All Along The Watchtower

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

24 Review/Recap

Day Five: 1 - 2 p.m.
If I can see it coming a mile away the Inessa, the sexual slave of Patrick Bucheau's character (whose name eludes me at the oment), is going to whip out a gun and shoot him after being left alone in the bedroom to change, then surely Jack Bauer could see it. I mean, the man is able to plan for every other event in his life, so why not foresee this one coming? I suppose we could chalk it up to Jack projecting a bit onto her. Here is a damsal in distress and one that Jack yearns to help. She's been taken from her family and kept against her will, becoming the plaything of this guy and Jack desparately wants to help her. Is it to somehow make ammends for perceived failures in his relationship with Kim (who we find out is being called to come on down to CTU)? Even if he does feel immense guilt about what's going to happen to her and making her a pawn in the game to uncover the nerve gas, Jack still should have seen this one coming.

I mean, I know I did.

But that may be because I'm aware of the "formula" that goes into an episode of 24. Just like episodes of classic Doctor Who, the action has to build to a cliffhanger. So, it just made sense that Inessa would somehow shoot and kill the guy that is the only link to the nerve gas. Once again, Jack is at a dead end, though he won't be that way for long.

Now, I read last week that executive producer Howard Gordon knows that the issue of China being a wee bit pissed at Jack is out there, but they haven't found a way to work that into the first half of season five. Now, I can see that and I understand it (well, not really), but they keep missing the boat on even referring to it. Here we see Jack talking to President Logan and both of them dancing around the issue. How hard would it be to insert a line or two of dialogue saying--"Gee, Mr. President, I want to help CTU and this country but damn if the Chinese aren't gonna be hella-pissed that I'm still around and kicking. I can't do that to you and this country, sir." Then you have Logan say, "Well, I'll deal with that after you save this country from the horrors of the nerve gas."

See, it isn't that hard! If I can do it, surely the writers of 24 can.

By the way--this is the second episode in a row penned by former Enterprise runner Manny Coto. Coto was, in my opinion, the man who saved Enterprise from itself in its final season and I appreciate the hard work he put in there. It was a thankless job and I'm glad to see he's getting work on a quality show this year. One good thing about Coto is that he seems to have a good mind and understanding for continuity--paying homage to it, working with it but not being ruled by it to the extent that his storytelling suffers. And that is evident here with some nice call backs to this season, some good character moments and just an over feeling that this is part of a bigger tapesty and not just one really intense hour.

I also have a feeling some things are being set-up for the next few hours. How long will Logan's peace treaty with Mrs. Logan run? I loved the scenes of Logan including her on decisions and the two of them overruling Mike Novak on going public about Cummings role in the conspiracy and manipulation of the White House. I love the fact that Logan is going to try and do what he thinks is the right thing, but I can only imagine this will backfire on him big time. And since we all know Logan only takes credit when things go well (typical politician), I can only imagine he'll blame Mrs. Logan for this.

Meanwhile, the soap opera world that is CTU continues to turn. It's good to know McGill isn't that different this his collegues and has a family that has issues. For McGill, it's a sister who's got money issues and we're lead to assume, drug issues. She calls him for help and he decides to try and be a good brother and help her out--only to have the crap beat out of him and his wallet taken. Also, it seemed to me that I saw his CTU access card taken--how much you want to bet that becomes a big deal later in the day? Also, his running out of the middle of the operation and disappearing in the midst of a crisis may raise a few eyebrows around the CTU offices.

Meanwhile, hell hath no fury like Chloe scorned. Even though Spencer thought he was doing the right thing, he's done in Chloe's eyes. She uses him to help when needed and then tosses him aside when she's done. You almost have to feel sorry for Spencer--you can tell he felt something for Chloe, but no matter what he does it's tainted now. Which is a shame really. Those two kids might have had something special. I guess we'll never know.

And the real winner here: Edgar, who gets to keep his dream of a little Chloe lovin' alive for another hour or so...


At 6:16 AM, Blogger John said...

I'm not really into 24, but I get tickled sometimes at Dave Barry's synopses on his blog (the most recent entry is here).

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I used to be totally into 24. Season One was intense and challenging.

Season Two was fresh and exciting.

Season Three began to look like "same thing, different day" so I quit watching.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Glen Dean said...

I just finished my masters, so I am only now beginning to discover TV again. I just started watching 24 and I love it. I enjoyed your recap and I hope you do this every week.

One thing I can't get over though is Sean Astin's part. He just still seems like a little kid to me. I mean, I look at Sean Astin, I think Goonies. Keifer Sutherland is great though.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Glen--I've recapped the entire season of 24 over on my blog...

I'd be happy to transplant the first couple of recaps here if anyone wants them....

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Becky said...

I also felt a little bad for Spencer. I mean, how many of us would have ignored the Chief of Staff from the White House if he called us personally to spy on our bosses? We all know CTU seems to have had a mole in every season anyway. As for the China issue, I thought the same thing you did in that they were doing a dance around it, almost as if the writers hadn't decided to just ignore the issue or not. Strange. I do think Mrs. Logan's suggestion is going to backfire, causing more problems with the two of them. However, I must admit that I'm a little over the personal troubles of the various characters, like the latest with McGill and his sister (I, too, noticed the ID card taken, though you think they'd re-program everything when gets back and doesn't have his).

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Barry said...

I groaned when Lynn started talking to his sister, thinking yet another Erin Driscoll/Wacky Daughter or Chloe/Chase's baby personal distraction for someone from CTU that just happens to manifest itself in the middle of the crisis. And of course the sister is a strung out junkie, whose BF jumps the unsuspecting (and surprisingly, having worked his way up through the ranks of CTU, wimpy) Lynn.

Well, I still this Buchanan is both their dads, so he'll be drawn into the mess, too.

And the China thing is really starting to be noticeable now. And distracting, because I keep waiting for the shoe to drop. If someone's watching this season that didn't see last year, they have no idea why Jack was in hiding.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

I hate to say it, Barry, but the China issue will not be addressed in the first half of the season. I saw an interview with Howard Gordon, the executive producer who said--oh we know about it, but we can't deal with it right now. And my response is--why the heck not? Again, one line of dialogue takes care of it for a tables the discussion for later.


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