I’ve posted about 24 before (too lazy to look for a link) but I’ve been meaning to do it this season. The reason I can’t, is that every time I try, I get more things to write about. Other than writing an episode recap for every episode (like Dan does with Lost), I just keep getting more and more to write about, and I can’t keep track of it all.
As a general matter, the producers of 24 have tacitly abandoned two concepts, while maintaining the facade that they haven’t: real-time and reality.
You could argue that 24 was never realistic, though I think, at least early on, that what drew people to it. But it’s just getting out of hand. Using a cigar cutter to snip off someone’s finger at the knuckle? Without flinching? Come on, it can’t be that easy. There’s got to be some resistance from, ya know, tendons and ligaments and bone and such. But it’s OK. The 24 “back to work 20 minutes after being tortured” rule should apply to the Russian. He’ll be fine. Just like Jack (wow, you stopped bleeding from that bone-deep cut pretty quickly) and Morris (I take a 3/4″ drill bit to the back every morning as part of my workout routine, it’s nothing).
But 24 always did (and still does) maintain that these events are taking place in real time. So that means that (latest example only) President Logan compound is about 2 minutes of flight time from the airport hotel. Not counting the “couple of minutes” that the helicopter had to (according to Bill who dispatched) to get to Jack. Yup, you can get a helicopter from anywhere to anywhere and back in the span of a commercial break.
Oh, and one more thing: the Russians use an encryption so powerful that nothing the US has can break it, but they just happen to leave one computer completely unprotected? And Morris reads Russian? Jack speaking fluently with a perfect accent is remotely believeable. But not Morris O’Brian reading Russian. Maybe he changed his name from Morris Obayushkin? And took on a British accent. You know, to blend into America.