24: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episode 11 (9PM-10PM)

After a four year absence, 24 is returning to TV in the form of a “limited series.” Shortened seasons for broadcast shows are in right now. Big-network programs like Hannibal, The Following, Sleepy Hollow and Under the Dome are taking a page out of the British/Premium Cable model, offering shortened seasons of around 12-15 episodes without the traditional option of extending the season. 24 is embracing this model as well, cutting Jack Bauer’s “day” in half to (theoretically) tell a tighter story and keep costs down. How well 24 translates into 12 remains to be seen, but there is no denying of the excitement of having Jack Bauer back on the small screen.

As a limited run companion piece to our series-spanning Dead Series Discussions we – Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix – will be posting reactions to each episode of Live Another Day as it airs. These “ReJacktions” are not as long or formal (ha!) as our other posts on the series, but instead give us a chance to add some reflections and observations for each episode. Once the season has ended, we’ll give Live Another Day a proper Dead Season Discussion before bidding farewell to 24. At least until Jack comes back again.

This week’s ReJacktion is focused on Episode 11 of Live Another Day, “Day 9: 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.”

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time.

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Patches
I’ll calling it, guys. Live Another Day is the most frustrating season in 24’s run. Which is not to say it’s the worst, mind you, but rather the least consistent. Season 6, hilariously skewered by our own Zach here, was terrible, but it didn’t do much after E4 to get our hopes up. Season 8 may have been forgettable, but Dana Walsh aside, it was never downright infuriating. But Live Another Day has alternated between great and terrible so many times it feels like I’m watching Star Trek movies.

First, if I may ape Zach’s bit from Episode 7,

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY NARRATIVE NECESSITY

I swear this episode was the last one written. It’s the only explanation. The writers wrote the finale first, then went back and started from the premiere, except that when they got to this episode, they realized they didn’t know how to logically move the pieces from E10 to the finale. This week’s episode set up the finale, but did so in ways that constantly made me say, sometimes out loud, “Of course. Why wouldn’t that happen?”

Of course President Heller would escalate our military readiness. Why wouldn’t he do that? It’s not like standing down and/or taking one on the chin from China would help our case with the Chinese Premier.

Of course Audrey would tell Jack to kill Cheng. Why wouldn’t she do that? It’s not like he is the key to stopping a globally crippling war or anything.

Of course Ambassador Moustache was killed by a hilariously long fragment of breakaway glass. Why wouldn’t that happen?

Of course everyone with Audrey gets sniped. Why wouldn’t that happen? I’m sure there’s perfectly reasonable explanation for how Cheng knew the meeting’s location or why he would leave a sniper on British soil while making his escape.

Just terrible…

Speaking of Cheng, although I was initially receptive to his return, this episode soured me, mostly because I foolishly believed they would explain how he escaped. Instead, Continue reading

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