Way back in the early days of this blog, I gave my thoughts on the opening to Season 8 of 24. Many weeks later it’s time to talk about it again, seeing as it’s now been confirmed that what we’re watching is the show’s final season.
For a while there – I have to be honest – things weren’t looking great. After an enjoyable first few hours, things began to move at a glacial, so-what kind of pace, and while the action scenes were as enjoyable as ever, there was a distinct impression that the writers were going through the motions. No doubt this helped contribute to the falling ratings and eventual confirmation of cancellation.
However, as anyone who’s ever watched the show will appreciate, Jack Bauer just doesn’t know when to lie down. Following a mediocre run of episodes and a quite ludicrous twist which made the actions of a certain character in the previous twelve hours utterly meaningless (someone needs to sack CTU’s entire HR department, or at least call in pest control for their mole problem), 24 has been recovering in grand style of late, culminating in three quite brilliant shows over the past fortnight. Major characters have been offed, leading to the classic ‘silent pips’; Jack’s looking even more tortured than he does when he’s being… er… tortured; and an old, slimy friend has returned. All we need now are Tony Almeida and Aaron Pierce, and we’ve got ourselves a party. I’ll bring the Twiglets.
It seems that there could be a very dark few hours ahead as 24 winds up to its climax, and I can’t wait. Although we know that Jack will survive due to the show graduating to the silver screen (and ditching the real-time format, which is a whole other issue that I may get into at some point), it seems likely that everyone’s favourite lethal weapon will be leaving a trail of destruction behind him in the meantime. The writing’s finally getting somewhere again, the twists are great, and the characters are being put through hell. In short, 24 looks like it’s going to end as it started, as the thrilling show that redefined television and gave us cinematic spectacle on the small screen.
I’ll even forgive them explaining the plot to us again after every single ad break. It’s tradition, after all.