More people get smoked by big trucks in high-speed collisions and live to tell the tale!
Let’s bitch it out…
First off, I want to thank thedude35 for filling in for me last week. I don’t want to go on about the episode from two weeks ago, but I Just had one quick point to make. I love James Heller (William Devane) as a character, and I’m sure that I’ll enjoy watching him the rest of the season, but keeping his character alive was a cheap trick that completely undermined the episode leading up to his supposed death. There was some great writing and character work in that episode and it’s basically just tossed away. I’m happy that Heller is still kicking around, but my overall impression of the season has been lowered.
Alright, let’s move on. There are some big revelations on 24 tonight, with at least one of them coming completely out of left field. Surely I can’t be the only one whose reaction was “wtf?” when the Chinese rolled in? We already had some weird subplot going on with Russians, now we have the Chinese, too? It’s also amusing how Goth Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) has to explain to Cross (Michael Wincott) – and, of course, to us – just who Cheng (Tzi Ma) is/was (because most of us can’t remember what happened the last time he was on the show). I knew Cheng looked familiar, and I remembered his name, but that was about it. I guess this is what happens when a show is off the air for four years.
Earlier in the episode, Cross explains his master plan to Goth Chloe. Apparently he wants to use the override device to nullify all of the safeguards around every single country’s defence programs. And his belief is that this will somehow cancel everything out, as if he is balancing an equation or something and one nuke on the left side cancels out one nuke on the right side. Could this be the dumbest plan ever? I guess Cross believes that most countries wouldn’t just shoot off their nukes if they suddenly couldn’t protect themselves anymore. It’s completely insane, which is unfortunate because I feel like the writers just turned Cross into a blithering idiot in the space of a single episode. Aside from his nonsensical plan, he also doesn’t realize that the Chinese guy he is selling secrets to isn’t actually even part of the Chinese government. Oops – what a moron!
In other news, Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) discovers the truth about her husband, aka that Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) was behind it all. This leads to some touching moments with Kate’s character, and a heartfelt conversation with Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) where she admits that she believes she husband committed suicide because she stopped believing in his innocence. This seems a little thrown together at the last minute, but it still kind of works for me. Kate’s at the start of the path that Jack’s been walking for years. I don’t know if there are any plans for future seasons of 24, or if this is a one-time deal, but I’d be interested to see where Kate ends up in, say, 5 years.
Tonight’s episode also highlights some of the structural issues with 24. There’s no time to gather real intelligence, given the nature of the show, so we’re forced to accept that some gaps in logic if we believe that the good guys can gain certain information. Jack just sort of peers into a bustling train station and happens to catch a glimpse of Cross with the bag over his shoulder. It seems kind of unlikely, but I’ll roll with it because it’s 24. Then later, Jack gives Ritter (Gbenga Akinnagbe) a little speech about how Navarro is trained to withstand interrogation, so it’s pointless to hand him over to the torture folks. I guess Navarro was never trained to see through obvious ruses, though, as Kate and Jack’s little dancing act gets him to spill the beans about the tracker on the override device (seriously?). It gives Strahovski a nice line when Kate gets to tell him that she’ll be there to watch him executed, but in general the whole scene is just lazy.
There’s also more marriage drama between Audrey (Kim Raver) and Mark (Tate Donovan). Normally I wouldn’t even acknowledge this storyline, as it bores me, but I thought this one was amusing. Mark is the traitor, so the audience is supposed to dislike him and given her history on the show, we’re meant to like Audrey. But pretty much everything that Mark says to Audrey is true! The best she can offer him is that she’s made “a commitment” to their marriage, and then she gets upset and storms out when he doesn’t find that answer satisfactory. Hey Audrey, how about you tell the guy that you love him and that you want to be with him? Your answer pretty much validates all of his worries.
Don’t get me wrong: Mark is a bit of an idiot, too. He has the other Oops! moment of the episode. After giving the Russians the means to track Jack, he discovers from Heller that Jack is heading up a super-important operation. The look on Mark’s face is priceless. And, of course, the Russians get to Jack before he can get to Cross and Goth Chloe. I’m not even going to get into how ridiculous it is that Jack and Kate just hop out of their car unscathed after being pulverized by a huge truck. I’ll defer to others to chime in whether this is better or worse than the time that Simone (Emily Berrington) got smoked by the bus earlier in the season.
In any case, we’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger. Jack is fighting off the Russians and Cheng has just used a U.S. submarine to take out a Chinese aircraft carrier, potentially starting World War 3. Next week should be interesting.
- Best moment of the night, by far: Audrey is in the middle of chastising her father for taking alcohol with his pills, and – in mid-swallow – he gives her the thumbs up sign. I love Heller.
- Did I miss something that happened between Jack and Ritter? Jack acts like a total douche to him. First he’s all like “I wasn’t asking, that was me being courteous,” even though Ritter’s statement is perfectly reasonable. And then Jack’s all “Stay focused on your job! Stop worrying about me!” Uh, I’m pretty sure he is doing his job, Jack. Calm down.
- Goth Chloe has a nice epic fail when she tries to sneak away with the override device. Did Cross miss the fact that she opened the back door and reached in there? Oh wait, she put a jacket (or something) down on the seat; she couldn’t possibly have grabbed the device. *zoinks*
- Every time we see Mark forging the President’s name on the “Previously on 24” segment, I always find myself wishing that we could see Heller’s real signature so that we can see how good of a job Mark did. I’m curious.
Your turn: were you surprised by the appearance of Cheng and the Chinese? Are the writers relying on too many logic gaps to explain things, or is that just 24? Is Navarro stupid for falling for Kate and Jack’s good cop/bad cop routine? And is WWIII coming? Sound off below
24: Live Another Day airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX. And just because I loved it, here’s a fun behind the scenes pic.