In past seasons of 24, Jack Bauer has faced a variety of foes, from the presumed dead Victor Drazen and the seemingly hapless but diabolical President Charles Logan to Jonas Hodges, who dared challenge the U.S. President via video conference call.
This season, though, the man who’s shaping up to be Jack’s nemesis is someone who doesn’t quite inspire as much fear as the man who was RoboCop. Our villain is a businessman with, presumably a scary-sounding Russian name, but a man who is best known as Papa.
Yes, Papa. Sounds especially menacing if you imagine someone saying it in a baby’s voice. This is the bad guy (so far) for 24 Day Eight.
I gotta tell you, I’m not that scared.
I think a more compelling bad guy would be Poppie from Seinfeld.
We’ve all seen how he can terrorize New York:
But enough about how this season could be better…
Tonight, friend of the Kingdom Morning Toast is at a live taping of Monday Night Raw, from where he’s been tweeting on what’s going on at ringside. Earlier tonight, I replied that at least I can still watch 24. But now, I’m not so sure that 24 was better than Raw. Hell, Chuck was better than 24 tonight.
I’m not ready to cast aspersions on the entire season, yet. This was one of those set-up episodes where seemingly little happens, but Jack and other characters get from point A to point B so they can kick some ass at point B the next episode. Except for a few minutes at the top of the show, Jack was in a car tailing Renee all night. 24 needs episodes like that. So one so far for this season. I suppose we’ve needed one. But the problem occurs (take Day 6 for example) when they have too many of these episodes back-to-back, with no real action. So if there’s going to be more action in the coming weeks, I’ll be fine with that.
The one other thing I didn’t like about tonight, and I’m also hoping does not affect this season long-term is the domestic violence-style storylines involving Agent Renee and Dana. Sure, we’re expected to believe that prior to the squeaky clean FBI agent she was made out to be last season, Agent Renee actually got her hands dirty with the Russian Mob, while getting beat up by the guy she was investigating. And Dana, who on the first night, had a potentially interesting side storyline, has been reduced to blackmail material by her sleazebag ex, who makes his point by trying to choke her out. We get it, the Russian dude and sleazebag are evil. And they beat up women, so doubly evil. I know they’re bad.
I like Agent Renee’s turn to the dark side. Sure, she’ll have to keep getting her hands dirty, especially if she’s now willing to go to places that it seems Jack won’t. And I know 24 is a show built around violence, but do we need to see every woman as a victim?
Same thing with Dana. I think my hostility towards her storyline is because it feels like too much, too soon. They could have dragged this plot out a few more hours before letting her see sleazebag at her apartment. Even with that, no matter what her past was, Dana played the system right to end up at CTU without anyone catching on to her past. Can’t she find a way to arrange that her ex be disposed of in a similar manner? Or at least travel home with a service revolver, catch the sleazebag and his friend in her apartment and say she killed them in self defense?
Too many heavy thoughts for this episode where it felt like nothing happened. Some other thoughts:
-I thought we were going to go a whole episode without seeing the Hunchback of CTU. Hunchback Hastings must have been in traction the first 50 minutes of this episode.
-David Anders (a.k.a. Sark from Alias) is being wasted trying to get his brother medical attention. He should be the one taking over the arms deal and letting Papa take fallout boy to the doctor’s office.
-I didn’t catch the full name of today’s token Middle Eastern nation, but it’s initials spell out IRK. Quite fitting.
-Speaking of IRK, if there are hardliners trying to stage a coup, why does the U.S. care if the president cracks down on them? Whenever 24 gets too political, it makes my head hurt.
-Got a “Dammit” at 8:48. Nice to know that Jack can still bust out a classic even if he’s trapped in a car the whole episode.
-This Arlo guy is really annoying me. Hey Dana, tell Arlo to meet you at your place. Then pop in, shoot him, the ex and the ex’s friend. Takes three bullets, but it’ll save the rest of us the suffering.
-Once again, they brought back one of my favorite dramatic devices:
And this time, it really was a single tear!
For more Bauer talk, check out blogs.4bauer.com.
What did you think?