Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Step Too Far

Warning. There be spoilers here. I know that as many as two or three of my tens of readers watch the show 24 on DVD, so you might want to watch out about finding out something that you didn't want to know.

I watch the show 24, and have ever since the very beginning. Yes, I know that the show can be kind of cheesy and extremely unrealistic at times, and is about politics that under normal circumstances I would disagree with. But, to me, enjoying 24 is a lot like enjoying McDonald's chicken nuggets. They're really good as long as you don't think about them too much.

The best thing about 24 is, of course, its main character, Jack Bauer. I really love the fact that a major network airs a show who's protagonist has murdered two people in cold blood, once executed one of his co-workers simply to stall for time with a group of terrorists, and decapitated an otherwise innocent drug dealer just so he could carry the head around in a duffel bag to impress bad guys while he was under cover. He is the very definition of a solutions-oriented person. And just maybe a bit of a sociopath.

And I've always forgiven the show's unrealism. I don't mind the fact that they barely pay lip service to travel time, because I don't particularly care about seeing Jack stuck in Los Angeles rush hour gridlock for two episodes. I think its cool that Jack can be shot, blown up, tortured, etc, and still keep going for twenty-four hours straight. I've even bought the ridiculously convoluted plots that the terrorists come up with, because they have to make a full season out of it.

But last night, they took it a step too far. This season had been going really well so far. Every episode kept ratcheting up the tension. The death count was ridiculously high (5 "opening title" type characters, including 4 who have been around multiple seasons are no longer with the show). But last night, they threw in a twist that came from so far out of left field . . . No forget that, this show was playing baseball and this twist came off the football field. And I love a good Kyser Soze, Tyler Durden, redefine everything that came before it type twist. But in both of those cases the twist was effective because you realized that it made sense. The one last night didn't. Not even remotely. I've been thinking about it all night, and I cannot think of anything that would have foreshadowed this. In fact, every action that this character has taken so far this season is directly contrary to what was revealed.

Of course, I'll still watch the show. I'm hopelessly addicted. But they better come up with a damn good explanation of why last night's episode makes sense.

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