Monday, April 12, 2010

24 Season 8: 8AM-9AM Quick Review

What happened last week? Oh yeah, EVERYTHING!

The fallout from president Hassan's death kicks off tonight's sad piano music soundtrack. The whispers, the down faces... I feel like I'm watching a Lifetime movie of the week. Tony Al-Qaeda apparently survived several rounds to his person (no vital organs were hit!) but before you can sign Tony Al-Q's "Get Well Soon" card, a paramedic mole injects him with a colorless liquid. Renee walks by this paramedic as he leaves the scene, setting off her "Renee-dar" for a brief moment, but she's not pulling the trigger just yet.  It turns out that the mole is a Russian. A Russian mole! And he recognized Renee too. So, now Renee is a target. Uh-oh!

So, just as with the death of Chancellor Gorkon in STAR TREK VI, the chances of intergalatic peace are placed in peril with Hassan's untimely death. Who stands to benefit most? The Klingons? No, the Russians. Well, the Klingons are modeled after the Russians, so you would be sort of correct to guess them in the first place. And did you know that 24 is written by a lot of TREK alumni? This isn't all just in my head, folks. Standby photon torpedoes.

President Taylor wants to promote Hassan's wife to head of the Klingo-err Kamistan Empire. She argues for two minutes then catches the girl power vibe from Taylor and agrees.

Speaking of promotions, Chloe O'Brian is the new head of CTU! Holy shit! Hastings takes it like a professional.

Meanwhile, back at Casa de Bauer, 24 fans get what they've been begging for ever since last season- Jack and Renee play a game of Yahtzee. Wait, I didn't type that correctly- they screw like a pair of rabbits. yeah, that's what I meant. Sorry. Well, are you all happy now?

Back at the UN, Taylor is busy dealing with the evil Russian Minister Nopeaceinourtimeovich. He disputes the legality of everything and Taylor insists that he is a mean, drunk Ruskie and should go empty a bottle of Stoli in his office. He doesn't agree.  Taylor, desperate for some solution gets one from a miraculously recovered Ethan Kanin- call in the "cleaner"- the dirty one himself, Charles Logan. Nice!

Hastings gives a very graceful ten-word speech in which he tells everyone "thanks for all the shrimp." I've been on the record as a Hastings supporter for several weeks now. We know he will be redeemed. But I was sad to see a good man pack his briefcase in defeat. Damn you, Tim Woods.

And then the show gets 100 times more awesome with the return of Charles Logan. Logan has a solution to all of Taylor's problems, but being the shady bastard that he is, Logan won't tell what his plan entails. Taylor, like a desperate fool, decides to question Logan's motives and then let him loose. Oy... well, here's hoping Chuck is on the straight and narrow again.

Speaking of straight and narrow, we rejoin Jack and Renee in their afterglow. You do know this will end poorly, right? With the persistent Russian assassin hiding out across the street.  And yep, she gets shot. Jack reacts quickly, taking her to the best cab driver in all of Manhattan. They get to the hospital in 15 seconds. If Jack got her to the hospital any faster, they would have gone back in time. But, for reasons of plot convenience and a lack of deft storytelling, Howard Gordon and his crew decide to kill off Renee Walker.

I'm not writing this as a huge Walker fan, because I'm not one. I liked the character, and I think Annie Wersching is a fantastic actress. But as someone who cares about plot, this move smells of desperation.  They needed to motivate Jack that badly?  I have no emotional reaction to this move.

What's worse is that it comes on the heels of a very excellent setup from last week. Can they salvage this misstep? I don't know. Certainly, I'll be sticking around, but I care a bit less about what happens now because I'm too aware of the presence of the writing. Logan's return is a bright spot. Gregory Itzin is a top-notch talent. But setting off Jack on some maniacal revenge quest is about as original and exciting as a trip to the post office. I was hoping for something better.


Brian Pelts said...

But setting off Jack on some maniacal revenge quest is about as original and exciting as a trip to the post office.

Dude, it's not revenge. It's JUSTICE! Didn't you see the coming attractions?

I propose we remove "finish your drink for a silent clock" from any and all 24 drinking games. Otherwise we'll all die of alcohol poisoning by the end of the season.

TheJackSack said...

Pelty, how about Logan speaking Bauer's name in that preview? Holy shit, that brought me back to the good 'ol days of Season 5.

Two silent clocks in a row was overdoing it. These bastards (writers) need to have their drinks taken away, methinks.

Brian Pelts said...

I could see where Logan wouldn't exactly make sweet word love to the phrase "Jack Bauer". The last two times he crossed paths with Jack, he lost the Presidency and took a bread knife to the sweet beard. And OMG SHOCK AND SURPRISE there's gonna be some sort of double-cross?

What sucks is I actually thought this was a really strong know, right up until they decided to NOT prove me and Hatch wrong. *facepalm* They managed to make Chloe's ascension to her rightful place as Boss Of All Of You tinged with the bittersweet loss of Bubba Hastings, although the fact that installing Chloe as provisional head of CTU is a nice bit of story shorthand when the time comes to unleash Jack-y hell. Because oh lord, there's about to be some torturin'. Break out the dishtowels.

TheJackSack said...

Yeah, thankfully Jack is in NYC, the world capital of dishtowels!

Brian Pelts said...

Brian Pelts said...

Since Jack learned that trick from the Russians, it'd only be fitting if he used it on 'em.

TheJackSack said... is an oasis of comedy. Awesome link.

As for this "twist" I find something annoying on the rise. Jack will likely do something that will endanger the peace that Taylor is trying to accomplish. Chloe will be under orders to stop Jack from doing whatever it is he's doing (killing peeps like Tony Montana, no doubt) and she'll have to go against her closest friend, etc. Oooh, conflict :P

And maybe Jack does the worst thing possible, become the villain and leave Season 8 as a disgraced former superman. This is the writer's modus operandi. And I find that uninspired storytelling.

The whole point behind last season was to put Jack back together again. There was a real story arc to last season, and it was a good one in my opinion. Reopening old wounds feels rote; I'm not interested in seeing Jack go crazy one last time.

But, as I wrote in my review above, I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt. There's not much 24 left, but damn them if this series ends with Jack crying, destroyed and broken. What's this show all about then? Misery being piled high enough to reach the Moon?

Brian Pelts said...

Yes, because crying, destroyed & broken = Emmys.

brandon curtis said...

I didn't want Renee to die, but if it lets the animal Jack Bauer out to play then I'm all for it. Adam, I believe this was not desperation by the writers but a very calculated move, Jack has been a different animal for the past season and two thirds: a restrained, grandfather type who is recognizing who he once was in all the green horns and failed idealists that perish around him.

He is tragic and flawed and like every great tragic hero, everything is his fault and so there's nothing to do but cold, calculated revenge (disguised as justice) that will destroy the last vestiges of his humanity. Also, having Bauer damaged by love with only the empty gratitudes of a thankful nation that can't keep him warm at night to show for it is about the only way to bring Bauer full circle after eight years. I'm loving the silent clocks but I can't handle another.

I'm glad this episode was so rife with awesome:

1)I liked Hassan's wife being inspired to take his place.

2) Chloe getting promoted was awesome squared.

3) The mole fellow following them and talking to the PM waiting for instructions to kill was the kind of tense atmospherics the show hasn't traffic in so adeptly since season five.

4) Arlo asking "why would anyone shoot Renee?" It smacks of naivete, but also reminds me that I'm sad to see Walker go, her and Jack were made for each other. Also, it goes back to my assertion a few weeks ago that redemption is out of the question for folks this season, Renee, like so many others, is now tragically dead and in the vocabulary of Bauer if redemption equals happiness then it's never going to happen. The siren song of danger always calls.

5) I, too, will miss Hastings. I also want to like Logan but don't suspect it is in the cards.

Also, I'm glad Jack finally got to pee in a lady again. He not only deserves it, but the man has always had pretty impeccable taste in ladies, moles and whatnot.

P.S. Sorry this post turned into an ugly rambling mess.

The Maestro said...

Then where is Jack's Emmys for season 1 and season 5?

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I was proven wrong. Renee was killed by some random bad guy.

The episode was chugging so nicely along too. Bad guys get assassinated by the "other bad guys", Chloe gets promoted, Hastings finally wins everyone over with this speech, the Russians are again behind something diabolical, and RENEE IS RIDING JACK LIKE A SUPERMARKET HORSEY RIDE AND SHE HAS A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS!

Then...they kill her. Uh. Wut? And not only do they kill her, but then we get the whole Jack crying thing. I'm really not a fan of Jack crying, he just doesnt look good doing it. I thought he was gonna puke like when he had to kill Curtis.

The next 6 hours better be chock full of torture and Jack breaking all kinds of rules. However, if he ends up like Adam said, broken and dishonored....I am really going to be pissed. This series can't end like that, it would leave such a bad taste in my mouth.

J. Todd Hatcher said...

Well, after all the chicks that have gotten killed/maimed after hanging around Jack (Kate Warner is the only one who got out of the relationship with portions of her body and mind intact - actually, she was probably sniped off camera somewhere), I was hoping that Renee wouldn't get whacked. I guess this rules out any happy ending for Jack.

But I gotta say, it got to me in ways this show hasn't got me since Palmer was sniped in the neck, followed shortly by Tony and Michelle getting all blowed up.

I had knots in my stomach. That whole trip to the hospital was just brutal, just ruthless. No other show (or movie for that matter) can ever get me to react that way, so I'll give 'em that.

And it goes without saying that Logan = pure, unadultered, unfiletered awesome. Mark my words, he's in on it all and Jack will be going after him like a bulldog before it's all said and done.

And Chloe heading up CTU is a great move, I think, for the last hours of the show. So I dunno. I hate them for doing that to Renee, but I'm totally gut-punched and riveted, so I guess they did their job. Now excuse my while I go cry into my pillow like a small child.

The Maestro said...

People tend to forget that Jack has a human side. He does a great job kicking-ass but at then end of the day or beginning (such as this season) Jack wants to try and live a normal life. Jack knows his job hurts people close to him but it's as if he's trying to fight a grim fate.

It was hard seeing Renee go and I too wanted her and Jack to live happily but something kept telling me, "This has happened before, it will happen again".

It's about time Chloe is running the show at CTU she's been through so much. However, I got used to Hastings, I started to like the guy when he trusted Chloe to tap into the trunk line to get the power back and the way he accepted Chloe taking his job. Very professional of him. But, it's great seeing Chloe running the joint.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rush Blog said...

If I had been Hastings, I would have shot that whiny bitch O'Brian. What in the fuck were Joel Surnow and David Fury thinking? They made Miss Personality Disorder O'Brian head of CTU New York? What the fuck kind of shit is this???

Oh man! This show has hit a new fucking low! Trust that conservative prick Surnow to do this to an African American character.

singingdoll said...

Well, leave it to goddamned old EW to spoil it. Not watching the ep until Friday night. When my Google Reader's TV Watch headline says "It kills Renee to love Jack so much!" -- WTF. Just like "Heady Times for Poor Hassan"?!?!? It's a recap on a blog about TV in general. They don't need to be giving away everything in the headline! GAAAAHHH!!!

Well, I agree, it's lazy writing, and I wanted to see Jack have a little happiness with Renee. You can be a badass justice-enforcer and still be happy! That's the message the show refuses to give us! Just kill another one. Renee's the only gal I ever was happy to see Jack with. The only one. And to kill her as she's leaving after doing the nasty (ahem making love) with him? That's just sick. Sick, sick, sick, HoGo.

I don't even think the presence of Logan can redeem my feelings. Or Chloe being head of CTU. GAAAAH.

Sunny said...

I didn't expect to see Renee live to see another day. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

RIP Renee, you were the best sex Jack ever had.

Anonymous said...

So I'm confused as to how the assassin conveniently locates exactly what apartment Jack is in, then finds exactly the right office in the building across the street to snipe from. Inside of what a couple minutes? Really?? And the Pres buying into that BS from Logan? Chloe head of CTU? How does she have the Administrative background. Is that the best they can do? It's to bad.

Anonymous said...

We knew the minute they made Renee a love interest she was toast. She would be crazy, evil or dead. For a while I thought she'd be triple tapped. She only got a double tap. Crazy and dead.

Renee having sex again a few hours later with another guy was kind of icky. They played it like the Vladimier/Renee sex scene. All during commercials.

I love that Logan is back and I'm pretty sure he's evil. Great scenes with Logan and Taylor.

Overall a pretty good episode. Thanks again David Fury.

Cirroc said...

I'm just a caveman. I fell in some ice and was later thawed by some of your scientists. Your world of '24' frightens and confuses me...! I have a question...

Is Renee:

1. Edgar dead?

2. Tony dead?

3. Murphy/Robocap dead?

Dr. Noonien Soong said...


4. Spock dead?

Brian Pelts said...


5. Buffy dead? (The second time, I mean, with the burial and everything.)

Alli said...

I have to admit, if they were trying to get a rise out of me they've succeeded once again. They have always had balls, I'll give them that.

I was never really fond of the idea of axing Renee (since that's what always happens) and the execution just made it worse. While I'm happy Jack got laid and all, the whole idea squicks/confuses me. They've been awake for hours on end, electrocuted, shot, RAPED, and getting naked is the first idea to occur to them? wat.

I just wish her Death wasn't written so dramatically. Ngl, if Chloe just rang Jack up and told him that Renee had bit the dust in a fire fight I would have been infinitely more okay with it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not as die-hard of a 24 fan as some, but the death of Renee pissed me off. I started off watching 24 perhaps five episodes into season 5 and in retrospect I should have quit then. It's been so "meh" - especially 7 and most of 8. I don't know why I've persisted in not missing an epi since then.

It's pure desperation from the writers. Jack felt guilty about not being able to save the day and was folding. It was over and it was up to the politicians to clean up the fallout from Hassan's death. The writers pretty much had no real way to rein Jack back into relevancy for the last however-many-hours-are-left (7?) without killing Renee.

I wasn't hugely into the character of Renee beyond the fact that Bauer was into her and seemed to have found a woman as FUBAR'd as he was. I mean, I'd hit it, but her character was neither a carbon copy of Jack nor particularly compelling in her own way.

But this was just dumb. This season should have ended with Jack and Renee on a plane to LA to go see the granddaughter. It would have been predictable, but it wouldn't have been as utterly stupid as killing Renee just to keep Jack in the plot.

Anonymous said...

Same guy as above here again.

Just an idle thought that I leave here for no particular reason other than that it came to mind while watching this episode.

When are people at CTU-NY going to start noticing the smell of the P.O. Metal Gear Solid Dana garroted and then shoved into that convenient hiding spot? Or did I miss something during a previous episode?

B said...

Don't dead people get a stamp?

Larry got a stamp. And Larry was a Loser.

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Pelts said...

Man, I feel like an emotionless jerkbot compared to the rest of you. I didn't bat an eye when Renee got sniped, not even during the effort to construct drama with the world's quickest cab ride to the hospital. After all, David Fury studied at the feet of Joss, and we've been over what you learn from Joss. (i.e., kill kill kill)

Like I said above, this episode was stellar all except for the ending. They gave the rest of the ensemble a chance to shine and advance the overall story on their own, which was a nice change of pace. Then the writers went back to being the same lazy, color-by-numbers mouth-breathers we've bitched about them being all season, and now all I can do is hope that the ensuing mayhem is worth the ill will they've fostered in the fanbase, both from the fans who are crushed by Renee's death and those of us who knew it was coming and as such just shrugged.

(BTW, sorry for the constant Buffy references. I'm re-watching Season 7 on Netflix streaming right now.)

Anonymous said...

Who is and isn't an "emotionless jerkbot" or had any use for the character of Renee per se is kind of neither here nor there in this case.

Around the time Jack hit the sack with Renee, the thought that crossed my mind was that the writers thought this was 16, not 24, and halfway through writing this episode realized they needed a reason for the remainder of the season. It's like they got around to writing this episode and it suddenly dawned on them that they had flubbed their timetable. Renee's death was stupid because the writers had set up a situation where they had to kill her. It was different than Palmer.

The rest of Monday night's episode was almost epilogue stuff. Jack finding Hassan dead was like one of those punctuation marks you expect at the end of those downer eastern European films (you know the type: uncertain future, the bad guys end up dead but kinda won, the good guys didn't really triumph; etc; roll credits).

Renee getting killed was deus ex machina in a real sense. Her death may have actually elicited an emotional reaction from me, personally, if I didn't know that they were going to do it as soon as the rest of the episode took on the character of hour 24.

The reason the Renee death scene elicited any response from me whatsoever was not so much the overly dramatic way it was done or the raw emotion and "feeling for Jack" it was supposed to elicit, so much as it was just obvious that it was the only way the writers could get themselves out of the corner into which they had painted the plot.

I actually would have felt less pissed if they had just done it in a gory, hi-def, matter-of-fact, dura-mater-everywhere, and plain-ass bald attempt at shock value. In previous seasons there has been ample reason to call "shock value." But this wasn't even for the shock value. I almost wish it would have been. This was a totally different species of lazy writing.

John Michael Davis said...

I don't know that Keifer will never completely break away from the tragic poetic character mold set for him in Young Guns and that is why I believe Renee had to Die, he is a heart torn young Killer don't you know. I know it and I should expect it. Keeping her would only serve as an annoyance in future installments, Think of Jack having to protect his babies from the bullies at school, OH! "My dad could kick your Dads Ass!", "that is interesting, My dad taught me how a little kid like me could easily break your Dads Neck!"...

All of an Actors best attributes are delivered in the course their own personal signature way. It is like this, nobody can quite distance themselves from a wired-o quite like John Cusack can, leaving him to forever reinvent the moment, example the way he dismisses Woody Harrelson and his wacky Idea that the Governments of the world are building space ships in the movie 2012, as who can do Psycho Wing Nut better than "Micky to the bone Munson". Keifer's play set has always been Jack. I am so astounded with what has been accomplished by him and his associates with 24. To capture and assemble so many of the greatest attributes of a single individual artistically and do what they have done, it is simply fantastic.

Which Keifer Sutherland will we get in the end of this? Will he be able to Zoolander this Season? Is this going to be his "Magnum"?

After the Russians were revealed as sinister and Logan maintain the Shadiness of a Portobello cave I realized that they had me exactly clueless to what might happen next..

TheJackSack said...


I've been doing this blog for a handful of years now, but I have never been so amazed at the quality and thoughtfulness placed in reader comments.

A few of you have been with this site from early on, and many of you are new-- but I just want you to know that I sit here, reading what you've written and I feel grateful for having you share your time with me.

I've been busy the past couple of days, and will be busy through tomorrow, but tomorrow night I promise to delve into what you've posted. But by all means, keep 'em coming!

Joy S. said...

I just recently discovered this blog, but I've been watching 24 faithfully ever since Season 1. Like everyone else, I've had my ups and downs with the show, but something about the way they killed off Renee upset me more than almost anything else that's happened in all the previous seasons (except for axing President Palmer). I guess I was hoping that Jack was finally going to get some sort of happy ending.

I should have known better.

I do think the writers had her killed off as a way of getting Jack to go all apocalyptic on the Russians' collective asses, but I wish they could have come up with a better way to do it. Right now I just feel disappointed and angry.

Then again, maybe it's all part of some huge shadowy plot, and Renee isn't really dead. They made it look like she was dead so Jack could go ballistic and take out the baddies, and afterward he and Renee can still ride off into the sunset together and set up a lucrative private security business.

Yeah, that's it. :-P

B said...

(In reaction to Adam's comment)
All I said this week was that I'm too pissed to write anything thoughtful or high-quality. Yet most other weeks I can't seem to stop the flow of (hopefully somewhat relevant) comments that fly out of my mouth (er - fingers; you know, typing) and onto this site.

Ooh, burn to me.

Alli said...

I don't know if you guys have seen the Critical Myth reviews, but I think he hit this episode spot on. I pretty much feel the same way about the writing as he does, and it seems that many of you do.

Brian Pelts said...

Good review. Here's another one that's more of the same, proving once again that we're not a handful of isolated loons overreacting to a plot twist, but rather an indication that we speak for the fanbase as a whole when we say WTF, mate?

J. Todd Hatcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Todd Hatcher said...

All I can say is, at this point I'm stoked because:

1) Logan is back, and is awesome, which no one seems to be talking about. And is clearly in on all this. Which leads to #2...

2) If Jack didn't have a personal axe to grind against Logan before, he sure as hell does now. Which gives Jack an perfect nemesis for the final episodes of the show. One that we all know, and one who happens to be best characters of the entire show, period.

3) Chloe heading up CTU - 'bout friggin' time, and now with Jack in all likelihood going totally off the grid, she is going to have a much harder time being Jack's go-to girl. In fact, with the White House pressuring her, she may even have to work AGAINST Jack. Which is a dynamic we're never seen before, and will leave Jack totally without friends.

And well...that's all I have right now. Point being: OK, Renee's dead. Yeah, it blows. But we have an awesome setup for awesomeness in these final hours of the show. Jack with a vendetta, a real, personal enemy, and some insane conflict. Yet all anyone wants to talk about is fucking Renee.

J. Todd Hatcher said...

*ONE of the best characters of the show, that is.

B said...

(So I'm still mid-commenting but I see others are talking about one of my points and I also figure why not break up what could become one gigantor super-comment into smaller chunks?)

Word, word word word WORD. To Adam's "this is about as original and exciting as a trip to the post office" and everyone else's varying degrees of concurrence. You know what? For some reason it makes me feel a WHOLE lot better knowing that just about everybody out there in 24-fanland is pissed. :) I don't know what it is, but that shared grief and rage is just kind of cathartic. :)

Moving forward, be warned (as usual) that my thoughts are a jumble so they'll probably come out a mess. Lo siento.

#1 - I'm sorry, but I don't get what the HELL you all see in Charles Logan. In my eyes he's no more than a wussy whiny weasel without a backbone(ooh, almost had that alliteration in the bag). My memories of his previous screen time are marked with painful annoyance, impatient boredom, and wistful nostalgia for the good old days of David Palmer (::bows head in reverance::). Even before his crooked nature was revealed, he walked around like the biggest pansy on the planet with absolutely no balls to speak of. (And why would any of you like a character without balls? Am I missing something here?) I have never respected him or found him to be even a remotely compelling character, and I'm pretty sure I never will.

So seriously - what do you guys see in him??? I really don't get it.

TheJackSack said...

Re: Logan- he was such a slimy villain, so Machiavellian and willing to do anything to not get caught- he's a psychotic bastard! I love that kind of villain- the one who thinks he's justified, or worse, doesn't care whether or not he's justified because he's a sociopath.

And the way he kept beating Jack at every turn throughout 99% of S5 made him that much better than your garden-variety terrorist. He had all the power to stop Jack. And he almost pulled it off.

B said...

Okay, most recent P.S. upon actually reading Hatch's latest posts:

In response to 1) - No, Logan's return is NOT awesome, at least in my opinion. See my post above. I think he's a douche and a loser, and I do not appreciate his presence.

Regarding 2) - "A perfect nemesis"? Really? Oh, pshaw, puh-lease, come on. "Perfect" in my book would be actually wanting to pay attention to the screen when the plots of said nemesis are unfolding. All I've ever experienced with Charles Logan on screen is an intense desire to multi-task so that I can divert some of my attention away from the boring, boring, annoying, BLEH, aggravating antics taking place.

(TBC unless I suddenly grow the ability to shut up.)

TheJackSack said...

@Brittany- well, we can certainly all agree to disagree on how we react personally to a character (or anything based in opinion regarding this show). In the end, we all love 24, and that is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

"And well...that's all I have right now. Point being: OK, Renee's dead. Yeah, it blows. But we have an awesome setup for awesomeness in these final hours of the show. Jack with a vendetta, a real, personal enemy, and some insane conflict. Yet all anyone wants to talk about is fucking Renee."

But that's not what it's about. I think a lot of folks in 24's fanbase, if you really argued with them, would admit that the whole fuck scene was just stupid. Not only did Jack get sloppy seconds from a rapist, but Alli's right. Their first thought as soon as they get a few minutes alone isn't a shower and a nap, but "hey, let's fuck like Jack Rabbits"? Come on.

That scene was a stupid setup inserted as a poorly done emotional lead-in to a stupid plot device.

Yes, Jack needed a vendetta, but it didn't have to come at the death of Renee just for shock's sake. The writers could have given Jack a real enemy (which will probably end up being Jack going rogue to dispense some justice on Logan and his Russian allies) without killing her in a sappy over-dramatic buildup after a contrived, stretched sex scene that amounted to a cheap "maybe-Jack-will-live-happily-ever-after" play on the audience. Hell, even if they put her in a coma for the last 7 hours and it wasn't certain she would live, that would be better than this cheap crap.

@Ozogo Meticulate
As for Jack not breaking out of his traditional roles, pish-posh. "Character actors" are a myth. Breaking out of expected roles is part of acting. Deal with it. There's no reason Keifer couldn't for once play the sensitive doting grandpa going to live with the only close family members of his who are still alive. Jack Bauer's fate isn't written in Keifer Sutherland's filmography.

It's like the best thing the writers could do was try to paint Jack into the Max Payne mold. Except that it doesn't work because Jack stakes a higher path and, let's face it: his name isn't MAX PAYNE and this isn't dark, gritty neo-noir.

B said...

(Guess I didn't grow that ability after all.)

@Adam - Sociopaths are interesting. Fascinating. Logan is not, at least to me. I really don't mean to sound like an ignorant twit who stands there with her hands over her ears and refuses to hear the light of day. I'm trying to listen to you guys' reasons for liking this villainous character and I'm trying to see the whole thing through your perspective, but so far no luck.

Maybe I was too good at tuning out Logan's plots in the past, and that's why the degrees of subtle awesomeness you swear are there have eluded me. I don't even recall him coming so close to foiling Jack 99% of the time. (Re-watching S5 would probably help, but who has that kind of time.)

Or maybe I don't think anyone truly deserves to be considered an awesome diabolical villain unless they're the ones pushing up their sleeves and doing the dirty work. Logan was always more of a "sit back somewhere safe and watch from the sidelines" kind of bad guy, and that bores the hell out of me. It's an action-shy personality in an action-oriented show.

You said he's willing to do anything to not get caught- he's a psychotic bastard! I love that kind of villain- the one who thinks he's justified, or worse, doesn't care whether or not he's justified... But I sense that he does care, if not about justification then about covering his own butt. There's a certain degree of recklessness that I think makes a villain more appealing. But Logan's villainery is too fear-based to have me rooting for his awesome evilness. It's like he has an anxiety disorder, and maybe I just want my sociopaths to be truly unaffected and stoic. Some bad guys really don't care what happens - so they're willing to take more exciting (i.e. physically dangerous) risks. Logan's brand of villainery is more "Martha Stuart" than "fucktastically violent"...and that distinction among "types of evilness" may be key to why I find Logan's inadequate. (Ah, the variations of villainery...why have I not been fascinated by this before?)

But I concede, he is unique, certainly not the "garden-variety terrorist" (do you find those in the aisle next to the little gnomes? --wow, crap that was lame) that's continuously recycled on this show; and in light of my recent complaints about the writers not being able to break out of their own paradigm...well, I guess I should say bring it on.

B said...

P.S. I also want to go on record as saying that I posted most of my Renee-death-related thoughts in LAST week's review. At this point, everybody being so verbose and all (here & elsewhere), I almost don't think there's anything new to say. (Shrug.)

B said...
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J. Todd Hatcher said...

@Anonymous: LOL, when I said "fcking Renee," I was just throwing an expletive in there for good measure, not referring to the literal sex scene. But I take your point.

My point was that yeah, Renee's death sucks and yeah, I had hoped they wouldn't (as I mentioned last week). But I'm past it, looking toward the last episodes, which I think are shaping up to be a fitting finale for my favorite show.

Granny Annie said...

Yes the are plotting the way toward the final episode that will leave Chloe as the permanent director of CTU and will probably find Jack in a Russian prison. Dana/Jenny will be..who cares and Chico Jr will most certainly die a hero's death. None of this really matters anymore as much as "What does Adam have to say about it?".

Anonymous said...

One of the things that has been missing for me this season is bad@ss Jack. Hopeful this will set up his character and kick some terrorist butt.

B said...

Hah. Hurry up, Adam. Annie is on pins and needles waiting to hear from you. ;)

(I say that in all fondness for you both. :) )

B said...
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TheJackSack said...

@Brittany- The show plays out extreme scenarios for dramatic effect. The characters gerenally do things that we, regular folk, would never get away with if we tried. Take Arlo, for example- his blatant sexual harassment would never fly, even during a "crisis" but the show seeks to create conflict between characters, making the viewers uncomfortable and on-edge.

The same goes for Renee Walker's death. They turned up her drama-meter early on in the season, gave her a chance to come back and say "I'm better now, let's kick ass" and then get killed when she was finally happy.

This is the show doing what it aspires to every season- to twist the knife into the viewer's heart. When it's done well (like President Hassan's death) it makes for moving entertainment. When it's done in a way that appears too manipulative, it fails to move some of us.

There are good parts and bad parts to this show's storytelling approach. I tune in for the conflict, energy and (to be honest) the dark comedy that my brain produces while watching this very serious show unfold. But in the end, I never take it to reflect anything remotely real, not even the real-time format rings true anymore (Jack got Renee to the hospital more quickly than he put on his pants!).

So, what I'm saying is don't give it too much thought. It's a diversion- entertainment. We can take it seriously, but it doesn't offer any deep or accurate social commentary. It's a show that's supposed to get us all revved up.

B said...
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Dr. Alice said...

Overall I liked this ep, for Chloe's promotion and for Logan in full on slimy Logan mode. (P.S. Palmer = nobly boring, Logan = wonderfully ambivalent evil, and he really rocks the whole Nixon thing.) Renee's death I am of two minds about - I really liked her character and I completely agree that her death was cliched and manipulative. On the other hand I also think it was inevitable and will really energize Jack into high octane avenger mode, which the show needs at this stage.

So, there's my 0.02.

Anonymous said...

Adam, I love your blog and will certainly miss everyone's intelligent comments. Renee's death was predictable and a plot device in order to set Jack off again. Let's face it, he's been pretty tame this season.

We've spent more time this season talking about Renee instead of Jack and he's supposed to be the focus of the show. I think the writers ran out of stories for him so they decided to make Renee the tragic character.

I think most of us are in agreement that this will set Jack off on a killing spree. Reminds me of the old westerns when the guy would yell "You killed my brother! Now you must die!!!"

Still have a hard time thinking he'd risk his own life to bring justice/revenge for Renee's. What about Kim and little Teri, Jack? Is it worth it to risk them not having a father or grandfather?

Given that Jack has really wanted out all season wouldn't Renee's death be the nail in the coffin? Hang up the six shoot and never return?

B said...

(@Dr. Alice) Nobly boring?! But David Palmer was AWESOME! I mean, before he got taken out by that sniper shot through the widow (hm, sounds familiar) I had half a mind to start a "David Palmer for President, 2008" campaign. (In jest, of course, but the buttons would've been awesome.) Every time I see him in an All State commercial, I feel safe and happy. I almost bought All State insurance because of David Palmer. (!)

But alright, nobly awesome or nobly boring, potayto potahto. Agree to disagree, I guess, as the saying around here goes. :)

Brian Pelts said...

I love David Palmer, but for me Dennis Haysbert will ALWAYS be Pedro Cerrano first and foremost. When I went with State Farm instead of Allstate, I actually muttered "Fuck you, Jobo. I do it myself." 'Cause I'm a massive dork.

TheJackSack said...

To paraphrase another '80s icon: Allstate does not exist in this dojo.

With all due respect to Haysbert, the company he shills for is awful. I've never carried them for my own insurance, but I had the displeasure of dealing with them when one of their insured crashed into my car a few months back. I have never dealt with as big a bunch of lowlifes as I did with Allstate.

This isn't to say all people that work for them are bad, that cannot be the case. But the ones I dealt with were consistently awful-- and to those specific people, I wish you all many years of impotence, unfulfilled dreams and stale coffee breath.

And Pelty, Amen re: Cerrano. When I first saw 24, I never could believe that voodoo worshiper who couldn't hit the curve was president. But he grew on me quickly.

John Michael Davis said...
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John Michael Davis said...
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John Michael Davis said...

I realize that Breaking out of expected roles is part of acting. I don't need to Deal with it because It doesn't matter because I'm not talking about Character Actors, I'm talking about CHOPS and how Charlie Parker is Charlie Parker I don't care what song he plays, There's no reason Keifer couldn't for once play the sensitive doting grandpa going to live with the only close family members of his who are still alive and in fact that would be perfectly sutherlandian of him.. Jack Bauer's fate isn't written in Keifer Sutherland's filmography but it is highly influenced by his personal integrity as an artist. I am not suggesting that Jake is going to go out in a Blaze of Glory for Christ SAke Anonymous, lighten up with the filthy language and realize that though bland a bit of ironic humor based in the fate of the writers inflection was deeply intended here.

Anonymous said...

@Adam & Pelty (HAH - see what I did there? ;) :) ) -
Cerrano? Jobo? '80s icons and dojos? Um, yeah. Apparently there's some pre-existing body of work that I am completely unfamiliar with. Before my time, perhaps...? ( ;) Guys, I kinda just called you old. He he he. :) )

Speaking of references - what's with this "Buffy" thing? As in...the vampire slaying cheerleader with the quintessential '90s wardrobe?

B said...

OOPS! Yeah, that last one was me. :)

I knew it was only a matter of time before I accidentally posted as "Anonymous."

Brian Pelts said...

@Adam - Strike first, strike hard, no mercy.

@Brittany - Pipe down, whippersnapper. ;)

TheJackSack said...

Sweep the leg!

Brian Pelts said...

Get him a body bag, YEAH!

B said...

GAH, you boys. You remind me of my guys friends, and I like it. It makes me miss them and love you. :)

B said...

CRAP, can I just NOT make a mistake this week? I MEANT, you remind me of my guy friends. :) ::fingers crossed for no more mistakes::

Brian Pelts said...

Apparently the friend zone is a pocket in the Jack Sack.

B said...
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B said...

AUGH *one year later*

Anonymous said...

I am dissapoint. 24, killing Renee was the biggest mistake you have ever made!

I knew she was going to die before watching the season, as I'm only just going through it now (though I've seen every season three times at least), so I was prepared for the inevitable.

Here are my grievances.

1) jack has lost soo many women in his line of work, how could you even think of doing this to an icon! Fictional or not. She has been the most perfect women in jacks life since Teri! And I don't even really know Teri! Except she let herself get raped so her daughter wouldn't be... Which is pretty dope. Renee... Was the one. THE ONE! And you didn't just take her away from him, but from us!

2) she did't have to die! There were plenty of other ways to force jack into a rage! Sooo many the list seems endless. And like it was stated before, was the rage really necessary? I prefer sane jack with a mission over mad dog jack. It weakens his character when you make him revengeful.
Did you forget he has a granddaughter! Threaten her life! It may seem cheap, but at least its not Kim again.

3) okay, so you felt like you had to kill Renee. It was your decision, but at least make it a good death! You wrote her out, seemingly without batting an eye.
And I think most of us would concur (I hope) that ack and Renee simply resting and spending time in one anothers arms (we didn't forget dear old vlad) possibly with some, possibly gushy, character building dialogue between two people who until today, have been kept apart despite personal desires. This death was not worthy of Renee. She deserved better. We deserved better.

4) my solution would have been this. Bring her to the brink of her life and, put her into a coma. This would still fill him with rage I'm sure. And then at the end of the season, despite him telling her that she has him, and he'll be there, he has to leave. And sure it would be cliche, but have her wake up, and boom! H-Core drama.

I think it's almost worth rewriting the last few hours and filming them again properly to fix it. But I guess these things will only ever live in the pages of my fan fiction.

RIP Renee.

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