24 – Episode 8-7 Review

Did I really just see Jack Bauer get stabbed in the gut, only to use that very knife to stab a guy in the neck from across the room and then proceed to blindly shoot all of his adversaries moments before calmly talking down the person who had stabbed him in the first place? I’d love to say that the preceding scene was incredibly bad ass, but to be honest it was borderline satirical.

And if 24 has taught us one thing, it’s that spurned women will go crazy and kill asshole men. How many times have we seen this scene play out over the years? And while I have complimented the fact that Jack has been on the backburner a bit as the last few episodes have focused more on Renee, I think the show is beginning to suffer for that reason. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that we haven’t progressed at all over the past few episodes. Yes, patience is a necessary virtue, but it just feels like we’ve made little leeway over the past two or three episodes.

Along with that, Renee has become such a dark character that it’s really hurt transformed the tone of the entire series. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that she’s a changed person (for reasons I’ve noted in prior columns), and Jack is hardly Mr. Friendly, but at the very least he’s a character that the audience can truly get behind. Beneath all of his issues is a truly heroic, selfless person. Renee hasn’t achieved that sort of relationship with the audience yet, so it doesn’t quite work when the entire series focuses squarely on her twisted psyche.

This is beginning to sound very repetitive, I’m sure, but I continue to express how dreadful I find this Dana Walsh story. I can excuse the ridiculousness that she managed to get hired despite her sordid past — after all, this is an organization that habitually hires terrorists — but I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that she needs to handle this situation in the midst of a national crisis. It’s not as if Dana or this guy are aware of the fact that they’re on a television show in which everything needs to be resolved within the day, so I don’t really understand why either of them can’t simply say, “lets revisit this tomorrow.” In the context of the show, they haven’t really explained why this “payback” has to happen right now, at like 10:00 at night. And really, I think it was a gigantic mistake not developing Dana into a likeable character before saddling her with such a ridiculous story arc (like they did with Michelle in season two, I believe).

And on top of these two guys being such obligatory obstacles, they’re also terribly cliched. I mean, honestly — what can we possibly do to hammer the point home that they’re low lives? Oh, let’s have them drinking while driving! For that matter, is this season of 24, like, sponsored by hard alcohol?

I have to say, this was one of the weakest episodes in quite some time.

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.

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