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on July 5, 2007
If one thing's certain by now, it's the fact that people sometimes have starkly different opinions on seasons of '24'...and that's fine. I'm not here to change anyone else's mind overall, I'm merely going to point out -- as I did in my Season Two review -- the specifics (that helps) of what's led to my conclusion. I'll even be fair and make sure that the categories I'm about to discuss cover both positives and negatives.

To be blunt: What we have here is pure '24' -- a consequence-ridden one-day saga of well-developed characters, cleverly-written twists, political conflict, ethical dilemma, and fantastic action.

...But before going further into that, I want to respond to some things I'm hearing by tossing out three points of my own -- each of which address what this season isn't.

-This is not the weakest season (that distinction goes to Season Three, which had a convoluted, underwhelming first half and only became memorable during the second).

-This is by no means the first season to recycle concepts that have appeared before on '24'. A woman under Jack's protection having essential info; someone from the White House deciding to make a tragic human sacrifice; CTU being attacked; Jack going undercover as a bad guy; villains laying in wait to save their leader; the families of terrorists being threatened... Some of these are features that appear again here; all of these are features that have been reused well before Season Six.

-This is not the first season to be split into two story lines and have a latter problem borne of a former; it's simply the first to make the second objective significantly shorter (about six episodes long). I found this to be a refreshing new direction (anyone who claims the writers "ran out of script and improvised" obviously wasn't paying close enough attention; the second story line is foreshadowed about halfway through the first). It's also a direction that was more believable than the idea of stretching out the first story line for as long as possible.

Now then, where this season shines...


Four words: Bauer at his best.

"You are not judged by the height you have risen but from the depth which you have climbed" -- Frederick Douglas. What makes Kiefer Sutherland's character most admirable as a hero is up to every viewer to decide for themselves. For me, it's not primarily the remarkable skill and ingenuity he possesses, but the notable endurance and determination he displays no matter how bad things get -- and for Jack, things have been bad indeed. But even when faced with the worst life can throw at him -- two years of softening captivity, the absence of several friends and loved ones, and a torturous experience at the hands of terrorists -- Jack still holds on to some of who he is, which means that no matter how many times you knock him down, he'll keep getting up again.

It seems sometimes like the only person who can really take Jack out of the game is Jack himself, and there's a scene early on in which a distraught Bauer nearly does just that -- only to realize he must endure for one more day. The events that set this moment up (at the end of the fourth hour) are at first questionable, but it becomes apparent that they occur because the writers want, above all, to make a point about Jack -- and this is part of where the show's commitment to character is displayed.

Another highlight this season is the new presence of Vice President Noah Daniels, played excellently by Powers Boothe. I liken Daniels, in some respects, to a modern-day Agamemnon -- a powerful man whose pride can be off-putting, whose methods can be questionable, but also a man who ultimately cares about the land he's in service to and the soldiers under his command. Throughout the day, Daniels often stands in opposition to certain people we've come to sympathize with, but all the while, his arguments remain logical, his patriotism remains prevalent, and a sense of compassion and respect for others begins to stand more and more revealed. This culminates in the creation of one of the show's most entertaining and best-developed characters.

The highly talented Peter MacNicol arrives as Tom Lennox, a similarly-developed cabinet member who also starts off with questionable methods, but becomes a more endearing guy throughout as he labors for the good of the country, works alongside other likable characters, and passes a few moral tests along the way.

A complement to Jack this season is Rick Schroder's Mike Doyle, an experienced tough guy with admirable determination of his own, given depth by his handling of an ethical dilemma and his limited displays of camaraderie and respect toward Jack and other co-workers.

In addition to these nicely handled new characters, this season has some of the few returning favorites that are left, like Bill and Chloe, along with the returns of Karen, Morris, and brief appearances by the Logans. What also works out well is the return of someone who's become a nice nemesis-like figure for Jack.

Last but not least are the arrivals of a few more Bauers this season, which not only sheds some welcome light on Jack's family, but helps to finally reveal a few things about his past (such as how he wound up in law enforcement in the first place).


Among the creative twists this season are a scene where Jack and a partner have to trick a terrorist by means of an auto "accident" (more on this in a moment), and the first time the cunning Philip Bauer outfoxes everyone by taking an unexpected hostage. What I found especially clever was the David Fury-written episode in which there's more to a certain rescue than meets the eye.

The political content -- full of the usual conflicting methods, ethical questions, and even a case of conspiracy -- was well-written, clear, and served as grounds for some of the noted character development above.

'24' isn't a show that's known for being funny, which is what makes the rare moments of humor notable. One of my favorite scenes ever in this area comes this season, when we observe Jack pretending to be an angry driver (while tricking someone), as it's quite a fitting role for him. There's also a nice joke or two from Tom during a sting operation.


The most notable scene of the season in this regard is the final showdown between Jack and Fayed's team. This is probably the greatest action scene since Jack took on the Drazens (with the finale of Season Two being a possible exception). Also notable are the moments with the Doyle-led CTU team against the embassy, Jack playing a neighborhood hero in the fifth episode, and the battles inside CTU.


We get to meet the apparent first woman Jack ever loved, Marilyn -- who's been tied to the Bauer family ever since, and raising a son with Jack's brother. The likable bond between she and Jack, as mentioned, helps reveal little tidbits of our hero's past. Also nice is the fact that Bill and Karen have grown significantly closer since we last saw them, while Morris and Chloe's relationship can be enjoyable as well.

Where this season doesn't shine...


Well, if one compares the Palmers of today to the Palmers of yesterday -- specifically, the brother-sister duo of Wayne and Sandra to the great David and Sherry...sigh...

Wayne was an enjoyable character in Seasons Three and Five. It feels like he was never really meant to have the role he's given here, though, and one wonders if the writers begin to realize this throughout -- hence their focus on a far more interesting politician in Noah Daniels. Also, the character of Sandra Palmer just doesn't really seem to have a place, and overall, neither of these two can measure up to the standards set by the noble, strong David or the bold and mischievous (but sometimes noble) Sherry.

As a villain, Gredenko is also one of the least memorable (though this is compensated by the presence of his partner Fayed).


(Minor spoilers)

Russian President Suvarov practically playing terrorist while setting deadlines was a low point for me (though it's not much more absurd than the previous season's finale where Jack not only kidnapped a certain someone, but was set free shortly afterward). The situation with Sandra and her friend early on was also dull and lagging.


(Minor spoilers)

After getting the info he wants from someone in the embassy, Jack simply turns and walks toward a door that's got several guards on the other side? What's the obvious outcome here? If you answered "getting knocked senseless for walking into such an obvious danger," you're right. I'm also finding it hard to believe that at this stage, CTU can be physically attacked with such minimal effort (but of course, this sets up some better action to follow).


Nadia's triangle doesn't really seem all that significant.

On another note, some of us have wished that the Logans had more screen time this season. It's probably worth noting, however, that the decision not to use them is simply a traditional move on the story's part. This series has, in general, always used characters for as long as they're needed, and sent them away after that -- which is the reason the cast constantly changes.

What hasn't changed, though, in my opinion, is the fantastic work put forth by the cast and crew of this great show. Everything that composes the series is present here, and still done to enjoyable effect. This is fascinating characterization. This is engaging political intrigue. This is well-done action. This is complex drama. This is '24'.
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In the time since Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was kidnapped, the United States has become a dangerous place. Suicide bombers hit the country on a regular basis, and no one is safe. New President Wayne Palmer (D. B. Woodside) has arranged Jack's release from a Chinese prison camp. Jack is to be traded to the terrorists in exchange for a promised cease fire.

Jack agrees to give his life for the peace of his country. But when he finds out that it was all a lie, he escapes to begin another cat and mouse hunt with the terrorists. Only this time, they've already struck once, leading to a calamity. Meanwhile, the trail leads Jack to his own family. What secrets are his dad and brother hiding? Can he stop the terrorists before they unleash even more terror on America?

And more importantly, what happened to this once great show? I've been a fan of this show since season one. While my favorite season was the third, I've thought all of the previous seasons were great. But not this one.

Part of the problem was the been there, done that factor. The writers seem to be out of plot twists, so they are relying on the same one stand bys. Unfortunately, loyal viewers can see those coming. There was very little here that we hadn't seen before, which made the season boring.

The other big problem was the dropped storylines. Several times, a story was introduced and dropped in a matter of episodes. Sometimes, they came back, sometimes they didn't, leaving us hanging. Add to that the increase of personal drama over suspense, and you've got a lack luster season.

Now, it wasn't all bad. This season was still entertaining. But compared to the previous years, day six was a real let down.
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I was incredibly disappointed in season Six of 24. The reason I give this a three-star review as opposed to a two is that I think that perhaps the standards for this season to live up to were very dificult coming off of season Five, which is easily the best season of the show thus far. The plot seemed to go in far too many different directions, far too many relationships unresolved and there were far too many questions that remained unanswered. I applaud the show for being ambitious and trying different things, but there were too few moments of Jack doing what he does best and too many moments where the show felt like a long and very boring civics lesson in terms of presidential power and the transfer of it.

Also the problem that seems to be facing this show right now is that Jack has little to no emotional investment anymore in CTU or in his own life. His best friends are all dead (and he's had to kill one of them himself), and his lover is practically catatonic. All he really seems to have left is the job (and his daughter), but that just doesn't seem like enough. The brains behind this great show had better find someone or something fast to get Jack to reinvest himself in emotionally or else this season could be the harbinger of doom for the Hour of Bauer's Power!!
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on December 3, 2007
Season 6 of "24" was the "Leftovers Season"--the season in which the writers threw all sorts of plot threads and characters on screen to see which ones stuck. None did. The plot devices were too familiar and peaked too early (I won't reveal how, for those of you who didn't see all of Season 6), the returning characters had nothing new to do, and the new characters lacked screen time for proper development. Kiefer Sutherland was great, as always, and the show still had sufficient momentum to be watchable. But "must-see TV" it wasn't. What it was was a waste of both fine returning actors (Mary Lynn Rajskub, Gregory Itzin, Jean Smart, Kim Raver, William Devane, Eric Balfour) and promising new actors (James Cromwell, Rick Schroder). The show's producers promised a radical rethinking of the show for Season 7, but with the ongoing writers' strike, I guess we're going to have to wait a while.
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on September 24, 2007
This season of 24 had the potential to be the greatest season ever. Jack returns from China, after season 5's stunning climax. I vehemently disagreed on the choice of Wayne Palmer as president, was terribly disappointed at the way Sandra Palmer was used, and disgusted with the whole Jack's evil family story arc. Never in a million years would I be able to accept the idea that Graem is Jack's brother. I accepted Philip Bauer less. The first four episodes were powerful. The look in Curtis's eyes after Jack shot him and Jack breaking down and telling Bill 'I can't do this anymore'. The Bomb going off in Valencia. These sent chills down my spine. It appeared the season would be amazing. But it fizzled for episodes 5-16. Invading another consulate? THe invocation of the 25th amendment AGAIN?!! Arabs with Nukes Part 3?! COme on! Too many plot devices were recycled this year, and too many good characters became wallpaper (i.e. Chloe, Morris, and Milo - he was good as a tech in season 1, but not too believable as a boss in Season Six), and the new characters were not developed at all. What saved this season in the final eight episodes was Jack's clash with Fayed, Jack's desparation to get Audrey back, Jack's final talk with his father, and his confronting of Heller for calling him 'cursed', followed by Jack's contemplation of suicide. Notice that all the good points of this season involved Jack and only Jack!? I was also glad that they decided to keep the ending simple and not go for the maguffin and bring back Tony. I loved the character but it would be wrong to bring him back. I almost gave up on 24, but I keep the faith and believe season 7 will be just as great as previous stellar seasons. But I just hope the writers don't pull cop-outs on us and take a vay-kay midseason like they did this year. Otherwise, you'll be hard-pressed to get anyone to care about season 8.
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on October 9, 2007
Sure, Jack may be back and the first 4 episodes were certainly very entertaining and action-packed, BUT after that it goes downhill with boring subplots, old characters wasted in guest appearances, and recycled and lame storylines. Also, Chloe is pretty much pointless this season and not given much to do, and the story is very unfocused changing villains back and forth every 3 episodes. Certainly had potential with certain story elements i.e.- Assad, the suicide bombings, Audrey's "death", and Charles & Martha Logan, but just as things start getting interesting they're thrown away to make room for lame twists. The finale has some slight action, but is still a letdown. Maybe killing off so many good characters in season 5 and having so many bland ones in season 6 really hurt the show. Hopefully the writers will put much more thought and effort into season 7.
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on September 30, 2007
Season 6 wasn't to 24's usual standards, and the plot lines are getting tired... Jack needs something positive, and fast. While Cromwell is a great actor, does anyone else think it would have been a coup to have tapped Donald Sutherland to play Jack's Dad?
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on October 25, 2007
I give Season 4 of "24" four stars not rated relative to it's own normal standards, but in comparison to everything else on TV.

Simply stated....... even during a weak season like Season 6, "24" is still better than most other crap on TV these days.
In other words, even at it's worse, "24" is better than most modern shows at their best.

So many other shows on TV have become simple one trick pony and non-stop sex joke one liners that they have no substance except the cheap laugh.

No wonder we now watch very few modern shows outside Court TV crime shows and exist primarily on DVD collections of past shows like........ Cheers, Wings, Silk Stalkings, Seinfeld, etc..etc..
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on January 23, 2008
Every year I buy 24 on DVD. I was hooked instantly by the first season, as many others were hooked. Season 2 was good as well but during seasons 3 and 4, I had to constantly convince myself to take the series as entertainment only and overlook some of re-ocurring plot twists that drive the show. Season 5 was one of the better ones with the elimination of some very key chracters from years passed and a stunning plot twist.

But Season 6 dipped the series back to mediocrity as I found myself convincing my brain to again accept the retreaded incidents that the writers use to push the story along and try to keep viewers engaged. (WARNING: SPOILERS UPCOMING DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SEASON 6 YET)

Jack is returned from prison in China after a deal negotiated by President Wayne Palmer in which we are told the US paid a hefty price (which is never revealed). The president then asks Jack to sacrifice his life to stop a series of bombings ravaging the country. As patriotic as ever, Jack agrees to do so. Of course Jack escapes and begins hunting down multiple nuclear suitcase bombs in the possesion of terrorists and preventing them from detonating the devices.

So with a plain and stereotypical plot of stopping extremist Islamic terrorists (backed by rogue Russians) from detonating nuclear suitcase bombs on US soil, the series resorts to the tiring antics of CTU and politcal infighting at the White House to keep the plot moving. Sound familiar?

Don't get me wrong I love this show as stated before I have all 6 seasons on DVD, but the writers really need to come up with new ways to keep it's loyal fans and attract new viewers. Some of the tired, re-tread and re-hashed themes:

*Disagree with a Jack Bauer plan because saving the country 5 times in the past and countlessly proving his loyalty doesn't count for anything.
*CTU perimeters contain absolutely nothing
*no-name CTU agents are useless and have a high mortality rate.
*CTU headquarters breached once again
*CTU computers hacked once again
*CTU love interests and personal issues, as always, stop the plot dead in it's tracks. NUCLEAR BOMB people! FOCUS! Let's worry about Morris' drinking problem tomorrow. Nadia and Milo can work on their feelings later too (well Milo not so much).
*CTU agents complete disregard for security protocol, no wonder why the computer get hacked over and over again.
*Ability to get anywhere in LA in 10 minutes except when Jack or other agents in the field need back up.

It's gets harder and harder to accept these faults as ways to move the plot forward.

I honestly believe that no President would continue to allow CTU to operate. While they seem to resolve whatever issue that faces them, it is often their own ineptitude that leaves a swath of destruction and death before the emergency is resolved. In my mind, any President worth his salt would disband the unit and have Jack handpick a new team that is strictly black ops but has all the Federal resources it requires to operate.

I watched Season 6 out of devotion to the series but it desperately needs an injection of new ideas and plot lines that revolve around Jack. The current format has run it's course.
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on September 19, 2007
I really enjoyed the first five or six episodes. I was starting to believe that this was going to top season 5. Then,all of the sudden, this season turns into a big, muddled mess. What happened? I did like the last 2 episodes, but they were no where near as satisfying as the end of season 5, (or all the other seasons for that matter). I give this 3 stars, because, 24, even at it's worst, is still the finest show on television. I hope next season is better.Maybe the writers should watch Casino Royale (2006), to get some fresh ideas!
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