Oh, I thought I just might as well start off another blog-series in the same vein as Gojirathon. Being that I’ve been pumped for Jacks return ever since his departure from the screen a few years ago. Again. Like Gojirathon. This’ll be mainly a stream of thoughts about each part of the series.
Ok, first off I should probably say something about what I think of the franchise up until this point. When I was still in school I started hearing about this strange new show that was coming to television. Like a few other shows it centered around spies and conspiracies. But this shows gimmick? This show was “real-time”. Real time as in, one episode was one hour of airtime. And therefore one hour later transpired in the narrative. Yeah, it was a gimmick, we all knew it. But it set the show apart from the get-go. So I started to watch it while it was airing. Missing a few episodes as you did in the pre VOD-days. I remember that I really enjoyed the first few seasons. But for some reason I got out of touch with the series and missed out on a couple of seasons. While in university a new season was coming, number six if memory serves. My friend had kept up with the show and had all of the released seasons on DVD so I started to borrow them. Going back to season one and getting up to speed without missing a single episode. I realized that I loved the show. Season five ended with Jack handed over to the Chinese (they tend to show up more and more in the franchise). Season 6 started airing… And it was the start of probably my most favorite season of all. Jack comes back having been tortured for over a year without budging. Used as a bargaining chip. Left to die there. Hanging half naked hands tied to his back. Surrounded by hostiles. As the Jack Bauer Fact goes:
“Jack Bauer smiled and thought: ‘I got them right where I want them'”
Of course he killed them all and went on to save the day. While not being able to stop a nuke from exploding in a LA suburb he did save quite a few innocents. Season 7 followed there. Jack in hospital for most of it. It was clear that they could have actually ended it right then and there. All ends tied up. And they could have released it all in a special 24/7 box-set. And then there came Season 8. Because ratings demanded it. It had a great opening. Then news about cancellation hit. Fox assured us that they wouldn’t hamstrung the ongoing season though. And while it did take a couple of weird turns. And it felt like someone said that “now that it is the last season, we need to up the ante higher”. Oh, I shouldn’t complain. Season 8 was a greatly enjoyable season. High in shock-value and Bauer got to do his trademark over-the top interrogation-methods. What do I mean by over the top? Well, some contact swallowed a SIM-card that Bauer needed. His reaction? A simple “DAMMIT!” (You’ll be hearing a lot of those in the series if you decide to catch up with it) and then he proceeded to gut the man. Alive… The hero gutted the suspect while he was alive on prime time television… This is why I love the show. And it didn’t let down later on when he decides to just up and do what would look like assassination-attempt on the vice president of the United States. Terrorists plan their failed schemes for years with meticulous scouting and resources. Bauer? Before the episode (and therefore hour) is over. Of course it is ridiculous. But that is why I love it. It’s blockbuster action on a weekly basis. Not even Hollywood (and I even say Fox Movies) can compete with that sort of thing. But that is enough of what was. Now for what has just come.
11:00 am – 12:00 am
Suddenly my friend (the one with the dvd’s mentioned earlier here) contacted me over skype with a link. Fox had decided to bring back both Heroes (another show I followed avidly) and 24. Both in reduced episode-count. This seemed weird considering 24’s well worn gimmick of 24 hrs realtime (18 hrs without commercial breaks). But as time went on it was clear that 24 was still going to be 24 hrs. They are just going to have to reduce the number of filler episodes (that’s me reading between the lines btw). Because even on a show like 24 it could be hard at times to justify a few of the episodes on a plot-strength basis. So less fat, more meat. I’m down with that. That’s how the kids say it right? So finally today I watched the first two episodes. Jack keeps silent throughout the most of the first. Having been on the run and now suddenly getting caught. Everybody is happy to have finally captured this guy (remember, he did almost kill the president according to bystanders). Everyone except one woman. Because she’s seen quite a few of the movies that has grossed top dollar recently. And she’s almost quoting Nick Fury in stating that “Why does it feel like he’s the only one that wants to be here?!”. Yup. We’re going to do the tried and true “getting-caught-was-part-of-my-plan” trope. But hey. It’s Jack. So I go with it with a glee on my face. Because this means he’ll be in an underdog situation and have to fight his way out. And sure enough. When he’s close enough to the previously captured Chloe he breaks his zen-character and busts her out. As the special says… Jack is Back. And yes. I have convinced myself to do a counting gag here. This episode gave us:
Dammit : 1x
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The episode picks up from the last where it ended with a drone bombing friendlies. The drone-pilot gets framed for this and is taken in for interrogation. Meanwhile Chloe helps Jack to find the hacker responsible. We get the first loud and real Dammit! from Jack and he does one of his trademark one-man storming of a hot-spot. Killing at least five. Finding out that they are trying to use the drones to kill the president. He goes after the hacker but before he can locate him again he’s stabbed in the ear. The third real plot thread here is the presidents meeting with the Prime Minister of Britain. Played by everyone’s favorite knowitall Stephen Frye. Always puts a smile on my face that guy. But the president is having some age-related issues with his memory so there is slight worry about how he’ll handle the situation where Frye was just informed about the friendly fire-incident involving the american drone and British personell. All ending with the afformentioned DAMMIT and cliffhangers abound.
Just the way we like it. At least me. But I’m a fanboy, I guess.