24: Season 8, Episode 8
11:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m.
One of the major criticisms of 24 is that the show needs enough story to fill its titular requirement, and this generally leads to a narrative that is impossible to unravel once the season reaches its end. If you pause, at the end of a season, and try to trace where the story ended up back to its beginnings, you are sure to find some logical leaps or plot holes to nitpick at. That's just the nature of the beast when it comes to 24, however, and even a man such as myself who loves to nitpick so much he spends much of his time doing just that can't be bothered too much by it. The show needs to generate story, and so there are bound to be some clumsy leaps.

The bright side of this is that even a season that starts off shakily like this one might go to interesting places in its later episodes, and so even though Season 8 has yet to wow me, I keep hope alive that we are headed to great places. That's an unlikely hope, but one I choose to maintain for now. And tonight's episode had some really solid elements, though its ending twist (involving Sark, as I can't stop calling him, stealing the rods from his Dad and aiming to deliver them to Hassan's brother) was the most standard possible extender of the masterplot so far. Jack's story tonight was the most compelling escalation of that plot so far though, throwing in some torture, escape, and gunplay and letting Bauer be Bauer for the first time all season. We also got a look at Dana escalating toward murdering her ex-boyfriend and his dickweed of a friend, and watched Hassan delve even further into paranoia and cliche-ism.

As I said, the ending twist barely qualifies as a twist it was so obvious, but it looks like next week we could be in for some interesting moments as Hastings moves to frame Renee for this whole mess and Jack decides to go dark to get her free. Everyone knows 24 is at its best when Jack goes dark, so here's hoping we're getting to the good stuff.

Grade: B


-Take a drink whenever someone on 24 asks for "full immunity."
Tags: 24
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