>TV Round-Up: 24

>Day Seven: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Were 24 a more character driven series, along the lines of Lost or Battlestar Galactica, I would expect a lot of this season to focus on the mirror images that are Jack and Tony. Both have been betrayed by the agency that works for them, both have lost their wives and both have made sacrifices for thier country that they may regret, late at night when they can’t sleep but they know are necessary choices. Tony tried to have some happiness by walking away, only to see Michelle killed and to have to fake his own death. Or die for ten minutes and then come back. Which at this point, the show might as well embrace that it is sci-fi and say that Tony had a clone that came back. It’d be just as easy to swallow as the explanation he gives here.

But back to my point….

Tony and Jack have both sacrficed and lost a lot to keep America safe. Both are now rogue agents and they are mirrors of each other. Tony has apparently gone down a path toward taking vengeance upon the country he once served for the percieved crimes against him. Jack tried to avoid the truth but ended up taking the stand to defend himself and the choices he made. It makes you wonder if somehow the evil mastermind of the plot currently unfolding had got to Jack in a dark hour if Jack might have turned. Or is that one tie Jack still has to the world–the much maligned Kim–what is holding him back. Tony, after all, had nothing to lose by faking his death and turning against his country.

It’s a fascinating question, but one I doubt will be really explored much more. 24 is plot-heavy and that doesn’t leave time for this kind of character examination.

What it does have time for is twists that aren’t really as shocking as the show would like them to be. I guess the fact that Chloe and Bill have set up their own version of CTU out of Bill’s house isn’t really quite as jaw dropping as finding out Nina is the mole or that Logan is behind the conspiracy. It’s kind of more an expected thing since we’ve now seen that no season of 24 will function without Chloe now. It’s not that I don’t like the character, but it does seem a bit forced to keep bringing her back. Nor does it help that Jeanne Garafulo’s character is pretty much a Chloe copy. They’ve really got to do something to make these FBI characters more interesting quickly. For the most part, I find my eyes glazing over a bit when we cut to them.

What I do find interesting is how is Bill financing all of this CTU gone rogue stuff. It can’t be cheap.

We also see 24 veering into the old X-Files territory where no one in power can truly be trusted. How awesome would it be to see Mulder show up to team up with Jack? OK, maybe not so much but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

One other aspect that is interesting is how Jack influences those who come into his orbit. I wonder if Agent Walker would have pushed as hard to get information out of the suspect in the hospital had Jack not “shown her the way” earlier in the day. Being around Jack’s attitude of the end justifies the means when the clock is ticking could have been a tipping point for her. Will she be the new FBI, female equivalent of Jack? Again, you’ve got a chance for some character exploration here, but I doubt it will be really followed through to any kind of conclusion.

And now we’ve got Jack and Tony together again, joining part of the conspiracy that is far ranging and wide-reaching. There are enough elements here to keep me intrigued, though I do wish they’d really play with some of the conventions of the show in a more substantial way.

That said, this show is still entertaining as all get out…

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