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Diane

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:spoilers:

Wow, those were some of the very best 24 episodes since the days of season 2! I will indeed miss Palmer and Michelle, though. I find Michelle particularly hard to part with, because Reiko Aylesworth has been one of the show's tentpole good actresses since her first appearance. But wow, they really got things started quite well. So far, it's been very believable considering past dilemmas.

And I have to say, though season 4 was a sometimes rocky transition between new castmembers and old ones, I like Bill Buchanan, Agent Curtis, and Edgar. I'm glad they're all onboard. This is going to be a heck of a ride, I think.

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Well, guys, all I can say is: I HATE DISH NETWORK.

Without going into a long explanation, we've been fighting with the Dish people over a defective receiver, and they finally shipped a new one last week. Easy enough for me to install, except it still didn't work. The customer service tech I talked with Friday (I love how they call it "customer service" even though there's no service at all) succeeeded in screwing up the entire setup even worse, so now not even the VCR and DVD player are working right. And they wanted to charge $100 to come out and fix it. My wife fought with them and got them to agree to come out for free since they messed it in the first place, but they won't be here until ... TUESDAY.

Noramlly I wouldn't care much if we were without TV for four days, but the timing is particularly harsh here.

I have missed the four hour kickoff of 24, and judging from your reactions and what I've read elsewhere, it's the best season premiere in years.

Anyone know if it'll be re-run on FX or Fox prior to the rest of the episodes running?

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Great quote - but it's unreadable on your av.

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Monday night's episode was really awesome. I love how it was so developmental; there were no headlining action scenes beyond that

brief skirmish at the end involving Tony's impostor/doctor

. It was fully devoted to rounding out the plot, giving events time to unwind believably, and provoking narrative tension. This is exactly what season 4 needed, but didn't have.

I can't say for sure yet whether this is the best season of 24 yet, but I can say that this is the best continuous string of 5 episodes I've seen yet. They've built on eachother efficiently and thrillingly. Kiefer is better than ever.

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Thanks to my sister and next-door neighbor, I got to see most of the first four hours on VHS. And this season is really off to a great start.

Looking back over seasons 2 (which was good) and 3 (which was the worst by far), it seems the strategy for rotating regulars and killing off or sending away the previous season's characters is the only way to go for a show like 24. In the past they were trying to write storylines for characters just because they were there, not because they were essential to the plot. The writers seem to be mastering the economy of characters thus far.

And I'm loving Jean Smart as the first lady. I hope they find a beefy storyline for her, other than "David Palmer warned me and I'm not crazy." Right now, I'm not seeing how they're going to make her a more major player, if her only revelation is that Palmer was about to warn her of the attack.

Sean Astin is good fun as the officious new CTU head. Samwise Gamgee in a suit, with a 'tude. Love it!

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I think this may be the best season (so far, I could eat my words a few episodes later) since the 1st and half of the 2nd.

BTW, the writing staff picked up a couple of good additions - David Fury (Angel; Lost) and Manny Coto (latter seasons of Enterprise).

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As season five continues, it just keeps getting better and better. Not even season two was as tightly written as this. Last night's episode was amazingly tense, especially in regards to

Lynn McGill getting relieved of his position

and also the fate of

the First Lady and the Russian president

.

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I really like the way this season is shaping up. The writing is very good, and the tension and character conflicts are interesting and keep you riveted. Adding Lynn to CTU keeps a intriguing subplot going on besides what Jack is doing. Not like it isn't fun to watch what Jack is doing, but it's good to keep from doing the same ol same ol all the time.

Dave Barry has an amusing blog about the show here:

http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/24/index.html

My favorite line:

He thought he could kill Jack just by blowing him up with a huge explosion! What a moron

::hysterical::

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24 fans will get a kick out of this online rant about Jack Bauer:

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry....

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas....

and so on.

BTW, Clint, what is the caption below Jack's name in your avatar?

(And about that sig line: Kiefer Sutherland is a Canadian... Be careful.)

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24 fans will get a kick out of this online rant about Jack Bauer:

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry....

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas....

and so on.

BTW, Clint, what is the caption below Jack's name in your avatar?

(And about that sig line: Kiefer Sutherland is a Canadian... Be careful.)

"The only reason you're still conscious is because I don't feel like carrying you."

I posted the full-sized image a few post ago in this thread. It is a spoof of those inspirational posters, much like this page.

Kiefer is a Canadian. Jack is an American. I'll take my chances with Kiefer anyday. :P

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FWIW, there are TWO episodes on tonight, starting at 8PM Eastern time! :) What a treat, especially in these dog-days of March when nothing half-decent has rolled in theaters since December. A double dose of the Bauer Power Hour is more than welcome.

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Best. Season. Since. The. First.

They aren't kidding around this year - the danger factor of regular characters dying (well, you know, except Jack) has moved from predictable to "sweet freaking crap, they killed _____!!" again.

(But why Edgar?? Who will Commando Chloe banter with now?)

And Jack shooting Robocop's wife in the leg - I thought it was coming, but I was still surprised when he actually DID IT!

We are now halfway through the season, and there's still plenty of mystery and suspense to carry over another 12 hours. Can't wait.

Edited by Clint M

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Best. Season. Since. The. First.

They aren't kidding around this year - the danger factor of regular characters dying (well, you know, except Jack) has moved from predictable to "sweet freaking crap, they killed _____!!" again.

(But why Edgar?? Who will Commando Chloe banter with now?)

Omigosh. What a heart-stopping two hours. (Making it even better, we hadn't yet watched last week's episode, so my wife and I stayed up until almost midnight - a big treat! - watching THREE HOURS of 24.)

Poor Edgar!! I so didn't see that coming. Although in retrospect, it makes sense - I doubt the audience would care much if Bill Buchanan or Curtis were killed; Edgar is the comic relief/human face of CTU. (And they'd better not touch Chloe.)

And Jack shooting Robocop's wife in the leg - I thought it was coming, but I was still surprised when he actually DID IT!

YES!! I actually jumped up at that part and did a little gasp-with-hand-over-mouth gesture!! I figured Jack would threaten to do it, and the tension would build... but BAM!! He just did it!

Also agree with Jeff that the showdown in the limo with the Russians and the First Lady was RIVETING and heart-pounding, with no idea whether the First Lady or Aaron the Secret Service Guy (another minor character we have grown to care about) would survive ...

These last few episodes have also turned into somehting of a mini-80s movie reunion, with Peter Weller (Robocop), C. Thomas Howell (Soul Man) and Jobeth Williams (Poltergeist, the Big Chill) popping in.

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Link to USA Today story about the latest plot twist.

Might I add that 24's writers did something last night they haven't effectively done since Season 1 - turning what appeared to be a lame, superfluous subplot (Lynn McGill's drug-addled sister) into a credible catalyst for the mid-season shocker.

Also, was anyone else impressed by last week's scene of President Logan praying before deciding what to do about the Russian president's motorcade? At first I wasn't sure; seemed it might be a jibe at a weak-kneed character who can't take action, so he prays instead ... but then it was rather moving when Novick told the First Lady about it, and she was affected. (granted, that was totally a political move on his part, to get her back on his side)

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I think Lynn McGill had figured into this thing very effectively. I thought he'd be a one-off character who gets rubbed out after a couple episodes, but he's contributed to the story arc significantly. Next week's episode is sure to be a real thriller.

There were two moments on Monday that I found touching. One was when Tony sees the pictures of Michelle in the clinic, and the other was Chloe's reaction to Edgar's demise. Both times, there was a wordless close-up of a character in shock and grief...it was just sad stuff.

Poor Edgar!! I so didn't see that coming. Although in retrospect, it makes sense - I doubt the audience would care much if Bill Buchanan or Curtis were killed; Edgar is the comic relief/human face of CTU. (And they'd better not touch Chloe.)

Agreed, but I actually like Buchanan and Curtis. They're cool guys. :)

YES!! I actually jumped up at that part and did a little gasp-with-hand-over-mouth gesture!! I figured Jack would threaten to do it, and the tension would build... but BAM!! He just did it!

That part was shocking. It was vintage 24, with Jack crossing the line into sheer and utter nastiness. I felt terrible about it afterwards, which is, I suppose, a tribute to this season's dramatic effectiveness.

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"My name is Tony Almeida. You killed my wife. Prepare to die."

Bye bye Lynn. You and your friend turned on the One Program to save all of CTU.

Edit: Great, Robocop finished the job. 24 just lost one of my favorite cast members.

Edited by Clint M

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Wow, kudos to the writers for raising the stakes this season. Three character deaths in two episodes (one of them a major character, another much-loved, and a third - Lynn McGill - dying in a very poignant act of sacrifice.)

And now, the revelation that

Audrey Raines

might be a traitor? They sure are bringing us back to Season 1 territory. This is the most tightly plotted season, with no superfluous subplots, and truly shocking surprises coming at us in those final "cher-ching, cher-ching" moments.

Do you think

Audrey really is playing for the other team? Is she Nina Myers all over again? Or was she set up? Or is it part of an elaborate snare operation orchestrated by her father (who will supposedly appear again this season)? Dang, I hope she's innocent. She had just won me over and almost made me forget about Kate Warner from Season 2.

Edited by Mark

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:spoilers: (I'm not going to bother tagging them all!)

Wow. Last night's episode was powerful. I say again, this season only gets better. The conspiracy around Palmer, Walt Cummings, and the terrorist group's sources of information has thickened believably. I cannot wait to hear what Wayne Palmer is going to tell Aaron Pierce about all this. It's really neat that they pulled him back into the fold, IMO.

And boy, Jack's signature fiery rage and frustration are only building in intensity. He's getting ever bolder, be it by taking out CTU employees who get in his way, KO-ing federal marshals, whatever. He's also getting all snarly, like he did at the end of season four (I think he screamed "Where's the bomb, we're running out of time!" in every one of the last 7 or 8 episodes that year). Why pretty soon, Kiefer is going to explode! ::blowup::

(Actually, at the end of the episode, that very well might have happened, from the looks of the situation........but I highly doubt Bauer is dead).

I liked Audrey's Cora-Munroe-moment after Jack unceremoniously sent CTU's torture man from the holding room, fleeing for his life. "I knew you'd come back for me, Jack!" It put me in a Last of the Mohicans-ish mood.

One last thing: I still miss Soul Patch. I think I need to grieve for at least another week before I can forget about that sequence.

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One other great thing about this week's episode.

Chloe got a co-worker weirder and more socially inept than herself.

("Did you see the way Bill Buchanan's hand touched my shoulder ...?" Love it!!)

I really, really hate Fox, though, for those promos that give out TMI. I could've waited until next week to find out

the First Lady's aide is somehow connected to the bad guys.

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