24 Mad Libs and (verb) it up their (plural noun). Let's see:

-Take Out CTU? Check.
-Pointless Dick-Measuring Contest To See Who Wears The Daddy Pants In The Ensuing Chaos? Check.
-No One Listens To An Asset Who's Already Been Right Multiple Times Today? Check.
-Expendable Redshirt CTU Tac Guy Spazzes Out And Brings Infinite Fuckery To A Fairly Simple Operation? Check.

I'm afeared that not even Jack Bauer and his manpurse of win and awesome can thwart the writers' plot to destroy a once-great show. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I loved Chloe in this episode, Hastings too and finally Katee gets to do the kind of acting she is meant to do.

Jack has a colapsed lung? Did I hear Renee correctly? Jack's super human abilities are beyond....well, beyond this season.

Renee's super MENTAL healing powers are on par with Jack's physical ones. I've been predicting she would rescue Jack. Saw that coming as well as the Dana twist. I loved the Dana twist though. Anyone who knows Katee's body of work knew when she was cast she would be a villian/mole.

Great action. Loved Cole and Jack and knew Owen was toast. I was just waiting for it to pop.

I was disappointed in that they reinforced that Jack isn't in it for country but rather Renee with his speech to Cole. Sad to loose our patriot.

Not NEARLY as good as last week but that is REALLY hard to top.

Brian Pelts said...

Well, when you think about everything this country has done to Jack to "thank" him for what he's done, it makes sense that after a while he'd tap out.

TheJackSack said...

@brandon- hehehe, you're cranky like Brian Hastings. I like that! But fear not, I think with Chloe being vindicated to a level of untouchable by our CTU Director, things are becoming more reliably awesome with each passing episode.

@PJ- I agree- the Dana thing is painful, even if she's now a bad guy (she's a man, man!). But hopefully Jack and Chico, Jr. will make her suffering an effective payoff for what these writers have put us through up until now.

@Hatch- this was a particularly violent episode, I agree. Can they possibly give Jack a bigger gun? Yikes!

@Sunny- Pelty makes a good point below- Jack's died for this country numerous times. He'll always defend her, but the guy is past the "patriot" zeal of years past.

@Pelty- Well, you nailed my general misgivings with the series starting with Season 6. Long story short, the writers feel a need to stick to a formula. The best shows on TV allow their characters to evolve, and for the stories to change as well. This doesn't mean Jack should open up a floral shop and write poetry, but what about him going to Japan to fight the Yakuza or something nuts like that? Jack vs. WMDs will always result in the inevitable scenarios, with moles and turf wars mixed in. Honestly, if this stuff was happening in the real world, the DOW Index would be at 500 points right now and America would look like it's out of a John Carpenter film. The writers tried to do something new with "Redemption" but that movie sucked. So they scurried back to the safety of the formula. Too bad, but at least we got some great character work tonight, and I'm happy with this and last week's episodes.

@Anonymous: Great points all around- they better keep this pace up.

Anonymous said...

24 might as well have jump the shark. the twist was so stupid. why was she so afraid of her ex if she is a cold-blooded killer. why be so nervous or afraid or about to turn herself in. I call bullshit!

singingdoll said...

I think there needs to be an electro magnetic DanaWalsh pulse bomb. EMDWP. Wipe out all existence of Dana Walsh. Or Jenny Scott, for that matter.

The twist was too predictable for me, but maybe her character will become more interesting, finally. Katee Sackhoff is too good to be saddled with the lame character she's had half the season.

Chloe kicked ass tonight. Renee kicked ass. Jack kicked ass. Cole kicked ass. Even Hastings kicked ass. Arlo... probably checked out Chloe's ass and Dana's ass.

It was a good night in 24 Land.

I'm really gonna miss this show when it goes away.

brandon curtis said...

This Katee Sackhoff praise might be a little ridiculous so I'll set the record straight: she rose to the occasion of "Battlestar Galactica" and nothing more.

Dietcoke said...

Brandon, Katee Sackhoff was great on Tip/Tuck and a completely different character. She was also terrific on The Bionic Woman. SHE should have been the Bionic Woman.

Dr. Alice said...

HOLY CRAP ADAM YOU WERE RIGHT. Sigh. One of the things I liked best about this season was that they had broken free of the "mole in CTU" trope, and now hey! There's a mole in CTU! ::headdesk::

I am enjoying the season, it's better than S6 or S7. But I think it's time for the show to go since the writers can't seem to think of anything new. It's the same plots enacted by different characters. At this point I'm sorta hanging on waiting for Logan to show up, and Aaron. I need me some Aaron Pierce.

Anonymous said...

A woman who the head field agent loves at CTU is the mole? Hello Season 1. Hello Season 5 (or whatever season with Curtis' former love interest).

The only redeeming thing about this episode was the massive gun play with Jack and Ortiz.

Someone needs to teach Chloe how to hold a gun, if she woulda fired she probably woulda blown her hand off.

All in all, a good episode, predictable, but a good amount of Chloe quickly being the character to watch.

B said...

Okay, me = not coherent this week, so I'll just throw a few random notes out there without taking the time to add any glam or humor. I haven't even read the other comments yet so forgive me if I repeat them.

Random #1: I LOVE CHLOE! Her candid genuineness even when it's completely uncalled for it SO GREAT. Kind of makes me want to follow her lead and open up a can of candor in my own workplace... NO WAIT, I've tried that, and my bosses do NOT approve, and *I* can't get away with it b/c I'm not BRILLIANT like Chloe! Ah, sigh. Well at least those of us trapped by rules of "politeness" and "diplomacy" in the real world can relish in the glorious inappropriateness and borderline insubordination we witness every time Chloe acts the way we wish we could! (!)

Random #2: Owen is an idiot. When Jack Bauer says you don't move, you don't move. May the valiant *coughmoroniccough* little guy rest in peace.

Random #3: I feel like at some point I'm finally going to start to like Arlo - and maybe he'll even do something noble & redeem himself from the icky creepo he started out to be - and right about that point is when he'll die. *shrug* So sad, so sad.

Random #4: "All of her previous psychosis is resolved with one loading of the pistol." I LOVE IT! I knew there was a quick fix out there somewhere. Now I just need to buy myself a gun...and I'd better move fast, before the word gets out.... (JUST kidding. ;) )

Sunny said...

I'm thinking Dana/Jenny/The Mole will take out Arlo withing the next 2 hours.

B said...

Pity. (@Sunny)

Granny Annie said...

Thank goodness Dana is the mole because this justifies her role in this season plus it will equally justify someone blowing her brains out at the appropriate time:)We all know she needs that.

TheJackSack said...

@Annie- oh, Dana's demise is etched in stone. I hope it's as enjoyable as her character has been annoying.

B said...

Hey. Where's the badass Hastings photoshop tribute? It's already Saturday!

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