24 Season 8: Not Jack’s best day, nor his worst

We’re more than 1/3 through Day 8 (that’s “season” for you 24 neophytes), and I must say: I’m pleased. I’m not totally enthralled, but I’m in it to win it.

Where do we currently stand?

Jack/Renee: Renee was under cover with former contact Vlad, trying to figure out where the new-threat-uranium-rods were. With his contacts, they were able to eventually track them down, that is, until the mentally disturbed Renee stabbed Vlad in the eye and body approximately 15 times. I’m loving this new, disturbed Renee – she’s a powerful chica, and a whole lot edgier now than last season! (Emmy nod for Annie Wersching! Come on, people!). Jack is now trying to prevent CTU and the government for blaming Renee for the failed mission, while also trying to track down President Hassad’s brother, Farhad.

President Taylor/Hassad/Hassad’s brother: In the midst of signing a peace treaty, President Hassad’s brother Farhad is running around with uranium rods! Come on man! What happened to peace in the Middle East!? This story line is only so-so for me – and we clearly need more Cherry Jones in this season! Her portrayal of President Allison Taylor won an EMMY last year! Let the woman speak some lines! Previews for next week show Taylor threatening an attack if New York City gets uranium-rod-ed, so hopefully this means more storylines for her. (Where’s her husband! Her daughter? Will we see them? I hope so!)

Chloe: Now working in the “new” CTU, Chloe often gets the backseat. Shafted continuously, even though she knows what’s going on, her new co-workers don’t seem to like her much. Day 8 definitely needs some more Chloe-isms! That said – I’d love to see Mary Lynn Rajskub return to her comedy roots…eventually.

Dana/Jenny/Cole: Hey everybody! Look at these stars! Isn’t she from that show with the Cylons? And Mr. Gellar is there too! Producers really should’ve given these “names” a better storyline. Though I must say, it’s been picking up a bit, but it’s still clearly the C-story of Season 8. Hope this gets wrapped up rather quickly. Lame.

All things said – Day 8 is turning out to be pretty solid, though its clearly not reminiscent enough of 24 heydey (Seasons 1-5 if you ask this fan). It feels lacking in terms of familiar faces (I miss Tony…and don’t even get me started on Mandy! Bring back Mia Kirshner immediately!)  Since a movie is now being written for the big screen, this does leave producers with some opportunity to bring back some favorites.

Personally, I think 24 has run its course on the small screen. It’s just not that exciting anymore, even though the quality does remain high.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we should say goodbye to the series all together. I’m hoping to see Jack in the movies, where I’ll have popcorn in hand along with a few smuggled in brews.

This is long. Kudos if you stayed with me. What do you think – Should Jack say goodbye to TV and hello to the big leagues? Season 8 doin’ it for ya?

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