24 TV.com Articles 2010

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Monday's Episode of 24 Was the Best So Far This Season

There’s no point in holding back. Monday's episode of 24 was the best one so far this season.

It had a bit of everything: Jack doing Jack things. Romantic betrayal, redemption, then more betrayal—by a ripped terrorist who looks like he's been hitting the monkey bars pretty hard at the Al Qaeda training camp. The clock ticking on a webcast execution. Compromised nuclear security. Another direct attack on CTU. And maybe even a tiny bit of redemption for the Dana Walsh storyline, thanks to Stephen Root.

The episode came at just the right time in the season: We’ve hit the halfway mark, and while 24 was guaranteed to pass its midterms, Day 8 has been slow to take form. Jack has seen less action than usual, and has lacked a good sidekick because poor Cole Ortiz was caught up in fiancée Dana’s travails. The first wave of bad guys got taken out quickly, and central characters like President Taylor and Renee have gone MIA for long stretches—just like they did last night. The drones haven’t factored in much, nor has New York City; with most of the action taking place at night, the location has thus far proven inconsequential. So even though there have been some memorable moments (I’ll never again pick up a circular saw without thinking of Annie Wersching), the season has been hit-or-miss. Maybe that's finally changed.

For now, I’m going to give 24 a B- at the midterm. I could have rounded it up to a B, but let’s keep the show motivated. The second half of the semester always counts for more, anyway. What's your grade for 24?

Individual midterm grades:

Jack Bauer, A-
Let me be a fan and just say that Jack is always great, but he just hasn’t had enough to do. His highlights, though memorable, have been scattered, most notably his cold threats to Marcos the suicide bomber and his escape and battle with Bazhaev. And who can ever forget Ernst Meier?

Evildoers, B
It's too bad Renee offed Vladimir so quickly. He had a nice, twisted romantic sensibility. Bazhaev also had his moments, and a wonderful disconnect between his self-image and his actions. Samir Mehran offers a world-class scowl and a serious goatee, but one suspects that another really bad criminal mastermind will emerge soon.

Political Intrigue, B
President Taylor has spent most of her screen time cooing over President Hassan in an attempt to keep the treaty alive. Like Jack, she hasn’t had much to do—though the discovery of File 33 and information that could neutralize U.S. nuclear defenses should kickstart things. Big hair and all, the personally and historically vain Omar Hassan could be a worthy adversary for Taylor, and the echo of the situation in Iran has added an element of contemporary international politics to the season.

Dana Walsh, D-
There are people out there who think we Dana Deniers spend too much time dissecting this plotline. My response? The show spends too much time on the Dana plotline. It has sucked a lot of energy from 24 and effectively neutralized Cole. All I can figure is that Dana’s story was created so Katee Sackhoff would have something to do other than sit behind a computer. Or maybe, in the biggest twist in the history of 24, the writers have been testing our patience and will somehow pull it all together in the end.

Because when I first saw Stephen Root comin’ round the mountain as the Arkansas parole officer, I thought, 'What is this, The Night of the Living Clampetts?' But with his persistence and weird little mentions of his NYPD friend and IDRANs, he has at least added some curiosity to Dana’s situation. That said, how does she leave him in a holding room at CTU? And then how does he just go wandering around without anyone stopping him? After all, it wasn’t Bring Your Hillbilly To Work Day. Dana said it best: “We are in the middle of a national security crisis. I have to go back to my desk.”

Right. Get to work already. Your nation is counting on you.


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24 TV.com Articles 2010 :: Comments


Post on Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:22 am by kane

The Donald Will Keep on Firin' and Hirin'

... Donald Trump is the new Jay Leno. And by that, I mean he's NBC's new/old Golden Boy: The network has decided to bring back the original version of The Apprentice, where unemployed contestants compete for a job with Mr. Combover himself. The Celebrity Apprentice will most likely get renewed too, which means that we'll be seeing a lot of that combover in the seasons ahead. [Live Feed]

... 24 showrunner Howard Gordon has decided on his next move: He'll collaborate with Gideon Raff and fellow 24 teammate Alex Gansa on an American re-boot of the Israeli show Prisoners of War, which sounds badass. But does the news confirm recent rumors that Jack Bauer's retirement clock is ticking? Not necessarily. Gideon told The Hollywood Reporter that even though he likely wouldn't continue his role as showrunner, "If there is 24 past Season 8, I will be part of that," and that Kiefer Sutherland "is inclined to do another season if there is a good story." [THR]

... The awesome and hilarious Will Arnett has again knocked up his awesome and hilarious wife Amy Poehler, which means they will have another awesome and hilarious kid. But baby #2 will affect production of Parks and Recreation, as Leslie Knope won't be getting pregnant anytime soon. So the cast and crew will have to start shooting Season 3 as soon as they finish Season 2. I'm confident they can handle it cause they're all champs, but really I can't wait to find out what Poehler and Arnett name the little one; it's hard to top "Archie Arnett." [THR]

... My head might explode from cute overload. Glee's Jayma Mays has been cast as the female (human) lead in the Smurfs movie, which means she'll play Neil Patrick Harris' wife. And Hank Azaria, Simpsons voice-over and "Monty Python's Spamalot" extraordinaire, will voice Gargamel. A bad guy can be cute, too, right? [THR]

... Google, Intel, and Sony are joining forces to rule the universe create Google TV, a platform that will bring the internet into television's territory—literally—by invading your living room. They'll invent new and sexy TVs and set-top boxes, they'll make it easy to update Twitter and Facebook with your remote, and they'll probably throw an espresso machine and a back massager in there, too. Remember WebTV? Ah, those were the days. [New York Times]

... Robert Wisdom, better known as the guy who's been on The Wire (as Bunny), Prison Break (as Lechero), and Supernatural (as Uriel), is heading to Burn Notice next season to play another evil dude! This time it's Vaughn, a longtime spy handler who works for the agency that burned Michael (Jeffrey Donovan). I predict many serious stare-downs between Michael and Vaughn. The sunglasses are off. [Ausiello]


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Post on Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:32 am by kane

Summer Glau Finds a New Show to Destroy

... Summer Glau, pretty as she is, is bringing her icy touch of cancellation to NBC's superhero drama pilot The Cape. She'll play an "investigative blogger," whatever that is, in this show about a cop who becomes a semi-superhero. Glau's previous roles include stints on the high-profile cancellations Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Dollhouse. [THR]

... Larry David said there's a "pretty good chance" that he'll cook up another season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. The actor-writer, not HBO, has the final say whether or not he wants to make another season of the exaggeration biography because he's Larry frickin' David. [Variety]

... Will Ferrell has recruited two other Saturday Night Live outcasts vets for his new Comedy Central show. Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz will join Jon Heder as three losers in the upcoming untitled comedy, set to debut later this year. This should be nice and mediocre. [Variety]

... Battlestar Galactica's James Callis is sticking with SyFy. The man who played Gaius Baltar
(undeniably BSG's best character) will join the cast of Eureka for its fourth season. He'll play a former resident of the town who returns and shakes things up. [SyFy via press release]

... Rumor is NBC may save Jack Bauer if Fox decides to break up with 24. We heard last week that Fox was looking to end the drama's run on the network, but 24's production studio asked NBC if they were interested, which they were. And then Bobby told Gina that she heard that NBC thought 24 was cute, but NBC just started this thing with Comcast. And then Mike's cousin Julie said she heard that James said that would be, like, a stupid idea. And then... [EW]

... The Office has guaranteed at least one more viewing from me by hiring Amy Pietz for a few
episodes. What? You don't know who Amy Pietz is? Duh, she was only the mom in Aliens in America and one of the most underrated TV actresses out there. I was also going to say something about her being a MILF, but that would be immature. This is a respectable site. [EW]

... Paul Schneider is leaving Parks and Recreation to concentrate on his film career, which is fine with me because he's been awesome in every movie I've seen him in. [LA Times]

Source: TV.com

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Post on Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:46 pm by kane

24: That Dana Walsh is One Busy Lady

24's Dana Walsh is one busy lady. We’ve known all season that the loving fiancée and Manhattan career-girl computer whiz has been living under an alias and trying to escape a criminal past while fending off an ex-boyfriend’s blackmail attempts. And last night we discovered that, through all of it, she's been working as this season’s resident CTU mole and is intent on destroying her nation.

She must have one helluva Facebook page: “Dana Walsh became a fan of University of Arkansas Football and the Al Jazeera Network.”

The question is whether last night’s big reveal at long last redeemed this distracting plotline. Dana’s story has been almost universally scorned thanks to gaps big enough for a drone to fly through and its waste of Katee Sackhoff in a thankless role. It's finally gets the spotlight off the Kevin story and moves things in a different direction. But I can't say it's all been worth it.

Last night’s episode continued the momentum last week. We settled in for plenty of crackling good gunplay as Jack, Cole, and what appeared to be a pair of CTU Explorer Scouts fought gamely to reach a land line—a nice twist considering 24’s almost fetishistic focus on gadgetry. All you Chloe fans finally got to see your girl do her Chloe thing and even pull a gun on a smug NSA engineer along the way. And 28 minutes after Chloe let her know that Jack was in trouble, Renee came to his rescue with a couple perfect shots to a terrorist’s head.

Then we returned to Dana and Prady, the Arkansas probation officer. A willful suspension of disbelief is part of the pact we all have to make with 24, which . This is a far bigger issue and one that should be addressed more fully later. There will be holes, compressed timeframes, and implausible scenarios. Last night for example, the terrorists managed to keep firing directly into Jack’s body armor and never take out his legs or get a clean head shot. So be it, because we’ve all signed up for this ride.

But the notion of Prady hanging out at CTU after the facility has been taken out by an EMP device just didn’t pass the most basic of smell tests. We live in a society where seemingly half the working population must wear lanyards and badges and swipe its way onto elevators and into offices. In the midst of a burgeoning national crisis, Prady showed up in the dead of night, freely wandered around, and took Dana away from the job that she had managed to ignore for most of the evening. He did all that without so much as a visitor sticker affixed to his jacket that proclaimed, “Hello, My name is Bill Prady.”

Then, while Chloe struggled to bring CTU back online after Hastings gave her ten minutes to get the job done, word came along that a probation officer from Arkansas wanted to talk. Overall, Hastings had a good night. But unless that probation officer had some questions about a red-faced guy by the name of Clinton, it’s impossible to believe that Hastings would have replied with anything other than, “You have got to be out of your mind to think that I’m going to speak with him right now.”

So with the help of an exceptionally large air-filtration system, Dana has taken care of Prady and perhaps also entombed the worst aspects of her subplot. Maybe 24 has finally freed itself from the implausibilities of her story. It's a decent twist, and now we know that Dana wasn’t just worried about holding onto Cole and her cute little Manhattan apartment. She’s still a career girl, but apparently it's not Hastings who is going to write her review.

Source: TV.com

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Post on Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:47 am by kane

24 Offers Up Some Mid-Season Magic

by Matthew Jaffe TV.com Staff Writer 04/06/10 01:31 PM
"Let's get this show back on track, shall we?

In death, President Omar Hassan can take pride in many things: His martyrdom helped save tens of thousands of lives, and no doubt spared Manhattan from terrible morning rush hour gridlock. And though ruffled, his hair still looked terrific.

Mussed or not, Hassan will be missed and his death, the end of the dirty bomb threat, Dana’s arrest, and oh yeah, the external reality that 24 is going dark after this season, have delivered the show and its fans into a strange, new world.

Did you notice how the countdown clock at the end of the episode was silent? Granted, that was likely intended to underscore the tragedy of Hassan’s death, much the way local news shows eschew their bump music after some story of child endangerment—that is, before they come back smiling and giggling with a feature on Justin Bieber. Maybe it has previously happened on 24 (one of you probably knows—do tell!) but that surprising silence seemed to signal that we have arrived at a key moment in the history of the show.

“Tick tock, Mr. Bauer,” said Dana. “You’re running out of time.” But just where Jack is running is refreshingly unclear.

The mid-season resolution of threats and storylines is a staple of 24, and typically represents a transition to newer and even more perilous situations, not to mention far more convoluted conspiracies. General Brucker, for one, barely warmed up his harrumph before he was gone. What was unusual last night was that we weren’t taken by the hand and led to the next level of complication. Jack isn’t likely to hop on a plane for SoCal any time soon, that much we know. But I can’t remember any time (and I’m deliberately avoiding incorporating anything from the coming attractions) in 24’s history when the next act remained so undefined.

No doubt the Russian foreign minister, who appeared long enough to declare that, “If Hassan dies, there is no agreement,” will play a role, although the whole peace treaty sub-plot remains pretty amorphous. It’s hard to imagine a president doubling down on a diplomatic agreement in light of a potential terrorist attack on the U.S. and risking thousands of American lives to ensure the safety of a foreign leader. Rush and the Fox boys would have a field day with that one, and politically speaking, Rob Weiss was correct in emphasizing that “New York City is safe.” Even so, congratulations to President Taylor for slapping the smug right off of his face.

And speaking of New York, we have finally, finally reached daylight. With the nighttime darkness lifted, 24 can start taking advantage of this year’s setting (or facsimile thereof). Pigeons fluttered about, and in another 24 first, we got to see Jack hail a taxi. If I was that hack, I know I would have stopped.

I had been half dreading last night’s double episode, especially after watching the NCAA basketball championship—a great game that, like 24 featured running clocks, the culmination of an unlikely sequence of events, and the clash between good and evil (sorry, Dukies, but I have to believe that Rob Weiss was once a face-painting Cameron Crazy).

Yet for the fourth week in a row, 24 delivered. Snarky may be the default position for many television viewers, and certainly for most of us who write about televeision shows—especially series that have been on as long as 24. All I know is that the doubts and fatigue I had about 24 earlier in the season have largely vanished and have been replaced by a genuine curiosity and excitement about just what happens next.

Butler couldn’t pull off its buzzer beater. But maybe Jack Bauer and 24 will. Bring on that May Madness.

What happens next on 24? Are you feeling confident that the show will wrap things up in style?


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Post on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:41 pm by kane

24: In Mourning

by Matthew Jaffe TV.com Staff Writer 04/13/10 11:58 AM

Remember how young Marcos looked after Jack wasn’t able to defuse the suicide bomb vest? That’s how my head feels after Monday’s episode of 24. We lost Renee, got Charles Logan back, watched Chloe get temporarily promoted to head of CTU, gave peace a chance, and didn’t have to see Dana Walsh for a single second.

Last week I felt 24 was heading into unknown territory, and while the episode relied on familiar devices (I've got to hand it to the bad guys for having that EMT on the scene, ready to take out Samir, but where was security?), it was as if everyone was taking a deep breath before the action picked up again. It kind of felt like that familiar sequence from previous season finales, when everything wraps up before Jack somehow gets blind-sided and set up for the ensuing season; a strange quiet just waiting to be broken.

For those of you keeping score at home, and in keeping with 24’s real-time format, Jack and Renee carried on for nearly 28 minutes before the official inception of cuddle-lingus and small talk. Based on Jack’s giddiness and need for hydration, we can surmise it was good. And what was it that we saw in Jack? Vulnerability? His still-fresh wounds and the multiple scars on his back, not to mention his desperate need to connect with Renee, were all reminders of the humanity behind his invincibility. That's what makes Jack Jack. Now he’s going to be mightily pissed off—and brokenhearted too. So get him some shoes and send him back out into the field.

These are strange days for 24 fans. It’s difficult to watch the show without factoring in the knowledge that this is the final season and that a movie may be in the works. When I spoke with Annie Wersching last week, I was careful to listen for any hints that she might drop about Renee’s fate or that of any of the other main characters—both out of my own curiosity and to be sensitive about possible spoilers lurking in the interview. Not surprisingly, she was adept at walking up to, but not crossing that line. Still, there were questions: Shooting was about to wrap, but she wasn’t around. What did that mean for Renee?

And so reality is intruding on—or, depending on your perspective, enhancing—the experience of 24. Some fans love to surf and search for hints of what’s going to happen, while others choose to skip the coming attractions and avoid any revelations. I find myself pondering the degree to which the show’s creators were liberated to crank up the action and the tragedies without having to consider the set-up for the following season. The deaths of Hassan and Renee in back-to-back episodes have been real body blows, but they're not inconsistent with the risks 24 has taken in previous seasons with popular characters. (Can any of you 24 historians tell the rest of us whether there have ever been silent clocks in two consecutive episodes?)

There are other external realities, too. A major nuclear arms summit began this week in Washington that mirrors the big peace conference on 24. A tragic, weather-related plane crash in Russia took the lives of the president of Poland and members of his high-level delegation. These kinds of events are reminders that, as outlandish as some of 24’s stories often seem, they're not completely divorced from what goes on in the world. 24 has always delivered an enhanced version of our sense of real-world uncertainties. Sure, it's entertaining as hell—and just unsettling enough to tap into our underlying anxieties about what may not seem probable, but remains possible.

What are your thoughts about Renee's death?


I got spoiled. She didn’t need to die. I relay didn’t watched this episode when it was on. Knowing that this was going too happened. I what’d to keep Renee’s creature how she came on to the show. For the first time I didn’t watch the end and I tuned off 24.

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Post on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:19 am by kane

24: Hail to the Creep

Hail to the creep! Charles Logan is back in the game on 24, and he’s on his game, too. While the show has had all manner of presidents, from the saintly (David Palmer) to the non-descript (Hal Gardner), Logan is the most compelling of the lot. He's both repulsive and irresistible—and as President Allison Taylor has discovered, you can’t trust him. But you can't ignore him, either. The man is a walking, talking dirty bomb—and nobody knows when he might go off.

So it was Logan who provided the spark last night, during an episode that represented a change-of-pace from the relentless action and tragedy of recent weeks. It was time to reconnect with loose storylines from earlier in the season.

The nearly forgotten Bazhaev returned, and revealed that Dana Walsh had been set up at CTU by the Russian government. Dana has consistently been the most problematic element of this season, and at this point I’m not sure anything can fully redeem the time suck she created in its early episodes. The more we learn about her role as a high-level operative, the more surprising it becomes that she couldn’t dispatch a low-level blackmailer like Kevin more swiftly. (Or find someone else to do it so that she didn’t compromise her cover.) But if the writers’ goal was to use her story as a diversion, consider me diverted: I got caught up in all that nonsense, and now I’m eager to know how it all played out between Dana and the Russians.

Logan is the guy with all the answers, and he’s also the guy who raises all the questions. We don’t know how he's been able to plug into events so completely, or what his play is. When he said, “It’s a good feeling, being of service to your country,” you know on some delusional level that he actually believed it, all while rationalizing some entirely self-serving agenda: political and personal redemption, combined with profit- and deal-making.

Logan lives on the thin edge of sanity, as evidenced by his visceral reaction to the agent in the garage and Logan's immediate order to get rid of him. Was he reacting to a perceived threat, or did the guy trigger memories of Aaron (who seems destined for a cameo before the season ends)? Logan’s obsession with Jack is far more understandable, and his solution was positively elegant. He did a masterful job of simultaneously serving his own needs, flattering Allison Taylor’s vanity and sense of history, and laying out the down-and-dirty facts of real-world politics for her—all while neutralizing Jack.

Logan is a snake in the garden who can also quote Julius Caesar while speaking of "the bigger picture," "the greater good," and the limits of "moral clarity." It certainly worked, and President Taylor ordered Jack to stand down—an impossible thing for him to do, considering his personal stake in Renee’s death and his stated commitment to justice. That’s a powerful combination, and Jack isn’t above a little revenge whoop-ass every now and again. Not to mention that he too has his own defined sense of the bigger picture and the greater good, and has always sought to serve those ends—especially for those presidents that he trusts and believes in.

Now Allison Taylor has compromised her integrity. “Do you understand? Do you understand, Jack?” she asked. Oh, yeah, Jack understands. And nobody does rogue quite like Jack Bauer.

What are your thoughts on Charles Logan? Where does he rank among 24's presidents?


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Post on Tue May 04, 2010 10:07 pm by kane

24 Presents: "Tortured on the Inside: The Dana Walsh Story"
by Matthew Jaffe TV.com Staff Writer 05/04/10 11:38 AM

What, no silent clock for Dana Walsh? Monday's episode of 24 ended not
only with a whimper, but with a couple of decisive bangs—courtesy of
Jack Bauer—for the show’s southern-fried bad-girl-turned-CTU-mole.

I’d like to say Dana's exit came not a moment too soon, but we really
could have used a few more moments with her—if only to better understand
her story. We have seen, for example, that for a murderous double
agent, Dana has a soft side: Witness her gentle, post-crosscheck caress
of Cole’s face after she blasted him into unconsciousness with an
explosive device she tucked into a rigged safe-deposit box. Or the weepy
visage she sported earlier this season while bidding adieu to her
blackmailing ex-boyfriend Kevin, right before he sank into the muck to
become catch-of-the-day for the local flounders and crabs.

For a brief moment it seemed that we would finally hear Dana’s
cautionary tale. As she began telling Cole, “I was a kid. A kid with
five years of prison behind me and no future to speak of. A guy came to
see me. A Russian. He said he could give me a fresh start. I had
absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.”

As Jon
Stewart might say, “Go on!” But that was it (so much for Cole’s
interrogation techniques and plain-old hurt-boyfriend curiosity). So how
did the Russians find her? Do they routinely recruit their agents from
the Paula Jones Penitentiary and Finishing School For Wayward Girls in
Pencil Bluff, Arkansas? And how did they set her up at CTU? As Dana
said, Cole deserved the truth—and so do we. This plotline has been
troublesome all season, and unless Jack beats a compelling explanation
out of someone in the next few weeks, Dana’s story will forever remain
the big mark against this final season of 24.

Because last night Jack put an end to Dana Wash, shooting her twice amid
a few pallets of wallboard and plastic sheeting. “Tell me what I can
do,” she begged as Jack advanced toward her. And as he said, there was
nothing Dana could do, except to take in a final look at the
loft conversion where she would die and wonder what could have been.

To put it nicely, Jack has had it with niceties. More than ever, it’s
Jack Bauer against the world: The Russians and Americans are both after
him. His president betrayed him and Chloe, his ally, worked against him.
I’m actually still wondering about the whole Chloe angle. She said that
Jack had threatened her (don’t remember that), and she also seems to be
trying to protect him from himself. The idea that Jack couldn’t take
out the private security team that was torturing Dana certainly proved
to be nonsense, at least based on the fact that he diverted them with a
dodge only slightly more creative than saying, “Hey, what’s that on your

Jack has always had a conflicted relationship with CTU, as well as with
the bureaucratic and political apparatus of Washington that has often
interfered with his ability to carry out his job and serve the American
people. It’s hard to imagine that Jack’s goal, as Cole suggested to
Dana, was merely to expose the whole sorry mess to the media. Who is he
going to call, The Huffington
Post? Harvey
Levin and TMZ.com?

No, in Jack’s world the power of the press or the power of the blog is
nothing compared to the power of a well-aimed shot. But is a
disillusioned and brokenhearted Jack Bauer anything more than a
vigilante? This isn’t Death Wish 2010, it’s 24, and as satisfying
as it may be to watch Jack Bauer bring a bit of frontier justice to the
badlands of Tribeca, I’m expecting something a bit more redemptive
before the series wraps up.

What did you think of the episode? Were you happy to see Dana Walsh


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