I’ve recently posted on the boring nature of this season of 24. The producers and writers apparently have heard such complaints, because the show has taken an abrupt veer into the random violence, outright implausibiilty, and general weirdness to which the loyal viewers of the program have become accustomed.
Last night’s episode was a good example. Consider:
* Jack Bauer and three other CTU agents engaged in a machine-gun firefight with a group of terrorists at some deserted industrial facility on the shores of the East River, near Manhattan, at 4 a.m. The din of gunfire continued for a good half hour, without any sign of police or, for that matter, concern by local residents whose sleep was interrupted by the local equivalent of World War III. (Pitched gun battles apparently are so commonplace in the NYC area that they aren’t worth bothering about.)
* Minutes after CTU’s computer systems were totally fried by the explosion of an electromagnetic pulse device, the redoubtable Chloe O’Brian pulled a gun on an NSA engineer in order to try her hastily developed plan to fix the systems by “tapping into the trunk line.” Surprisingly, the NSA geek would not allow her to try her improvised approach after she scowled a few times and waved a piece of paper with a scrawled diagram at him. After barricading herself in the room, only to have security break back in, she is permitted to try her plan, her jury-rigged fix works and gets the systems up in seconds, and by the end of the show she is back at her desk getting a pat on the back from her boss.
* The first CTU mole — a 24 tradition — has been exposed to be agent Blondie. After being a mere annoyance with her idiotic subplot about her ex-boyfriend and his criminal buddy, she strangles a hefty Arkansas probation officer who had been bugging her for information about the ex-boyfriend and rolls him into a man-sized ventilation duct conveniently located at floor level. (With ventilation systems that sizable, CTU probably is not very “green.”) She then makes a phone call to the lead terrorist to say that her cover has been blown. No kidding! Makes you wonder what the lead terrorist thought about Blondie’s lengthy absences during the first part of the terrorist operations, as she haplessly dealt with her ex-boyfriend before finally sinking the corpses of the ex-boyfriend and his buddy into a deserted pond.
* Chloe’s 4 a.m. call is fielded by a wide-awake, fully clothed former FBI agent Renee (Freckles) Walker. Walker is told that Jack Bauer is in some vaguely described area, immediately heads there, and arrives in time to use a handgun, from a distance of about 200 yards, to plug two terrorists who are getting ready to splatter Jack’s brains across a parking lot.
Sure, it’s implausible, but I’ll take implausible over boring any day.