Day 8: Worth the Wait?

This season of 24 is already a quarter of the way over (crazy, right?), and it is SO good. After the unfortunate disasters of Day 6 and Day 7, Day 8 may be nothing short of a redemption of the series.

The problem with 24 is that, once the first season was over and the novelty of Oh my, a show whose whole season is one day?! passed, the series found itself seriously lacking innovation. Day 1 was excellent, Day 2 was alright, Day 3 was good, and then everything kept going downhill. I mean really. Once Jack Bauer flies a nuclear bomb over the California desert, an assassination attempt on the Russian president can only be so interesting.

Last season, Day 7, took an AWFULLY long time to redeem itself. It wasn’t until Episode 10 or so that I started getting really excited. But even the intense suspense couldn’t forgive the fact that Day 7 was a study in recycling. I was pretty sure 24 was going to be done after last season. Nothing says “desperate measure” like bringing back favorite characters presumed dead and turning them evil.

But, as you all may have noticed, I tend to be wrong about some things. And this is one I’m pleased to be disproven on. Because I am LOVING Day 8.

Is it stunningly original? Of course not. Again, most of 24’s innovation is in its format. But 24 has finally taken the leap and picked up some new characters this season.

Of course I’m thrilled to see BSG alums Katee Sackhoff and Callum Keith Rennie. The former’s character is irritating me, to be honest, but the latter. SO. AMAZING. Anil Kapoor is brilliant and will hopefully become a staple for American television. My perennial favorite David Anders is currently a small-time player, but who knows what he’ll end up doing. And, finally, my very favorite addition is the one I least expected to enjoy. Who knew Freddie Prinze, Jr. had such a great inner-NY cop archetype in him?

There’s even some things to commend about the storyline this season. For one thing: it isn’t all about the American president (sidenote: she’s been sadly underused thus far. Cherry Jones, people! Emmy winner!). Instead, it’s about the president of the…what are they calling it? The Islamic Republic (aka We Can’t Actually Call This An Extant Middle Eastern Country Because Then We Would Cause A Political Incident)? Anyway, he’s representative of one of the excellent things that 24 has done, historically – namely, extending understanding to those primarily considered “the enemy.” Of course, the bad guys of this season are still (apparently) Russian and Middle Eastern, but hey: more often than not, the major-player villains on 24 tend to be Americans. There is still hope.

On the non-political end, there’s one development that I’m still reeling from: Jack Bauer got out-badassed. By a woman. I was not especially fond of Renee Walker in Day 7. But I may need to reassess. Jack Bauer is starting to show his age (I have to disagree with the grandkid – he does look a little like a Grandpa), and Renee Walker is the first (non-evil) character the show has produced who looks like she might be able to take up the mantle of badassery. Assuming she doesn’t give into the Intense Emotional Drama and off herself. That’d be a hell of a thing.

I’m not saying that 24 isn’t showing its age as much as Jack Bauer is starting to. Everything happening at CTU has happened before: two employees are getting married but there’s drama, an analyst has a checkered past, the director wavers between awesomeness and dickheadedness, there’s some tech issues – I”m just waiting to find out that there’s a mole up in there. It looks like we’ll being seeing a shipyard scene before too long. And Jack Bauer is going undercover without any sort of believability.

BUT, one thing remains the same without being tiresome: I have no idea where it is all headed.

So, 24 Day 8, SHOCK ME. I dare you.

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  • TheMartialArtsReporter  On February 10, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    I enjoy your blog.
    Honestly, I am really enjoying this season of 24.
    Lots of twists and turns. The acting is pretty good, too.
    Do you know who the fight choreographer is?

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