There are two groups of people who get really excited about pilot season: L.A. actors hoping for a break and television writers. Being a member of the latter category, I admit to a tingly feeling creeping over me as word of the shows in development at all the big networks are starting to leak out. While most people are attributing feelings of renewal to the change in the weather, I'm happily anticipating what J.J. Abrams has in store for us this fall.
(S07E16) "But I don't know anything... Mr. Hodges." - Tony
Nooooo! Jack Bauer cannot die! After last week's shocking conclusion, two questions have been on everyone's mind - just what exactly was Jack exposed to and more importantly, is he actually infected? Now that we have our answer, something tells me 24 might never be the same again.
(S07E15) "Because we're fugitives Tony! No one's gonna believe us!" - Jack
Maybe I'm just far too optimistic, but I'd like to think that if Lockheed Martin (or some other major defense contractor) started making a bio-weapon with plans to release it in say, rural Tennessee, we'd know about. Well, not you and me, but someone up high. That's been my biggest gripe with this season and I've mentioned it before - even in the world of 24, far too much is happening that shouldn't be happening. I'm starting to think that maybe next season, Day 8, 24's clock should be punched for good.
(S07E13) "It was supposed to be me." - Jack
Just past the half-way point in Day 7, and as everyone predicted would happen, the threat has changed drastically. General Juma was neutralized (he's gone just as quickly as he appeared) and Jonas Hodges has taken on the role of main baddie now. However, despite all the fanfare that put him in that infamous position, it's going to take a few episodes before I buy into whatever it is he has planned. Right now, he's just some old dude with a big mahogany desk.
(S07E12) "Madame President, right now your life is a priority whether you like it ot not." - Jack
That wasn't as gripping as I thought it would be. After all the set-up in last night's first hour, I assumed there'd be a lot more pay-off. Instead... it was more set-up.
Yes, the taking of the White House was exciting and I loved how we got to see more of Agent Pierce in action, but overall I'm left wanting more and we just didn't get it.
(S07E11) "I can pull the trigger 128 more times before this battery dies." - Jack
Jack Bauer doing what Jack Bauer does best - torturing one to save many. It only seems appropriate that we heard Jack drop that line in tonight's first hour, immediately following a conversation between Senator Mayer and the President about how the United States shouldn't condone torture. Mayer doesn't. Allison is on the fence. And Jack ... well, we know where he stands.
The entire debate about torture and "how far do you go to save lives" has been at the forefront of this season since the opening minutes as Jack sat in front of the Senate sub-committee at the beginning of the day. Now it's been thrust right back in our faces, and Blaine's, too, as he's now been put in the unique position to witness Jack doing the exact thing he's trying to prosecute him for.
(S07E10) "...but this ain't over yet." - Tony
Just like in the middle of season three, the game has changed. One threat down, and one(?) to go. Last night's episode of 24 did a great job of wrapping up the first half of the season without leaving too many unresolved issues. For the most part, it's a clean break and things seem ready to reboot with next week's back-to-back episodes.
(S07E09) "Whatever it takes, I want that son of a bitch found." - President Taylor
I'm not trying to suggest that this season of 24 has been bad so far (the hiatus alone made it better than it arguably is), but this was truly the first really great episode of Day 7. The plot is progressing much faster than it was, some more familiar faces returned, moles were revealed, Chloe ran a diagnostic check (!), and minor characters that had little purpose to this point have been thrown right into the fire. It was vintage 24.
(S07E08) "When are you people going to stop thinking everyone else is following your rules?!? They're not!" - Jack
From one presidential press conference to another. While I'm thrilled about Barack Obama as our country's new president, I have to say - President Taylor's press conference was far more exciting. Overall though, the eighth hour of Jack's seventh bad day was about 50/50 for me. There was plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat, but there's still too much reliance on little sub-plots that just aren't adding anything of value to the show.
(S07E07) "You're telling me my husband's gone missing?" - President Taylor
The plot is starting to shift. We're one hour past the quarter mark for the season and Dubaku's well laid out plan has fallen apart already. I speculated last week that it seemed as though this season was taking on a dynamic similar to season three and it's looking more and more like the entire plot will be making an even greater shift by the midway point. I don't expect Dubaku to be around much longer than that.
I mean, honestly, do you? Especially now that we know how the guy lives? Terrorist by day, "Sam" by night. He came home to an apartment, loosened his shirt after a long day at the "office," threw his keys on the kitchen table, and said hello to the pretty waitress he's sleeping with down the hall. The only thing missing a was comically mismatched roommate ready to berate him for drinking all the milk again. He's not very scary anymore.
(S07E06) "... you have to stay dead." - Buchanan
This isn't a good sign. After five incredibly strong hours, Day 7 of 24 just fell flat fast. It's inevitable in this show; there will be slow and boring hours. You can't avoid it. However, it typically doesn't start to occur until hours 12 to 18 - right before the final act.
Granted, we got some solid plot advancement in the sixth hour, but even by 24's standards, a lot of it was really drawn out.
On the plus side, at least Bill and Chloe were back again. "No... I'm a stay at home mom." Great line!
(S07E05) "If you trust me, I will get you through this alive." - Jack
Over the span of any given season of 24, it's inevitable that as different plots emerge, the "real time" aspect of the show forces them to jockey for the top spot. One week, Plot-X might be the most exciting part of the hour and the next week, Plot-Y is.
With all that being said, this season of 24 is shattering that expectation. For six seasons that's been the norm, but not so for Day 7. All three major threads (Jack and Tony, Sangala, Roger Taylor) have been thrilling since the clock first started ticking and this episode was a prime example.
(S07E04) "I'm not with anyone until someone starts answering some questions." - Jack
As great as it is getting early screeners for a show, believe it or not, there's actually one caveat - especially when you're writing reviews. It forces you to choose your words ever so carefully, respecting the fact that not everyone has seen what you have. When it comes to 24, that's no easy task. Trust me - it wasn't easy knowing the whole truth about Tony while writing about the first hour of this season. One can only drop little hints like "humongous twist" and "there's more to this" so many times before you start to sound like a know-it-all jerk.
That being said, I can breathe a sigh of relief now because I'm caught up with the rest of the world and the truth - the whole humongous twist truth - is finally out.
(S07E03) "Every second you help the government, you're spitting on Teri's grave!" - Tony
The rantings of a brainwashed anarchist or the clever rhetoric of a man with a plan? I've been teasing "a humongous twist" for about a week now and the truth (well... most of it) is finally out. Just when you thought Jack's day couldn't get any worse... it did. Well, actually it got better and worse all at the same time.
To complicate matters further (and to the delight of myself and every other 24 fan), a few familiar faces returned (Bill and Chloe!) in what can only be described as the best A-Team rip-off ever.
Tonight was probably the third or fourth time I watched this episode and I can't think of another string of events in 24 history (save for maybe the first minutes of season five when Palmer and Dessler got killed) that has me as excited as what got set up in tonight's first hour.
(S07E02) "What the hell happened to you?" - Jack
Two hours in and I've gotta say - this might be the best ensemble cast that 24 has had yet. Cherry Jones and Colm Feore are just great as the President and First Gentleman. Annie Wersching and Jeffrey Nordling are doing awesome filling the void that CTU has left, and on top of all that, Carlos Bernard is back. It's shaping up to be a pretty good season of 24.
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