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I’m a big believer in delayed gratification, so I put off my Day 6 DVD viewing as long as possible because there is (at least for now) no Day 7. But there it was waiting for me at the library, and I had already suspended it once. And I wanted to watch it before the disks got scratched and the guide went missing, as library DVD set are wont to do.

That right: I don’t buy DVD sets. And I dare call myself an obsessed fan.

A few months ago I caught up on Day 5 with my unsuspecting next-door neighbor, creating a 24 addict and fellow Kieferholic in the process. It was fun watching Day 6 with her, seeing it through her eyes, but now I feel guilty that I’ve created a beast I can no longer feed.

I’m going to reiterate what everyone else had said: That Day 6 is infinitely better when viewed over the cource of several days without commercials. The whole story just moves better. The irony is that one of the things the WGA is striking over (if I understand that mess correctly) is percentages over DVD sales.

I won’t go on about the special features, deleted scenes, etc, as I’m sure by now you’re all familiar with the DVD set. I will tell you some of my own impressions:

Although Day 5 may have had superior action, I though Day 6 was more intense emotionally and psychologically. Day 6 was criticized for the way Jack seemed to recover from China too easily. Not dissimilar to the infamous Day 3 heroin addiction. But I think that there was enough there to suggest that Jack is now damaged goods: He expresses his doubts about his abilities to both Wayne Palmer and Bill. He completely loses it when he interrogates Graem. His slight rocking back and forth with clenched fists when he lands in CTU holding suggests that he’s a wee bit nervous about being placed in locked, windowless rooms. The charred right hand was pure genius: It served as a constant visual reminder of Jack’s ordeal.

I did find Jack’s functioning despite floating rib fragments, a mangled shoulder, several blows to the head, and a generally weakened state a little hard to accept. Suspension of disbelief has its' limits. As I’ve discussed with xbedhead, twenty months of torture must have given Jack a incomprehensibly high pain tolerance. (Kiefer did look pleasingly fit rather than emaciated, but I’m willing to let that one go.)

The Debrief mobisodes also add another layer to China. Jack was able to hold it together (sort of) for the duration of the crises, but he was clearly unraveling by the time Ramirez got a hold of him. I was quite annoyed with Burke and Ramirez: If Jack did give up Holt, so what? If Morris can’t be held legally responsible for reprogramming a triggering devise, you can’t blame Jack for revealing the identity of an operative under what was obviously extreme duress. Burke and Ramirez were just being mean-spirited. It was also very careless to try to pump poor Jack full of drugs if he already had dubious substances still floating about in his bloodstream. Shouldn’t he be checked out medically? Ryan is my hero for slipping Jack the key.

I feel the need to write a fic where Jack talks (somewhat reluctantly) to a shrink, but I am getting nowhere. With whom can I entrust Jack’s psyche? Certainly not Dr. Brady, who wanted to “shock” poor Audrey out of her catatonic state. Ditto for Kim’s Day 5 boyfriend. Awkward!

I know that Kiefer gets all the acting accolades, but my re-watch gave me fresh appreciation for some of the other performers. No means a complete list (Sorry, Mary-Lynn and Carlo) but here goes:

• Alexander Siddig: Wasn’t nearly this hot on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. ‘nuff said.

• James Morrison: One of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, IMO.

• Jane Atkinson: 24’s answer to Helen Mirren. I wanted Karen to become President because Bill would make a wonderful First Husband. And who could forget the immortal line “You want to get in the ring with me”?

• Peter MacNicol: It was a CRIME that this actor wasn’t nominated for some sort of award. He changed sides so many times during the course of the day, but we buy it because Tom Lennox never completely abandons his own agenda. I love his facial expressions.

Powers Boothe: So very icky. But Daniels managed to evolve into someone almost likeable. Still preferable to Wayne Palmer.

• Tzi Ma: Greatest. Villain. Ever. My adoration knows no bounds. The greatness of a 24’s villain is measured not only in the body count (important thought that is) but by how miserable he or she can make Jack. In that regard, Cheng gives Nina a run for her money.

• Gregory Itzen: I didn’t see most of Day 5 until after I saw all of Day 6, so the re-watch impressed me by how much Logan had (apparently) changed. I was skeptical of his need for ‘redemption,’ so I loved that little scene where Jack sees that passage highlighted in Logan’s Bible.

I completely adored the scene where Logan and Jack are in the limozine, and Logan tries to compare his experience of being a prisoner to Jack’s. It’s so presumptuous to compare house arrest in a “ten thousand foot mansion” (as Martha described it) to a filthy Chinese Prison.

LOGAN: I don’t have to tell you what it’s like…

JACK: No, you don’t.

This exchange is almost funny because Logan is genuinely trying to be empathetic, and Logan is the LAST person Jack would bare his soul to.

(Sidenote: I marvel at Jack’s ability to raid other people’s closets for clothes that fit perfectly)

Other random observations:

• Total love for Jack’s interaction with computer savant Brady. Jack’s gentleness is unnerving and totally lovable at the same time.

• Final fight scene with Fayed! Very hardcore. Pure, unapologetic violence.

• I found the scene near the end where dripping!wet!Jack emerges from the Pacific beautiful. The music helped.

• The ending? Pure soap, but I still love it. Glad they didn’t use the alternate ending.

So now that Day 6 is over we have…CRIES. This puts me in a pickle, fanfic wise. Day 6 may not have been the strongest season, but it’s still the story that personally resonates the most with me. Although the previous Five Seasons are filled with some fabulous source material, I‘m more interested in what happens after Day 6 than what happened before. I try to follow the canon, but right now there’s no new canon to follow. Should I become freshly inspired, you, my dear cyber-friends, will be the first to know.

The very harsh criticism of Day 6 shows just how spoiled we TV viewers have become: The 24’s people brought us 24 episodes filled with drama, action, violence, political intrigue, moral quandaries, a mini-apocalypse, several pairs of star-crossed lovers, and one of the most delightfully complex, angst-filled, and charismatic heroes in the history of television. And we complain that the show isn’t exciting enough. On that mythical and far-away day that 24 finally returns, perhaps we will all appreciate it that much more.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
I haven't gotten season six. I...really disliked Marilyn and the entire plot there so much. Nothing at all against Graem, as he was a better and more interesting villain than Philip. It was weird how Daniels kept switching sides and the entire plot with the Russian spy at the end didn't really go anywhere and I quite hoped it would.

I have to disagree about Tzi Ma. I like the idea of him more than the reality. I'm not sure that wins in the making Jack miserable contest, I'm not convinced that even after months of torture he got deep under his skin. My favorite villain is still either Drazen, Salazar or Saunders. I did love the evilwhitemen of season five. Oh and of course Nina. Then again, I also love Marie, blonde, pretty, affulent, completely psychotic. I wish they'd bring her back.

Really? I'm very curious about what happens after six but honestly my favorite fic period is still probably the past. This could be because my favorite aspect of the show is the transformation from Past!Jack to Present!Jack and it's all so so painful - I also am a completely unrepentant fan of the season one Bauer family and pretty much am annoyed at the writers for the way they tried to replace Kim with Josh.

Mostly, I thought the acting was better than the writing - and the CTU scenes were except for at the end, sometimes kind of painful. They didn't know what certain characters were doing and wasted others. What was happening with Doyle and Nadia? Why did that character make a 180 and why were people squabbling about petty interpersonal problems when a bomb just went off?

I think the problem is that the mini-apocalypse didn't seem to affect enough people. There were still cars on the road, the bomb after an ep or two stopped feeling *real* and that was when the season went off track, imho.

Tom Lennox rules! And I wanted much more Bill/Karen.

It's possible that s6 will play out better as you don't have to wait a week for a storyline to progress or for characters to do something. I thought the scene with Fayed was an excellent example of what Jack's time in China did to him.

I want season seven so bad I think I'd do anything for it including giving up Klondike bars.
Jan. 4th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
My original opinion of Day 6 was quite similar to yours. It improved upon the re-watch. I still admit that it was far from perfect.

Marilyn was gross. I think she was happy when Jack told her that he was forbidden to see Audrey. She probably went back to her room and shouted “YES!”

Klondike bars! I’m impressed. I’m tempted to take a Fox executive into custody and interrogate him until he gives up the location of the eight episodes. Burke! Prepare the Package!

Thank you for reading.
Jan. 4th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
That is a good idea too! Eight episodes are hidden somewhere...yes, yes they are.

She so did -- just remember her glee at Audrey's dead moment. Worst way to tell someone ever.

Wait, we have to use Burke? Oh man, he scares me...
Jan. 4th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Scary is good! Love your icon.
Jan. 4th, 2008 07:19 am (UTC)
Great entry! You know, I'm so glad the DVDs are finally out in the US because it really seems a common theme that people like the season a lot more after rewatching. Same with me, even that I never really disliked the 6th Season from the start.

The story flows so much better and annoyances like Marilyn are simply not that important anymore.

I completely adored the scene where Logan and Jack are in the limozine, and Logan tries to compare his experience of being a prisoner to Jack’s. It’s so presumptuous to compare house arrest in a “ten thousand foot mansion” (as Martha described it) to a filthy Chinese Prison.

Oh, I loved that. Gregory Itzin is so great, I really hope they bring him back in the future. I never really minded that they didn't tell us what happened to him. If they bring him back, that is. *g*

And we complain that the show isn’t exciting enough.

Absolutely. Maybe they should think ten years back - TV was horribly boring. I'm so glad I don't mind it when a few of the storylines are repeated (when they are told differently). I didn't mind that in previous seasons and I don't mind it now.

I don't mind it when people don't think it's the best season, but to label it worst show of the year (or 2nd according to Entertainment Weekly), it makes me sad.

Jan. 4th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
thought that EW was being overly harsh as well.

I remember hearing an interview with one of the producers (I think it was Surnow) who said that Logan was still alive.

Thank you for reading.
Jan. 4th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, Season Six. So many possibilities in plot points that didn't get their proper due: the post-nuke panic and fallout, Kim (only one mention! Just one, in 6.01! Gah, we needed an angsty reunion!), Doyle's character development, Logan, Assad ... yeah.

But, still. For all my quibbles, it's one helluva 24-hour period, no matter what the critics say. I think Rachel said it best at one point during the regular season when she said EW's Ken Tucker doesn't like his heroes broken.

You've got me grinning on the Jayne Atkinson front — she is so the Helen Mirren of the 24-verse. *g*

And EEE, Peter MacNicol? Awesome cubed.

"I tripped over your ineptitude, Karen."

Best. Comeback. Ever. Tom Lennox is my homeboy.

One of my favorite eps was the horrifying one where Morris got drilled. I'd loved him for his cheek since he showed up in Day Five, but seeing him struggle to stay strong and then buckle under torture — oh, ow. I think that's when I fell in love with his character. Because he was real and human and that's what a normal person would do!

Jack's subsequent incredulous, "You gave him something that works?" broke my heart — because Jack couldn't imagine giving in, but Morris just couldn't hold out. And of course, knowing that Morris is fallible — a recovering alcoholic, no less — makes me adore the facets of his character even more. (Though it did begin to feel like a Very Special Episode when he took a walk to the convenience store. Still, a very human reaction.)

And, hee, Nine Inch Nails! Excellent song. So glad you've fallen for Trent Reznor's genius. *g*
Jan. 5th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
I like Morris too. I did find the CTU interpersonal soap opera a little tedious. They should give their employees lessons on resisting torture.

I’m glad Kim wasn’t around because she-forgive me-isn’t one of my favorite characters, We did have Himberly (aka Josh Bauer). Notice how they cast a teenage Kiefer Klone.

Marilyn was all the Bauer family I could handle. Jack is SO not running into her arms. “I’ll be there for you, Jack.” In your dreams, Marilyn.

The Day 6 re-watch also made me forgive Donald Sutherland for not accepting the role of Phillip Bauer (which he was rumored to have been offered) on the grounds that it would have been too “…intense and weird.” Disappointing but understandable.
Jan. 6th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
Morris! *luffs*


You're right about all the suds in CTU; it got a little tiring. I'll suspend my disbelief many times over for this show, but after a bit, I was like, "Oh, come on — Valencia just got nuked and you guys are acting like petulant, hormonal sixth-graders! Way to be in charge of national security, guys."

Aw, I won't yell at you for not loving Kim. I know S2 did a lot to put her character six feet under for a lot of fans. It's just that I've got a giant soft spot for her, especially since she's so kicked around in fandom. Plus, her daddy issues alone are an angst writer's wet dream. *g*

"Himberly." *DIES*

Oh, Marilyn. Spoon. Mouth. Gag. But ooh, I loved the Jack-Graem dynamic. They could've scrapped Marilyn from the plot entirely and focused on Graem, Josh and Phillip, and I would've been more than happy. Plus, that makes Phillip's whole heir-fixation resonate even more.

And you're completely right — I had read that Donald's schedule wasn't compatible with the shooting schedule, but yes, that would've been "intense and weird" for both him and Kiefer.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )