Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Phlox makes like Arzt, goes BOOM!

I haven't written much about the new season of 24 yet. However, this seems like a good time to check in, since we just got one major threat resolved (the ridiculously uber powered "CIP" device), and we're moving on the next, and usually troublesome, phase of the show -- the "filler" middle episodes before the true "big bad" is revealed and all the tension ratchets up to the finale.

Overall, this has been a HUGE improvement over Day 6's debacle. The entire cast is staffed with competent, compelling actors, and the characters have been fairly interesting. A few comments:
  • The "to torture or not to torture" debate was recognized, and dealt with, if a bit ham handedly. At least the producers acknowledged the issue (perhaps a few times too many), and moved on.
  • I like the new president, though she hasn't been given much to do yet other than speechify. She's certainly a big improvement over David Palmer's milquetoast younger brother (though not as much fun as the delightfully deranged and Eeeeevil Charles and Martha Logan).
  • Jack's new sidekick Renee is fine, cute and kicks ass. Remarkable healing powers she has, to come back from being shot in the neck and buried alive, only to help the raid on Dobaku's lair, all with extraordinarily shiny hair.
  • Nice to see Bill pitching in on the ass kicking.
  • Jack's body count was starting to feel underwhelming until Monday's ep. We definitely need to see more Bauer fodder coming up.
  • While I wasn't bored by the First Husband's search for his son's killer, it was nice to see him tied into the main plot more.
  • John Billingsly, who played Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise among many other roles, made a good twitchy CIP enabler. It was a shock, and kind of a laugh, too, in a sick way, to see him make like Artz on Lost and get turned into taco filling.
  • I keep expecting Rhys Coiro to revert to his "Billy Walsh" character and storm out of the FBI in search of booze and whores.
  • Ever Carradine sightings are always welcome.
  • Janeane Garafalo's Janice (“Ma’am, as I just stated, I’m with the FBI. Does that sound vaguely important to you?”) has been a worthy peer/foil for Chloe. Now, we just have to get these two neurotic, socially inept hackers together!
  • The only major downside I've noticed is that they "time rules" seem to be even more flexible than before. Getting around Washington DC is laughably convenient, and I think we're just at the point where a few minutes here and there don't even phase me anymore.

So, welcome back, Jack.

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