Mason! Nina! Tony! Er… cougar! Thank God for my lack of eidetic memory. When I’ve only watched something once, the passage of time makes the experience of seeing it again years later almost as good as the first viewing, since by then I’ve forgetten most of the finer details. Such is the case with Season 2 of 24, which I’m currently going through with my little sister on DVD. While I can recall the big twists before they happen, the minutiae of each episode is as new, and it’s been fantastic to watch it all again.
I had forgotten just how much more time the show spent in the murky world of political gameplaying back then, how the shots used to cut away at the moments of torture rather than revelling in the gruesome details, how there were nowhere near as many shootouts as in later seasons, how certain crazy things just happened out of nowhere with zero foreshadowing or seemingly foreknowledge from the writers, how laughably bad the effects sequences used to be, and how they struggled to get Kim anything to do that wasn’t uberlame.
It’s been an opportunity to relive the glory days of George Mason, always there with a brilliant line or a wisecrack, and seeing the gradual emergence of Tony Almeida as one of the best characters on television. Annoyingly by-the-book with a silly soul patch in Season 1, by Season 2 he’s going around in wicked shades and being super-slick in a badass kind of way, leaning his head to one side and whispering “yeah” in the way only he can do.
I’m so going through the series’ entire run over the course of the next year. Yes, even Season 6, God help me. 24 never dies!
Warning: please don’t spoil past episode 11 of Season 2 in the comments. My sister reads this blog, and hasn’t reached “that” moment yet. Or “that” other one from the same episode. So please be considerate!