Pros:good acting and great ensemble cast, well-paced thriller
Cons:plot points that don't work quite well or seem contrived
The Bottom Line: This second season of 24 is still very good making use of a great ensemble cast. Worth viewing despite some of the issues.
The series 24 is an interesting premise. The idea is the audience is viewing in real-time one day in the life of counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer (portrayed by Keifer Sutherland). It’s not just any day, either. We get to see events unfold in a crucial day that could impact all Americans, and possibly the world.
Recommend this product?
The second season of 24 opens more than a year after the previous season. David Palmer (portrayed by Dennis Haysbert) has been elected President. He's made aware of a situation while on vacation in Oregon. There's a nuclear bomb somewhere in Los Angeles that terrorists want to detonate this day.
Jack and his daughter Kim (portrayed by Elisha Cuthbert) are somewhat distanced following the events in the first season. She's been working as a nanny for a family. Jack is still blaming himself for what happened to Teri, his wife and Kim’s mother. When CTU starts calling him at the urging of the President, Jack avoids the calls until the President himself gets on the line.
Kim, meanwhile, is learning more about the family she's been working for and it's not pretty.
There’s a lot that works and a lot that doesn’t this season. There’s definitely a feeling of ongoing peril right from the first episode. It creates some great tension, even as the audience knows Jack will return to work for the President, otherwise there’s no story. The story manages to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat with great plot twists and characters that you can never make any assumptions about. Not only does the President face dealing with the terrorist threat, but there are threats to him from within his own administration. Sherri Palmer (portrayed by Penny Johnson Jerald) has been relegated to ex-wife, a move that would seem to have enhanced Palmer’s reputation for taking a hard moral line, even when it’s not convenient for him. However, she’s not far away, waiting for her moment. The question is whether that moment is to help her ex-husband or betray him.
Aired for the 2002-2003 television season, this storyline was definitely ripe for the post-9/11 climate. Anything Jack does, including outright murder, seems to be okay as long as it's seen as the means to an end. Forget the Constitution and any civil liberties. Jack knows best and he’ll take the consequences to avoid any blame being placed at the feet of the President.
This season does have plot points that don't work so well. What brings Nina Meyers (portrayed by Sarah Clarke) back into the picture feels contrived and forced. Kim once again being stupid and depending on Daddy to extradite her from the situation is tiresome. What's worse is when she is arrested for a legitimate reason on the part of the police and she and her boyfriend have no qualms about putting a police officer's life in danger - a police officer who is just doing his job and not just trying to trump up charges on her.
What’s good here though are some of the cast additions, in particular Michelle Forbes as an aide to the President and Sara Gilbert as a green computer programmer at CTU. Reiko Aylesworth, whom I knew mostly from her work on a soap opera, really shines as one of the CTU agents. Thankfully we get to see more of her beyond this season. The storyline of Kate Warner (portrayed by Sarah Wynter) is actually quite good, although it seems to wander a bit in the beginning. There’s definitely a great payoff in following the story of the Warner family and the romantic tension between Jack and Kate in the midst of all that’s going on feels right for helping lift him out of the despair he’s been wallowing in.
The DVD has some great extras on it. I think they did a much better job this season building on a reason to buy the DVD set over the first season. However, I still take issue with the format for the deleted scenes and alternate takes. The format similar to The X-Files DVDs where an icon will appear on the screen and you click on that during the episode to see them. If you’re paying attention to the story, you’re liable to miss them. They are also included on the bonus features disc, but I don't like this format at all. I’d rather be able to view them right after viewing the episode so I have an idea of the context.
I didn’t feel that this second season of 24 was quite up there with the first, although it still was pretty good. The idea was still fresh and the characters weren’t overused with the exception of Kim’s constantly getting herself into trouble. It’s a great thriller, especially for a television series.
Day 2: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Day 2: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Day 2: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Day 2: 11:00 AM - 12:00 NOON - available with commentary by Carlos Bernard, Sarah Wynter, and Michelle Forbes
Day 2: 12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM
Day 2: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - available with commentary by Director Jon Cassar and Sarah Clarke
Day 2: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Day 2: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Day 2: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Day 2: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM - available with commentary by Penny Jerald Johnson and Executive Producer Joel Surnow
Day 2: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Day 2: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Day 2: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Day 2: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Day 2: 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM - available with commentary by Executive Producer Robert Cochran & Xander Berkeley
Day 2: 11:00 PM - 12:00 Midnight
Day 2: 12:00 Midnight - 1:00 AM
Day 2: 1:00 AM - 2:00 AM
Day 2: 2:00 AM - 3:00 AM
Day 2: 3:00 AM - 4:00 AM - available with commentary by Kiefer Sutherland & Executive Producer Joel Surnow
Day 2: 4:00 AM - 5:00 AM - available with commentary Dennis Haysbert and Writer Howard Gordon
Day 2: 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM
Day 2: 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM
Day 2: 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Disc Seven - Bonus Material
• On The Button - Exploring The CTU
• 24 Exposed - Part 1
• 24 Exposed - Part 2
• Multi-Angle Scene Study: Episode #6 - The Interrogation
• Deleted Scenes
© 2012 Patti Aliventi