I've been enjoying this season so far, but last night's episode -- while still marginally entertaining -- pretty much represented everything bad about this series. This episode kinda sucked.
To begin with absolutely nothing happened. This was one of those filler episodes, wedged in between one plot line ending (the assassination attempted on President Hassan) and the one that will start up next week (Renee and Jack's infiltration of the Russian mafia). Usually they fill the filler episodes up with some kind action set piece to distract from the fact that nothing is actually happening, but in this episode Jack spent the entire episode alone in a car doing nothing. Did Kiefer Sutherland have diarrhea that weak or something and requested a plotline where he just sat around for the full hour?
We knew that Renee was going to be successful in getting into the Russian Mafia, so we didn't need an entire episode devoted entirely to that one, inevitable plot point. What, we really thought the producers of 24 were going to bring back Renee for one episode, kill her off, and then have Jack go, "Well, I guess that plan didn't work!"? Of course not. So this episode was boring because it was a ten minute scene that was maxed out to a full episode's length.
And then we had the other major B plot of the night... that Hillbilly redneck and that blond chick. This plot line is this season's cougar. It's just so dumb, cliched, boring, and annoying. My prediction is they are planning on giving Elisha Cuthbert a major role next season, but they want to make her seem more likable to the fans by having another blond female character who looks even more weak, pathetic, sad, annoying, and downright unlikable. Which is a shame because Katee Sackhoff is actually an incredibly talented actress who deserves a lot better.
The premise of the plot is that Dana is a CTU operative... who may not be who she seems. This doesn't work for a few reasons, not the least of which is because she's too new of a character for us to care about.
"Forget everything you think you know about Dana!"
This plot could've worked had they made it about a mysterious man who appeared with new information about an already established character... say Chloe for instance. Had it turned out some guy was trying to blackmail her, I would've been on the edge of my seat. Chloe is a fan favorite character that we all know, love, and want to see happy. But Dana? Who the hell is Dana?
And, worst of all, is that this is all going on against the backdrop of a major operation that could effect the safety of the entire world. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to care about a character who wants to protect her wedding plans when all she should care about is keeping those terrorists from getting a nuclear bomb!
So, yeah, I'm ready for that plot to end, because it's just so poorly conceived and badly written. Maybe they can make her disappear from this show the same way Starbuck disappeared at the end of Battlestar Galactica. Zing!
Oh, and I can't take Hassan's brother seriously as a villain because he looks too much like Dimitri Martin.