Jane here, filling in for Mike. I was actually reviewing '24' at the beginning of the season, but found the storyline so preposterous that Mike graciously agreed to take it off my hands.
Somewhere between then and now, the show has gotten much better -- more interesting and less ridiculous. In fact, last week, my nephew emailed me and said the show's gotten better lately, especially with the return of Charles Logan. I wholeheartedly agree. Not that Logan's any less of a weasel, but that's what I love about him.
(S08E18) Things got ugly last night on '24.' Jack Bauer threatened the lives of women and children, brutally smacked the smirk off Dana Walsh's face, and President Taylor decided to turn a blind eye to the Russian conspiracy.
The reappearance of the Logans was a high point of the current, uneven season of 24, as fans and critics seem to adore the duo. So why has there been a news blackout when it comes to the condition of the man who, in the show's 11th hour, was quoting the Psalm of David about redemption and deliverance from evil?
Don't know. But TV Guide's Michael Ausiello, quoting a 24 source, says the former president will not be heard from again this season. "It appears Logan is going the way of those Russian mobsters on The Sopranos," he wrote. If he's correct, then this is a damned shame. Why bring Logan back with such fanfare and promise, only to see him go out in a hail of stabbings with a kiwi knife?
(*Warning, spoilers ahead from this week's episode*)
Okay. Enough references to kiwi. And raspberries. And allusions to something that happened "in Denver."
While we wait to learn the fate of former President Charles Logan, here are four more 24 moments from the 13th hour to consider:
Quote of note: "Sorry, I'm feeling ambivalent, I'm gonna go," CTU analyst Chloe O'Brian told Logan after he was bitterly complaining about being left alone in a CTU holding room. He's a disgraced ex-president don't ya know.
*Warning, spoilers ahead from the recent 24 episode*
Jean Smart's Martha Logan was given the best lines during the 13th hour of 24's sixth season. In fact, the former first lady's character may have been given some of the most campy, over-the-top bits of dialog from all five-and-a-half seasons of 24.
While some viewers -- okay, at least me -- are hoping that Martha Logan will stick around, her lines, which were delivered with gusto, are a big reason why Martha's a much more compelling character than, say, Marilyn Bauer, Josh Bauer, Graem "Plastic Wrap" Bauer, Milo Pressman and Sandra Palmer.
Here are five choice Martha lines from the latest episode:
(S06E13) *Warning, spoilers ahead from the new episode*
What do you get when you mix together the following ingredients:
A blended shirt that doesn't wrinkle, a mysterious Denver connection, raspberries and kiwi from Mel's, a bungalow, a mental institution, Russian carnage, getting "stirred up" and Ricky Schroder?
A heck of a good 24 episode . . . though I must admit to laughing at scenes where the show's creators likely weren't going for guffaws. But when you bring back three old characters and put them in an awkward (Man was it awkward!) love triangle and sprinkle in some potential world destruction via nuclear bombs, you gotta chuckle, at least a little bit.
*Warning, spoilers ahead*
While a great deal of media attention is focused on the first appearance of Ricky Schroder as CTU agent Mike Doyle on tonight's episode of 24, here are three reasons why the reappearance of the Logans (and Aaron too) can provide a much needed jump-start to reinvigorate season six:
1. Jean Smart. As First Lady Martha Logan last season, she vacillated between being weepy and drugged up, to being fearless. The unsung hero of season five -- who gathered evidence to implicate her treasonous husband, President Charles Logan, even bedding him to keep his suspions at bay -- Martha Logan is, in short, a fantastic character. Smart didn't get nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for nothin'.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead from this week's episode AND mentions previews*
The previews for next week's 24 teased viewers with the fact that the thirteenth hour will treat us to the glorious return of two favorite characters and the addition of a new, silver spoony kinda guy. But while we wonder how in the world Jack Bauer will ever get himself out of this fine mess he's now in -- trapped inside the Russian consulate -- we need to revisit hour 12 once more:
Quote of note: "I'm here to be of service," so said former President Charles Logan to Jack. Whether he means it or not, remains an open question.
(S06E12) *Warning, spoilers ahead from the new episode*
Now, we're gettin' somewhere.
Argue all you want to about whether season six has been a rehash of other seasons. Nuclear weapon detonation? Been there in season two. President getting undermined by conspiring underlings who don't think he's being tough enough? Done that in season two. Tried to frame Muslim terrorists for something they didn't do when some sinister white dudes were behind it instead? Ditto.
And even though the fresh episode of 24 contained yet another repetitive story twist that viewers have seen in previous seasons, it was done surprisingly well, except if you're involved in one of those human rights groups who think 24 is a scourge. Those folks wouldn't have liked this episode at all.
The Chicago Tribune's TV critic Maureen Ryan thinks that the sudden appearance of Gregory Itzin, reprising his role as the corrupt and evil former President Charles Logan on 24, is a rare shining moment in a rather lackluster season, the first hour hours notwithstanding.
". . . [I]t's as though the writers are flailing and scraping and doing all they can to come up with compelling stuff, but unfortunately they're only partially successful at best," Ryan said, as she sliced and diced Jack Bauer's sixth day, including calling the idea of having the late President David Palmer's brother Wayne become president " a big mistake."
Want to know why some of the bad guys in 24 are painted in shades of gray? (Think former President Charles Logan. The Day 6 version. The one who quotes the Bible in the bathroom.)
Want to know how long it takes to write one of these action-packed episodes?
Curious as to 24 staffers' thoughts on the controversies sparked by the show's graphic scenes?
TV Week has been posting a series of interviews with 24 producers and writers as part of their 24 "Backlot Talk" series. You can either download the audio of the interview or read the transcript. The site also has a place for readers to submit questions that could be posed to 24 creators in future interviews.
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