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Tuesday, May 24, 2005
24: Day 4, 5-7 a.m.
After 22 hours of build-up, it all came down to this--the wrap-up to day four.

In the final two hours, Jack and company had to do the following.
  • Stop the missile
  • Capture Marwan
  • Rescue Tony
  • Avert war with China
  • Give Nearly Naked Mandy a "get out of jail free" card
  • Run through a drive through for a tasty McGriddle sandwhich.
OK, so maybe they didn't do the last one. But seriously, if I were Jack, I'd at least have had a meal before I took off down the traintracks, presumably to Mexico.

In the end, Jack ends up saving the world (again) but loses everything. He no longer has an identity as he's made the sacrficial lamb for President PrissyPants with China and thus has to fake his own death. He loses Audrey. He loses his relationship with Kim because presumably he can't call her any more and she will assume that he's dead, along with the rest of the world. All because Jack is the guy who does whatever it takes to do the right thing and things little of the consequences at the time. It's only after it's too late that repurcussions start to hit him. I think next season should start with Jack bitter, drunk and eating bad salsa in a hole in the wall Mexican restuarant.

So, the world is safe yet again, thanks to the combined work for Jack and David Palmer. Interesting to see how quickly President PrissyPants shows Palmer the door. "Gee, thanks for saving my and America's collective ass, but don't let the door hit you in yours on the way out, David" is how PrissyPants does things. And then he goes politician, willing to sacrifice Jack (but not condone his murder publically, but to look the other way when Palmer confronts him about it). Indeed, it's interesting to see how the bonds of loyalty play out in the show. Palmer is loyal to Jack for what Jack has done for him on three previous days. So much so that Palmer is risking treason by helping Jack to escape. Should there be consequences of this for Palmer later? Certainly if it brings the character back to the show in an interesting, relevant way than yes. I'd love to see Palmer have his passion for politics re-ignited and run again for office. Day five surrounding the election between he and PrissyPants as one sub-plot might be fun to watch, provided the writers come up with a good reason for it.

That's not to say things weren't a little coincidental here. As usual, we have to suspend a lot of disbelief. Such as Marwan would only shoot up the tracking device for the missle just enough so it takes Chloe a minute instead of 30 seconds to unencrypt it. Also, the fact that after rushing about for nearly 22 hours, Jack is still awake and alert enough to catch that it's not raining on Nearly Naked Mandy's cell phone call when Tony is allegedly killed. And the fact that the Chinese have had the time to not only reposition the satellite to see Gray leaving CTU LA but get to San Diego BEFORE A HELICOPTER and take the guy into custody. Apparently the fastest vehicle in the universe on 24 is Chinese Consolate Limo. Unless it's CTU LA helicopter which gets to where Marwan is trying to escape from in about 2.4 seconds.

Also, after hanging around CTU last week and interrogating his son, where did Heller disappear to? Did he drive his son home? Also, I love how within five minutes, Michelle has gone out in the pouring rain, is crying her eyes out in the car and streaking her make-up and then is perfectly put back together when Tony gets back.

Speaking of Michelle, it was interesting to see be put in the same position Tony was in day three when he commited treason. Michelle goes the route of having the entire team help and ends up saving Tony and not going to jail. Of course, it helps that Tony is one smart cookie and leaves a trail for Jack to follow. Meanwhile, Buchanan gets dumped and left high and dry. How bad a day did he have? He started the day off being with Michelle and then loses her when she goes back to her ex-husband. Man, that has got to put a real damper on the day.

And while it was nice to see Nearly Naked Mandy back on the show, I have to wonder--in the end, what was the point other than having a familiar 24 villian on there? I guess the thing is that there's been so little backstory devoted to Mandy that we really have no idea how or why she chooses the causes she does. Is it money? Does she have a vendetta against some group or the United States as a whole? We realize that she's as cold and caluclating as Jack, but why? I mean, don't get me wrong--I appreciate Mia Kirshner as much as the next guy, but I really wish we'd had some more concrete reason that it was Mandy behind all of this (I mean, other than to give Palmer a moment of pause in the signing of her get out of jail free card) than we did.

So, I guess the long wait until January now begins. And the speculation on just where can 24 go next? And how will they come up with a way to get Jack Bauer into the mix without completing jumping the shark?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/24/2005 08:16:00 AM | |
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