Episode Reviews (14)
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Another watchable episode during this 4 episode event although nothing terribly unexpected or exciting happens actually the opposite and I didn't realize it started this soon but the mind numbing subplot with Dana Walsh bleh!! Believe me I love Katee Sackhoff but I wish they hadn't given her this to work with.
Not much else to speak of besides I love the partnership of Jack and Chloe sparking back to life as they are the only two characters we really know as of now. I'm also glad that Kim was able to let her dad go knowing it would eat at him if he didn't help stop this assassination.moreless
Jack is thrust back into the world of CTU after his informant is ambushed. Jack and Chloe continue to hit obstacles when Hastings refuses to listen to their theories. That forces Jack and Chloe to do what they do best.
This episode, as well as the season opener, do a good job at establishing mood for the season. I am a bit concerned as I watched this episode that the eighth season will become too formulaic. I see that mostly in the character of Brian Hastings. Jack and Chloe try to get him to listen, but he refuses confident that he is on the right track. Then, after something major happens, Hastings begins to listen. I hope that is not a sign of things to come this season. It's always good to see Chloe, she is a very good character.moreless
Oh, oh... The level is going down...
As i said in the previous comment, this new season is not as great as you maybe expect, but is very entertaining.
This conclusion of the return of the show is entertaining too, but also is worse than the first episode, althought this one contains the first twist of all season.
The twist is very good and unexpected and the performances of the most of the cast are good. The rhythm is entertaining and the end of the episode, although is not at all as powerful as the first one, keeps you on the edge one more time.
But i liked that the level will improve very fast and the new characters get better too.moreless
A slow start to a promising season.
Following an impressive act is hard to do. 24's seventh season has been largely revered as one of the better entries into the 24 canon, and, while it introduced so many radical changes and new characters, the core formula was still there and the show delivered on almost every front. Featuring a breakneck pace and a story that never slowed, season seven had more than its share of memorable moments, shocking twists and lovable villains, and it quickly became one of my favorites. It's been eight months now since the satisfying and emotional conclusion of season seven, and, after a finale such as that one, the show could have gone in any direction. Ambiguous though understandably predictable, it effectively closed the curtains on a stellar season, leaving fans hungry for more. In some ways, the premiere of 24's eight day is very similar to season seven's. New characters and sets abound, making for a fresh opening that gives the show a whole different 'feel' to it. And, just like last season, the writers have to explain and introduce a lot in just two hours; on show and in real time. Therefore, the premiere is mostly exposition, and that's understandable. There's a new locale, new CTU, new members of staff - heck, Jack's even a grandfather now! Just as we enter a new decade, 24 itself experiences many dramatic changes. Admittedly, things are pretty predictable, and, for the most part, serve primarily to get the audience familiarized and oriented with the story and new characters that dot each frame. By 24's standards, this is not surprising. However, since the writers have so many new devices this time around, it's going to take some time before the story can really kick into gear and find that quick pace 24 is all too well known for. And it seems that even Jack Bauer himself is taking things slowly. At least for a little while. For the first time in, well, ever, we find him happy – relaxed, on the couch while he spends the afternoon with his granddaughter, channel-surfing. It's an adorable and sharply written scene that works on so many levels, showing us that Jack Bauer finally has something to live for – a family. At the beginning of the episode, Jack even agrees to move back to Los Angeles with his daughter, Kim, and the rest of her company. But this is 24. A show where things never pan out correctly. Something has to happen to set things off, and, sure enough, a match is struck and a wild fire begins, with Jack reluctantly thrown into the midst of it all. In just two hours, we're taken on a mad dash through the streets of New York, watch Jack dodge bullets and narrowly escape death (naturally), and witness sloppy criminals at the United Nations. It's a typical start to a bad day and one that's destined to get worse. Along the way we see a few familiar faces mixed in with a sea of newcomers, though, for the most part, character interactions play off quite well. Teri and Kim Bauer are seen, along with her husband Stephen, who offers little, if anything to the episode. Jack's own family has the potential to become an interesting side device to be used later on, so long as Kim doesn't find herself captured or stalked by mountain lions (shudder). At the shiny and ultra-sleek CTU offices elsewhere, everything, save for one character, is new. Snide comments run amuck, and the banter seen throughout the employees is reminiscent of those who habited the CTU of the show's earlier seasons. The director Brian Hastings, played by Mykelti Williamson, is a gruff an impatient figure - a man of speed. And, oddly enough, it is Chloe O'Brian herself who can't keep up. Rough around the edges and not in tune with the quick ways of NY, she finds herself overwhelmed and unable to please Hastings. Dana Walsh, played by Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff, takes light in her troubles, donning the know-it-all persona that Chloe had held for some time, though is much more outward in her adoption of it. The two have some fun screen-time together and the contrast in expressions between the two actresses is well played. While it's predictable to a fault, 24's eighth day starts on a strong note. Sure, there's nothing out of the ordinary here, and it may take a while before the plot gets some legs, but that's to be expected with a show such as this one. A lot was covered in two hours, but, as mentioned, none of it was unexpected, and the whole thing needs more 'meat.' In the first two hours, the eighth season of 24 seemed to only get its shoes on. From here, however, it needs to start running.moreless
A predictable episode, which had some nice touches, but nothing more than this.
Ok, after a nice presentation 24 is starting to show is age, is easy to guess what will happen for a person like me or for the fans around the globe.
The beginning wasn´t bad, but after the suspect was caught, and even before that, you can guess that things are going to easy for CTU. Also this thing with Jack (I don´t want to go back but I will back) is becoming old and repetitive, things like that should have been done in the first episode, not in this one.
So the main problem for this episode is that it is predictable (even worse is when you know that woman is innocent), so even with good material for newbies in 24, only old fans that like the same thing over and over again, that can like a episode like this one. The episode is still watchable and can draw some attention. The writers also noticed that, so when Jack decide to go against CTU, something different (at least) happened.
Presentation Phase - » (6/10), Complication Phase - » (6/10).Climax Phase - » (6/10), Ending - » (5/10), Time and Scene Management - » (6/10) that woman was the main filler, Plot Details/Holes- » (10/10), Surprises/Shocks/Twists - » (6/10) at minimum, you could guess who was the real traitor, Drama - » (6/10), Predictability / Unpredictability » (6/10)*2 one nice touch, rest is the same play, A predictable episode, which had some nice touches, but nothing more than this.moreless
Is it just me or is something wrong with this season?
I'm a huge fan of 24 and i have been waiting for this season for so long, however somehow after seeing the first two episodes I cannot but feel something wrong in the overall ambiance of the season especially concerning the dialogues and the performance of the new actors.
For example the scene where Jack goes out from CTU to go with Kim, but where Kim asks him to stay is sooooo unoriginal and unprofessional, that it does not really fit in.
I am going through with the rest of the episodes, I am happy 24 is back but surely hope for a more solid performance from the new actors as well as overall dialogue and interaction performance.moreless
If the writers spent a little more time brainstorming and a little less time gazing at their navels, perhaps 24 could be a thoroughly amazing show again, and not just a somewhat enjoyable one.
As hour two of the eighth longest day of Jack Bauer's unhealthily chaotic life kicks into gear, the poor guy's still trying to kid himself that there is even the remotest chance that he will manage to pop off to Los Angeles to live happily ever after as some sort of kooky granddad in White Suburban Heaven with his cougar-baiting daughter. While our hero's unrelenting insistence that he wants nothing to do with the disaster that appears to be unfolding around him is at the very least a logical stance, it doesn't exactly pique the viewer's interest. Ultimately, it's a redundant plot point: we all know Bauer's going to stick around for at least another twenty or so episodes yet, so what's the point in pretending? His stubbornness just becomes irritating since it works in direct contradiction to the natural flow of the narrative. Jack is effectively an obstacle to story development, a hurdle that needs to be overcome in order to allow events to unfold, and in a show that's as heavily dependent on plot as this, that isn't exactly going to endear him to anyone. Thankfully, once Chloe starts to blubbing a bit towards hour's end, and Kim actually develops a functional frontal lobe (who saw that coming? Cougar-gal giving good advice? Is that a pig I see outside my window?), Bauer mans up, grows a pair, develops a conscience and returns to what he does best. But he's only in it to resolve the immediate problem, mind. No sticking around as bigger conspiracies unfold. Honest. Sigh.
Speaking of the Rajskub, Ms O'Brien's struggles continue apace here as the infuriatingly conceited Brian Hastings refuses to acknowledge that she may have some semblance of a point when she questions the ease with which CTU have exposed the 'mole'. Once again, our protagonists are thrown up against workplace conflict when there really is no need for it; for the umpteenth time, everyone who hasn't had prior contact with Jack, Chloe and just about every other character who's played a part in 24 history refuses to believe them when they basically reveal the truth, choosing to ignore the fact that in every prior instance, they've always been right (a quick look over the case history of the place would be enough to make that one apparent...) But you see, it just wouldn't be 24 if the central characters weren't marginalised; I mean, where WOULD the drama come from? How could the writers possibly generate conflict? It's as much of a mystery as Mykelti Williamson's casting. Really, this guy sticks out like a sore thumb amongst this litany of thespians. He makes Hastings even more of a caricature with every forced line and pseudo-sinister turn of the head. At times, it's difficult to watch him hamming it up, pissing all over everything Mary Lynn's trying to do with her character's fairly average storyline.
At least we get celebrities (well, ish) of Katee Sackhoff's calibre to rectify the balance. While the season's first dose of personal relationship, out-of-hours fluff threatens to cross the line into complete irrelevance, and only doesn't because the outcome could directly impact Dana's role at CTU, Sackhoff's portrayal of a character desperate to put her past behind her, struggling with having to face her demons as they quite literally present themselves at the Counter Terrorist Unit gates, is astonishingly convincing and manages to turn what would normally be an excuse to make a cup of tea into must-see television. Her confrontation with her ex-boyfriend is actually one of the best scenes in the episode and it's no small feat to make it so. Naturally, a great many of the hour's other highlights fall in the Presidential camp. Omar Hassan is proving to be a wonderfully three-dimensional character, a far cry from Hollywood's prototypical representation of Middle Eastern politicians, and the revelation that his brother is the insider comes as a pleasing, if not entirely unexpected, twist. It's also something of a relief to see Doug Hutchison return to his actual accent, if only for the delivery of a few lines, and his portrayal remains a distinctly sinister one.
'5pm - 6pm' contains much that is commendable, particularly the presence of an interesting personal story for a peripheral character (those are like gold dust in this show, honestly) and the considered representations within the Middle Eastern storyline, but sadly, it suffers somewhat from the rather lazy nature of much of the writing. There are far too many beats here that became tired several seasons ago, the most notable of which is officials at CTU acting as roadblocks in the progression of the narrative, which does absolutely nothing other than thoroughly piss the viewer off. If the writers spent a little more time brainstorming and a little less time gazing at their navels, perhaps 24 could be a thoroughly amazing show again, and not just a somewhat enjoyable one.moreless
A slow but entertaning start
I'm reviewing both episodes together. No doubt these reviews will be quite late as the UK is slightly behind the States, but no point seeking 24 through not so legal means when its airing on Sky 1 anyway.
These two episodes where not the fastest starting ones; season 5 is way at the top of the list, with season 6 and 7 close behind (despite season 6 being not the best season, its openers were damn well steller). However, I did very much enjoy them.
Jack's back... and he's a Grandpa!!! The President is now divorced from her husband, although I'm not surprised. They did waste his charactor a bit in season 7 so the fact he's not back is no shock. And the rest of the new charactors were entertaining as well, if a bit, "seen it all before." The new director always clashes heads with Jack. However, I'm liking Buffy's husband; it seems he has a more sensible head on his shoulders that will develope.
I also like the assasin storyline. They wasted no time getting Jack kicking ass. Taking out that dude with the axe was a very nice touch. And the missile at the helicopter... wooo!!! Brilliant stuff!
All in all I'm very glad 24's back and this looks set to be a superb season. I'll conclude with go team Chloe!!! Seriously... she's amazing.moreless
A slow start for Jack Bauer
The beginning of this season of "24" delivers a message that should have surprised no one. Jack Bauer is getting old. It's not so apparent when looking at Keifer Sutherland in general, but it's hard to ignore when watching Jack hang out with his granddaughter. That's when the weariness in his eyes and the huge leaps in the "24" timeline suddenly register. When it seems like Jack is getting a little tired and worn down, that's because he really, really is.
It's just another reason why the writers are clearly laying the groundwork for a conclusion to the Jack Bauer saga. Jack is on the cusp of retirement age, and he's pretty much dealt with every variation on the terrorism theme that one can imagine. In fact, looking back on the "middle years", during Jack's accelerated descent over the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons, there's a compelling argument that the writers were running out of good ideas.
The depth and consistency of "24" was restored during the seventh season when the writers finally abandoned the "seat of their pants" approach to the season arc and planned out the story well ahead of time. Some didn't like the idea of actually debating the ethics behind Jack's methods, but it proved to be the perfect vehicle for addressing Jack's restoration. The writers made a strong case that within the world of "24", there is a place for operatives like Jack Bauer and a role for an organization like CTU: those who can step outside the boundaries of the law to achieve a moral end.
By the end of the previous season, it felt like the writers were making a case for the resurrection of CTU with Jack Bauer at the helm. The current approach feels a bit more organic. Jack's redemption was the restoration of his reputation and a second chance at everything that he lost before his exile. With everything stripped away, Jack had to find a reason to grant himself forgiveness for doing what he felt had to be done.
But had Jack achieved a perfect balance between his commitment to service to his country and his second chance at a family, then it would have been too much, too fast. As currently framed, living near his family and enjoying the fruits of his labors is a very real reward for fighting for peace. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. In essence, Jack had something to die for, but now he has something to live for, and that's all the difference.
Showing Jack as a devoted grandfather delivers that message that should have been obvious: Jack isn't the right person to lead the counter-terrorism fight anymore. Jack is a little bit like Brett Favre. He's well past his prime, but he's still one of the best at what he does. Sooner or later, another agent will come along and take his place as the elite counter-terrorism agent, but that day hasn't come yet.
That same struggle against the slow but steady ravages of time has caught up with Chloe. Once the best ops agent in the business, in and out of the office, Chloe is struggling to keep up with new technology and new protocols. Unlike the end of the seventh season, Chloe can't even play the wise mentor to an FBI analyst with personal political blinders. Circumstance has forced her to find a place in a world that has passed her by, and it's not going well at all.
The question is: who will emerge as the Peyton Manning to Jack's Favre? Frankly, the writers have tried to introduce Jack Bauer's successor more than once, and it's never worked. Had they kept Chase Edmunds in the mix after the third season, he could have led the charge of the next generation. On the other hand, he probably would have been killed off like everyone else Jack once knew in the old CTU.
There were indications that Agent Renee Walker would follow in Jack's footsteps, but she doesn't seem to be a part of the new CTU. If anything, the end of the previous season left her moral compass in a whirlwind. She seemed to understand that Jack's methods were sometimes necessary, but there was some question as to where she would draw the ethical line. Hopefully the character, and those questions, will return in due course.
The lack of a solid agent with Jack's kind of intensity is, perhaps, the point of the new CTU. It seems fitting that a CTU without Jack Bauer to shape its character would have a rough response to its first big crisis. It all starts at the top. Hastings is trying to overcome questionable credentials with quick and easy political points, and it's clearly going to make things much harder for Jack over the course of the day.
Agent Ortiz seems to have the right blend of ethics and purpose, but much remain to be seen, including whether or not Freddie Prinze Jr. can deliver a sustained, solid performance. He did well enough in the first two hours of the season. As did Katee Sackhoff, who will likely be panned for daring to play against type. Unfortunately, much of the criticism against her character is valid, and exposes one of the many weaknesses that the writers have allowed to creep into the season already.
While Dana Walsh's personal issues could end up being relevant to the themes of the season eventually, right now they bring up some fairly basic questions regarding the vetting process of the new CTU organization. They don't seem to be any more thorough than the protocols used by the old CTU, which seemed to hire terrorist moles on a regular basis. Dana doesn't appear to be a mole, and her reasons for adopting a false identity don't seem to be treasonous, but if some redneck hick can uncover the truth, why not the United States government?
For that matter, the writers tread all too familiar ground with the revelation that President Hassan's brother is working with assassins to derail the peace process. It was quite predictable, so much so that it felt ludicrous that Hastings would ignore Chloe's protestations regarding Meredith Reed. It definitely felt like the audience was supposed to recognize that Hastings was being blind, especially since Jack and Chloe are almost never wrong, but a more subtle approach would have been better.
It undermines what has emerged as the initial theme for the season: learning from the wisdom of past history. Chloe's suspicion is right, proving that even an agent that no longer has up-to-date technical skill still has a wealth of important perspective. Similarly, Jack has a wealth of experience to trump Hastings' self-important ambitions. Ethan Kanin may have health issues, and might only be an advisor now, but his successor still has much to learn before taking his place. And the peace conference as a whole represents the notion of learning from past mistakes. (Which only makes the reliance on familiar "24" tropes all the more ironic.)
All of which makes perfect sense when one returns to the notion of Jack's personal journey. Jack can only rest when he is confident that his country will be safe without him. That can only happen when he feels that the torch has been adequately passed. It remains to be seen if this season will represent that final step in the Jack Bauer saga.moreless
Bad stuff is about to happen. CTU director makes every stubborn and stupid move possible to keep Jack from stopping it. Random CTU agent has secret situation that will inevitably distract or blackmail him/her. etc etc. Have we seen this before?
Don't get me wrong. I love 24. But they really need to start creating more original scenarios. Every season has the same CTU/FBI leader making bizarre and stupid decisions that ultimately blow every lead or opportunity. There's the random CTU person who is being blackmailed or distracted by someone from his/her past. There's interrogations using a lie detector where they believe it when it says their lying but not when it says their telling the truth. I dunno, its just a bit frustrating. It wouldn't take a lot to make the stories work much better, so why just put in that extra effort? Oh well. Hopefully the rest of the season will pick up.moreless