Friday, January 12, 2007

24: "TELL ME WHY I FEEL SAD!!!!!!!"

"24" review in today's column:

"I don't know how to do this anymore."

With these eight words, "24" -- that gorgeous, messy, fist-pumping carnival of post-9/11 anxiety -- gives us its most terrifying scenario yet: Jack Bauer, broken man.

Sure, this is a show where a nuke has gone off on the outskirts of LA, where one president was assassinated and another turned traitor, where deadly viral agents have penetrated malls and hotels, where Elisha Cuthbert's acting ability entered a life-or-death struggle with a cougar (a cougar, people!). But through it all, we knew Jack Bauer would be there to either save the day or avenge the fallen, most likely while putting unnecessary strain on his vocal cords.

As season six begins, that Jack's gone. He's liberated from nearly two years of torture in a Chinese prison -- karmic justice for a guy who never saw a leg he couldn't shoot or stab? -- an unkempt ghost of his former self.

Even after the POW hair and beard get clippered away and Jack starts capping bad guys, he's entirely on auto-pilot. Give him a minute to breathe or think -- of which there are surprisingly many early on -- and he starts to doubt himself. By the end of the now traditional two-night, four-hour season launch, he's reduced to sobbing longer, louder and harder than he did back when his wife was murdered in season one.

To read the full thing, click here.

9 comments:

Devin McCullen said...

I think we all know who thought it would be a good idea to bring Eric Balfour back. Feinberg's got to learn to use his powers for good.

And reading between the lines of your article just confirms what I was guessing anyway about which character's outlived his/her usefulness (though, to be fair, I think we're all a little surprised he/she's lasted this long).

Anonymous said...

I've seen the first four episodes already and it's obvious who dies just from the billing.

Also, there are several INCREDIBLY dumb plot twists involving the guy who is racially profiled. I won't say more b/c I don't want to spoil anything, but I was actually laughing at points because it was so stupid.

Still, this season is off to a good start.

dez said...

And reading between the lines of your article just confirms what I was guessing anyway about which character's outlived his/her usefulness (though, to be fair, I think we're all a little surprised he/she's lasted this long).

PleasebeKimPleasebeKimPleasebeKim!

Er, but don't tell me so I can somewhat surprised when whoever's supposed to get kacked gets kacked (pleasebeKim).

Dan Coyle said...

Milo was a pretty popular character with the fans in S1, wasn't he? I remember a lot of people were annoyed he disappeared like that, and the producers had been trying to get Eric Balfour back for a while.

Nice to see Carlo Rota's back; if Surnow's going to inflict on us memories of La Femme Nikita, at least he's using the better actors. Oh Peta, come back from Sydney so you can get into a fight with Naked Mandy!

Speaking of Rota, Little Mosque on the Prarie racked up some pretty big numbers on CBC, didn't it?

Back to the big character death; yeah, it didn't help last season when the characters dying had "Special Guest" and "Special Appearance" over their names. I am going to miss David Palmer a lot, though. Nice to see after last year, Wayne wandered all the way to the White House.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dan, I think Milo was popular back before we all realized the true nature of Eric Balfour's Balfour-ness.

And I'm not saying the people I assumed were doomed have died (yet), just that it's turned into yet another fun "24" playalong game.

jim treacher said...

"WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR??? I JUST WANT SOMEBODY TO HOLD ME!!!"

They had to bring back Balfour because everybody else is dead. Last season they killed off a couple of the CTU lunch ladies, for Pete's sake.

Dan Coyle said...

"Dan, I think Milo was popular back before we all realized the true nature of Eric Balfour's Balfour-ness"

Hmmm, good point. Now I'm having Six Feet Under flashbacks. Guuuuh! And he was pretty awful on Conviction. Oh WHY do I subject myself to something just because Julianne Nicholson is in it?

Dark Tyler said...

The beginning was amazing, as usual. The big death is pretty obvious, as some posters above already said, but the way it happens is kinda shocking. The endings to episodes 1&4 will be remembered for some time!

Oh, and where is Aaron, dammit!?

Dan Coyle said...

Well, I saw the first four episodes. Jack's got a loooooong day ahead of him.