Sunday, January 24, 2010

24 Highlights of 24

In case you're not following Dave Barry's 24 blog (you're welcome, Dave Barry), and in case you don't have time to read M. Giant's hilarious recaps on Television Without Pity (ditto, TWOP), this blog is proud to bring you 24 highlights of the Season 8 premiere of 24, to get you up to speed in time for episode five.

1. The first shooting occurs maybe--MAYBE--four minutes into the episode. Excellent.

2. Little-known fact: The continuity staff of 24 use two cans of hairspray every day to keep President Hassan of Fauxraqistan's humungous pompadour pomped. Up.

3. Katee Sackoff, whom many of us in the a-little-too-fond-of-TV-set know as Starbuck, plays Dana Walsh, aka Jenny-with-a-sordid-past, who wears her hair in an affected side sweep over one shoulder. I'm not saying it's not cute; but it's definitely an affectation, and it would be more believable as a style thing if it was occasionally out of place, hanging straight down her back, or if we actually saw her playing with it absently, or chewing on it.

4. The chief bottle-washer of the New and Improved (read: lots of glass and chrome) CTU is none other than Forrest Gump's Bubba, minus the giant lower lip. He talks like a dick-wad, if I may be blunt; he says to Chloe, who's still getting up to speed on the new technology: "I'm all about efficiency, so if your performance doesn't improve, you may want to rethink working here. I trust this has been clarifying."

5. Best moment of Episode One: Jack using the fire axe to do thoracic surgery on the bad guy chasing him up the stairwell, with a mere four minutes left in the epi. Awesome. And then he uses the fire-axe-impaled bad guy to knock the second bad guy over the railing. Double awesome. Kiefer Kill Kount: 2.

6. Second-best moment of Episode One: the helicopter being blown up by a rocket-powered grenade that Jack actually notices in time to pull Freddy Prinz, Jr. down to safety. Because he's Jack Bauer, with lightning-quick reflexes. He's SuperJack!

7. BTW, Bluetooth should be listed in the credits as a character, because Bubba is constantly talking on it.

8. Fifteen minutes into episode two, Bubba displays his true colors, suggesting to Freddie Prinz, Jr. that he conveniently adjust the facts about the recent helicopter-blowing-up situation. Hey, a CTU head who's a CYA weasel! That's new! Not.

9. When Spawn insists on coming to CTU to pick up Jack, we are left with no choice but to laugh at the TV and say, "And that ALWAYS ends well, doesn't it?!" But surprisingly, it does. Hmmm. New writers?

10. Starbuck's dark past begins to come back and haunt her about half-way through episode two. We don't know what it's all about yet, but it has something to do with a scruffy guy, a name change, and some as-yet-unnamed illegal activities that give ScruffyGuy some hold on her.

11. So far, the most boring character is the fake-assassin-contact-insider-reporter-girl (FACIRG), Meredith, who serves as a plot device for diverting suspicion from the real assassin-contact-insider, President's Hassan's hippy-haired brother, Farhad, affectionately known as FarHair.

12. It's good to see that Jack's man-purse is back this season. That thing is probably a member of SAG. It probably makes more money than I do.

13. We've got a bullet in a thigh! And it's not Jack's doing! But otherwise, episode 2 is kind of boring.

14. In episode three, they're still interrogating the FACIRG, and I wonder: when a suspect's biometrics indicate that she's holding something back, why doesn't anyone ever remember that it might have nothing at all to do with the threat? This has happened so often that, were I the interrogator, I would immediately start mining those unrelated questions: are you secretly working for the CIA (S2), are you secretly gay (S4), are you having a secret affair with one of the principals (S1-8).

15. By 11 minutes into the third epi, Jack has fallen into the hands of BadCop--one who assumes too much and wipes the floor with Kiefer's ass for the next 20 minutes. Bad, bad cop. This whole sequence is a whole bunch of time-wasting, IMHO, to make sure 24 remains 24 and not 17 or 18.

16. ScruffyMcTrailerTrash shows up at CTU, and Starbuck actually gives him the keys to her apartment in order to get rid of him. Hmmm. Counter-intuitive, that. I predict that ScruffyMcTrailerTrash will end up dead, and Starbuck will have a body to hide before the end of the seventh hour (11 p.m., 24-time).

17. When CTU finds the plans showing the fake bomb in the U.N., and the dignitaries are rushed to their cars to get out of the building, BadAccentBadGuy gets put on notice that the car will be coming up the ramp in five minutes. Five minutes? By that time, if there really were a bomb in the building, they would be digging people out of the rubble. Plus, how long is the damn ramp? A freaking mile?

18. Another excellent explosion at the end of episode three, in which Freddie Prinz, Jr. saves the President of Fauxraqistan and gets almost blown up himself for the second time in three hours. My next prediction: They are totally setting FPJ up to be Jack's replacement in Season Nine, when Kiefer has gone on to other shows with explosions.

19. M. Giant wondered, and I did too: Where did Farhad-the-Hippie get the large pointy knife he used to stab the CTU agent and get away?

Seriously, a big old sharp knife. Has Farhad been carrying that around all day? While sitting at a table with not one but two presidents? Because if so, that's the biggest security failing of an entire afternoon that's been filled with them. --M. Giant

20. Agent Freckles is back, introduced by some extremely confusing exposition. Did she do this alleged undercover work with the Russian mob before or after last season, which was supposedly six years ago? Before or after she got fired from/quit the FBI? She referred to herself as a former felon--did she spend time in prison? Why? When? Or maybe that was her undercover persona.

I am so confused. I'm going to just let all of this go, and assume that it all makes sense. Like it usually does. Bottom line: She's now DarkAgentFreckles, with a bad-ass history of some bad-ass off-book shit.

21. Nu-KLEE-ar, Kiefer. Nu-KLEE-ar.

22. SARK! Is back! Yay! And he's now part of the Russian mob, into which Jack and DarkAgentFreckles will be going, undercover-like.

23. Holy circular saw, Batman! She cut off his damn hand to remove the parole bracelet! Girlfriend spends one day in the company of Our Hero, and decides his moral ambiguity is just the ticket for resolving her daddy issues. DarkAgentFreckles, indeed!

24. It's not a little bit ironic that Jack finds this bloody violence in the name of national security to be Too Too Much. It's fine when he shoots a government witness and chops his head off with a hacksaw in order to re-establish his cover (S2), but when somebody else starts cutting off body parts, he gets all huffy and indignant.

All he can say is, "Dammit!"--which is the perfect ending to a pretty good premiere.


boneyard said...

I may never learn. I'm forever clicking on the links on your blog, only to realize there's nothing there. Whatever is there must be in some sort of code that people of superior intelligence can't decipher. TWOP? nothing there. (and I watch TV). 24? I believe you probably recapped 3hrs of show in 5 minutes. The show moves about as fast as I do when I'm told the trash is full.YIKES!!

E. Peevie said...

Boneyard--that's weird. I just clicked on the link, and it took me to Television Without Pity/show/24, where the 24 recaps are posted.

You're probably right--the links discriminate against really, really smart people.

Sorry you're not a fan of 24--but to suggest it moves slow is a little strange to me. The whole premise is that it moves in real time, with lots of explosions.

Love you anyway!

studioGypsy said...

lovin your recap, evie! ;) totally agree with your #18 prediction... and loved the scene when FPJ said, "badaccent.badguy" is here with me..." that was awesome!! ;) i was totally annoyed with the too perfect face of farhad's mistress, as well as starbuck's shoulder-hair... i wonder if it was meant to help freckles look more bad-ass than usual...which i am digging her look this time around! tho, am a bit confused also with her "follow the book" look from last season and the stark contrast now... so i'm assuming her undercover-ness happened after last season? either way, brush it under the rug might be the better way to go... xo will be there for the finale! xo

boneyard said...

I wasn't referring to the links themselves, but rather the lack of substance the sites bring (for me)

E. Peevie said...

Boneyard--I think the writers at TWOP are some of the funniest on the Internet. Give it one more try: pick one of your favorite shows, and read a recap of a recent episode.

Let me know.

Gypsy--I totally agree--I loved that scene FPJ gives up BABG. That's the moment when I knew they were setting up FPJ to be the new Jack.

Boy George said...

Re "Sorry you're not a fan of 24--but to suggest it moves slow is a little strange to me. The whole premise is that it moves in real time, with lots of explosions.":

Maybe it's precisely because the show moves in "real time" that some people can find it to be slow-moving. Wasn't it Hitchcock (or some other famous director) who said that movies are like life, but with the boring parts cut out? Setting the show in real time presents a lot of challenges, and your item 15 points out one of the ways they handle this (i.e., padding the time with action). I haven't seen the show since the beginning of the third season, but back then they did a very good job of keeping stuff moving in an entertaining and (fairly) realistic way, and I'm assuming that's still the case.