I know, I know ... tonight's two-hour 24 spectacular had plot-holes galore, gaping logic holes, random acts of stupidity by the bucketfull, and came with a side-order of over-the-top implausibility with a heaping helping of "yeah, right ...".
But holy $%&#, folks, those episodes FREAKING KICKED MY ASS and all I can say is "thank you, Sir, may I have another?"
I mean, come on, what other TV show would have the gonads to stage a military assault on the White House with this level of intensity and, dare I say it, gravitas? These two hours were SHEER INTENSITY from start to finish, and the overabundance of awesomeness on display in that final half-hour or so was almost too much for a man to take. At this point, I can barely even focus on the details. All I can do is think back to those final few minutes ... the President, giving herself up to the invading terrorists in the vain hope of sparing her daughter's life ... only to get SMACKED by the Candyman. All looks lost for our heroes, except for the fact that NEVER BEFORE has such a collection of badassery been part of a single group of hostages. I mean, in what other hostage situation would you actually feel that the badguys are $%#%'d despite all objective evidence pointing to the reverse? Well, when your hostages include the likes of Bill Buchanan, AARON PIERCE: AGENT OF AWESOME, Kurtwood "Guns! Guns! Guns!" Smith, and oh yeah, Jack by-God Bauer ... well, that's a ticking time-bomb, baby. Not to mention that The Be-Soul-Patch-ed one lurks somewhere outside the White House perimeter, presumably waiting for his chance to sneak in an unleash zombified hell on Juma and his crew.
Yes, yes, I'm ranting, I know. And you know what? It feels good. I don't think I've been pumped about an episode of 24 like this since, well ... it's been a while.
And yeah, I talked to my brother about this one, and it appears he has temporarily lost his sense of gravitas-appreciation. Bill Buchanan should have died, he said. The vice president acted like a moron, he said. And yes, at certain points, more, shall we say, rational thoughts such as these ran through my head as well. Why didn't the President panic room have a phone? Why did nobody have a cell? Why did Freckles feel the need to jump on that boat, despite having no chance of doing, well, anything ...?
Yep, all these questions are valid. But, dammit, it's a testament to the unstoppable force of nature that was this episode that I didn't have time or desire to stop and think about any of these things for very long. This one was a showstopper, and a potent reminder that 24 can still bring it like nobody's business. 24 has always been over the top, 24 has always been absurd, and 24 has always walked a fine line between realism and complete and utter ridiculousness. But when 24 can make me jump out of my seat and impulsively call fellow 24 fans in a euphoric state of real-time madness ... well, when that happens, I have no choice but to officially declare that 24 is BACK, Jack.
It's good to have you back. And holy lord, going out with a seething Jack systematically plotting how best to exact unholy vengeance on each and every one of Juma's terrorists. Dayum, B, bring on next week's ep. Talk about must-see TV, this is truly an hour o' power. Not deserving of a "dammit," but possibly warranting a "whoooooo!"
My Grade: A