24: Live Another Day -- 8 p.m. – 11 a.m.
And so another day of 24 comes to a close with the promised time jump taking place in the final few moments of the ninth worst day of Jack Bauer’s life.
I think this season hit a peak a few weeks ago when Margo blew up the hospital, Jack tortured her daughter for information and then eluded a drone attack by switching cars under a bridge. Since that point, it’s all kind of been downhill a bit with Margo taken out the next week and then true big bad of the season revealed to be the long-though-dead Chang. As the last three or so hours of the ninth day unfolded, I couldn’t help but feeling that I somehow wanted another hour or two to let things sink in a bit or so that the last hour wouldn’t feel quite so rushed. And there was a lot of rushing in the final hour of the day — from the death of Audrey to Jack taking out Chang once and for all and once again saving the world just in the nick of time. I realize that there’s no way Keiffer Sutherland will earn an Emmy nod this time around for the show, but the scene when Jack finds out that Audrey is dead and he realizes he has nothing left to lose was just fantastic. I don’t recall which season ended with Jack in his car weeping from the events of the days he’d face before, but it was clear that in that moment Jack realized he’d lost everything that mattered.
And then seeing him go absolutely ape-poop crazy on Chang and his men was a nice touch. Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder if decapitating Chang wouldn’t come back to bite everyone a bit later. Yes, we averted war for a few hours but then Jack went and killed Chang, so it’s all back on. If the show ever does come back, it would be interesting to see if and how this decision had an impact on the relationship between the U.S. and China.
Of course, in order to come back, we have to get Jack out of Russian prison. In some ways, Jack’s surrendering himself to the Russians in exchange for Chloe felt a bit like the beginning of Die Another Day with Bond being taken prisoner and then tortured for an extended period of time during the opening credits. Whether or not the world will next Jack again remains to be seen, but the final moment when he told Chloe goodbye was another great 24 moment. If this is where 24 is to finally call it quits, I feel a lot more satisfied than I did at the end of day eight. But I wouldn’t say no to another limited event like this one with potentially some final redemption and/or freedom for Jack.
The pilot episode of CBS’s Extant doesn’t really tell us anything we hadn’t heard in the commercials. And yet, I’m still inclined to give the show a chance for the next couple of weeks to see what and where this is all going to go.
The question of just how Molly is pregnant is an interesting one. Throw in the conspiracy surrounding the missing 13 hours in orbit (I find it hard to believe that someone doesn’t know she erased the logs of the time in question, but I’m hopeful the show can or will address this in the near future) and you’ve got an interesting enough central mystery to drive things for the next few episodes. And make no mistake — should this show not give us answers to this question by the time we reach the end of its summer run, there are going to be some seriously irritated fans.
But just as interesting are the parallels to another Stephen Spielberg movie, AI. The young son as an android and its implications is an intriguing enough one. This is one plotline that I don’t necessarily have to have a lot of answers dolled out, so long as there is some good character work. And please, don’t let it all head into some kind of robotic uprising. Not really interested in that. But questions about the nature of what makes us human…yeah, I think that could be good.
I’ll be interested to see where episode two takes us. I know last summer that Under the Dome took a huge downward turn after the first installment had me intrigued. I’m hoping this one won’t follow that trend.
The Strain: Night Zero
Did you really think Guillermo Del Toro was going to go for subtle vampires?
I read the original novel of The Strain trilogy a couple of years ago and I’ll admit I’ve forgotten large chunks of it. At least, that is, until I started watching. It quickly came back to me about the plane and the passengers all dying of some mysterious ailment. I also recalled there was something in the storage hold that was trying to get out and that there is some kind of conspiracy to get it into New York. But I don’t recall much of the book beyond a sense of deja vu as things unfolded on-screen. This could be good or it could be bad. Either the book was so largely forgettable that there’s a reason I don’t recall everything or I could be in for an interesting ride as I follow how things unfold.
I will admit that it made me curious enough to want to check out the books again so I can go all book snob if the series deviates from them.
For now, I like what’s being set up and even if it’s a bit gruesome (OK, a lot gruesome), it’s got my interest for at least two or three episodes. Or at least until bigger parts of the book come back to me.