Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 9: 3:00 - 4:00 PM

This week brought a drink-light installment of 24 (bringing us but one "within an hour"), in large part due to it also being a Jack Bauer-light installment of 24. It was actually a relatively Chloe-light hour as well, meaning the story had to be carried along in large measure by the new characters established this season.

Fortunately, Agent Kate Morgan continues to be interesting. Hearing every single week about her traitor husband has gotten old of course (though it may be worth adding to the drinking game this season), but watching her bend rules and stay ahead of everyone else remains great entertainment. In this episode in particular, she really was the substitute for Jack Bauer, given his low presence in the episode, but she carried things well.

The writing indulged several of 24's tried (and tired) traditions, but thankfully managed to avoid others. Terrorist Margot baiting our heroes into a trap seemed an example of the former, but managed to transform more into the latter. Traditionally, this felt like the moment 24 would bring us a Shocking Death, all the more so for the fact that we're now almost halfway done with this abbreviated 12-episode season and could conceivably do without a character or two for what remains. But it seems instead that the people whose names we know (though I admit I don't always remember) managed to survive the bombing of the decoy villa. (Terrorism apparently pays well enough to buy two different lavish villas in England.)

I'm not disappointed to see the end of Naveed. His case of dumb turned out to be terminal, as Margot coldly executed him at the end of the hour. (Without a silent final countdown clock, telling us we're not meant to be broken up about it.)

What I was interested to see, somewhat to my surprise, was the softening of Chief of Staff Boudreau, who actually did the right thing by bring Jack in to see the President, as opposed to renditioning him into a dark hole somewhere. I think I would have also liked the reunion scene between Jack and Audrey, but the sad fact is that between the crying and the whisper talking, I think I only understood about one-third of the dialogue.

Mostly, I'm continuing to enjoy the ride. But I do think we're right about at the point where past seasons of 24 that started out good began to turn bad -- that point where, after having planned out the first few hours, the writers had to start improvising to fill the rest. Here's where we'll see if cutting the season in half helps them avoid any British cougars. I give this episode a B+.

No comments: