Over the weekend, the FOX network announced this would be the last season of 24 on television. I have to be honest- while I’m a huge fan of Jack Bauer and his continuing struggle against terrorists, evildoers and ne’er-do-wells, I’m relieved that the show’s end is in sight.
In it’s early seasons, 24 was a revolutionary show. Everything came together in the show’s fifth season, which represented the peak of the story of Jack Bauer. But after that, the show suffered a sharp decline. Season Six was easily the show’s worst. But in the past two seasons, the show has rebounded somewhat, becoming interesting (although no longer groundbreaking) once again.
I’m looking forward to the end of the series because Jack Bauer the character will (hopefully) get closure and peace. I also think that ending the series will be a good thing because while the stories of Days Seven and Eight have been entertaining (or at least better than Day Six), many of the story devices seem (to a long time fan with a good memory) like we’ve seen them before. Two weeks ago, I bemoaned the terrorist’s use of a tunnel to hide a getaway and an EMP device. Well, story elements once again seem familiar as Jack has to put up with members of the president’s cabinet working against her and a (quasi) major character suffering a heart attack.
Earlier this season, there were a few episodes in a row where I remarked you could miss the first 40 (or so) minutes, but as long as you caught the last 20, you were fine. Tonight was another one of those episodes. During tonight’s first 40 minutes, the (newly) evil Agent Dana passed along information about police roadblocks to the terror crew. President Taylor talked with the terrorists, who wanted President Hassan of the IRK turned over in exchange for not detonating their nuclear device. While President Taylor refused to give in to the terrorists, some bald-headed guy pretending to be a general talked Taylor’s chief of staff into going against the president’s wishes and sending in a commando team to extricate Hassan to turn him over to the terrorists. Meanwhile, Jack was busy escorting the Hassan family out of the U.N.
And that was the first 40 minutes. Once Jack got the Hassans out of the tunnel, they were ambushed by the world’s quickest commando team who killed a bunch of Secret Service agents (sacrificing themselves so Jack and the Hassans could escape). Jack, Agent Renee and President Hassan fought back against the commandos before overcoming one of them and finding out their orders came from General Egghead. With the terrorists poised to strike, the unlucky soldier told Jack he had to turn over Hassan. But Jack had the perfect response: “I don’t take orders from anybody but the President of the United States.”
And that’s pretty much what happened. Like I mentioned earlier, the sedition thing’s been done. And Ethan’s heart attack (which I thought he was faking to get himself free) was kinda-sorta done already too, with the pills really hammering the point home. My problem with this plot line rests in General Egghead.
In the picture, the General is the guy in the top frame in the suit. Every other time we’ve seen a general on this show, they’ve been in uniform. Granted, tonight, the U.S. Army wasn’t painted in the best light (much like the NYPD earlier this season), and maybe he was out of uniform to give a bit of a rogue element to his character. Still, I hope he sticks around to get his comeuppance.
One other interesting development tonight was finding out the full name of the main bad guy in charge (so far) this season:
Yup, it’s good old Samir Mehran. So far, he’s the one responsible for all the chaos this season. Thing is, we know nothing about him. In other seasons, we’d get some brief biographical information about him from either his co-workers or some random person at CTU. But on Samir, we’ve got nothing. We first met him in a warehouse and we know that he’s a pissed off IRK-ian. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
I don’t really have anything else to say about tonight. I have to admit, the previews for next week looked pretty good. And I can only hope that if they choose to re-use old story elements, they pick some good ones.
What did you think?