12 April 2010
EDITORIAL - 24: Day 8, Part 2
By the time the season's ended, there will probably be a Part 3. Back in February, I wrote about how much I disliked this season. I think it's been sloppy, boring, borderline ridiculous, and there are just so many elements that don't work this time. The biggest storyline I hated the most was, and I believe myself fair in assuming a large amount of audience members concur with me, the whole Dana Walsh/Jenny ordeal from the first half of episodes. Dumb. I also wrote that I didn't think the threat was big enough, that there was too much vagueness in the show and didn't really use its real-time set-up to the best of its abilities.
Since then, there's been some developments. And the bright side, is that they're mostly all good. Episode 17, "8:00 AM - 9:00 AM" just finished up a little over a hour ago, and I'm pleased to say I liked the episode quite a lot. The final moments really hit me in the gut, and I was pissed. I didn't want this character to die. I feared it. I sorta expected it (because there is no character in the 24-verse to have a happy ending. Period.), but I kept hoping it wouldn't happen. As we now know, the writer's went there, after delivering us the happiest Jack since, well, I think the first hour of Day 4.
Last week, with back-to-back episodes, "7:00 AM - 8:00 AM" ended with another death, and another shocker of an ending, and the look on Jack's face when he realized he failed his mission was beautiful. As a audience member caring for Jack all these years, my heart breaks, and I feel horrible for him. But I can't help but be stunned by Kiefer's amazing abilities as a actor. Same thing goes for tonight's final shots of a completely broken down Jack Bauer looking at the body of his deceased lover.
Before I go further, I'd like to comment on (SPOILERS)death of Renee Walker. As it's been said many, many times, to be a friend of Jack Bauer is akin to bringing death at your doorstep. Nearly everyone he has ever befriended, loved, or even walked around end up dead. This was just another casualty. It further shows Jack's really, really, really bad luck with women post-Teri: everything was going good with Audrey until he had to fake his death in Day 4, and Day 5 looked like a new beginning, but all that got blasted to bits thanks to the Chinese. And now this with Renee. Jack just can't catch a break, and I'm actually quite worried what this will do to Jack psychologically.
But, on the bright side, it brings for some intense, personal following episodes. The preview for next weeks (and perhaps the rest of the season?) shows Jack being a total badass, clearly revenge-driven (although he argues to President Taylor he seeks "justice") a la Day 5, and becoming a threat of sorts to disgraced ex-President Charles Logan (again). Perhaps the writers are concocting a story that ties up many of Bauer's bad days? Maybe Logan's up to something and Jack, on his mission to avenge Renee, uncovers the conspiracy that was hinted at in Day 7 with Logan involved and basically brings the house down. Or something gargantuan. At least this is my hope. If it's just Jack kicking ass and taking names, and the series has some sort of closure (which Howard Gordon has promised), than I'd be a happy camper.
Oh, right, about the closure comment. As of 26 March 2010, 24 has been officially canceled. I'm not quite sure what to feel about that at the moment. On one end of the spectrum, I'm OK with it. The writers had a little bit of time to craft the finale as a series finale, so maybe it will nicely serve as a series finale as well as opening the doors for the hopefully-soon-to-be-filmed movie. But on the other end, I'm sad. It's a series that I've loved for a long, long time. Years, man, years! I've endured every emotional turmoil right with Jack, watched him pulverize, kill, and torture bad guys, and I saw his character grow with each season. To have the May 24th episode(s) be his goodbye, it'll be difficult, but perhaps the time is right. After all, the season has been rather lackluster, but it's unfortunate coincidence this announcement comes right as the story begins to progress.
OK, moving on. Before ending this post, I just want to say a big thank-you to the showrunners and episode 17 writer David Fury for crafting a very fine 60 minutes. The plot brought intrigue and growth to the story, but at the same time allowed this sweet story between two lovers to blossom. Of course, that would be the big indicator that something bad was going to happen, but the opportunity for this episode to be moved all by characters and not ginormous life-dangering threats - well, it was just awesome. I like those episodes where you don't need the terrorist, all you need are the characters and their choices and emotions.
Day 8 is shaping to be something good, but it's inexcusable to make us endure the tired plots and subplots of the previous 15 hours (hour 16 was good) for us to get to the good stuff. But whatever, I'll still be watching until the end, and now I'm going to make it must-watch TV. For the first time in a long ass while, 24 was degraded to Fancast viewings...when I had time. Now, the show is heating up, the characters are becoming more interesting as is the plot, and it's the shows final episodes, support will be given. Plus, Chloe as the provisional head of CTU New York? How can that not be awesome?