Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Few Questions About '24's' Eighth Day

*Warning, spoilers ahead from the recent episode of 24*

I'm willing to suspend all manner of belief for the sake of enjoying a creative product (it's kind of necessary when you're a fan of Lost), but I had a bit of trouble doing so with the recent fifth hour of Jack Bauer's eighth bad day, where Jack, disappointingly, spent most of that hour sitting in a car while Renee "I'm just getting started" Walker did all of the legwork. Kind of unusual for our favorite, butt-kicking super-agent granddad, don't ya think?

Anyway, onto my questions about this season's 24 (in no particular order):

Am I sensing a trend here . . . that when a character on 24 wants to go someplace -- even though this season is set in New York City -- that it only takes 10 minutes to get anywhere? In Manhattan? It took President Omar Hassan (of the "Islamic Republic of Kamistan," otherwise known as Iran) "10 minutes" to go from CTU to the UN (seemed like less than that). It took Sark, wait, I mean the blonde son of the Russian mobster guy whose younger son has radiation poisoning, mere minutes to haul his brother to a doctor's office after fleeing the Russian mobster's lair. And it seemed like a breeze for Dana/Jenny Walsh to go from CTU to her apartment so she could be extorted/threatened by her former boyfriend. Can it really be that easy to get around Manhattan these days, particularly after there was an assassination attempt on a foreign leader and the U.S. president is in town? Maybe there are secret CTU-only tunnels under New York City that we're not aware of. That must be it.

As a faithful 24 viewer, I'm finding it hard to buy into the notion that Renee, who was a by-the-books FBI gal last season, had previously worked undercover with a ruthless Russian crime syndicate and now -- post-nervious breakdown -- seems to have no problems with severing a guy's thumb. Maybe she and Jack should have a "Who Can Torture a Suspect Better" contest. She'd probably win, even though Jack did sink a fire axe into a guy's chest a few hours ago.

Another eyebrow-raising moment: Given the fact that Chloe O'Brian was able to track down the name of some random, crooked Mexican politician who runs a particular hotel in less than a minute, it seems, what's the word, uh, insane to assert that CTU never figured out that they've employed a former convict as a data analyst . . . unless, of course, they do as good a job of vetting potential hires as the real TSA does in stopping a guy with a one-way ticket to Detroit who had no luggage, whose dad warned government officials that he'd become radicalized and hid a bomb in their underpants.

Ah, but what's 24 without its zany moments and Chloe's snarl to lighten the mood?
In the meantime, Fox is demonstrating that it has a sense of humor about its super-serious terrorism drama. Mirroring a move ABC made with super-serious Lost, they've started posting humorous recap videos. The 24 version uses a cartoon narrator who makes quirky observations as he tells us what's happened on the recent episode. Mildly amusing. I like the Lost: Untangled videos with the action figures better.

Image credit: Fox.

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