"11:00am - 12:00pm" S8 / E20
- B- Community Grade
Let's do this, shall we? In "11:00am - 12:00pm," stuff happened. President Useless continues to be a horrible, miserable excuse for a character. I found myself yelling at the screen even during the recap from last week. Why did she tell Ethan they were going to torture Dana? She'd actually be more appealing if she went full evil, instead of this incredibly tedious, "Oh, I'm committing treason but I'm so conflicted about it!" crap. Her presence in this episode is kept at a minimum, once she cedes what little remains of her authority in the affair over to Logan, and that's a blessing. It's bad enough that the season has given up all pretense of coherent storytelling, without having to suffer through Taylor's endless dithering. Sure, Logan is an ass, but at least he's committed to assdom.
Right, plot: Logan gets the okay to put his aide, Jason, in charge of the search for Jack, and that means people are going to stop playing nice and start shooting first. Amazingly, this doesn't really have me concerned. I mean, we're talking about Jack Bauer, the guy who took out a whole building of Russian bad guys after getting knifed and tortured. I really doubt a bunch of trigger happy cops are going to stop him now. Still, it worries Chloe, because while she thinks Jack is behaving irrationally, she's desperate to bring him in alive. When Jason shows up and effectively takes control of CTU (he says she's still in charge of all other non-Jack-related functions, but come on, how many of those could there actually be?), Chloe makes her "I'm not happy" face, but there's not a damn thing she can do about it.
And you know what? Screw you, Chloe. After all these years standing by Jack no matter what crazy shit he demanded, the first whiff you get of actual power, you turn your back on him. I don't even care that much anymore and it still doesn't make much sense. It's not like Jack's been behaving badly the rest of the season. There have been very few constants on 24. 1. Trust Jack and 2. Chloe always will. To mess that up just to create false drama in a Jack vs. the world scenario is sacrificing a strong relationship for a minor gain in drama. Really, that's the reason I find it so hard to care about any of this. With Renee's death, the writers have proven that they really don't give a damn about consistency or drama or story. They're just looking for ways to inject shocks into each hour long chunk, and that means there's no risk left. There's aren't characters anymore, they're just targets, and there's no suspense in that anymore. Everyone's too disposable.
Still, this was better than last week. I liked Dana, really I did, because the weird combination of sympathetic actress with unsympathetic writing made for some fun sequences. Her attempts to win Cole over were obviously going to fail (and man, if you ever wanted to see Freddie Prinze Jr. over-matched, check out his attempt to keep up during this episode. I think his idea of "tough" is "lower my voice and act like I'm trying to swallow my face."), but the reveal that she actually was sincere made her a little more textured than I expected. I would've much rather watched her shoot her way through the Russians than deal with the Jack and Cole buddy movie. I don't want to overly praise Sackhoff here, because this isn't amazing work or anything, but she at least had some energy. Apart from Sutherland, she was the only actor on the show who wasn't completely buried by the lousy material.
Speaking of Sutherland, man, even when the writing goes to absolute crap, he still finds his moments. The look on his face when he said, "Nothing" was amazing. Shooting Dana doesn't come anywhere near the impact of shooting Nina (the moment it most obviously echoes), but it was intense, and while I'm disappointed that Dana is out of the picture for good, I'm honestly curious as to what this means for Jack. When she was trying to convince Cole to help her, Dana told him that she didn't think Jack wanted to go public with her proof of the Russian involvement; Dana argued that Jack just wanted the names so he could start shooting. This sounded at first like a desperate attempt to pit Cole against Jack, but going by Jack's expression at the end of this hour, I think she was on to something. After all, even if he leaked the names to the press, justice would be a long time coming. Shooting, though? There aren't many things faster. Which means we may be going in to the end of 24 with Jack Bauer finally crossing the line from hero to vigilante. It's not exactly a nice way to go out, but at least it'll be a change of pace.
- Heh. D.B. Sweeney really put a lot of time into this show, didn't he? "You won't take the shot, it's too risky. I-" BAM.