Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let the Paranoia and Plot Twists Begin - 24 Review

I'm starting to get paranoid - really paranoid.  Will it be the Russian mobsters?  Or the Islamic jihadists?  Perhaps the Chinese?  An insider in the White House maybe?  Tell the truth, Jack.  24 is back.  Your favorite CTU bad boy returns for another season. So what if he's 50 years old and on his death bed as a result of exposure to biological weapons in last season's bloodbath?  Keifer Sutherland puts down the commercial voiceovers and the Jack Daniels long enough to again lead the clueless President (Cherry Jones) and the off-her-rocker FBI Agent Renee (Annie Wersching) past the bad guys.  We have been promised a more human Jack Bauer.  I don't want to believe it, but I can understand that its getting tougher every year to pretend that Jack can actually kick anyone's ass at this point.  But really who cares - 4 hours of jam packed action is starting now.

The following takes place between the hours of 8pm and 9pm.  Events occur in real time.

In the office pool, I've taken Episode 8 as the episode when we discover who the real bad guy(s) are.  I may have gone a little early here. 

After a couple of guys are found dead and a shootout occurs, we cut to Jack lying the couch with his granddaughter asking him to put on a show (that's a familiar refrain).  I can't help to ask the question - Jack was about to die at the end of last year.  He even had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with the Muslim cleric.  Now he's perfectly fine with a passing mention of his "treatment?"  Aren't biological weapons supposed to be pretty bad?  Lethal even?

The scene then shifts to President Omar Hassan from an unnamed Arab country readying an historic Middle East peace accord.  I suspect that an Arab splinter group is behind the trouble this year.  I do see that Hassan only lasts for 16 episodes, so this dude obviously dies.  (N.B. If a little IMDB research provides information from which one can deduce other information, I don't consider it a spoiler).  Now its time for my favorite Gatorade Commercial "I can float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee!"

We're back.  "Omar, people are starting to believe that you've been corrupted by the West."  Yes.  Us Westerners are bad, bad people with our indoor plumbing, good oral hygiene and big American TVs.  But maybe its true, since at the precise same time, an informant from some previous year starts telling Jack about a plot to assassinate President Hassan.

Trying to get all of the plotting devices in during Episode One, the camera then cuts to the newly revamped CTU.  Instead of calling the police, Jack calls CTU about the impending threat to President Hassan.  Chloe and her sad sack scowl is back trying to make some money since her wussy Scottish husband Morris doesn't want to step up to the plate.  She wrestles with the woman from Battlestar Gallactica for control of CTU's computer analysis center.  Figuratively.  When this information reaches President Taylor, she wants to take some time about whether to tell someone that he is about to be killed.  She sends her daughter off to prison for killing Jon Voight and ten she keeps silent on this kind of information.  Tough love this woman has.

Shoot.  I'm already wrong.  Some Russian guy just took out a CTU helicopter as Jack tries to get his informant to the authorities.  I guess the shooter is Russian, the accent was pretty choppy.  Kind of like actors taking cracks at the Massachusetts accent when they play one of the Kennedys.  Also, the blond reporter that is having a tryst with President Hassan just got off the phone with a menacing look on her face exclaiming "I know I'm behind schedule, but I'll get it done."  I am already confused, and that is a good thing.

I have to admit that I watched all four hours.  While this review is only for the first hour, I will make a couple of observations overall.  It appears that the unbelievable plot twists remain.  Freddie Prinze, Jr.?  Agent Renee Walker is going to be terrific this year, she appears to be absolutely crazy.  Plot line with the crazy red neck ex-boyfriend?  Just kick his ass Starbuck!

88 out of 100.  So far so good. 

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