Hour 17 began on a downbeat and ended with a major tragedy. At least Chloe was finally recognized as the CTU’s best and brightest rock star. That was a sweet moment in a sluggish episode full of predictable developments and a senseless “shocking” ending.
Head after the jump for the spoils. And fair warning: get ready for some major whining about this episode.
Renee’s death didn’t really hit me too hard. It’s not that I saw it coming – but I did (how could you not?) – but watching ’24’ these days is like watching a spectator sport that’s lost its surprise and luster. It’s solid, fun and familiar entertainment, but my heart just isn’t in the game anymore. I’m not invested in the story, and the “shocks” don’t land as hard as they used to.
This episode never really took off, mostly thanks to a slow pace and a cheerless tone left over from last week’s final reveal. Despite the last few scenes, It felt like the ep was only putting pieces in place that will hopefully pay off in the next few hours. It almost seemed like the writers knew they had nothing truly compelling going on in this hour, even with the return of Charles Logan and Dalia Hassan’s appointment as president. So they decided to end it with a major death that, no doubt, ticked off more than half of the show’s fan base.
Sure, Renee’s death will probably force Jack back out into the field looking for revenge, but killing her off still felt like a cheap move. I wasn’t really attached to Renee, although Annie Wersching was great in the role, and almost everything involving Renee this season has been excellent. But the death felt hollow. And where does it leave us? With Jack sad, alone, depressed and angry – again.
Kiefer Sutherland was great in the final death scene, with Renee’s body lying on the stretcher. No argument there.
Now let’s take stock (er, complain about) the other developments of the hour.
– The convenient idea to appoint Dalia Hassan as IRK president was hailed as “inspired” by Ethan Kanin. He was obviously watching a different show. The government’s quick acceptance of Dalia’s claim to the office came all too easily and was sorely lacking in suspense or, you know, drama. There’s no way something like that would be cleared in under an hour.
– Mr. Novakovich, the Russian Foreign Minister, might as well be wearing a big black hat or carrying around a pitchfork everywhere he goes. He’s bad. He’s evil. He’s the devil. He was connected to Hassan’s death and to all of the terrible things that have been happening. This has been obvious since we met him. Yet no one has thought to put a security detail on the guy. I’m curious to find out what the Russian prez has to say about his decision to reject the peace negotiations. Hopefully Taylor can get him on the phone.
– Logan’s back! I like Logan, even though I feel like taking a shower every time he’s on screen. (The dude’s scummy is what I’m sayin’.) But it makes absolutely no sense that Taylor would trust this guy to be the linchpin in the most important peace talks in a generation. Still, watching him weasel his way back into the government might prove to be fun.
– It seems like the slate has been rubbed clean. The nuclear rods were recovered, the IRK terrorists are dead, Hassan is dead, and the plot is now moving in a completely new direction. It feels a little abrupt, but I’m willing to go with it. The focus is on the Russians, Logan’s play, and Jack’s revenge-fueled return to the field. It looks like things might feel more focused now, which is good, but it also feels like the show just ditched 16 hours of development without much thought or care, which is not so good.