1PM – 2PM

It’s two days after I saw this episode on tape and my excitement over it’s final minutes has hardly deminished, and I’m sure you know why. Yes Tony Almeida (played by Carlos Bernard) riding in like the calvery raised many an excited and surprised cheer in the Hardy house. It’s always great to see past characters come back, giving them a unforgettable entrance is always a welcome, but it’s made all the more sweet by the complete famine of familar characters this series (Jack is the only character from the first and second series, Chloe was the lone CTU staffer left from series three).

Tony is Back!!!!

There were other things to get excited about too. One of those stupid padding storylines that I was so critical of earlier in the series seems to be started to pay off. To be specific, Driscoll’s daughter storyline did a very good job of showing her humanity and stripping back the cold side to her which until now was all we had seen. There was also the first real action for the Araz Family and a few brief moments to develop the spark between Jack and Audrey which we’ve had precious little time to see so far.

Tony is Back!!!!

Among all the hype and hysteria of Tony’s return (Did I mention he was back?), another fan’s favourite slipped back under the radar. Who!?, I hear you cry, I do ofcourse talk about the reincarnated spirit of Chloe O’Brian, as a man called Edgar. He was given some quite frankly hysterical lines (“I shouldn’t be doing this, I have low blood sugar, I could collapse” – or something to that affect). In the midst of other CTU staffers which were yet to be completely comfortable with, he is a breath of fresh air, providing the comic value which has always been their from George Mason and Chloe O’Brian.

Tony is Back!!!!

But while it was a very good episode, which was a substantially better than just about every other episode except last weeks, it did have some weaknesses. The action doesn’t seem as fluid as in the days of old when Stephen Hopkins was in the directors chairs. It seems disjointed, owing to Jack hardly every being seen on screen when a baddie goes down. That sounds odd, but if you can, watch the final shootout of this episode again, when Jack shoots someone they’ll show him firing his gun, then cut to the victim going down. For the life off me I can’t think why, apart from a possible concern that the hero shooting so many people is promoting guns, and that disconnecting Jack shooting villians and them dying would somehow lessen that concern. Apart from that, the direction for the shootout (by Ken Girotti) seemed odd in that it did not give us a clear impression of where Jack and Audrey where, it relation so their assailiants. Regular readers will know I usually take every oppourtunties to say the current crop of directors aren’t nearly as good as in the days of series one, but in this case, I’m inclined to believe that possibly it’s not the directors fault but instead more of a side-effect of a move away from the use of split screen, giving the viewer less visual information. But I might be wrong, it might just have been bad direction.

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