Okay, for filing and title reasons this is technically a review of episode 19 (1AM – 2AM), but it’s not, it’s actually a review of episodes 17, 18 & 19. To save repetition of points, and me flogging myself to death trying to get one episode review up every week al remaining episode reviews will be groups of episodes – so there will probably be two more reviews after this (episodes 20,21 & 22 and episode 23 & 24), that just seems to make more sense.
On to the review itself, the first of these episodes (17) is the immediate wake and aftermath of airforce one being shot down, which had happened as the cliffhanger of 16, that was an event I know a lot of people linked to the bomb going off at a similar point in the second series – but just a quick comment for me that while on paper it certainly looks that way, but really the reason the bomb going off was such a big deal was the emotional wake of that episode (Kim thought Jack had died in the explosion, Mason actually had died in the explosion) and that was lacking from the previous episode, but it was more evident here – possibly not the emotional wake but certainly the more literal concequences that AF1 being shot down had, which is what made 17 a better episode than 17.
The most obvious effect was putting VP Logan into power, and can I just say what a crap selection for running mate and Vice President that Keeler made, because the whole point of having a VP is so that should the president be incorpaticated (sp?) or whatever (unable to fulfill his duties) the VP takes over, now clearly any situation in which it would be neccesary of that to happen would be an intense situation – it’s not like if Logan took over it would be a quiet night with not much happening. So yeah, really crap choice – and I think the writers are slightly pushing our trust to get us to believe anyone could ever make such a bad choice. Of course the fact that it was a way to bring David Palmer back into the fold (which come on, everybody could guess) made most viewers (including me, probably, lets see how he does) forgive such a big plot hole that you could fit AF1 through.
On to other, more annoying stuff, torture, I will not accept torture as a legitmate means of getting information from a suspect, and I would hope all the right minded viewers of the show would hole the same view, of course we accept torture in the show as a plot device along with the (we’re running out of..) time element of the show. I know the level of it has put off some viewers at time, but I’m kept hanging in there, accepting it for it’s story value, but when they actively seek approval of the viewers of torture, that goes to far, especcially when they try to play it off as a balanced discussion of torture, when clearly there landing square in favour of it. This part of the show was just, well I don’t have the words to describe it, but the bottom line is that they were trying to effectively program an accepting attitude of torture in the viewers of the show. Some may argue against that analysis, but look again at the facts, they set up the character so we already knew he was guilty of something, instantly we’re more likely to accept the torture of this suspect. Then on top of that, they mix the main characters talking about how they know he must be guilty with justification of the general use of torture, because he know he’s guilty he accept what the main characters are talking about when they say he’s guitly, and therefore we accept there arguements about the justification of the general use of torture – and so we move up and up, until they’ve got us accepting that torture should be used if those dealing with the suspect think he’s guilty. I’m sorry to go on about this so much, but it’s an important issue, and for anyone watching the episode passively will have accepted all that crap.
I’m fast running out of time (because of that rant) and I’ve still got loads more to say, including shock horror some positive stuff. These three episodes were much better than the stuff they were giving us at the beginning of the series, honestly, it may seem that all I do is moan and bitch about this series, and even these three episodes, but the reason for all that is that I can actually write alot more about the stuff I didn’t like than the stuff I did, it’s just the way it goes. Back on task, 17 and 19 where the two best episodes, with some moments I think will forever be thought of in the same breath as the bomb going off and teri dying. I’m talking about Chloe with a machine gun, which was just such fun to watch, and one of the times I really was on the edge of my seat.
Indeed, these were three good episodes, although after 19 episodes I see a pattern emerging, with all briefing scenes and whatever else episodes take a while to get going, it looses momentum and focus and means that what it would usually fit into 40 minutes, it now has to do in 35 or even 30 minutes. On the DVD they really should have an option to cut all those scenes out, then it would be quite a ride.