What is going on with Jack Bauer? Have you been watching '24' this season, the first time set in New York City? There were high expectations that this might be the best season yet for '24' because we'd be seeing a lean, mean, older Jack who has been through the wringer and knows all the tricks and turns of the business. Comparisons were made to Jason Bourne, but with the Bauer edge.
Unfortunately, we're not seeing the vim and vigor of 'The Bourne Identity' or any of the other Bourne pictures. We're not even seeing the quality of '24' from seasons past. Instead, '24' has turned into something else entirely -- an empty shell of its former self. It's time to call it a day for '24.' The show has definitely jumped the you-know-what.
(S08E06) "If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, we don't do that anymore." - Hastings to Jack, on using unsavory methods with the Russians
Oh, snap. The Russians may have bought Renee's cover, but that doesn't mean she's out of danger. Just the opposite, especially given the fact that she's a loose cannon and doesn't seem to care whether she lives or dies at this point. Or maybe that's not necessarily true.
(S08E05) "I think this operation just blew up." - Jack
I think this season just blew up. After loving the first four hours in last week's two-night 24 premiere, hour five of Jack Bauer's eighth bad day crashed and burned pretty hard. While the main plot involving Jack and Renee is worth watching, it still has one big glaring misstep that I had a hard time getting over last night. As for the rest of the minor subplots? We can only hope they tie in to the rest of the story, because right now, very little of it is interesting.
(S08E03/S08E04) "Renee, I know where you are and it's a dark place." - Jack
24's two-night four-hour season premiere continued tonight with the season's third and fourth hours and, by the end of it, we finally got a pretty clear picture of what the larger threat is and where it's headed... at least until next week.
Renee finally made an appearance, Hassan didn't get taken out, and Hastings figured out that Chloe actually knows what she's talking about. But was any of that enough to make up for the numerous shortcomings this season has already displayed?
(S08E01/S08E02) "You don't look like a Grampa..." - Jack's granddaughter, Teri
As if we needed another reminder that, yes, 24 has begun its eighth season and maybe, just maybe, Jack Bauer is getting too old for this crap. Good thing for us, this guy doesn't know how to say no.
Bauer's eighth very bad day kicked off tonight with a bang (literally) and with NYC as the show's newest (gimmicky?) setting, there's hope that season eight can reclaim some of 24's lost glory because, lest we forget, seasons six and seven started off wonderfully, too, only to falter as the clock kept ticking. Can Grampa Jack do the one thing that all old folks yearn to do and turn back time?
Though it's not something you'd expect to hear an angry Jack Bauer scream at an unsuspecting tourist, people familiar with New York City are going to be amazed that he doesn't need to.
Season eight of the real-time drama drops Bauer into the borough of Manhattan and when 24 returns in just a few days (it premieres this Sunday January 17 at 9 p.m. ET and Monday January 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX), it's almost comical how easy Bauer seems to get around the city. That's half the fun of it though -- eight seasons in and haven't the terrorists learned their lesson yet? Jack Bauer will always find you.
However, that doesn't mean Jack's alone in this. As many of the previews for the new season have pointed out, Bauer is a retired man, a grandfather to boot, and there's a whole new crop of CTUers ready to pick up the torch.
Details and spoilers on the new season after the jump.
(S07E23/S07E24) "You don't know what I've done." - Jack
When 24 first premiered back in 2001, we were all taken off guard. It was so different, innovative, and action packed - like nothing we'd seen on TV ever before. But do you remember why it worked so well? Sure, there was a vast conspiracy that enshrouded the whole day in darkness, but for the most part, it was all about Jack and his family. The Bauers were what made Day 1 so memorable.
You felt horrible when Jack held Teri's lifeless body in those final seconds, and it was because the season focus was weighted towards them and not Drazen or Nina. Because of that formula, the show took off and with each season from then on, 24 became bigger than itself and so did the conspiracies. Then the bubble burst with Day 6 when it all came crashing down - we'd seen enough nukes, bio-pathogens, and Middle Eastern terrorists. The difference? All of that became more important than Jack. After Day 7's stellar finale, I think we can all agree that 24 has found its roots again.
(S07E22) "Why did you betray me?" - Jack
Since next week's finale is actually the last two hours of the season back-to-back, I think it's safe to refer to tonight's hour as Day 7's penultimate episode. As is so often the case with pivotal installments that precede a finale (especially with 24), going into it, I couldn't help shake the feeling that the bio-terror threat would be erased for good only to reveal one more crisis ready to spill over into next week. I'm not trying to say that it was predictable, but ... well ... nevermind. It was predictable.
(S07E18) "Kim, I'm dying." - Jack
That, my friends, is what you call a game changer. Initially, I wasn't feeling the vibe of this episode. It was slow, predictable, and the Kim/Jack reunion that we've known about for ages was about as anti-climactic as you can get. But it worked. Kim's return created precisely the distraction we needed so that hour eighteen's final minutes made our jaws drops. When I spoke with Carlos Bernard recently, he said that production was shut down for over a month at one point to reassess the direction of one episode. I'm guessing this was it.
She's not expected to return until toward the end of the upcoming seventh season and while she won't be "with" Barry, she will be with a child. Or at least have a child. I'll bet she didn't even tell Jack that he was a grandfather. In fact, is it a sign that 24 is getting a little long in the tooth that our action hero is a grandfather now?
Come one, come all; here is the secret location for our 24 Chat! See you inside.
Disclaimer: All or parts of the discussion in this chatroom may be posted in a later column on this site.
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