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'24' - '4:00 AM - 5:00 AM' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 23rd 2010 4:56AM
Katee Sackhoff, '24'
(S08E13)
Jack Bauer may be the star of '24,' but this week it was Ladies' Night -- or maybe the expression should be Ladies' Hour in this case. Regardless, it was the fairer sex that did the ass-kicking and the ass-saving this week. More impressively, this was accomplished without a single appearance by President Allison Taylor.

Luckily, I'm far enough away that the EMP that took down CTU didn't impact my systems, though our regular reviewer, Mike Moody, didn't fare so well. While he works to recover his systems and get back online, I agreed to pinch-hit and see how CTU handled their own electronic crisis.

If last week's episode was the best episode of the season so far, this week just knocked it back to number two. I'll even forgive that we got one of the oldest and most tired '24' cliches ever in play again, because everything else was just so damned good!

Jack called his friends at the NSA once CTU was taken out of the equation, so Agent Dick (I know that's not his name, but that's what he is, so that's who he is to me) showed up and immediately started slinging insults and taking charge. It was incredibly satisfying when Chloe pulled a gun on him. Doesn't he know who she is? Of course Chloe has the best idea on how to bring the systems back up. What Jack Bauer is to field ops, Chloe O'Brien is to computer systems.

I'll give it to our girl, though. Not twelve-and-a-half hours ago she was still struggling to learn all the protocols and wrap her brain around the advances in the New York CTU system, and now she's the only one who can save their asses. Who says there are no superhero shows on television (technically, 'Heroes' isn't on right now)?

While Chloe was saving the day at CTU, Renee Walker rejoined the show just in time to save Jack from a bullet to the face. I do have a point of contention here, though. Renee's had a horrible day, and it's after four o'clock in the morning now. Why the hell was she fully dressed and ready to go when Chloe called her? Plus, I want to know how she found out where Jack was so quickly. Woman's got mad instincts.

The beauty of '24' is that you know it's an exaggerated reality. The good guys always win, the surprises and twists keep coming, and just when things get their darkest, Jack Bauer hulks out and breaks all possible pretenses of what can be done and saves the day. That doesn't mean we don't get tired of seeing some of the same old ploys season after season. Just as I was beginning to think that CTU hadn't been infiltrated by an enemy agent for once, Dana revealed that she is undercover for the IRK, working to help them smuggle in the nuclear rods.

Of course she is. It makes her ultimate downfall more emotionally challenging because of her engagement to Cole. It does explain why she was so willing to help her ex-boyfriend steal from the government, and work with Cole to dispatch their bodies later. Her past is clearly littered with horrible indiscretions. I would feel more sorry for Arlo than Cole, except that Cole will now have to face the fact that he did unspeakable things on behalf of a love that wasn't real. Both men were played, though, and hard.

If Dana is that hardcore, though, then she should have just killed her ex-boyfriend and his stupid friend long before things got as out of control in that situation as they did. She had no problem dispatching Officer Prady this week, and all he was doing was asking questions and threatening to nail her ass to the wall. Maybe feelings got in the way with an ex-con love.

Even though they went the lazy route with Dana Walsh by having her be yet another enemy agent who's infiltrated CTU (who must have the worst screening process in the US Government), I'm still fully behind the twists and turns of this season. It's been a lot of fun getting to this point, and it's hard to imagine we're barely more than halfway through the day. Hopefully, things will shift into more unfamiliar territory as the sun comes up and the threat becomes more real.

I can't help but think there was more to Stephen Root's parole officer character than we saw, but perhaps that was it. I don't think that's the last we'll see of him -- or at least his body. And we're inching ever closer to the return of Gregory Itzin as the best/worst President '24' has ever seen.

[Miss even more sleep with clips and full episodes of '24' over on SlashControl.]

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C C

All these "Braga is destroying 24" posts are a riot. And they'll be even funnier in retrospect.

March 25 2010 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yoda

It's getting better and better and the Dana storyline, at last, came to something interesting...
I hope this is not the last season, 24 deverses a great ending !

March 24 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSBNYY

That's why for the most part, I keep my Braga comments related to 24, since Star Trek is only relevant to the extent of background as to why this guy is such a cancer. It also shows why people know how bad he is. But you're right about 24 being the key here.

That's of course why you see people criticizing the bad writing and bad directions this season has taken. For example, people noticing the sheer unoriginality of the mole in CTU are complaining about the episode, which is relevant.

People complained last week about the attack on CTU, which was also relevant and unoriginal.

The Dana subplot has been the source of complaints. Every week, it gets worse, and of course, it's relevant.

I would see your point about Star Trek if that was dominating these posts, but I don't think it is. Even as a Star Trek knowledgeable person, I wouldn't get into any discussion on any Star Trek episode here, because you're right, it's a 24 review.

March 24 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jerry campbell

Best episode thus far. Renee back in the game. Hastings continues getting stronger. Chloe is the best techno hero in TV history.
Jack, as field ops commander, has trouble with subordinates disobeying his orders under fire. Jack, do a better job of being a leader and intimidate the immature into full compliance.
Dana appears to be a "weak link" mole. If she was "hard line" she would have dispatched the ex b'friend when she first had the chance instead of allowing it to nearly compromise her cover.
If this is last season then expect the writers to go over the top in concluding the series. So much so that fans will rebel en masse and demand a 9th season. Say Jack saves the day and ends up drained and defeated looking as though he has lost his mind in the final scene. Renee dies saving Jack. I know this is a stretch prediction but Chloe sent into field for tech support and dies heroically in final episode. Can Jack possibly come back after all that he has sacrificed in defense of this country? Is Chloe really dead? Is the series really done? Supply and demand !! The demand could reach a point of frenzied open rebellion !!! It's in the hands of the "think outside the box" writers.

March 24 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSBNYY

Why not stop watching?

That's a very good and fair question.

To answer it in part, that's happened. There is a ratings drop this season, just like there was a ratings drop once Braga started ruining Star Trek.

Why do people continue?? I think part of that is because of all the time expended in watching the show since it premiered. It's a lot of years. A lot of seasons, and the show and characters, especially Jack means something to those people who have invested that time.

It's similar to Star Trek in that people loved that franchise so much, that they didn't want to abandon it--they wanted to see it improved. Fans were screaming what was wrong, and the studio didn't listen. Brannon Braga and Rick Berman should have left Star Trek a good 10 years before they were finally forced out the door, but Paramount was too dumb to let that happen. Now Fox is falling into the same trap, with the same writers.

It's amazing.

Eventually, the more Braga stays with this show, the more people will just stop watching. That's what happened with Star Trek. On any normal network, the plug would have been pulled during the Voyager disaster. Fox will never let 24 drop like that.

But like Star Trek, 24 CAN still be great. It was great before Braga came on board. Notice how the first Star Trek post Braga was a success. A MONSTER success. The same can happen with 24 if they get better writers.

This season is a lost cause. It's over.

But that doesn't mean they can't bounce back. Hell, compare Smallville, which is having its best season probably since before John Schneider left.

It CAN be done.

I don't want to stop watching 24. I want it to get better.

That said, I will say this--if the show comes back, and if Braga is still a writer, I'm done. I just hope he hasn't scared off too many viewers for future seasons.

March 24 2010 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MSBNYY's comment
MikLamb

:rant
My problem with the "Braga haters" is not that continue to watch Braga shows -- that certainly is their right to watch shows that they now hate (sort of like if I ate beets every meal even though I hated them, I could certainly do that although it would be strange). They certainly can and should post relevant things on boards such as TV Squad.

My problem is that they usually just post the same thing on each TV Squad review, about Braga sucking and personally destroying the Star Trek franchise. Well, guess what? WE GOT IT! We now understand everything bad about Braga! So, until you have something else to say, you know, about the 24 show that's being reviewed, please move along.

Thanks
:End rant

March 24 2010 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

I wouldn't really call Abrams Trek a success...it was more of a watered down version, with lots of glitz and other things to reach the mass audience...it didn't touch on the social issues that the real Star Trek touched upon...but I digress...

back to 24: no one had any issues with how everyone in CTU was back up against less than 1 minute after the EMP took them out? or how fast they got the guy into a body bag? even if it was just 5 minutes after, people should still be dazed and confused...that was what the early seasons of 24 got right...this season just misses the details

March 24 2010 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

so the terrorist baddies fire on 4 CTU agents manage to take out 2 and the 4 CTU agents manage to take out 0 before 2 of them are taken out - all this with machine guns on both sides and Renee Walker waltzes in and manages to take out the terrorist baddies with a handgun :? :/

March 24 2010 at 1:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lylekira

I guess my biggest issue with the people who come here week after week to complain about a show (any show) they don't like now or ever, is this ....

Why not stop watching?!?! Why expend valuable time and energy focusing on something that you don't enjoy. I mean TV is supposed to be entertainment right? If you are no longer entertained, why not move on?

My guess is that some people do find compaining and bitching some warped form of entertainment. I call it a sad personality disorder. We get it. Your mad and angry that the show you might have once liked years ago, no longer entertains you .... but bitching about that for season after season does? Seriously?

I guess its the same thing with people who start websites about someone or something they hate. Its all very sad IMO. Sigh.

I will give next weeks blog and comments another try because so many of you have promised to stop watching (so I assume that means stop posting too). If its still a depressing morass of negativity I shall too move on ... as to not be a hypocrite ... LOL!

March 23 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

I've been a 24 fan since its debut but feel that this has been a mediocre season overall,although these last two episodes have been decent. Perhaps the problem is that as clever as the 24 premise is,it is simply played out & there isn't anything fresh or innovative left to do with the concept after eight years. I have read that TV creators say that most TV series have five years max within their formats before they become stale & begin to repeat themselves. There are a few exceptions to this rule(M*A*S*H,The West Wing)but I believe its mostly true. I know I find with myself that even with TV shows I am a huge fan of that after five,six years on the year I begin to drift away from them.

March 23 2010 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

Chloe: "I don't even like guns."

No kidding. GREAT line.

Ah, the return of the mole motif. And it IS a motif, not a cliche. You won't completely understand this until later, but all along 24 has been utilizing Freud's "repitition compulsion" theory. People who have suffered a traumatic event have a tendency to tell the story over, and over, and over again, to deal with the PTSD. The 24 writers aren't lazy, they've been recycling plots intentionally.

March 23 2010 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to C C's comment
Frankly

And, CC, you know this because.....???
You are way too inteligent to be posting here. Spend more time with the writers and get them to incorporate some Freudian theories. That should make some interesting episodes.

You've been so wrong in the past - why don't you just give it up???

March 24 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSBNYY

I think first, it's unfair to call people who don't like the way this show has gone "mindless." There is nothing mindless about it. Braga's history speaks for itself. The man torpedoed a billion dollar franchise.

Now he's doing it with another great franchise. The criticisms of the show this season are legit, and are hardly mindless. People are complaining of a lack of originality, and a rehashing of previously used plots. CTU has been blown up/attacked TWICE. There have been close to 10 moles in CTU. A mole in CTU is the single worst idea they could come up with.

The Dana plotline has been universally panned. First, it has absolutely nothing to do with anything going on in the show. Second, it isn't remotely compelling because as someone who is new to the show, who cares about this woman? Third, there is a nuclear crisis in NYC, who cares about this storyline? Fourth, in the midst of this crisis, does anyone really think a parole officer looking for a petty thief matters? Like anyone would take any time to do anything but escort him out of the building and say come back later?

It's almost as preposterous as suggesting that 5 guys with guns can invade the White House and actually GET to the President.

Oh wait, they did that last year.

This show used to be awesome. It's a shell of what it was.

March 23 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MSBNYY's comment
Edward

at least in season 1 they showed Jack dozing off to sleep in the middle of the day...we are to believe that they don't fall asleep or need caffeine for the last 7 days we have seen...

March 23 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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