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'24' Season Four is Riveting Television
on January 19, 2006
'24' Season Four is better than Day 3 (season three) and manages to be even more complex and compelling than the last two seasons. The technical work is better than ever, and the main storyline rivals season one's. Season Four brings a refreshing change to the show's formula with its many new cast members, and here are the highlights of this excellent season:
1) When we first see Jack Bauer, he's working for the Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane), all the while carrying on an affair with his daughter Audrey Raines (Kim Raver). Then a villian named Habib Marwan sets in motion a plan to bring down the US Government. Jack and Audrey's love for each other is affected by the day's events, and the emotional turmoils that develop are involving. Jack must risk his own life and the lives of others around him to save the US government and its people, which in turn complicates their relationship.
2) The twists are more predictable now that the formula has been played out several times prior to this season, but there are still some shocking events in the various storylines, and they are most prominent in the storyline involving the Araz family.
3) The acting by Keifer Sutherland is superb as he makes Jack Bauer a more poignant, grounded hero. Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), the sarcastic worker of CTU from season three, also shows some maturity and brings some well-needed humor to the ever-growing tension that develops in the season. Many new characters are introduced, but no one is more captivating than Dina Araz (Shoreh Aghdashloo). Her character traits contradict each other and are put to the test over the season, making her this season's most interesting character. Aghdashloo plays Dina as a mother who has no options in the situation she is caught up in, and the show is revitalized due to her brilliant performance. It's a travesty that she wasn't nominated for an Emmy or Golden Globe for her great supporting role.
4) The production values are consistent and the camerawork nearly flawless.
'24' Season Four improves on nearly everything from the previous seasons and does deserve its acclaim from critics and fans as the show's best season, but I personally prefer season one because its conclusion was more epic, deep, and true. Still, '24' Season Four makes for riveting television as it reinvents the thrilling formula that has made first-time viewers and long-time fans sit up and take notice.