Monday, June 9, 2014

After Thoughts On "24:Live Another Day"

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And here we are, now 6 episodes in (the halfway point) and it's time for me to give my thoughts on "24: Live Another Day" a.k.a The Return Of Jack Bauer. Right off the bat there are somethings I like and a few things I don't, but I'm not 100% sure how much the things I don't will impact the season going forward, let's get started.

I wanna get this off my chest as soon as possible, but I absolutely HATE Kate Morgan and everything going on with her. Yes, I do admit I'm still soured by her stint as The Yoko Ono of "Dexter", but they did EXACTLY what I was afraid they'd do and that was turn her into The Female Jack Bauer and turn her into Jack's side-kick. I don't like this for a few reasons, for starters in a series where the primary focus is supposed to be the return of Jack Bauer, giving him a side-kick sorta takes the focus off of Jack and secondly, they have to make every other character stupid in order for her character to work.

The thing about "24" is that Jack was bound by bureaucrats, not exactly by stupid people, Kate seems to be surrounded by morons, specifically The Black Agent who's name I can't be bothered to remember, they started the series bickering back and forth like children, with Black Agent constantly taking popshots at Kate for her Eric Snowden-esque husband (more on that later). That and I just don't like Yvonne Stahovski, I get it, it's petty lame, but there isn't enough distance between her and "Dexter" yet for me to reengage her and with her being a central character in "24" it just feels all too familiar.

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GET OUT OF SHOWS I LIKE!

James Heller as President, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it, he works in the role and the alzheimer's angle is interesting as well. But I like that there is someone in power that doesn't see Jack as an enemy or a huge liability. I understand David Palmer is dead (believe me, I do) but his interaction with Jack were smooth and to the point, Jack would say "Terrorist attack!" and David would say "Give him what he needs!" and everything would be solved. Mark Boudreau a.k.a Hercules just comes off as one of those smarmy bureaucrats that made the Seasons after 4 almost unbearable. His agreeing to give Jack over to Russia and foraging The President's signature will surely get him fired and I can imagine him playing with the Alzheimer's angle to convince Heller that he did in fact sign Jack's fate away.

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That face Hercules makes when he's being told off.

It's always sad to watch a guy who doesn't feel confident enough in his marriage that he has to condemn another man to a Russian prison; but can you really fault him for feeling insecure next to Jack Bauer? No, not really. That being said, Audrey and Jack CLEARLY still have feelings for each other and it's good to see Audrey up and running again (after all she was practically catatonic, did The Chinese suffer any blow back for that? She was the daughter of a high ranking government official...just curious). But Audrey up and running means Jack will have a Champion much stronger than Heller in his camp and Audrey knows first hand just how deadly it is to question Jack Bauer. I'm not sure where these two will be by the end of the series, but it's nice to know where these two characters are coming from and how different their worlds have gotten.

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Poor Hercules...

Switching gears over to Chloe, I have to say, "Fuck you, "24" writers." killing Morris and Prescott was a low blow. All throughout "Live Another Day", I wondered where Morris and Prescott was, I was thinking (silly me) that perhaps Chloe had to go underground for some intelligence she was leaking but low and behold, the writers just decided to kill off Morris (one of my favorite newer characters) and damnit that just blows (but it does explain Chloe's new gothy demeanor and hardcore attitude, she's not a whiny as she used to be...which is good). She hasn't changed much in her willingness to help Jack and they're not at each other's throats, so that's good that everything feels familiar and different at the same time. Chloe has been through A LOT and it's finally showing.

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I like this Chloe.

Adrian Cross is a REALLY cool character, his slow and grim British voice made me like him right off the bat. It's clear that Adrian and Chloe have a thing going on (Chloe always had a thing for Brits) and I like that Adrian isn't a heartless bastard but rather a guy looking to maintain his organization, you'd think with both of them being renegades in their own right, Jack & Adrian would see eye to eye. Despite him going off with his crew to escape the drone attack, I DO hope he comes back and we actually get to see just what exactly is his relationship with Chloe. He's a cool character.

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These two are cool together.

Before we touch on the villains, I think we need to touch on a potential villain Steve Navarro, it was revealed in the half-way point that Steve and an unknown collaborator framed Agent Morgan's husband...why? Who knows? Here's what I'm hoping, I'm hoping that the person over the phone is someone we know, just because it'll make this season that much more special to see a familiar face on the other side of aisle. Like I said, Tony Almeida is still alive (as far as we know) and while I'm NOT saying it should be Tony, I'm just saying that it'll be interesting. Whatever the reason is, I hope this plot point pays off to something that ties into the main story and not just an absolution for Kate Morgan to say "See, I told you my husband wasn't a traitor. I am a good agent!". I know, I know, my biased is showing. Anyways...

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Secret Phone Conversation SCREAMS bad guy.

The villains this season, Margot Al-Harazi is well done, as I've always wanted a female villain in this show, not in the same vein as Nina (who was more militaristic) but a female mastermind who orchestrated the entire event. She's cold, ruthless and in her mind, morally justified (which is what makes a good villain). Not to mention her family isn't stupid and while applaud Navid for attempting to alert the authorities, the weight of his failure made her character that much more deadly, well done. Secondly, the trap was fantastically executed and while Kate wasn't among the casualties (damnit) it certainly did get her point across and solidify her as one of the most deadly "24" villains in the history of the series...next to Stephen Saunders of course. I know Season 6 attempted to do something with drones, but in that time in history, drone weren't as well known as they are today and now that they're known the threat of terrorist controlled drones is certainly a scary one.

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Execution Style.

And now to the grandmaster of terrorist ass kicking, the one and only Jack Bauer. Jack, thus far is the only character who hasn't changed, if anything despite EVERYTHING that has happened to him (losing his wife, having a heart attack and flat-lining under torture, becoming addicted to heroin, causing the deaths of a few prison guard, killing a superior, being betrayed The White House, Faking his death, Being framed for the murder of a friend, being betrayed by The White House...AGAIN, being tortured by The Chinese, Being handed over to be tortured by terrorists, being betrayed by HIS OWN BROTHER, being betrayed by his OWN FATHER, Killing his Father, being infected with a virus, betrayed by a good friend, lost a girlfriend, being betrayed by The White House AGAIN!) Jack still is a patriot and is still doing what he does but this time, not for America but for himself...essentially Jack Bauer is the world's most effective vigilante.

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Don't screw with me, I'll straight up kill you.

He still has those crazy plans that involve putting people in harm's way and still has the ability to talk his way out of dangerous situations. After it was revealed that Jack Bauer was right about the drones, Heller gave Jack everything he needed and it looks like The British will be giving Jack the flux, what with Stephen Fry discovering James Heller isn't up to snuff mentally. Hopefully that doesn't become too much of a hindrance because that would suck...unless it's done well. This is starting to feel like the only "24" we all know and love and I'm interested to see where this series goes. Until then, DAMNIT, WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

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