This season of "24" has been mixed so far. While there is potential as always, there have been many wasted opportunities because of the way the writers handled the execution. Take it, for example, the stupid Dana Walsh subplot, which doesn't improve at all and refuses to end. This is an unfortunate situation because this has been contributing to the many bad reviews of the season thus far. As usual, there are always the high points: Jack's plot is the highlight of the episode, especially his cold threat to Marcos. While the threat to a terrorist's loved one isn't a new idea, this sixteen minute act is handled perfectly, combined with great dialogue and acting. After 11 episodes, there's still time to use the potential of the good storylines. I support a slow pace when we have interesting conflicts, but with this season, there have been several flaws. Hopefully, this strong episode can provide a definitive improvement over the rest of the (maybe final) season.
The mid-point of the season is coming, and already, there are signs that the writers are keeping to the familiar pattern. By the end of the twelfth hour, there will be a twist that will change the complexion of the eighth season completely. Or rather, that is the promise that has been made, and it fits the usual intentions.
As such, this is a typical episode designed to push the characters and events towards that twist. That means a lot of focus on the process of uncovering Tarin's involvement in the terrorist plot. All things being equal, the writers did a good job of making that reveal as effective as possible. It didn't feel forced, and if anything, it made sure that the Kayla/Tarin relationship would pay off as a plot element.
It also revives the potential that President Hassan can justify his actions over the past several hours. As harsh as his response to betrayal may have seemed, his instincts were true. This shouldn't be ignored or downplayed; it should be a key point of discussion as the long night continues. A lot of people have criticized Hassan, between the Taylor administration and his own family, after all. Once the crisis with his daughter is resolved, he should be pressing that point (assuming the terrorists haven't succeeded by that point).
And that's a very real possibility, since it's just about the only thing that would be considered a stunning turn of events at this point. If Kayla were to die, that wouldn't necessarily be unexpected. After all, the terrorists have already demonstrated the will to kill for their cause, regardless of the victim's identity. Killing Kayla would probably been seen as a victory.
It's also not going to work if the big twist is related in any way to Dana, Cole, and their little probation officer problem. Never mind that Dana has a particularly bad track record for deception for someone who managed to change her identity so flawlessly that she was hired for a high-profile counter-terrorism job without raising a single red flag. She could have easily dodged this whole mess by making it very clear that national security is more important than a lunatic violating probation. How hard would it have been to say: "Sure, I could take some time to resolve this minor detail. Hope you don't mind the idea of a dirty bomb going off while you're in town because you can't wait for your slot on the priority list."
Why not have the officer call up Director Hastings? At this point, it's not like it's the worst option. Dana knows that being away from her post is only going to make matter worse, so why not let Hastings set the officer's priorities straight? It's not like Hastings has a habit of listening to people. For that matter, assuming that this man is even a probation officer in the first place, couldn't he be charged with interfering with a federal investigation?
Whatever the case, this just extends a plot thread that has already long since worn out its welcome. If it becomes the next major aspect of the season, it would simply kill whatever lingering potential this season has. Within the context of the season thus far, the only logical way to force the story up to the next level would be to denotate that dirty bomb in the middle of Manhattan.
In terms of this episode, the writers deserve credit for doing a great job with Marcos and his standoff with Jack and CTU. It would have been easy for Marcos to fold as soon as his mother was brought into the equation. Instead, the writers kept to their theme and reminded the audience that Jack has come to terms with the horrible things he's done in the name of national security, and that it means he's ready and willing to add to the list if necessary. He may be more hesitant to resort to extreme measures, but that doesn't mean that he'll back down if matters come down to it.
Overall, this episode was a slight improvement over the previous hour, but it is still depressingly average. With the mid-point of the season coming with the next episode, there is the anticipation of a big twist on the horizon. The nature of that twist could very well decide the success or failure of the season.
Jack tries to find out more things to stop the terrorist attack in this very good episode wich shows us that the series is improving and getting more and more interesting episode after episode.
Althought it has the usual lack of perfection and the same on the charisma of some characters, thought characters like Cole, Dana and Hastings who were too weak in previous hours are improving a little, the episode manages to give us suspense, tension, action and drama.
Also i remark the performance of Kiefer Sutherland in this episode. He is truly great in the end.
You have to look closely the dialogue between he and Marcos.
That was amazing episode. Really. It had all the excitement, all the tension, emotion and quite a few surprises.
I most say I loved that storyline with a mother.. how so random person got caught into all that.. she had to learn what is son is up to, see him there and then.. I think that was really emotional and well played out.
Also, you never sneak out with someone important daughter unless you have plan of your own and.. ofcourse.. that's the case with Kayla. Reminds me so much about S1 and Kim.. And ofcourse the ending showed quite well that both of them now know that they are lying and it will get dangerous.
I really loved this episode we saw the old Jack that we all loved, it didn't have too much White house, also loved President Omar Hassan and his family part in this episode and in this season. I didn't like the Dana Walsh story line in this whole season. All in all this is the best episode in this season. I wish they had this in the begining of this season they would have the good ratings they wanted. Instead of the ratings they have now.
I wish they would use some idaes from the books they have out about 24.
I'm not feeling this season. Almost half way through and I keep wondering when its going to get going. This episode was pretty boring overall. Not much happened; yet more filler as a ten year old terrorist spent an hour trying to blow himself up. Good acting aside this is just poor. Dana Walsch. If you thought it was over... The writers are taking the effin p**s. Kevin is dead but now we have to put up with probation officer. I just don't care. 24 deserves a better swan song than this, if this is indeed its final season. I would hate to see it end in such a rubbish way. Pull you damn finger out writers!
Jack talks to Marcos trying to get him to disarm the bomb and cooperate with CTU. Elsewhere, Dana finds out that she's not out of the woods just yet. President Hassan finds out his actions may have been justified after all.
I'm not quite sure what to think of this episode. It does have it's high points. The best one being Jack and his scenes with Marcos. There we got to see the Jack we know. It was good to see that guy again. I think Hastings' reaction to Cole and Dana's return was odd. He harshly criticises them but pretty much for all intents and purposes excuses them (Though he does demote Dana.). It's almost contradictory. I must note that I like the fact that Chloe is in charge. She deserves to be. Let's see how things go from here.
I'll make this short.. I AGREE with screenagedkicks!! Everything he or she typed is soooo TRUE! I'm so pissed and dissapointed in 24 this season. It makes me sick! 24 was my favorite show. I'll keep watching til the end...HOPING it gets better....and it won't take much!
That DAM# Dana storyline makes my husband and I both want to kick in the TV!!! Pathetic. HOPEFULLY she'll be KILLED off! Storyline DONE!
Have to keep typing....don't have 100 words....It's Friday and I'm still pissed at 24.
At least I have the whole box set of all the seasons...My husband has only seen season one and last season. LOL....he said lets just watch the DVD's ...but I'm still holding out hope that it will get better. Sigh....what the hel# happened to the writers?? Heard this is the last season. They should have STOPPED two seasons ago.
Oh, one last thing...did Jack have plastic surgery ALL over his body??? Sure don't see any scars.
'2am - 3am' is about as far removed from entertaining as you can get, featuring so little of any consequence that it's almost as if the episode is inviting you to tune out, goading you into giving up on its catastrophically lacklustre carcass.
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. And you were doing so well, 24. Last week's moderately entertaining instalment demonstrated a much more concerted effort to maintain some semblance of momentum, edging that ever-so-slightly important central narrative forward a few paces and actually managing to engage the viewer, rather than cause us to throw the entire contents of our living rooms at our television sets. We were mostly free of extraneous, uninteresting interpersonal rubbish and treated to forty minutes of solid anti-terrorist action. And if only we could say the same of hour eleven. Where Manny Coto and Brannon Braga succeeded, Evan Katz and David Fury spectacularly fail; '2am - 3am' is about as far removed from entertaining as you can get, featuring so little of any consequence that it's almost as if the episode is inviting you to tune out, goading you into giving up on its catastrophically lacklustre carcass.
Really, where oh where do we begin? Perhaps with the script's predominant feature: the woeful regurgitation of The Kevin/Danajenny/Cole Show (credit to the 2guystalking Podcast for that one). Honestly, the amount of screen time devoted to the furtherance of this utter and complete waste of space is actually dumbfounding. We effectively begin the episode submerged in its detritus: after an all-too-brief sojourn around the bizarre pressure chamber (sound tracked to eerie perfection by Sean Callery, it must be said), Sackhoff and Prinze engage in one of the most horribly protracted, and woefully forced, two-handers ever to grace a storyboard. We accompany the characters as they embark upon their CTU elevator ride and just when you think it's all over, when the conversation falls silent and the 'dramatic' (hah!) pauses begin, the doors open, they step out, and who is there to greet them? Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker with an axe, dripping with the sodden blood of every other pointless character that currently populates the show? No, it's Hunchback Hastings, ready to read yet another set of clumsy lines straight from his autocue, demonstrating no semblance of acting ability whatsoever! Just what we all need!
This is truly horrible, horrible stuff and what's worse is that Katz and Fury make an active point of signalling this fact to their audience. At the very beginning of their elevator ride, as Dana starts harping on about the mess that the characters have just dived straight into, Cole tells her that they have more important things to worry about... like, you know, the threat of a nuclear dirty bomb being detonated in the city. You know, that troublesome little job that they're both supposed to be doing. Effectively, he's turning to the viewer and highlighting the fact that this entire storyline is extraneous, that it's wasting valuable time that could be better spent dealing with the actual plot. How about making no reference at all? How about some silence in the lift, conveying the gulf that now exists between the two? Ah, but we couldn't have that, because Prinze needs to be given awkward, hokum lines like "I wouldn't have done what I did if I didn't still love you", that we're supposed to care about but to which, really, we don't give a c**p. This is made out to be the big, perfunctory pay-off at the culmination of their conversation, a moment of clarity and euphoria, but it has no impact whatsoever. Essentially, it's just another kick to the face, a reminder that no matter how much we may crave it, the show simply will not get on with what it's supposed to be doing.
And of course, as Mykelti Williamson traipses onto the proverbial stage, things only get progressively worse. Choice lines like "you two have holy hell to pay for" and my personal favourite, "if you weren't the best at what you do, you'd both be out on your a***s" are delivered with such a remarkable dearth of naturalism that it's hard to believe Williamson is actually a human being, capable of processing and understanding emotion and behaviour. It doesn't help that the content of his dialogue is patently ridiculous either. Thankfully, he notices that Dana has had a change of clothes, but then proceeds to brush their entire disappearing act aside in the interests of 'getting through the threat', failing to ask any questions about where they've been or what they were doing and instead, just having a bit of a harsh word, demoting Ms Walsh so that she's working under Chloe and sending Cole out to assist Jack. Huh?! Your top agents have just b******d off without consulting anyone! They've been gone for hours and your investigation has been significantly hampered as a result! Doesn't that count for anything? Wouldn't it be possible to get anyone else in your super hi-tech, state-of-the-art, brand-spanking-new Counter Terrorist Unit to step in for the two of them while you, oh I dunno, interrogate their a***s? Or send them home on probation? Anything?! Is CTU really that under-staffed?! And as for the actual demotion, God, this is infuriating. Dana even has a bit of a strop when she's made to take orders from Chloe... wouldn't she simply be happy just to have a job after the Kevin debacle?! And that conversation between the two of them is just plain horrible; Chloe's assertion that "it must be hard for you, what with being demoted and everything" and the added "hang in there" is a further waste of space, failing to manufacture even the slightest shred of engagement. The last thing any of us need is for the show to get into some sort of 'war of the geeky intellects' between the two analysts, simply because one of them hasn't quite done something right. It's mindless, it's pap and it has no place in 24.
It actually beggars belief that we spend so much time concentrating on The Dana Walsh Show and so little bothering with Marcos's attempt to blow himself up in a pressure chamber. Not only do we prance around worrying about Ms Walsh's working relationship with Chloe, but we're subjected to a reconciliation sequence, of sorts, with Arlo, in which they effectively kiss and make-up after their semi-sorta-falling out in the last ten episodes, which no one actually gave a monkey's cuss about. And it doesn't end there folks, oh no. As if it would! Katz and Fury seem to think that we need to explore every possible detail that may result from her abandonment of her post. Following a thoroughly redundant conversation with Arlo that does nothing other than reiterate information to which the viewer is already privy, we're subsequently treated to a practically identical scene with Hunchback Hastings, in which Dana wanders casually into his office for no reason other than to apologise. Again. And he basically rebukes her. Again. Honestly, is the central plot so thin that we need to resort to regurgitation? Virtually nothing new is achieved here, other than Hastings offering up a load of cod-psychoanalysis that adds littlto Sackhoff's character. We really don't need any of this. It's c**p; c**p, c**p, c**p, I tell ye. And does it end there? No, of course it doesn't! This is season eight of 24, where engaging, well-paced drama is but a pipe dream! It doesn't seem possible in the wake of the unfathomably abysmal 'aftermath', but Katie Sackhoff's narrative actually manages to get even worse. Yes, gentle reader, you read that correctly. There's more. So much more. Katz and Fury proceed to smother their script in putrefied horse manure, taking the greatest of relish in destroying every last semblance of respectability that the show has ever had. There really aren't the words to describe how catastrophically atrocious this is. Perhaps we should simply start by describing events. Instead of letting the Kevin storyline die a horrible, horrible death (like every discerning viewer desires), the writers introduce a brand spanking new character to the mix in the form of the ex-con's probation officer, who decides to call up Danajenny at two o'clock in the sodding morning to ask her if she might sorta have something of an idea as to where his charge has b******d off to. One word guys: aaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Christ, this storyline just. Won't. F*****g. Die. How about we don't spend any additional hours wasting valuable screen time on a narrative that has no redeeming features at all? How about Dana spends a good few episodes getting on with her job instead of being subjected to a series of pathetically unbelievable distractions and contrivances? Why oh why oh why is this so difficult to achieve? What would the show lose out on by culling this redundant storyline? Precisely nothing, that's what. But of course, that's impossible. Instead, we have to put up with the possibility that Dana may have to leave the office again, put her work on hold again, tell head-scratchingly nefarious lies again. What is she doing denying that she knows Kevin when that is the only logical way in which his parole officer, who is obviously looking for him, may have contacted her? It doesn't make any sense. There again, this storyline doesn't seem to have any logic to it whatsoever, given that this guy is up and about, doing his job in the middle of the night. It's not like Kevin is still in jail and as far as anyone can tell, his actions don't indicate that he's done any wrong. All of this could wait 'til morning. But no. The writers have so little plot that they need to bring out the 'big guns' here and significantly impede upon the progression of the central narrative. Hell, they even integrate it within the terrorist threat, unbelievably, as once we return to Marcos following probably the worst scene in 24 history, we take a break form things for the umpteenth time so that we can have events that we've just watched be narrated to us in the form of a conversation between... you guessed it... Dana and Cole! About the probation officer! Whom we just saw! And cared nothing of! Momentum annihilated again. Huzzah! It really does beggar belief that this is considered to be of more worth than the terrorist plot, that we're expected to be engaged in Dana's plight and desperately want her to succeed in her endeavour to outsmart the dreaded Probation Officer. It just f****g sucks. Period. Kinda like the majority of the rest of the episode.
Oh yes, it doesn't get much better when Katz and Fury turn their attentions to other matters. Far too much time is spent pontificating over the relationship between Tarin and young Hassan; they're almost as poorly constructed as Dana and Cole and, as a result, are about as bloody uninteresting. Of course, much of this is concerned with demonstrating the regret that Omar harbours over his supposedly rash actions many episodes earlier (something that was telegraphed from the moment that this hopeless plot began... it really was obvious that some peril would come of her and that Hassan would repent as a result), but even this struggles to keep itself afloat. The actress portraying Mrs. Hassan essentialy props it up, providing some genuine emotion, but sadly, Katz and Fury completely drop the ball with Omar's dialogue. Lines like "I've lost my way, I see that now" are far too sweeping, sounding like he's talking about some inherent, protracted character trait that he's only now beginning to regret. It just lacks naturalism, something that is particularly disappointing coming from these two writers, given their track record. However, this almost seems Oscar-worthy when compared to what subsequently develops. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as with Dana's story, things continue to spiral effortlessly downwards, robbing 24 of every tiny morsel of integrity. Yes, the unthinkable actually happens. Tarin is revealed to be a mole. The most transparent, predictable and downright lazy plot development comes to fruition, thereby proving the supposition that 24's writing staff compose their scripts in between bouts of smacking up. I am actually praying that this is a red herring; that Fury and Katz have something truly surprising up their sleeves because if not... well, I don't know that there's any point in tuning in any longer. Things are that bad.
Perhaps if all of this wasn't so unforgivably horrible, I might actually have been able to engage with the remainder of the episode. To be fair, the sequences between Bauer and Marcos certainly harbour some merit; both actors play fairly well off each other and there is a notable level of dramatic tension underpinning events. Unfortunately, once again, the dialogue lets things down. Katz and Fury trot out the ol' 'arrogant America' argument but, as with every text of this kind, the statement is a sweeping one with virtually no verisimilitude to act as support. And then, even more problematically, Jack comes out with the utterly mind-boggling corker, "you say 'your country' but you were born here in America!" Huh?! What f*****g good does that do? He's loyal, you idiot! Your place of birth is not necessarily the country with which you 'align' yourself. Bauer would know this, and that saying such a thing would be more of a hinderance than a help. It's shockingly out of character and sticks out like a sore thumb. And while Bauer's threat to essentially irradiate Marcos's mother is certainly more in line with his mentality, it's difficult for anyone to convincingly deliver lines like "you look into my eyes!", even an actor the calibre of Kiefer Sutherland. The inclusion of the mother, despite being predictable, is fairly well handled, even if the actress occasionally lapses into cliche. Marcos's emotional conflict is less convincing, particularly given that one of his sentences essentially consists of the phrase "uuuurrrrrrrrrrrr nrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh." Yeah. Eloquent. At least he gets blown to smithereens at episode's end in a nicely shot sequence with a whole heck of a lot of blood. It's a pity that after being spectacularly subjected to the full force of the blast, Bauer is up and about once again, but that really is the least of our worries at this point. I'm slightly more concerned that Marcos doesn't seem to have a clue that four lights (anyone else have a chuckle at "there are four lights"?! Star Trek: The Next Generation? No?) and beeping noise might indicate that he's about to be all exploded, and that the terrorists seem not to care about the fact that opening the container housing the nuclear rods might actually expose them to radiation. Oh yeah, small fry that, everyone. We're more concerned with making sure that "CTU's radiation sensors are down". Huh? What? Another mole? Please be f*****g kidding. Please. No. Sodding. More.
While there are certain elements of '2am - 3am' that are at least passable, it's hard to be even remotely engaged with them when they're surrounded by so much extraneous c**p. Honestly, this is truly abysmal stuff at times, completely unrelated to the all-important central narrative and serving no purpose other than to thoroughly infuriate the discerning viewer. This is certainly the weakest episode of the season by some considerable margin; in fact, it's also one of the worst hours in 24 history. Oh how the mighty have fallen...
The season has been built up well, everything is pulling together properly, that was one of Jack's memorable interrogations i.e psychological mind play at it's best. Chloe has gotten a grip of the new and advanced c.t.u systems she's now on top of her game. Cole is back in the field. The twist involving tarren (hassan's head of security) was perfect ,Hastings is on fire and dana walsh's story gets better for the worse. This show has re invented it's self this season for the better i mean it's the 11th hour but the games have just began really........ what a mind blowing show.....
This was one of the more exciting episodes of 24 this season and it featured something we've never seen before - a guy exploding with his innards all over the inside of that pressure chamber door. Ha, well not that graphic...but it still had a lot of blood on that door. Jack killed it once again, especially with the directorial work - having the camera pan in on Jack speaking to Marcos threatening to have his mother within the vicinity if the nuclear weapons explode, having Jack make eye contact at the camera? That was brilliantly effective. Next week's episode looks like a killer as well. Looking forward to it.
..."Bye bye Dana. Bye, bye Dana" Too bad, so sad. Or not. And if Cole is such a chump as to cover for her, then he's not CTU material either. Humph. So there!
I always like to see Mare Winningham pop up on shows. I think she's a really good actress; there is just something really natural about her performances and she certainly had lots of emotion to play with in this hour, on this night. Son Marco went boom, and Jack managed to confine the damage. We should rename him "Jack Tough-Call", 'cause he can make 'em...
Question now is: between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., will Hassan's love-is-really-friggin'-blind daughter go boom too, or will Jack be in time? My dime is on Jack, but I won't go a cent higher...
(all the paragraph spacing is screwed up...what's with the text editor on this site??)
This week was slightly better because the parole officer caught Dana in a lie (haha, dummy!), and Jack throwing that kid back into the chamber was cruel, but, hey, that's life. So, there, two minor good points.
But I was still bored by the rest of the episode. The weepy mother pleading with the kid was cringe worthy....and then the kid blabbling on and on about USA-not-OK....ok, yeah, got it. I kinda knew that Tarin was behind this because they were giving him and Kayla way too much screen time. Two problems here : (1) this plot is recycled from seasons 1 and 7, and (2) wasn't Tarin in that limo with President Hassan when the terrorist set off that bomb under the manhole cover? I'm certain that he was.
It bothered me that Hastings didn't care where Cole and Dana disappeared off to for two hours. He should have demanded to know where Dana went and what lead Cole was following up on. Stop showing the box of nuclear rods...they're just tubes in a wooden crate.
No missile, no warhead, no launcher, just guys moving the crate from one place to another place. Same crate. Who goes to sign papers seeking asylum at 3AM? It might take a two years to get asylum - what's the rush, dude? If I was Kayla, I want to sleep too : "Hey, where are we going sleep after we sign the papers? On your friend's couch?". I guess now Prez Hassan thinks he's real smart for figuring about that Tarin was the traitor. But, not really, Hassan was just paranoid and would have accuse just about anyone.
Last week was a breath of fresh air for 24 after losing its way for a little while. We were given plenty of typical 24 moments: action, twists, cliffhangers, political drama and great acting. This week's episode picks up almost exactly where last week left off (on second thought, isn't that every episode of 24?); Jack is preparing to bring Marco's mother into the mix in order to convince Marco to back down, Hassan is still paranoid as hell, although he has calmed down a bit, Dana and Cole are still bickering and the terrorists are in the same place that they've been for what feels like hours and hours.
This week certainly had a lot of build-up, but it was all worth it in the end. The final fifteen minutes of the show were as great as any other episode, and watching Jack frantically attempt to save Marco's life was another great moment for his character, especially the events leading up to that moment. I feel as if Kiefer Sutherland hasn't been given a lot to work with so far, and the new characters have been given way too many scenes in comparison to the main star of the show. I do realize this proves 24 is able to keep things interesting even without Jack at the forefront of the show, but keeping him out of it as long as they do sometimes is unforgivable.
I'm really starting to come around to the character of Hastings. He's obviously a strict guy, but he's nowhere near as bad as Erin Driscoll or Ryan Chappelle. He's a tough guy, but he's already proven that he can do the right thing when the situation calls for it. Also, I'm glad that the writers decided to give Chloe a few more lines than they have lately. And when I say a few, I really mean a few. It feels as if she's just a glorified extra, which is too bad, since she's been around for quite awhile now.
It's nice to see Hassan getting more scenes too, and the acting this season has been pretty good. The only problems I have right now is the writing. The writing so far has been staler than normal, and while the premise for this season has been interesting, the pacing has been not-so-interesting. The show transitions from slow to fast almost as much as they did in Season 6, and there are some scenes that feel as if they could be taken out (just about every Cole and Dana scene can be taken out actually).
However, the second half of this episode was superb, and next week's episode looks as if it will be incredible. I'm really looking forward to see what will happen next, especially as we reach the halfway point.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!