24: Season 8, Episode 20
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
One thing is for certain on 24: the more desperate the writers get to add tension, the more likely you are to see someone tortured. After numerous compliants during the middle seasons about the ridiculous amount of torture used, and after the show's writers realized their clearly ridiculous situations were being touted by a certain political party to justify torture, the show has leaned toward less torture in the last few seasons. This actually worked out well, considering that what had started as a means to show just how desperate Jack Bauer was and just how dire a situation he was in had become stock in trade for the show, and also didn't carry the emotional punch a torture scene during the first few seasons did. Tonight, and in the previews for next week, its clear that we have returned to an era when the show uses torture as its most interesting filler tactic. And god knows it needs some filler, because its more than out of story.

President Taylor continued to climb the list of the least realistic characters this show has ever produced as she somehow still tried to walk the line between committing treason and admitting what she's doing is evil. Also, she pretty much just made Charles Logan president again, which is fucking insane, but sure, why not, thet'll fill an hour or two. On the total-bullshit-failed-Macguffin front that is the treaty, Dahlia Hassan claims to have the full-throated support of her Fundamentalist Islamic country (remember that she's a woman), and somehow the President still hasn't realized that if one or more of the signatories on a peace treaty have tried to attack another in the 24 hours before it was signed, it probably won't effectively promote peace.

At CTU the show is continuing its season-long slap in the face to long time fans by having Chloe continue to lead the search for Jack without any plausible reason to. This show has gotten by on two standards for the past four seasons or so: 1. Jack is always right, and 2. Chloe will always believe him. The show has sacrificed by far its strongest and most meaningful relationship for minor drama that isn't good anyway. Renee's death proved that this show just didn't care about story or consistency and were just looking to stretch out their shocking lack of story for the rest of the season.

That being said, though, tell me you didn't get a rush of pure adrenaline and joy when Jack killed Dana (this rush of joy may have been partially due to my hatred of Sackhoff's performance here). One thing this show has continued to do well is its shoot outs, and Jack's chase of Dana through the streets of Manhattan was well done and decently exciting. Credit also must be given to Keifer Sutherland, who continues to be flat out amazing in the role in spite of the terrible writing and story telling. Just take the moment he looked coldly into Dana's eyes and said "Nothing" as an affirmation of how little he has left to lose, and how much he has already given up. If nothing else, this season of 24 has given us more of Sutherland's masterful performance, and there's something to be said for that. I'm still not sure how the show is going to drag out its incresingly non-existent story for four more hours (Jack has the evidence! It should all be over!), and I'm definitely not excited for where it will likely be going, but I can still take solace in the few things this show still manages to do without making me feel like ranting.

Grade: C


-Didn't it seem like Jack and Cole sprung Dana incredibly easily?

-Whenever Jack asks someone "Do you know who I am?" I feel warm inside.
Tags: 24
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