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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
24: Day 4, 12 - 1 a.m.
In the mid-70's on Doctor Who, there was a para-military organization called U.N.I.T. (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce). The purpose of U.N.I.T. was to thwart alien invasions of Britian (and the rest of Earth) and to give our hero, the Doctor somewhere to stay and hang out while he was exiled to Earth (saved money on the budget). Now, there were times when you believed that maybe U.N.I.T. was an elite force of soldiers who you would be comfortable putting the fate of the planet in their hands. And at other times, well, they were comedic foils for the Doctor and you really wondered how we'd avoided being conquered by every alien race that wandered by.

In one story called "The Mind of Evil" U.N.I.T. is tasked with several things--security a world-peace conference and disposing of a missile full of nerve gas. So, our intrepid heroes set out to dispose of the nerve gas missle, following a pre-determined route that takes them past a prison. A prison, by the way, where prison riots have broken out and the inmates are running the asylum. Before you know, the escaped prisoners have stolen the missile from the convoy, giving it to the bad guy and are ready to use it to destroy the peace conference and plunge the world into war. If only they'd listened to the Doctor when he said--by the way, a riot has broken out at the prison and done something simple like, oh I don't know, changed the route of the convoy.

Of course, then it'd have been a whole lot shorter story.

So, why do I bring this up in relation to 24? Last night as I was watching events unfold on screen and hearing about how the military was still moving nuclear warheads about despite the events of the day, I worried that it'd be a hugely coincidental chain of events that led Marwan to get his hands on a missile. And that it might be too much to accept and throw my willing suspension of disbelief right out the window. (And I can take a lot since my favorite show, Dr Who involved a guy travelling through time in a police box this is bigger on the inside than the outside).

Thankfully, I am pleased to report that 24 managed to avoid taking me completely out of the willing suspension of disbelief in this aspect of the plot. Indeed, I could see that Marwan would have operatives based around the country and ready to intercept a missile. Also, I found it interesting that he had a window of opportunity that he had to exploit and exploit it quickly to get his hands on a missile. What he intends to do with it, I'm not quite too sure yet. But I get a strange feeling the new president is in on it becuase he was way too eager to jump down into the bunker and cover his own butt rather than being the commander in chief that the country needs at that moment.

Yes, the new president annoyed me. Which I think is the point. In a time of crisis and when tough calls need to be made with authority, he wants to debate them. You could almost see Mike Novak wanting to reach out and slap him when he wouldn't condone to the interrogation of the prisoner. And CTU's reaction to him was nicely done. It almost made me wonder if that was what some people at the Pentagon said when certain less than popular with the armed forces presidents called them up. Just a thought.

Meanwhile, it actually takes Jack the same amount of screen time to get from CTU to the desert and then back to CTU. Yes, I was a bit stunned myself at that. But he got back just in time to go into classic Jack Bauer mode. So, the prisoner won't talk. Let him go, I'll resign and then torture the crap out of him in the van. You know, I think had the prisoner known that Jack was going to meet him for a special talk, he'd have given up everything he knew. And surely there must have been some loophole since the prisoner didn't call his lawyer that CTU could exploit without letting him go and having Jack break his fingers to get the truth out of him. (Which was quite a scene, let me tell you).

And did anyone else get the feeling that when CTU let the prisoner go that Edgar was going to snap, go out to the parking lot and beat the crap out of the guy? Or I figured Edgar would kill the prisoner and thus end that avenue of information for Jack and company. Either way, Edgar is slowly reaching his snapping point--and can you blame the guy? He's had a pretty rough day. And to think that Chloe seems to be acting like the boss again, even if she doesn't have the official title. (Which I think we established a few episode ago that Edgar is now Chloe's boss).

And along the way, there is time for Tony and Michelle to have a talk that makes Buchannan jealous. Why is it every time I see Tony and Michelle maybe think about being a couple, I'm reminded of the line from Speed about relationships based on high stress usually don't last? Anyone else thing that?

All that said, I found this hour to be a compelling one. It didn't have the dramatic edge-of-your-seat intensity that such as Air Force One being attacked, but it still kept me rivetted through most of the story. It also made me hate lawyers that much more with the Amnesty lawyer showing up like he did. But I think that was kind of the point, wasn't it?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/19/2005 07:55:00 AM | |
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