I figure it's only fitting to watch the last episode of "24," with a liveblog. And no joke - I'm a complete newbie to the series. Never watched a single episode before this.
8PM We're off to a good start. Keifer's looking well-rested.
:01 The recap's a blur of Russian agents, a woman diplomat being told to muzzle the press or lose a peace agreement, scowling, and bad accents.
:03 I forgot about the "real time" gimmick. I'll assume nothing important is going on during the commercial breaks, and everything in the "24" universe happens in 6-8 minute spurts.
:04 Michael Madsen! I'm entertained by him just being there.
:05 Is that Freddie Prinze Jr?! Wikipedia says yes.
:07 I can't follow the plot so far, but the stern looks and the terse dialogue make me feel like something important must be going on if everyone's so tense. There will be explosions later, right?
:12 My god, there's actually a counter. It's like the whole show is a countdown clock cliché. Now if something doesn't explode, I'll be terribly disappointed.
:13 Hi Jack! Evil Anderson Cooper must be evil.
:17 Madame president? Wait, wasn't the guy in the preview ID'd as the president? Natasha Fatale just gave her a pen and is emitting sinister vibes. Exploding pen?
:20 There's more technobabble in this show than "Star Trek." They just babble it so fast, it sounds plausible.
:24 Scoring this show must be fun. Eerie synthesizer sounds, a woodblock to simulate a ticking clock, and… is that a therimin?
:25 I don't think I much like Jack Bauer. He's got the incoherent Christian Bale's growl going on, and he seems to think the ends justify acting like a jerk. A mean jerk.
:31 More close-up shots of the pen. I remain suspicious.
:33 Natasha Fatale and Madame President are having what might have been a good scene at some point, but played so over the top, it comes off like a high school cheerleader spat. I'm reporting you to the UN! I'm sending in the nukes, beeyotch!
:45 Freddie Prinz and the redhead establish that we should be even more worried than we have been for the last 45 minutes. We're not even halfway through yet. I'm not sure how much more tense I can get without triggering muscle spasms.
:47 Ah. They're all presidents.
:55 Jack, stop strangling the redhead. She's just trying to help.
:05 Now Jack Bauer has the redhead handcuffed to a railing. She's still trying to reason with him. Good grief, Jack is a being such a child.
:07 The redhead's name is Chloe. I think she's easily the best character in the show so far.
:09 The Russian president's conspirator has a certain Nixonesque quality about him. Something about the jowls and the proboscis.
:11 Okay, Jack getting Chloe to shoot him was pretty good. He had it coming to him.
:17 Nixon is also being addressed as "President." They're popping up like daisies.
:19 Chloe and the evil Anderson Cooper exchange more dialogue that makes them both sound like snarky teenagers. Stop flirting, you two!
:21 And Jack does a Mike Tyson on evil Anderson Cooper's ear!
:27 President Nixon and Madame President convene to plot evil deeds. I think Nixon may have a little crush on Jack Bauer.
:34 Took me this long to realize which character was being played by Eriq LaSalle.
:36 Boy, they're taking their time telegraphing Madame President's decision to back out of the treaty. The actress is doing an excellent job, even if they aren't giving her much to work with.
:40 Eriq LaSalle is not happy.
:41 Nixon is not happy. Watch out, evil Anderson Cooper!
:42 Madame President is not happy. Open this door, young man!
:49 Jack's execution is averted. This is a strangely moody, tension-free sequence. They're setting up Jack as a martyr figure, which just makes me roll my eyes.
:52 Madame President confessional. I'm not sure what I expected as far as the level of writing, but this hits pretty much every cliche for shallow, shiny action films from about ten years ago. I can see how "24" would have seemed innovative at first with the cinematography and the countdown clock, but they feel like perfunctory bits of an old formula now.
:54 Split screen goodbye scene is fitting considering how much they've been relying on it stylistically. Chloe had that thank you coming to her.
And the end. Aw, no explosions. Wait, what happened to Michael Madsen?