Season 8 Episode 8

Day 8: 11:00 P.M. - 12:00 A.M.

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Feb 15, 2010 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
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  • the best episode so far....

    I expected better from 24, but this one episode reminded me the great seasons 1, 3 and 8. At least some good action, some ass kicking villains and torture.

    Well, I hate hastings, I hate the story of the dumb blond, and Renee has not been good either, but jack is Jack and he still kick some butts all the way.

    the story is just like in the start of the episode, but with one villain less. Let´s hope he is any help in catching the son.

    The president of the islamic republic is a bad dude, i want im out of the season.
  • Jack buys time and accepts torture, then realizes he can escape on his own and takes out the whole Russian Mob. A son's betrayal gets this show rolling again.

    The beginning of the episode focused on Dana/Jenny and that was a problem as I've come to dislike that plot along with many others.

    However, this episode is a big improvement from episodes 5 through 7, and it really puts Jack in the middle of things, which is always a good sign.

    As far as villains go, I thought Bazhaev and his attempted shootout with Jack was great! He manages to wing Jack with some buckshot and never once backs away in fear. Jack just outsmarted him. In addition to Bazhaev, I really think the new Islamic villain Samir is going to provide charisma, leadership, and evil similar to that of Habib Marwan and Abu Fyed.

    Looking back, I can say that Josef's alliance with Farhad Hassan at the end was foreshadowed, but when I first saw the episode, I was totally surprised.

    The action was great! Jack's fighting off torture was fantastic, and his stealthy barefoot sweep of the restaurant culminating in an intense firefight was outstanding! The drama and suspense were also impressive. The interrogation of Jack had great dialogue, Josef's fake hatred of Farhad with a gun to his head was very convincing, and the final scene was a solid plot twist. Also, the attempted retrieval of the nuclear rods reminded me much of the attempted retrieval of Sentox Nerve gas midway though Season 5. Great storywriting!

    To all those who have issues with this episode, I encourage you to look at the positive. Bazhaev is done being a threat, but the IRK terrorists now are going to be in control of the rods. I can only imagine that thousands of Americans will now be in danger, just like in past seasons. The Dana storyline is the only one I have a problem with, but there are enough Jack moments, plot twists, and solid action sequences in this episode to make up for that storyline.
  • 24 stills alive.

    This episode is dedicated to all that people who missed the torture and the brutal action!.

    This installment is powerfull, fully entertaining and so intense, with an stunning Kiefer Sutherland who shows the audience that he stills can do the best action sequencies himself.

    But is not the best episode so far, due to i saw more quality and more interest in episode 4.

    But this hour shows the audience that 24 stills being alive althought its cancellation is actual and the most of the episodes of this season are not very well.

    But you can still depend on this show.

    A really good installment!
  • Although the episode's conclusion was a slight letdown, it moved quite a few elements into play, neatly concluding one segment while at the same time providing much-needed exposition for future developments

    Pacing. Honestly, how important is it that a television show (or, for that matter, any form of entertainment or performance) be well-paced? The answer: more important than you'd think. You can't barrage a viewer with non-stop action with little to no substance making up the story. That just doesn't make compelling TV. And, in addition, the audience would soon suffer from something known as 'combat fatigue'. They need something other than just over the top battles and fighting. Therefore, you gotta mix things up. Throw in some character development every now and again, a funny scene here, a suspenseful one there. The only goal, really, is to create something that feels balanced, equal, and, most importantly, complete. However, such a formula will only work if every element is of top quality; each aspect has to be interesting to watch or the other parts will ultimately fall apart as well. I'll give 24 credit for almost always nailing its pace. Even with episodes that contain a lot of action, the writers still allot time to other scenes that aren't as combat-oriented. And, for the most part they work well. Not as much with this episode, unfortunately.

    Here's why. Remember last episode, where Jack handed himself over to the Sergei's mob of Russians solely for the cause of his mission? Well, they're convinced he's a cop, and, unless he talks and tells them who's his superior, one of Bazhaev's men is gonna put the hurt on in the form of electrocution. And, as Jack's all so used to it, he doesn't even bat an eyelid (well, for the most part at least). Jack's warden is obviously oblivious to that: "Everybody has limit, don't worry." For heaven's sake, he spent years held in captivity by the Chinese and never talked once, so, honestly, does anyone expect him to even wince at the torture of one lone henchman? Anyway, it doesn't take long for Jack to initiate bad-ass mode and knock the guy the out with his own torture devices. And then, with Jack struggling to find a way out of his shackles, we're sent to commercial break. Cool… I though, we can create some suspense of the commercial break and reconnect with Jack after a few short minutes. Oh, was I wrong. Instead, we're given a rather dry scene of Hassan and his daughter arguing. Boo. What this did, rather than increasing tension, was dampen the episode's tempo. It was progressing along nicely, and, rather than letting the set-piece take its course, it was broken up a little too often. With moments like these, I could understand why 24 works better on DVD without commercials (thankfully, I'm watching the episodes on iTunes).

    But the writers made that feeling all the much better when they finally reconvened with Jack. I'll get to the that later, though. We've gotta touch on Dana's story for a bit, the one where predictability and stupidity reigns supreme. Okay, Dana. Let me ask you something. Did you honestly expect these goons to give up now? They've already shown that they can manipulate and get the better of you; what's to make them think that they can't do the same thing once again? Stupid, stupid, stupid, Dana. She's useless at CTU and apparently useless at having any sort of foresight. But she proceeds on, making one bad decision after the other and very rarely will she get back to her damn job, shut the hell up and do something worthwhile!

    But, believe it or not, there's a shimmer of hope in this awful side plot: its days are numbered. Dana is looking finally to take matters into her own hands, and, if next week's episode is any indication, she'll end her past for herself by taking out some rednecks. After that, Dana, will you please get back to work?

    And then there's Jack. Once he finally releases himself from his cuffs, it's evident that he has a plan in mind. And boy, he doesn't waste one bit of time after that, taking out every one of Sergei's men through an assortment of creative ways and then securing a shotgun-wielding Bazhaev by throwing a dinner table on him. Quite a spectacular action sequence that, for me, tops last week's.

    When CTU arrives at Sergei's restaurant to clean things up, Sergei and Jack have a little talk, and, in exchange for full immunity for both his son and he (24 fans should be used to this situation by now), attempts to hand the uranium rods over. Josef, on the other hand, complicates matters, stealing the materials for himself by raiding the vans before Cole and his team can get to them. Apparently, Josef didn't take his father murdering Oleg lightly, and, through aligning with Farhad, wants to make his father pay.

    It was a long time coming, but at last we received an episode that was almost entirely about Jack. After Renee in the spotlight for a few weeks, Mr. Bauer was more than overdo for his own share of the action, and, almost solely because of the main plot, hour eight was solid. Although the episode's conclusion was a slight letdown, it moved quite a few elements into play, neatly concluding one segment while at the same time providing much-needed exposition for future developments. Let's hope that includes Dana getting back to work.
  • Same but different

    This episode was different.. I mean.. it had story development but in the end.. where did it get us? Quite in the same place.

    I loved the storyline with Russian syndicate. Jack being tortured.. then getting out, catching the "main" man and getting the location and then: it was all for nothing as there is a new thing on the play. I think it was quite guessable that it will go that way.. but.. I liked that the transaction was better than in some sessions.

    I did not liked what went on with Dana Walsh. She has been quite .. boring (?) and the storyline just seems to go on and on.

    And the thing with Hassan.. the way he just.. seems so illogical. I like the storyline with her daughter but that man makes no sense.
  • what the hell

    Christ writers. You got it wrong in season 6 but then you got it right. Big time right! Season 7 was superb and I loved every second of it (okay, it lagged a bit towards the end but it was certainly an improvment on 6). Its like you want to undo everything you did last year.
    Does ANY 24 fan like the Dana plot? No they don't. Maybe if they had found a credible way to do this to a well known charactor, like Chloe or Renee, it might have worked. But what they have done here is wheel this trollop on and automatically make us want to learn more about her. 8 episodes in and they are still at it. Its not going to connect to the main plot at all. Hugley dissapointing writers. I can't for the life of me figure out how they thought it would be good. Everything else is stale seen it all before, except with less interesting charactors. The only interesting ones are being underused (Taylor, Cole, Chloe) and most of the episode is subplot we really couldn't care about. There are some sparkles; despite the fact that Jack is now indestructible, after showing him being so vulnerable at the end of last season, he's had some serious stuff this year. Renee is very good too and I think Cole has potential. Hassan is really starting to bug me now. Good action and all but they really need to sort this out. This show is capable of amazing things. Don't keep dissapointing us!
  • Dana is in more trouble than before, Jack escapes again and Hassan is getting more and more paranoid by the hour

    This episode was atleast better than the other 7 but that is not saying much since the other 7 were bad. Jack gets totured to see if he is a cop and again manages to overpower the guy despite the fact that he had been stabbed and electrocuted. how ever this is an improvement as this is the type of action we want to see just done better than this.

    The Dana plot, i really dont know what on earth the writers, directors and producers are thinking here. I mean this girl is trying to cove a not so bad criminal past by commiting a greater crime of helping to rob a fedaral government building. She is doing this so that she could be left alone, really? i mean even if the plan had gone well how about the fact that this guy will leave finger prints behind that can be traced back to him and eventually her. also how on earth can she trust a career criminal now she is in a worse situation than before. also she keeps using CTU's systems to aid this guy wont the logs show all this missuse of the systems. even if she erases the logs wont the big gapes add to the suspicion? Now she is planning on shooting the guys i mean how can a person so inteligent not see the futility of what she is doing. Is covering a sheddy past, that you have been pannished for already, so important that you are willing to commite greater crimes. Instead of saying i went to jail once for being an accessory in a murder she is now guilty of robbing and evidence storage, evidance tempering, misuse of company systems, illegal access to restricated area and info and she is about to comit double homicide, to make matters worse she has a trail of clues that point to her all the way.

    24 is about to jump the shark
  • More and more twists, meanwhile, does anybody really feel the world is in danger?

    The Die Hard movies are entertaining, sure, but when watching them, does anybody really feel as if John McClane is really going to get injured? Does anyone wonder if he's actually going to die? About four or five seasons into 24, I stopped wondering if this would be the season when Jack would finally die and just started accepting that he's sort of like a superhero; impossible to kill and impervious to pain.

    A 24 episode is usually pretty exciting whenever Jack gets a chance to kill some terrorists and other bad guys, but for some reason, this episode just felt duller than most, dragging along with boring expository dialogue amongst CTU employees. The action was great, but there were too many lulls in between these scenes, and too many stale character moments (it's hard to know whether to blame the actors or the writing, because the writing is certainly not what it used to be).

    It's nice to see that Cole finally has an idea of what's going on with Dana, and it appears Dana is about to flip out on Kevin. This gives her character an entirely different feel, and I hope they can find a way to put this plot to bed for good. Find something more productive to do with these characters.. although I suppose I'd rather have something slightly more interesting like this instead of the god-awful plot from Season 6 where Chloe thought Morris had relapsed.

    As for everybody else, everything was just underwhelming. Renee, after quite a few episodes of great acting, had barely anything to do, Jack was stuck with plenty of great action scenes, but barely anything in the way of talking, Chloe is pretty much a shadow of her former self, saying a few lines here and there in a robotic way and then disappearing for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. And as for the two presidents and the peace treaty? We barely see President Taylor anymore, and Hassan is just going insane from the stress of the day. To be honest, I'm becoming more interested in two minor plots that involve characters only introduced this year: Josef, Sergei's son, who seems to have betrayed his father as revenge for killing his brother, and Tarin, the loyal helper to Hassan who is being investigated for betrayal. Barely any time is focused on these plots, but I find myself very interested in where their characters will go from here on out.

    If only the writers could find a way to speed up the episode without losing any of the intensity. Focus more on good dialogue, less pointless talking scenes that are just summarizing things that have already happened and give each character plots that aren't simply filler. With Season 7, it always felt as if there was something major at stake, and with Jack on the run for most of last season, it gave the show an urgency that has just been missing so far. I have high hopes though: 24 tends to find it's way, even if it takes a little while. We'll just have to see I guess.. I still love this show, but I find it to be blatantly obvious the show is having trouble keeping the intensity going.
  • It seems almost redundant to say it at this point but 24 really isn't what it used to be.

    It seems almost redundant to say it at this point but 24 really isn't what it used to be. Somewhere down the line, probably around two or three years ago, the writing staff decided to take their feet off the accelerator, prop them up on the dashboard and rest comfortably on their laurels, setting the narrative to auto-pilot while they got out their cuban cigars and had a cosy tet a tet. Fortunately for the poor, discerning public, the writers' strike happened, swiftly kicking the lot of them up their respective rears and prompting an upsurge in creativity. Sadly, however, now that things have quietened down and the production crew have been able to relax their troubled selves a little, the momentum has waned once again. The writing process has transformed from determining how change can be made to ticking a series of perceptibly mandatory boxes, ensuring that every episode is little more than a series of well-worn narrative tropes strung together by the most depressingly bog-standard of stories. Jack demonstrates superhuman-like powers when attempting to escape from the bad guys? Check. There's a mole in CTU? Double check. No one believes Bauer, Chloe and just everybody else that's saved the world twenty times over in the last ten years when they claim that they're misinterpreting information? So checked, you could probably buy it in Topman. These concepts may have captivated and enthralled when they were first trundled out in 2001 (yes, it's been that long) but by now, it certainly isn't too much to ask that they're firmly put to bed.

    Instead, of course, they're paraded in front of our eyes as if they're the most innovatively creative ideas this side of a Charlie Kauffman movie. Oh my God, Sergei's asked for immunity? Well I never! Would you Adam and Eve it? I just can't begin to get my brain around such a complex and radical concept! You would think, by now, that the poor guys at CTU would, at the very least, roll their eyes and exhale in frustration, if not have regulations in place that prevent the implementation of such deals. How many times have reprehensible criminals managed to escape the claws of the American justice system because they're able to broker a deal that sets them up with 'a very big house in the country'? "Oh yes Mr. Bauer, I know a great deal about generic terrorist threat x because, obviously, it doesn't stop with me, oh no, there's a greater conspiracy afoot, so if you spare me from being strung up by my pinky toes and tortured for eternity, I'll divulge everything." And lo, in order to move the plot forward, the villain gets his wish, spills the beans and no one ever pays. It's far, far too easy a fix for the narrative and it's one that the writers resort to over and over and over and over, like a monkey with a minature cymbal. Is it so difficult to find new ways of moving things forward? To come up with something a little less frustrating? Oh wait, this is 24. It has a formula to stick to, a recipe to concoct. To deviate would be sacrilege; there was no way Jack could escape the clutches of Faceless Torturer #746 (whose 'fun with electricity' was a little too reminiscent of the antics Bauer was subjected to in the later stages of season two) without introducing the most over-the-top and patently ludicrous developments known to man, was there? Clearly, the knife to the throat in '10pm - 11pm' wasn't enough for the production crew. David Fury plays a game of oneupmanship here and has Jack crawling along a pipe, which just so happens to be leaking, by the way, and then knocking the bad guy unconscious by wrapping his legs around him. Uh huh. Frankly, it looks ridiculous. For all it may paint Bauer as a 'bad-a**' (or some other such psuedo-masculine rubbish), it's so unbelievable that it's impossible to invest in it. And just to compound the problem, Fury also injures the man here, having him shot in the arm and also wounding his foot but no, it's okay, he won't need to go to hospital, just have it wrapped up a little. He'll be up and about in, oh, ninety seconds, acting like nothing ever happened... just like last week, when Renee brutally stabbed him in the stomach! Are we really supposed to accept this c**p? Really?

    Well, given that this is the show that just will not let up with the inclusion of utterly pointless, extraneous narrative strands, yeah, I guess we are. So the Kevin and Dana saga continues for the umpteenth week in a row, sucking the life and soul out of the plot and insulting the audience's intelligence about twenty times over in the process. There are so many objectionable elements to this story that you wonder exactly how the writers can rationalise it during the creative process and expect that any sane individual would ever derive enjoyment from it. About three or four episodes ago, it became depressingly evident that Kevin would never leave Dana alone, despite his claims that he would 'be through' with her once she completed her task, and that subsequently, we wouldn't be treated to the quick resolution that we so desperately want. Honestly, it's tempting to take a sledgehammer to the screen to stop this wanton waste of time from going on any longer. But still you watch, sucked in by the misguidedly optimistic notion that things can only get better, only to find that no, they really, really don't.

    Kevin's already atrocious dialogue actually manages to get worse now that's drunk off his t**s (and how exactly did that happen in, like, twenty minutes, huh? Has he been necking straight vodka?) Arlo gets even more irritating now that he's given an increased amount of screentime, poking his nose into what he believes are extra-marital activities and being eye-gougingly smarmy, Dana almost, but not quite, tells Cole everything but, naturally, someone interrupts just at the crucial moment and curses, she's not able to take this storyline in the only direction that might demonstrate any semblance of potential! Instead, from a conversation in which Ortiz basically tells her that he'll love her no matter what (not actually realising what that entails, in his future bride's case), she decides to take matters into her own hands, stalk Kevin by having a drink in a nightclub (um, WTF?) and brandish a gun about, presumably because she intends to put a bullet in his brain. Yes, because that won't get her into any more trouble, right? What better way to fix the fact that you've committed a heinous crime than to commit an even more heinous one? Agh! What part of any of this is even remotely entertaining? Evidently, it's supposed to create some form of suspense but it's all so sodding artificial that it's just plain boring. Oh, and how many times is this woman going to pop out of CTU for some pathetically transparent reason before Hastings catches a clue? Before people stop simply stroking their chins and realise that actually, employees can't just walk out without asking their superiors first? This entire narrative is absolutely, unequivocably abysmal and really impacts on the quality of the episode as a whole, removing any semblance of suspense from the story for very significant periods of time.

    Unfortunately, at certain points, the remaining plot strands have the same result. The final five minutes of the hour are evidently supposed to be a veritable smogasbord of dramatic tension as the retrieval of the nuclear Rod Stewarts nears what we are supposed to believe is its conclusion. Except that there isn't a single viewer in the land who would buy that for one second. We're eight episodes into the season; to allow CTU to achieve their objective at this point would require a complete 180 degree turn in the narrative, wherein the emphasis would shift entirely. Yes, perhaps this would be a possibility if we were fifteen or sixteen hours in, but this early? No way. It is depressingly obvious that an obstacle will arise and furthermore, that said obstacle will be the intervention of the supposedly dutiful son. Given recent developments, wherein David Anders hasn't exactly been the happiest of chappies now that his brother has snuffed it at the hands of Daddy dearest, the trajectory of the narrative is hopelessly telegraphed. Consequently, this takes the wind out of the sails during the final stretch, robbing the ramp up to the cliffhanger of its desired dramatic effect. With the outcome as such a foregone conclusion, it really is hard to care about what's going on. Certain underwhelming acting choices don't help matters either. Hassan's daughter is resolutely unconvincing, delivering each line like she can't get her mouth around the words. Her story plays out exactly as predicted in weeks past, too: Hassan objects to her relationship with the required amount of knee-jerk callousness to make him feel really bad when she ultimately wanders blindly into danger in the coming weeks (yes, it will happen). And while Hastings actually gets some decent dialogue for once, the actor just can't make any of it convincing. His cadence is all wrong and, for whatever reason, he continues to walk around his offices like he's the freaking Hunchback of Notre Dame. Wassupwitdat? Oh, if only we had Annie Werschung to save us... but sadly, Renee's being debriefed and looked down upon at CTU so she's depressingly underused. Sigh.

    There are a few positives to be found, however. This being a David Fury script, it's the little details that are the most pleasing - Ortiz adjusting the scared agent's gear, the inclusion of a nightclub, which is something we've never seen in eight years of 24 (or at least rarely: just hedging my bets there), Sergei cooking while plotting the sale of nuclear materials, Jack cutting his foot as he succeeds in his escape and so on. These minor doses of realism are most welcome as they enable us to buy into the story. There are even some priceless moments of black humour too, most notably as Bauer announces to Sergei that he's on the line with the President of the United States, prompting one of the finest and most perturbed looks in the show's history, and also as the dastardly Russian breaks down in front of Jack, confessing that he murdered his own son and our hero clearly has no idea what to do or say. In general, these two seem to play well off each other and now that Kensei has betrayed him, it looks like we might get to see a little more interaction between them in the weeks to come. And it's worth noting that the sequences in which Bauer and the Russians creep through the darkened house looking for one another are superbly executed, with Cheylov utilising a combination of slow shots, muted chiaroscuro and Sean Callery's pitch perfect underscore to create a truly tense atmosphere.

    Sadly, however, these less objectionable elements are insufficient to salvage the episode. Fury's script places far too great an emphasis on unnecessarily extraneous plot developments, concentrating heavily on the car crash of a narrative that is Kevin and Dana Do D.C., which promptly sucks the life and soul out of the show. Just to make matters worse, generally, the remaining strands are lazily written, proving depressingly predictable and relying to a great extent on tropes and paradigms that became cliches, within the show's framework at any rate, years ago. It really is difficult to drum up any interest in the vast majority of what we're given here and as a result, watching 24 is becoming far more of a chore than a joy. Wake up guys, your show's sinking. Get your feet back on the accelerator before it's too late.
  • As another hour of eye-rolling and yawning ticks away, I ask, who are the viewers who keep this show alive by giving it ridiculously high scores? Minor spoilers alert.

    Jack's over-the-top ability to get out of the most dire of predicaments is tested once more in the 8th episode of th 8th season of this faded-star tv show. The result? Another hour of mind-numbing dialogue followed by a graphic, yet short, torture sequence, and culminating, predictably, in a glorious and totally unrealistic escape of the American action hero Jack Bauer. There is a brief shootout too, the kind where the bad guys tend to miss a lot, much like they used to do in Arnold Schwartzeneger movies back in the 90s.

    As we sail into what (hopefully) is the last season of the once engrossing and original 24, every episode is dull, repetitive and lower than mediocre. But while the hardcore fans are still rating the show with fake generosity, mostly out of respect for its prior achievements, serious critics and simple followers like myself see 24 for what it really is today – a failed attempt to stay afloat against all odds.
  • Things became serious for me during that torture scene with Jack. That's two times for the day already not so?

    I believe Jack should have gone with Kim, and have someone else be the hero for their country. At that point when the torturer stuck his finger into Jack's wound, everything became squirmy. I am just tired of Jack suffering relentlessly. What seemed to be a waste, was that it lead him to nothing, the rods were gone and that only meant another 24 runaround of 'tag' where everyone becomes a suspect and the chase is always ongoing.

    Everything just felt like an eye roller at this point. From the moment Jack got the better of his torturer, to the point where he surprised Bazhaev-after he himself proved to be a worthy villain, to be defeated so easily was a real shame, by a table being thrown on him non-the-less. Did Jack not expect to be tortured by these men, they obviously would not have trusted him to book a deal. Bazhaev was smart, he figured that Jack was a cop(not really-retired) and not because he looked like one exactly, but because of his style and approach to making a deal, it lacked the necessary finesse of a businessman. They didn't even try to do a background check on his name.

    I felt disappointed when Jack got a handle on things so easily and arrested Bazhaev. I think I am tired of hearing the phrase "I want Immunity". I was like 'it couldn't be over already, how much episodes we have left?'. I couldn't believe Bazhaev's son took over the operation, that felt like a traditional 24 runaround scene. Like they did that one already and Jack was having a series of deja-vu moments.

    I didn't appreciate Renee being labeled crazy and Hastings is really annoying me now. I want to have his credentials and who recommended him for the position, in full view. He is really a huge fool if he could walk over people, take credit for the job when it's done right and blame the same people when the job gets screwed up. A leader is supposed to take the heat on both occasions, for the good and the bad, and Hastings seems to be more like a follower in the shadows type.

    As for Dana, I have nothing really to say about her. She started off as a strong character and now they are painting her to be this major idiot. I believe her plot would have something to do with the later events in the day, that's if she goes through with pulling the trigger. Somehow I stopped caring about her character and the dilemmas that came with it. She just has no real principles set in her life to take the stand I want her to. Her solution to solving a problem, is to have it end with a bullet, when she could have prevented him from doing any harm in the early stages. Since when did Kevin's friend have s much mouth to talk to Dana that way, anyway I guess I had something to say on that topic after-all, but I am not a fan of the few minutes wasted on Dana's lack in judgment.

    President Hassan's scene was a bit mellow, along with the scenes with his daughter, I already knew of her relationship with Tarin and I don't believe he's the traitor Hasssan made him out to be. Who knows, expect the unexpected I guess.
    This hour was very slow and felt redundant for some reason, like a roller coaster ride I've been on before. I hope things begin to spin the way I want it.

    Lexa Reviews



    Three Stars

    Grade C-
  • Jack is taken to Sergei Bazhaev. Bazhaev believes that Jack is a cop and instructs his men to "interrogate" Jack. Elsewhere, Hastings, furious at Renee for killing CTU's only lead to the missing nuclear rods, orders her to CTU for evaluation.

    This episode has gotten the show back on the right track. The scenes at the restaurant work well. It's always a high point seeing how Jack gets himself out of various predicaments. The scenes with Assad and his daughter are also well done. The scenes do a good job of keeping the viewer interested as to what will happen next with her. I am a little skeptical about Dana and what she has decided to do. Personally, I hope she does what she has set out to do because I can't stand Kevin and his friend. However, I'm not certain.
  • Did someone say torture?

    This is normally the time when the season would rush into its first major plot twist, representing the end of the introduction phase and the beginning of the complication phase. That may in fact be happening, but judging by the plot progression seen in this episode, it's hard to understand what the writers were hoping to accomplish.

    This season is already listing, which is very hard to understand. There is a clear attempt to tell the story correctly, in terms of a planned story arc with a central theme. The problem is the set of scenarios chosen, and worse, the set of characters developed to encounter those scenarios. It's telling that Jack is far and away the most interesting and compelling character this season. Nearly everyone else has squandered what potential was present during the premiere (Renee Walker being the exception that proves the rule).

    This is highly reminiscent of the third season, which was forced to abandon many of its early plot and character arcs in the hopes of salvaging the season, when the writers clearly misinterpreted the viability of their initial plans. The second half of that season was much better than the first. It's hard to know if the writers have any tricks up their sleeves for this season, or if adjustments can realistically be made.

    The problem, as seen in the third and fourth seasons, is that such mid-season adjustments lead to last-minute plotting, often with no concept of where to leap next, and the demands of such a practice force any depth out of the equation. The result is the kind of shock-value nonsense that dominated the fifth and sixth seasons, and Kim's infamous "cougar" subplot of the second season.

    Pre-planning eliminates the need for shock tactics, and also gives the writers the ability to build to those stunning moments. Those moments are thus well-earned. In the seventh season, that approach resulted in a largely consistent story. It didn't hurt that the characters and situations were fairly compelling, including those in the FBI and in the administration.

    In contrast, nearly everyone at the new CTU is bland or annoying. Even Chloe doesn't seem to have much punch this season. Considering that a good 40% of the story revolves around CTU thus far, that's a significant problem. Add to that an apparent inability to make anything connected to President Taylor or even President Hassan interesting at the moment, and that's more than half of the material. It's simply dragging every episode down in the process.

    Jack's story, as usual, is the one that keeps the episode (and the season thus far) from being a total failure. With Renee all but out of this episode, Jack is the one that has to carry the weight, and he does so well enough. Along with the dynamic between Sergei and Josef, which at least had some intrigue to it, Jack's assault on Sergei's team was a welcome relief.

    If it seems like a bit of frustration is beginning to show, that's because it is. A slow and steady pace is not a problem when there's a clear sense of progress and sustained intensity. Besides, in the seventh season, the ongoing debate regarding extreme counter-terrorism methods was front and center. This season's theme of "sins of the past" is more passive in nature. One can only hope that the plot twist at the end of the episode will finally push events into a more exciting direction.
  • This is what I watch this show for - action, drama, politics, more drama and even more action. Welcome back "24". *spoiler ahead*

    After talking to Cole, Dana finally realizes that she has to deal with her ex-boyfriend Kevin. She takes a gun with her and follows him, waiting for the right moment to approach him.
    Renée is taken back to CTU for a debrief and a psych evaluation.
    Hassan's daughter tells her father that she is in love with Tarin, but this just convinces him even more that he is a traitor because he was able to get close to the family.
    Arlo tells Cole about his suspicion that Dana is secretly seeing someone else and Cole asks him to track her down.
    Jack, who was taken captive by the Russians, manages to escape and capture Sergei Bazhaev alive. He makes a deal, authorized by president Taylor, to grant Sergei and his son Josef immunity in return for the location of the fuel rods. Unfortunately Josef stole them and is transporting them to Hassan's brother.

    + a lot of action in this episode (we want to see Jack kick some bad guy's ass once in a while :>)
    + character development for Dana/Jenny (good acting)
    + Josef betraying his father was predictable but still nicely done
    + finally a scene with Dana and Cole where they talk
    + Cole wants Arlo to see what Dana has been up to and who Kevin is
    + Chloe covering for Dana (Chloe's awesome :D)

    - I felt no chemistry between Cole and Dana at the scene where they talked inside CTU (especially Cole seemed "off")
    - Renee having another breakdown - I only didn't like it because it feels fake to me since her Russian mob-connection wasn't mentioned in the previous season (as far as I remember).
    - bad acting by Freddy Prinze Jr. in the Dana + Cole scene

    I enjoyed this episode and I'm looking forward to the next episode.
  • Now we're talkin'. ;)

    At last! 24 gains momentum. After an irritating lame start this episode is definitely the best of this season so far. Tthe shooting at the russian's place was superb & full of tension, a tough & focused Jack Bauer as we love him (barefeet, John McClane style ;) ) and a great Jürgen Prochnow, who is playing his role so well that you could even feel sorry for him when he cries due to killing his own son. I also think that Haystings' character is getting better and better.

    Let's see where Dana's plot is heading. What the writers did very well: Kevin and his buddy can REALLY be frightening for a woman. Especially Kevin is played by a very good actor. I would LOVE it if the 24-Crew would bring back Tony Almeida in the game during this season - a fabulous character, season 7 was awesome, and Tony Almeida's role contributed a lot to the quality of Day 7. What bothers me a little is that Bill is dead. His character was so special & unique as well. :) The next thing I hope is that the writers establish a more interesting villain than Hassan's brother, this guy is some kind of annoying. After Prochnow is now out of the game, I hope to see someone taking his place as charismatic badass. :)
  • finally...

    it was a long wait,but after 7 weak episodes we got and old school 24 episode which hopefully will be the beginning of a great season which will make us forget the poorly first 7.

    Jack Bauer is back!!!not as a driver,not as a side kick and not as a ctu biatch...and jurgen prochnow is great as well...

    still,i don't know where the dana walsh story and it's kind of reminding me the boring sub plot of season 2 about kim etc.

    Brian Hastings is still annoyiong and I hope the writers will replace him with a different and smarter character like bill buchanan..