24 Episode 7.17: ‘Day 7: 12:00am-1:00am’ Review

Posted on April 7, 2009

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Teaser

TVSummary: Necessary but not that engaging of an episode.
Rating: 6.5/10


Review Trailer
The quick skinny on the episode.

Larry Moss the FBAss, the FBI/Navy SEAL strike team, and Tony Almeida are confronted at the Starkwood complex by the private military force during the search for the bioweapons. In a slightly surprising move, Jonas Hodges, head of Starkwood, actually arrives on scene to tell them to get the hell off his land. Jack DEMs (deus ex machina’s) another solution: finding a man who was blowing the whistle on Starkwood to the government. This man is conveniently on-site and might know where the bioweapons are stored. Tony is able to get in touch with the man and finds a way into the storage area for the weapons. Having confirmed their location, President Taylor orders an aerial attack but calls it off after Hodges reveals to her alone that he has loaded the bio pathogen into missiles that are aimed at major American cities on the east coast. Jack also begins to exhibit signs of his exposure to the pathogen. And we’re left with an episode that had merely to hit certain plot points to carry the story on.

Feature-Length Review after the jump.


24 and Me
Background on my relationship with the show for this first review only.

24 was my show for years. As has happened with the majority of shows that have become my favorites and/or I watch on a consistent basis, I didn’t start watching the show at the beginning. I caught 24‘s first season on DVD, which, if I must admit, is actually probably the idea way to watch any season of the show. In fact, my best friend was considering skipping out on watching the show broadcast this season and just buying the DVD when it’s released next fall or winter sometime.

Once I got that first season, though, I signed up as a full-time CTU member. My best friend had been asking me about the show and had decided that he was interested in tuning in for it during Season 2. Thus began a long tradition of watching the show together. I have watched each season religiously as it was broadcast and have three of the season DVD sets so far. Watched each season but for Season 6, that is.

For the record, Seasons 2 and 5 are my faves, followed closely by Season 1. Seasons 3 and 4 bring up the rear. As for Season 6, well, it was the only season where I stopped watching the show part way in. I actually have no strong desire to go back and watch any part of it. Something was missing and the series got to the point of ridiculous, particularly in regard to the almost Skywalkerian inclusion of Jack’s dad and the reveal of Paul McCrane’s baddie from Season 5 actually being Jack’s brother. I dropped out after about 6 or 7 weeks. From what I hear, I didn’t miss much and I wasn’t that alone in finding the season subpar and abandoning that.

It was with some trepidation that I looked forward to Season 7, made that much worse by the “cancelling” of the season from its regular broadcast in 2008 due to both the writers’ strike and a reevaluation of the storyline. Beginning with the 2-hour prologue movie Redemption and launching into Season 7, I couldn’t be happier than the show has returned to form.


Feature-Length Review
The in-depth review.

A side-effect of the episodic concept of a television series is that you get episodes on occasion that are called “fillers”. They offer a sometimes interesting diversion from a main story arc but often don’t add much to the show. I’m not as bothered by filler episodes as some because I tend to find something of the basic premise of the show still in them to keep me entertained. In the end, that’s what any of these shows are supposed to do right.

It’s rarer but still possible to find filler episodes in the serial concept of a TV series. If you’re not familiar with the differences of episodic versus serialized TV, look into it. To give you a brief overview, episodic television contains the introduction, build-up, confrontation and resolution of a single problem all in the course of one episode. An overarcing storyline of the series might exist but generally each episode is fairly self-contained. Procedurals like CSI and House represent episodic television. Serial television builds threads of various storylines that continuing for multiple episodes before being resolved or not. Lost, Battlestar Galactica and 24 are great examples of serial television. Of course, none of this is black and white. Episodic and serial television concepts bleed over into one another often. Which is how a filler episode, like this one, can happen to a series like 24.

If I had to write a one word review of this episode it would be perfunctory. This had the job of merely continuing on the plots from the last few episodes to the next without really offering anything new, exciting and altogether revealing. We knew Seaton’s deception on the location of the bioweapons wouldn’t stand and that someone – most likely Tony – would have to find the true location while still on the base. The fact that FBAss’ little diversion worked was kind of silly. Hodges knew Almeida’s face and didn’t bother to watch as he didn’t get on the helicopter. But okay. We’ll let it slide for the sake of the show.

We knew Jack was going to start showing signs of his exposure at some point. To be fair, I hadn’t expecting to see them this soon, which was kind of a relief. I love when serialized shows push the issue quickly so you don’t feel like you’re hanging on for something that draws your attention away from other events occurring. This was also a way to punctuate FBAss’ decision to leave Jack behind from the raid because of the exposure. It also had to show Renee Walker’s (“Rack Bauer”, as she’s come to be known by the fanbase) growing affection for the man. And, of course, a plot device to bring Elisha Cuthbert’s much beloved Kim back onto the series. Can’t wait to see what pitfalls befall her in the next few episodes.

We knew that Tony was going to have to find the bioweapons if only to push Hodges’ hand. I have to say I love how Tony has become the badass he is. When we were introduced to Soul Patch in Season 1, he was a soft, lovesick puppy after Nina and more of an admin thorn in Jack’s side than anything else. I really like that events have really shaped Tony into who he is. Jack has always been the badass. Tony has slowly come into his own, really pushed forward by the death of Michelle. To see him take out guys with relative ease like he did in this episode is a treat.

We knew that Hodges was going to have to confront the government face first and that, as a result, Taylor was going to have to call off any immediate action towards Starkwood. Follow me here with this: I was not surprised that the bioweapons would have to be fashioned into some type of portable threat. I was surprised that Hodges decided to create missiles out of the pathogen. I was not surprised that this would cause every effort of the government to shut down until Jack launches a new plan.

Olivia Taylor is playing with fire when it comes to Aaron Pierce, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. You don’t give that man the business and include him in your little dirty affairs. We saw how that worked out for Sherry Palmer and for Charles Logan. I must say, though, that it is nice to have someone so snakey in such a position again. And dirtbag journo should’ve known exactly who he was dealing with. The lesson there: Stop thinking with your little pencil. Ass.

24 is known for its DEMs as much as it is for shocking turns of events. The glaring one tonight was Jack miraculously uncovering the whistleblower amongst Mayer’s notes. The whistleblower just happened to hang around the Starkwood complex after the board meeting as well, just to watch the FBI’s failed attempt to locate the bioweapons. This was a stretch but they needed to get to Point B, so I’m not that shocked by it.

Kudos to one odd little production choice. That would be the glass bottle Hodges used to club his CEO over the head. It was solid, thick glass and didn’t shatter into a million pieces when he hit the man with it. In fact, it was so blunt that it led to a brutal thrashing of the man’s skull. It’s little touches like that that keep me tuned into the show when some of the plot points get too outlandish or too common.

Overall, the episode did everything it was supposed to and needed to. It was filler but in the proper connective way. Nothing really narrative-shattering occurred, so I found the episode necessary but not particularly enthralling.

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Posted in: 24, Television