Here's the thing.
Sometimes, I think the writers of 24 have their hearts in the right place but they get themselves in trouble when they think too much about it.
For example, when you have a show that's set up in this way - with one set of characters who do field work and get all of the action, and another set of characters who pretty much sit around and spout exposition - it's natural to occasionally want the characters who sit around a chance to get involved with the main plot head on. It shakes things up a bit and reminds audiences that anything can happen.
But if you do something too often, it stops becoming suprising and it instead becomes routine.
When it comes to CTU, there are generally two tools that the writers utilize to bring the action closer to home - leaks within CTU and attacks on the CTU building and staff.
Season 1 had Jamey and Nina. Season 2 saw an explosion within the walls of CTU. Season 4 revealed that an ex-flame of Curtis' was in on the plot, and Season 5 had both the misguided Spenser Wolf and a nerve gas attack on the building.
We were doing well this season. We had a bit of a red herring with Nadia earlier in the day, but in all, it looked as though CTU would make it through without being invaded in one way or another.
And then we have this episode.
There are so many problems with this episode it's not even funny. It really is ludicris. What I was getting at before was the biggie - at this point, "Terrorists hijack or otherwise incapacitate CTU" doesn't work as an exciting plot twist. At this point, it's so tired that it's uninteresting and boring. I don't care WHY the terrorists are invading or planting nerve gas or explosives (the fact that this time it was for simpy, whiney Josh Bauer didn't help) because the execution is boring. It also doesn't help that the writers have failed miserably at making me care about these characters or what they're going through, so putting them in a perilous position that I know MOST of them are going to make it through doesn't really get my blood pumping either. It's more along the lines of "ho hum, can we finish this so we can get on with the actual plot?"
Secondly, Josh Bauer? Ridiculous. This plot would've been fine if it was chiefly about Jack Bauer's pursuit of Cheng and the component; adding the widely-panned Bauer Family Drama into the mix does nothing more but rob the story of more credibility than it had already lost.
There's also the problem of killing off characters. Now, when it comes to 24, it's natural that some of the characters that die are going to do so simply to add shock value or poignancy to whatever is going on. Here they tried to do both with Milo and failed horribily. Aside from the aforementioned fact that I don't give a lick about what's happening with these characters, there's also the fact that it makes no sense. Oh, so you want to kill the head of CTU to make a point, Angry Chinese Guy? What about leverage, and the fact that people are going to be calling CTU to give and recieve updates, hm? What then? Oh, what's that? The guy that you killed wasn't REALLY the head of CTU, but now that you know it was a lie and you've made your point you're willing to let it slide? That's fine, except that it doesn't make ANY sense. Admit it - the only reason you killed anyone was so that afterwards the event will have some semblance of "meaning" and it'll give the characters a chance to explore their feelings. Isn't that right, Angry Chinese Guy? I knew it.
And also, what about security? I mean, sure it was a suprise attack, but you'd think SOMEONE other than Jack would manage to take out a few or mount a defense? And shouldn't everyone on the CTU floor have some kind of self-defense training and a firearm at the ready, ESPECIALLY after 9/11 AND the numerous times they've been attacked in the last decade or so (show time that is)? I'm also extremely agitated at the fact that nobody in the White House seems to be able to recognize the fact that everything that's going on is China's doing. Certainly it was partially America's fault for allowing one of their agents to go rogue and steal the component and hand it over to the Chinese, and they should definitely help retrieve it. But what about the fact that the China illegally detained and tortured an innocent woman and then used her to coerce said agent into compliance? What about the fact that a small squadron of Chinese mercenaries illegally invaded an American government building, killed numerous government employees, and then kidnapped a teenage boy? What about the fact that all of these events are personally overseen and orchestrated by a man who works for the Chinese government? Why isn't anybody - Russia, America, anyone - pointing out the fact that CHINA is chiefly responsible here? CHINA is the country committing what are essentially acts of war? Why is President Suvarov whining and complaining at the United States and holding THEM responsible while the Chinese government gets a pass? And why is President Daniels LETTING him? It doesn't make any sense at all, ESPECIALLY after this episode.
What a ridiculous episode. It seriously fails on all counts. At this point I'm done even hoping the remaining episodes will yield any positive results.