Slow Boat to China


So last night, Sky brought day five of 24 to a close with a double bill of episodes, in which Jack dealt with the terrorists as they attempted to take over a Russian Submarine, served out summary justice against Christopher Henderson – shooting him despite the fact that he was unarmed, and then kidnapped the President in a double bluff designed to get him to confess. The story finished up with Jack having failed to escape from the Chinese, in a plot-line that goes back to day four, and ending up on a slow boat to China. All of which is a big turnaround from where he was at the beginning of day five.

As usual, the real-time element of the programme goes even more to pot in the final couple of episodes, for example Chloe brings in her ex-husband in the penultimate episode, however he appears within minutes of his name first being mentioned, despite it being 5am. The final hour as well is in general rushed, with Jack going from the Presidential retreat, via an industrial unit, and an hour later apparently being on a Chinese freighter steaming in open water.

What will be interesting is to see what happens in day six. For the past few series we have regularly been told that this one will be different, but invariably within minutes Jack is back working for CTU. Maybe this time, with Jack looking like heíll be in China for a while things will be different, perhaps with the series charting Jacks escape from Chinese captivity. Of course equally it could be that weíll get one of their ten minute prequels where Jack either escapes or is exchanged, and day six will commence pretty much as before.

Having said that, I did enjoy day five. Although they did kill off some favourite characters, having a corrupt president was a bit of a change, leaving Jack not knowing where to turn. Alongside this, Jack has got nowhere near the people behind the whole plot, for whom the President was merely a pawn. Certainly even with the large scale character cull we had this year, there are still plenty of characters and plenty of plotlines to pick up next year.

One thought on “Slow Boat to China”

  1. The best example of how much the “real time” element has gone to pot was Martha seducing the President to keep him in the retreat a little longer. I reckoned it was about five minutes between cutting away from a shot of her slowly undoing his shirt, to a scene where he is completing getting dressed and helping her to zip her dress up at the back!

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