24 Day 8 “12:00am – 1:00am” Review

This week’s ’24’ was wracked with stupidity and I’m blaming Dana for spreading the disease amongst the rest of the characters. Okay, maybe I’m just pissed that the writers knocked off David Anders’ character and my wrath is seeking a target. Seriously, Mr. Anders. While I’m glad that your ‘Heroes’ character, Adam, bit the dust (hee) when he did so I didn’t feel obligated to keep watching that show well past its prime, I really wish you could stick with a franchise for more than a handful of episodes. I enjoy your presence so. But enough of Josef’s unfortunate demise (sob) — let’s get on to the stupidity!

Clarification: I don’t think the episode itself was stupid. My reaction was lukewarm, as has been the case for much of this season. Not fantastically awesome, but not terrible, claw-my-eyes-out either. That being said, I know sharp ten-year-olds with more common sense than these characters. We’ve got Dana, who’s completely forsaken her VERY IMPORTANT DUTIES at CTU to hunt down Leo Lite and his Redneck Partner in Crime. I suppose I should add Leo Lite to the Dumb List, not that he wasn’t already there. But he really should’ve seen Redneck Partner in Crime’s betrayal coming. Money, booze, hookers, whacky tabaccy, and firearms are never a good combination.

Then there’s Cole, who, upon learning of Dana’s shady past and current quest, threatens Leo Lite and Redneck Partner in Crime at gunpoint before walking away from them with his back turned and then acted surprised when Redneck Partner in Crime tried to shoot him. One gun, Cole. You thought they had one gun? There were two of them! They pulled off a heist together! There is sure as hell more than one gun in that van. I thought Cole was smarter than that. Not to mention the fact that instead of doing the logical thing and turning Dana in to Hastings and letting him figure out what to do with her, Cole tried to help her cover it up. Hrm. Because that’s worked out SO WELL to this point. She lied to him and it’s just kosher? I know, TWUE LUV and blah blah, “We’ll figure it out later, honey, let me get you back to CTU so you can do your job and perhaps locate these very important nuclear rods, even though we’ve been functioning on our own (with little success) for the last six hours”? (I note that the commercial break was strategically used to resolve the little issue of how Cole arrived at the scene. Sigh.) Sadly, I don’t think the death of Leo Lite will be the end of my frustration with this subplot.

And Hastings. Oh, Hastings. I know there’s precedent for poor leadership at CTU. Hell, it’s practically a job requirement. (No, Bill, I’m not looking at you. Go back to sipping your piña colada on the beach of some undisclosed government island reserved for Not!Dead silver foxes.) Is the organization really so fragile that Hastings is willing to let Renee take the fall for the operation gone awry? I have a hard time believing that one call from Jack Bauer to Madame President wouldn’t heal a few wounds and keep CTU functioning for a little while longer. I am, however, really surprised at Hastings’ ability to get a spiffed-up DOJ lawyer into the building at midnight. And here I’d heard government jobs had cushy hours! Anyway, I lost quite a bit of respect for Hastings in this episode and thus appreciated Jack’s conversation with him towards the end, even if it was mostly for that little smirk that Kiefer Sutherland had on his face the entire time that was like, “Yeah. You really don’t know what you’re doing, do you? If Bill was here — oh, yeah. Right. Government island. Not supposed to be talking about that. Carry on.” And that is why Jack is awesome.

See, Jack’s awesome-ness is so well known that when he busted out of the interrogation room with Renee, the security guard got this look on his face like, “Oh boy. He’s back. I’m screwed.” And he would have screamed and ran if that other security guard wasn’t blocking his escape route. But even terrorist-fighting grandpas with buns of steel have their weaknesses, and Jack’s is the taser. Actually, I think it’s electricity in general. He’s had a bad couple of episodes. Poor woobie. *pats*

I’ve already registered my displeasure with Josef’s death, but the nuclear rod plotline seems to be moving in the right direction, even though I feel like I’ve already seen it before. I find it curious that even with the two nuclear devices that have gone off in ’24’-verse, the threat of nuclear materials in terrorists’ hands causes such a crisis. I expect it to be a Big Deal, but I suppose I also expect the leadership and intelligence community to be a little more numb towards the potentiality for weapons of mass destruction. It could just be that for me, as a viewer who’s seen it a couple times already, the nuclear problem has lost a bit of its novelty value. They already blew one up in the middle of Los Angeles — it doesn’t get much worse than that. If there’s a next season, could we figure out something a little more tension-inducing? Like a flesh-eating virus that’s transmitted via Twitter?

Most people probably saw Farhad’s double-cross coming a mile away, so no big news there. I suspect his corpse will be rapidly cooling by the end of the next episode. Speaking of rapidly cooling corpses, weren’t the crime scene photos from Vlad’s death kind of fantastic? That eyeball was a juicy sucker. In all seriousness, though, Survivor!Renee isn’t nearly as riveting as Dark!Renee was. What’s the harm in telling the DOJ lady the truth? Vlad hit her, she grabbed a knife to defend herself and got a little carried away because of all of her pent up Rape Issues. It was a crime of passion! Justifiably so! Voluntary manslaughter, not murder. So I don’t really understand the pressure to “cover it up.” The argument that she engineered the entire thing… not really buying it over here, but others may feel differently. Her little scene with Jack was touching and I really want the two of them to live happily ever after together on that government island with Bill. Chloe can come too, and Tony, when he gets out of jail and gets his head back on straight.

I did not, however, catch the name of the guy who was responsible for Renee’s firing from the FBI. Anyone want to clue me in? I presume it was someone from Day 7, but my TV was a little wonky tonight.

[For the record, amidst the Olympic Scheduling Shuffle, I thought ’24’ wasn’t on last Monday, so I didn’t get to see it in time to get a review up. My apologies, folks. I enjoyed it, though — Jack Bauer shimming across a pole that he’s handcuffed to in order to make an epic escape forgives many a sin.]

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