Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Actually, you're hurting me now.": 24

You know the routine. 24 is only as good as its plot twists (and boy is there a doozy in this episode), so if you don't want to know, stay out.

Okay. President Logan being evil? I went with it. Michelle being immune to a plague randomly? I went with it. Even Nina being the mole? I went with it.

But Jack Bauer having an evil brother we've never heard of, a sister-in-law who lusts for him, a nephew that may actually be his son (c'mon, tell me you're not thinking it) and an estranged father who also might be evil was. . .a bit of a leap for me. I like James Cromwell and Paul McCrane, and it's nice to see them get work, but McCrane's character (who was introduced last season) actually being Jack Bauer's brother WITHOUT HIM KNOWING HE WAS EVIL UNTIL TONIGHT hurts my brain. They could have brought back Kim, said she had been brainwashed by terrorists and then told us she had become an expert on nuclear weapons just so she could prep this season's attacks and it would have made more sense.

I mean, if the show's going to indulge in torture, it's kind of fun to see Jack torture his brother (in a sadistic sort of way) after seeing him for the first time in years ("Hey, bro! Mind if I tie you to this chair?"), but the plot twist sort of feels like 24 trying to top itself for the sake of topping itself. It's one turn too many.

That said, the whole hour felt kind of off. The early bits with the mushroom cloud causing panic were a bit more fear-monger-y than 24 usually likes to be (and, really, it's hard for the show to top itself in that department). And the CTU love triangle stuff is still a massive drag on the show (it's at this point that the writers wish they hadn't killed off everyone last season). The White House scenes are still a liability, but I liked Wayne Palmer's speech to the nation about the nuke at the end of the episode.

But the ludicrous plot twist so dominated this hour for me that I can't really talk about anything else. I'll keep watching the show, but 24 may have wandered off into territory I just can't follow it into.

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