24: Season 8, Episode 3

Day 8: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (18 Jan. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Mystery
8.3
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Jack and Chloe race against time to try to thwart a well-planned assassination of the President of the Islamic Republic.

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Title: Day 8: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (18 Jan 2010)

Day 8: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (18 Jan 2010) on IMDb 8.3/10

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John Mazoni
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Jack and Chloe race against time to try to thwart a well-planned assassination of the President of the Islamic Republic.

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18 January 2010 (USA)  »

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Vicitmized by a key subplot
26 January 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

As a card-carrying fan of 24 I am enjoying the new season, but I believe the writers have let us down this time. The key subplot of poor ex-con blonde Katee Sackhoff, working in a sensitive job at CTU but harassed by her fellow ex-con boyfriend Clayne Crawford, is both annoying and thoroughly unbelievable. In the 5 segments aired so far, every time the action switches to this pair I want to leave the room and go make a sandwich till this filler blows over.

Of course the writers must throw in an obvious diversion to develop suspense WITHIN CTU, to distract us alert fans from what is really happening at the nerve center. There will be a mole or two, unsuspected, perhaps the slow-witted and ethically challenged leader Hastings, well-played by Mykelti Williamson, or maybe the eager beaver John Boyd, but the scripts' focus so far is firmly on the two jailbirds. As played by Crawford, the manipulative psychopath Kevin Wade is unconvincing. This is a difficult role and back in the day would have required the talents of an offbeat, maniacal character actor -I'm thinking John Davis Chandler. As styled here, Crawford resembles a minor league Arch Hall Jr. (see the drive-in classic THE SADIST), but what we get is a one-note, distasteful performance. Obviously Crawford was cast because of his looks (I can imagine producer Gadd yelling: "Get me a Channing Tatum type -the kids will love him". (Whoops -I just looked the two up and they're both from Alabama! Maybe my delusions are on to something here.)

Opposite him is Katee as analyst Dana Walsh, whose decision making is laughable throughout. National security is at stake, she is an important CTU cog, even styled as "better than" fan favorite Chloe O'Brian at her job, but every few minutes she is running off like a lapdog to follow the latest absurd orders barked out by meanie Clayne. His "I gotta be with you" refrain while the fate of the entire world lies in the balance is understandable from a sociopath's point of view, but for the viewer of a suspense drama it makes no sense - we are all (figuratively) screaming at the boob tube repeatedly: "Hey Dana, turn the guy in and take your medicine already". Just to save her job and impending marriage she puts up with this jerk's demands over & over -it makes no sense at all in the context of a show whose strength derives from the "kill 'em now and ask questions later" attitude of Bauer, Renee and all the other prinicipals.

I'm afraid this level of bad writing, the weakest link in the chain that has to be developed to make 24 x 48 minutes of TV drama add up, could sink the entire season. The sooner these two crappy characters are killed off the better. In fact, their footage could subsequently be replaced by some deleted scenes or newly shot "saver" characters to make the eventual year's DVD compilation palatable -I would remove Clayne entirely and find some other diversion to kill time (get it?) instead of having him chiming in every few (missing on the DVD) commercial breaks.

As it stands, the Katee/Clayne routine reminds me of a drawback of the George Reeves "Superman" TV series of my childhood. On the show Superman was wasting his time each week with petty crooks, on the level of safecrackers, each week, when we knew from the comic book that he could use his powers for more Earth-shaking crises. Similarly, having the K/C duo caught up in some minor-league, extremely puny criminality ("gotta be six figures!" demands the idiotic Kevin at one point) is the same sort of "who cares?" triviality that is out of place in a story about loose nukes and large-scale danger. It represents the dumbing down of TV -the injection of supposed "human interest" into a ripping-good-storyline show. Next season I expect some teen vampires, or at least gossip girl types, to be injected into the 24 milieu.


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