Archive for April, 2009

Filling the gap – Thoughts on Season 7

April 13th, 2009

Time flies and good intentions sometimes fly out the window. So it looks like neither Dan nor I have managed to keep our little site here updated with our thoughts on the newest episodes of the show… We’re quite a few weeks behind. Eleven, to be exact. With episode 18 just around the corner, this means we’ve been silent here for almost one half of the season. So first of all, allow me to apologize for that. But let me also remind you that we do have a forum on which we and some other fans have been sharing our opinions and criticism of “24” and anything related to it. You’re very welcome to chime in.

Down to business, then.

In the US, episode 17 aired last Monday, and it will air in the UK today, so I’ll start right there. I watched this episode 2,5 times by now, and thought that it was very good. At least 9.5-ish good, on our 1-10 scale. It pulled me in, made me hold my breath, had me cheering for Tony in the field… Action-wise, acting-wise (which really goes without saying), and tension-wise, it was flawless. In fact, this whole season has managed to stay on a high quality level throughout – with a couple episodes a little below that high standard, but I can’t go into all the details here.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t see Olivia pulling a Sherry or having more than a work relationship with her journalist friend, or Starkwood having missiles to launch the pathogen on or many other things, actually… A lot of plot elements have been predictable throughout the season, but I do understand that it is hard not to be when you’re writing in this genre, especially after all this time. It may even be unfair to expect new solutions to the same problems seven years into the show, and in some ways, it is unnecessary to develop them, if the old solution is the most plausible one. The important thing is to remember that those solutions had already been offered before, and that the characters involved would remember that. And that worked so far, so I’m okay with it. And hey, there are only so many secure places a goon can hide relevant information – and I admit that having a chip implanted under your own skin is one of the cooler places, if not the coolest! So, I don’t mind that Ike Dubaku did just what Jonathan Wallace had in S2 because it worked, it was plausible, and because Jack also had an instant flashback at the mention of metal in the guy’s chest and instantly acted upon the information. Maybe the other most memorable instant flashback was that of Jack faking Renée Walker’s execution much in the same way he’d staged Nina Myers’ execution back in S1, when he shot her in the flak jacket he’d previously given her to wear.

I’m also willing to swallow the implausible to a great extent. Like that of Tony’s return from the dead because “Henderson purposely missed the artery” (in the heat of the struggle!) or the unlikelihood of anyone breaking into the White House that easily, or even Jack and Tony being able to mix up a fake gas from household chemicals since Jack is so awesome! The one thing I won’t be able to swallow is if Jack walks out of this season cured – because that would not be plausible at all. It was a very brave move on their part to actually infect Jack, the star of the show, with something lethal and incurable. They should stick with it now.

Do I miss CTU? No, not really. The FBI turned out to be a good replacement for it. Yes, it’s just another government agency and employs the counterparts of everyone we’d had back at CTU, but it still does feel fresh because the surroundings are different and the characters are interesting. Even after 17 episodes. Among my favorite new characters are Renée Walker, David Emerson (who died much too soon; I would have loved to see more of him, but at least it the showdown between him and Tony was as perfect as it could have been) and Larry Moss, who is putting on such an amazing performance, being caught in situations both Tony and Jack had been through in earlier seasons. Watching him dance inside the triangle between himself, Renée and Jack with such a turmoil inside himself makes the emotions inside him palpable. I hope we’ll see him again next season. That said, I did get annoyed in one of the more recent eps with his damn stubbornness at his not going along with the suggestion of letting Jack interrogate Senator Meyer’s chief of staff at the hospital. I was annoyed because it seemed like he was refusing just because it was Jack’s idea, and unnecessarily wasting time, when he could have and should have gone to the President and suggested the option. However, I eventually became convinced that Larry wasn’t doing anything different from what the others are always doing – what he believed was right. And in his case, he believed following protocol was the right thing to do. Continue Reading »