24 – “Day 8: 4:00 A.M. – 5:00 A.M.”
For the second episode in a row, 24 has cranked up the action and intrigue, weaving a portrait of cliffhangers, twists, moles, gunfights, Jack being badass, Chloe doing her best Jack impression and some pretty lame dialogue. The final result was fun, although it's difficult to decipher how exactly the writers of the show are going to explain their latest twist, involving Dana Walsh as a terrorist attempting to destroy her own country. I was glad to see 24 back to its typical adrenaline-laced ways, although sometimes, 24 is notorious for sacrificing plausibility for thrills and twists. Then again, 24 is rarely a realistic show, so maybe I'm being a little harsh.. Either way, the last two weeks have been a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the season.
A large portion of the episode was focused on Chloe attempting to get CTU up and running again, and to be honest, it's about time we got some scenes with Chloe. I've mentioned it several times before, and I will mention it one more time right now: Chloe has been a key figure in 24 since Season 3, so it seems a shame to waste her talents on simply standing around and taking orders from a new and completely uninteresting character like Dana Walsh. As soon as I saw Chloe pull the gun on the NSA agent, I was cheering. Literally cheering, as in standing up on my chair and thanking God that they finally gave Chloe some scenes we all could sink our teeth into. As usual, CTU is quickly up and running, proving that the time constraints of an episode never holds CTU back from always winning.
I was glad to see Renee involved in the episode again. I was worried she was going to pull a President Taylor and simply disappear with no explanation of where she's been off to, but luckily, Chloe got Renee involved very quickly. She ends up saving Jack's butt after him, Cole and a couple of other CTU agents get cornered by Samir and Taran's men. Speaking of Samir and the terrorists, it feels as if there's no danger from these nuclear rods. Is there really any doubt that Jack and the others will not find them in time and save the day? Is there really any feeling of tension involved around this? I've grown less interested in the big picture and more interested in the little character moments, which is okay, I suppose, but a little disappointing considering that 24 used to be able to balance these two things effortlessly.
It's nice to see, based on the previews for next week, that President Taylor will be making a return. Perhaps people are growing tired of me whine and complain about her absence, but there's never been a President on the show, except for maybe Season 4, where the President was missing for this long. And Cherry Jones is too good of an actress to ignore for this long too. Thankfully, she'll be sharing the screen with Gregory Itzin for awhile, and he played one of the best television villains in a long time as Charles Logan. It's also nice to see that next week will most likely be as action packed and exciting as the last two weeks. 24 was in major need of an overhaul, and it appears that with the halfway point now distant in the horizon, we can look forward to some somewhat steady storytelling.
That being said, I decided to save the Dana Walsh twist for last. I'm still not sure what to think about these sudden change of events. Part of me is happy that this whole Kevin Wade mess is over, because the time being focused on it was ridiculous. And watching her strangle the life out of Bill Prady was sort of creepy. I mean, just a few moments ago, she was nearly in tears at the thought of being caught. The next second, she's strangling a parole officer with a belt? If that's not creepy, I'm not sure what is.
However, the other part of me makes it feel like they wasted all this time establishing this character, however flawed and dull she is, and then decided since it wasn't working with the audience, to completely change her. I agree with another reviewer on this website when they wrote we've never seen Dana in contact at all with the terrorists since the season began, so it makes absolutely no sense that she'd be working with them now. It sounds like desperation on the writers part for me. They're trying to salvage a plot point that was failing miserably, and it'll be a few episodes before I decide whether or not it was the smart thing to do.
Fortunately, we've had two home runs in a row. Well, not home runs, but at least a double. It's been a little while since I've felt 24 has delivered a home run of an episode. But there's still about ten episodes left. I'm hoping there's still time for the writers to make our heads spin.