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A handful of times, individuals have spoken with me or heard me talking about 24... and reacted defensively, saying they rather liked the series. And, at least once, a guy sidled beside me during a brief conversation about the show and said he hated it too. Readers of this page, however, will know that I'm outright obsessed with the show. The phenomenon that occurred with these people (and will certainly happen again) is that they don't understand how my mind works: I am most critical of the things I most love (this also goes for certain music and foods, but don't worry, not people). I am so outspoken with my criticism that some folks, before I finish speaking my mind, may logically think that I hate whatever I'm talking about. Weird as this is, this behavior is quite fitting for someone as odd as me.

In keeping with this tendency of mine, I've decided to post some criticisms of the new season as they come to mind, the kind which, if read without this introduction, may lead a reader to think I despise the show. Remember, as harsh as these critiques may sound, I'm still stuck to this show like a barnacle to a hull. I've also included some genuine favorite moments as well, to tally them up after the season closes & see if I had more impressed or disappointed moments.

Season 7 gripes Edit

In order of appearance, not how much I hated them:

SenBlaineMayer

"...Ibrahim Haddad..." Ibrahim who?!

The show's writers had an astounding selection of illegal-and-brutal-Jack-Bauer-interrogations to choose from, to pay homage to some prior season and to tip the hat in respect of longtime viewers. Instead they fabricated an interrogation from nothing! They could have chosen the time when Jack: shot George Mason with a tranquilizer dart; capped Ryan Chappelle in the head; tazered a Federal Marshal and clobbered Joe Prado; clobbered another Federal Marshal and threatened the helpless Collette Stenger; clobbered an Air Marshal and endangered a diplomatic flight; illegally raided a friggin foreign consulate; the list nearly has no end! And maybe how about the time he murdered and decapitated a federal witness in a government building! But noooo... the writers had to invent the character Ibrahim Haddad, a character for whom there was no season precedence or familiar back story, someone they pulled out of a complete vacuum. Worse, the silly back story they made up for Haddad (a bus bombing) would serve as a pathetic example for a Senate investigation. Nobody on earth would prosecute someone for beating up a dude to prevent a bus with children from blowing up... not with the tons of other infractions Jack had committed. He was involved with tons of other antics that didn't explicitly save innocent lives, just uncovered some bad guys, after the major threat was over. Shame on the writers for ignoring the rich history of Jack's beatings that the viewers are familiar with!


SeanHillinger

It seems every gov't staffer in 24 is chock-full of snarky comments

The first time many of us saw Sean was on the Redemption DVD special features, which contained a clip of Season 7 episode 1. In it, he has his brief but "tense" argument with Janis. My stomach immediately sank when I saw this for the first time. Is the FBI office going to be infested with the same damn CTU-bickering-staffer-drama, except now it's in DC instead of LA? Of all the plot elements recycled again and again by the show's writers, did this "office drama" nonsense have to be re-introduced? After six seasons of that tripe, more of it is simply patronizing to the fans, or worse, indicative of the writers' inability to write something novel for that time slot. I truly hope they minimize this type of dialogue for the rest of the season... and for as long as 24 exists.
Don't get me wrong. I haven't a single problem with Rhys Coiro's acting. I even enjoy his voice (it sounds somewhat like Christian Bale's) and his later scenes are great. It's those specific lines they gave him for that scene that stunk.


The sound stage where the air traffic control scenes were filmed in the first few episodes was silly. It looked like a damp basement in a city tenement, not a control tower. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if it was just the studio where CTU used to be filmed, but with even less lighting.


Jack Threatens Tony

Tony, close-mouthed, when he should have said "deep sky"

  • Tony's absurd timing (Yes checkY major gripe)
Tony whispers the code words "deep sky" to Jack after getting trounced in an FBI interrogation room. Those two words spur Jack to talk to Bill Buchanan, and eventually join Tony's side. The problem, however, is when Tony said it. He could have whispered it right after Jack threw him against the crate when Jack captured him on the docks! Why did he wait? (of course, the answer is, he waited because the writers needed to exploit Tony-as-villain into the next episode). Hell, even better, he could have said "Jack, do you trust me? Deep sky! Deep sky!" on the phone when Tony called Schector's office and got Jack on the line! No logical reason for him to wait. The instant Tony realized that Jack Bauer was on the other side, Tony should have dropped everything and got the word to Jack... because everyone knows, especially Tony, that within a few hours of learning of any nefarious plot, Jack will bust it wide open.


  • Apparently, local police don't exist in DC (Yes checkY major gripe)
I can't imagine anybody thinking of an explanation that can satisfy one certain gaping plot hole in the episode Day 7 12:00pm-1:00pm. The FBI learned that Ule Matobo's residence had been invaded by mercenaries. So what did they do? They sent a field unit. Logical, correct? Absolutely not. All the characters knew that the travel time would be quite long, especially given "traffic" as Jack noted to Emerson. So why didn't Larry Moss dispatch local police to surround the residence and corner the mercs until the FBI got there? While Larry was confident about the panic room's effectiveness, it's not normal policy to let ex-commando terrorists – known to be at one specific location – be free for the time it takes a field unit to get there in heavy traffic. He would have called the police. And why didn't the team use a chopper?
  • Magical kidnappings
Somehow, Nichols was able to transport the Matobos into a bustling corporate building without anyone noticing. And then Vossler closes the First Gentleman's mouth shut with a gag, moves him outside a very public condominium, and stuffs him into a trunk... without anyone noticing. I could understand that maybe there was a secret entrance for Nichols and his hostages that Chloe didn't know about... but Vossler's daytime kidnapping of Henry Taylor with a large gag over his mouth? I almost bit my tongue off.
  • Disappearing threats
Alan Tanner with his two lawyers, Raymond Howell, Carol Vossler... and maybe even Rosa Donoso: each could have brought down Renee Walker. Instead, she is magically insulated and is only removed when Larry feels she oversteps her bounds by going over his head. Isn't this just a tad unlikely? I know those four plot elements got stale very quickly, and we won't hear from any of them again, but I think they could have been resolved more satisfactorily than simply being suddenly dropped.

Season 7 favorites Edit

In order of appearance, not how much I liked them:

KilnerS7

Great scene, great dialogue... the next Curtis, perhaps?

Refreshing; novel; impressive; well done; overdue. All these words came to my mind when I first watched the conversation Jack had with FBI Agent Kilner. The agent is the voice for all Jack Bauer worshippers everywhere. It's good to hear your own words coming from a character's mouth on the show. Even better, Jorge-Luis Pallo spoke his dialogue perfectly. The right nuances of speech, tone, facial movements, and everything. Excellent acting all around! Kudos! Kilner should return and be the next Curtis, in my humble opinion.
No, I don't think it's good when innocent people are murdered (even on TV), and no, I didn't have a problem with the character Michael Latham. The reason why I'm listing Latham's death as a "favorite" is because I was losing faith in Dubaku as a villain. In 24, there is a death-threshold that villains always satisfy. The masterminds never get to succeed with their grand scheme, but people in two distinct groupings must die (otherwise you're not watching 24). The two groups are: a large collection of unnamed people, and then a small group of familiar characters. In Season 1, it was an airplane full of people + Teri; in Season 2 CTU got bombed + Yusuf Auda; in Season 3 a bunch of hotel guests got infected + Claudia, Chappelle, and Sherry; in Season 4 it was San Gabriel Island + Debbie and Maya; in Season 5 it was mall shoppers and CTU staffers + a laundry list of character favorites. Et cetera. Dubaku already crashed two planes, but without his WMD, he needed to kill someone familiar, and fast. And so it had to be Latham... giving me more reason to hate the character like a 24-villain should be hated.
This episode as a whole was simply a tour de force of good 24. Mark Kiely's acting as his character's family was apparently being attacked was excellent and compelling, and in the same scene, you could see Kiefer's face flinching as the baby cried in the background: even Jack is not immune to this work. We see Renee slip further into doubt about her actions, questioning the methods, but following through anyway. There's a good (and believable) shootout in the cellar at the end, preceded (finally!) by a convincing hand-to-hand combat scene between Jack and Vossler, who outlived his usefulness to the plot. Also, Jack gets a blank check directly from the President to kick serious amounts of ass, his way. Last time this happened, when Wayne Palmer granted Jack a personal favor, it didn't last nearly long enough. Plus, the episode features a rapidly receding pool of villains and the major question of whether Henry Taylor will survive. Good stuff, good viewing, and damn, what a pleasure it was to watch Jack slam his SUV into Vossler's car!
All too often, Jack super-heroically accomplishes all the impossible tasks. This time, with Iké Dubaku, he was outright foiled. But Dubaku was stopped by a frightened and betrayed woman who, for the greater good, put her life on the line... and lost it.
HodgesShowsMissiles

The mastermind at work

  • The main villain at full strength ... but no!
It always takes more than half a season for the real villain of that 24 season to rear his ugly head. The most riveting moment of Season 3 was when that extended, creepy trumpet sound blared in the background as Stephen Saunders armed his 11 couriers... right then was when the shit really hit the fan. But notice how far into the season that was. Now, finally, Jonas Hodges develops enough villain-power to make the President run in shock and fear from a private phone line. And the most startling part is that Jack, afflicted with a bio-weapon, seems unable to do the thing he does best: foil the season's mastermind.
Addendum: I was tricked! Kudos to the writers: Hodges was not the central antagonist of the season, after all. It actually turns out to be Tony, Cara Bowden, Alan Wilson, and a cabal of others which gets strung along. Cabal, I said? Yes indeed...
Oniel-cabal-3

A freakin' cabal!!

  • A freakin' cabal!! (Yes checkY major favorite Yes checkY)
A number of frequent contributors here have seen and perhaps even read through another of my user pages, a "shrine" to the cabal of Season 5. In a nutshell, one of the main reasons I love 24 is fact that Jack and the government have to unravel a rather complicated conspiracy each season, layer by layer, and at the center is a mastermind, who often has an auxillary group of supporters; this latter phenomenon, for some reason, I am obsessed with. Now, an analogous cabal has turned up for Season 7, and I'm helplessly excited all over again. Season 7 ftw.


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