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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
TV Round-Up
24: Day Five, 9 - 10 a.m., 10 - 11 a.m.
I have to give 24 a lot of credit--I don't think I've quite had my stomach in that big a set of knots over a suspenseful TV show since the Vols took on Alabama early this year. (I got close with the Redskins vs Philly game and the Skins vs Tampa Bay game a few weeks ago, I will admit). Especially the 10 to 11 a.m. hour of day five. As the events unfolded, I was literally talking to my television saying, "You guys at CTU can get Jack's message that it's a trap any time now!" and getting more and more frustrated that they weren't getting it or we weren't getting any indication that they were going along with the plan. For a while, I thought maybe Curtis and company were in a different entry location and setting up the terrorists to all be gunned down in a brutal, horrible trap that CTU so often loves to run.

But, then Sean Austin's Lynn McGill shows up and, thankfully being anal retentive pays off for the show. Without ever having met Jack, Lynn smells something fishy and figures out the message Jack is sending just in the nick of time--just as earlier in the 9 a.m. hour, Chloe sent over the code to detonate one of the terrorists harnesses just in time to save Derek. Those are just two of those white-knuckle, digging your fingernails into the palm of your hand suspenseful moments that 24 excels at. Now, I will often complain about the complete lack of internal logic from the show and I know that I and others have wondered--just why do we put up with this? I think these two sequences showed me why I put up with the nitpicky things that would drive me nuts on other shows--because 24 delivers suspenseful, entertaining moments like those two more often than not. Sure, the set-up may at times be absurd, but damn if more often than not the writers don't make it all payoff and worth the effort.

I remember a friend of mine said back during season one that before each new epiosde, he had to take a Valium or two before and after each episode to help him relax. I have to wonder how he felt about two nights and four hours like we got here.

But despite all that, I do have to wonder--OK, now what? I hope we haven't gone top-heavy on plot, drama and suspense this early in day five only to see things lag a bit now. So far, Jack has flown a helicopter, escaped the FBI and the Secret Service, stolen a car, defeated terrorists and is now in CTU custody. Most of us would just call it a day at this point, but not Jack. He's got 20 hours left of twists and turns--and he probably won't be helped at all by President Logan.

Logan seems to be a very self-serving politician. The numerous references to his legacy and his place in history last night and in the first two hours go to show this. We rarely hear him refer to the plight of the hostages so much as how what could happen will reflect on him and his presidency. Interesting that the man is quick to assign blame when things are going wrong, but quick to take credit when things go so well. I hope that if they're setting Logan up for a fall that it's a big one. Looking at the timeline of the 24 universe, I have to wonder how much longer does Logan have in office. Is he a lame duck? Does he know that? Is he coming up to re-election (or in this case actually being elected to the job) and he knows this, hence why he feels he has to step up and have something to build a campaing around? And does he look weak to the American people and the world still for running and hiding during day four? And did this affect why he cut off David Palmer from the White House? Thinking on the timeline, season three was in the heart of the campaign, season four was a year or so later and now season five is 16 months beyond that. So, the idea that Logan now has to consider if and how he might be re-elected is a valid one.

And I know I didn't comment on it yesterday, but Jean Smart is just doing a great job as Mrs. Logan. Using every trick in the book to get what she wants and needs. Her desperation to have Logan believe and listen to her about Palmer's phone call. It begs the question of what did Palmer know and how? And how many other secrets are in his memoirs? Will that be the key file and evidence we end up chasing later in the day?

Right now, it's all speculation. We've had a taste of what's to come. If 24 can continue to deliver in the promise of these first four episodes, day five may be the best day of 24 yet...

Here's hoping...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/17/2006 01:45:00 PM | |
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