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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Second season of ’24’ saves day again

Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), still recovering from his wife’s death, is summoned by his colleagues for his expertise in an escalating situation involving a terrorist threat of nuclear proportions. Meanwhile, President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) must deal with both the terrorist threat and his staff’s fidelity and obedience.

A shaky first four or five episodes worried hardcore fans that “24” had fallen into the “sophomore jinx” category. However, the return of the evil women of the first season, Sherry Palmer (Penny Johnson Jerald) and Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke), gives the show a much-needed spark. For a span of nine episodes (from 3 p.m. to midnight), “24” produces some of the most riveting drama, action and plot twists television has ever seen.

Planes are shot down, Jack interrogates a terrorist, and a there is a tear-jerking phone conversation between father and daughter. The remaining eight hours of the show shift the focus from the nuclear threat to a potential breakout of war, in a situation that — depending on your political affiliation — resembled the events in Iraq.

Storylines include a family of three (a father and two grown daughters) that must reschedule wedding plans for one of the daughters because the groom-to-be is suspected of being involved in the terrorist threat. The accused maintains his innocence and even accuses his future father-in-law of terrorist connections. A game of “He said, he said” tears the family apart.

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Meanwhile President Palmer is dealing with the nuclear threat when his ex-wife, Sherry, returns and tells him that members of the government are conspiring against him.

The worst subplots involve Jack’s daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert), who finds implausible trouble everywhere she goes, but looks good doing it. The only other gripe would be the gratuitous amount of torture/interrogation scenes, only one of which (involving a terrorist’s family) is truly intense.

Sutherland and Haysbert are again outstanding. Their facial expressions, used effectively by cinematographer Rodney Charters, convey the power and intensity that can carry an entire scene.

Sutherland gives Jack a darker, more ruthless character than the Jack of the first season, and Haysbert’s Palmer exudes confidence and resilience in the face of his political adversaries (including his Lady MacBeth-ish ex-wife, who may or may not be helping him).

Other highlights of this season include the character of George Mason (Xander Berkely), arguably the best-developed supporting character for the first two seasons.

George, Jack’s sardonic superior, is exposed to radiation and becomes an unlikely hero as he continues to work on the threat despite his inevitable death. The best moment of season two comes right at the end, when the die-hard fans of the show from the beginning of the first season are rewarded for paying attention.

The second season DVD blows away the first season’s DVD in terms of extra features. Six of the episodes include audio commentaries by varying cast members and producers. A bonus disc contains a plethora of deleted scenes with commentary on why they were deleted and two documentaries on the extra disc also impress, particularly “24 Exposed” and its use of split screens — ridiculous for a documentary of a television show.

“24”- Season Two: A

DVD features: AB