What a crashing disappointment this season turned out to be. The opening four episodes were the best and most exciting the show has ever been. The stakes were high and with the detonation of a nuclear bomb at the end of episode 4, all bets were off. But, of its six seasons, 24 has managed only one that was, in my opinion, wholly satisfying (season 4). Other seasons have all suffered from either dragging out the storyline or, worse, dragging out the 24 episodes by tacking on other plots after the main arc finishes too early.
That's not to say I don't love it though and after that four hour amazing opener, I was ready for brilliance. It didn't quite arrive. The retconning decision to make Paul McCrane's character into Jack's brother (unless that was always the plan and I wasn't paying attention during his initial arc in season 5) was intriguing but having their father as the root of all evil was perhaps a scooch too much. Once the main plot was wrapped up, too early, the show meandered on and tested my patience as multiple plot strands were discarded without resolution. The season finale ending with Jack apparently contemplating suicide was hopeless. Shame.
Apparently next season the show is being completely reinvented and only its real time format will be carried over. We'll see if that means a complete cast cull (don't get rid of Chloe though!) and a re-location. Whatever it means, for the love of God, people, find a plot complex enough that it can actually run the course of the season.
The best new show on television. There was a moment when it looked like Heroes would win out (and as the UK is only up to episode 17 of that show and Ugly Betty finished its run already, it still might win out, who knows?), but with one scene in one epsiode, Ugly Betty claimed the crown.
The scene? Michael Urie's deliciously evil Mark's showdown with his mother in Betty's house. It was utterly brilliant, not to mention emotionally tough going. Michael Urie was top notch in the scene and I seriously hope he is showered with awards love for it soon. The fact that the writers had the balls to NOT have that scene end happily just made me love it all the more.
So that was what did it. The fact that a show as frivolous, bitchy, hilarious and downright silly as this was not afraid to put the brakes on for some drama was what made it my victor (so far) of the recently concluded season. However, I must note my dissatisfaction with the season finale. While I don't necessarily have a problem with the overcrowding of cliffhanger plot points, what I DO take issue with is the unnecessary and frankly mean killing of Santos. At least, given Hilda's reaction in the final scene, I assume he's dead, though it was never actually stated at any point. The scene where Hilda accepted his proposal, running out to find him only to discover he'd waited for her, made this girly boy cry. The Suarez family are going to have enough to deal with in the second season (adding in all the drama from the finale, there was also the revenge on her father in Mexico, mentioned in the penultimate episode that will presumably come back up at some point) without throwing in a wholly unnecessary amount of grief for Hilda and Justin.
Sunday, June 10, 2007