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24 - Season 5 Roundtable Review

In preparation of the return of 24 in 24: Live Another Day on May 5th, I am running a series of roundtables to look back at previous seasons of the show. Here is our discussion for season five, involving myself, Sean M, George N and popcultureguy.

Season 1 Roundtable | Season 2 Roundtable | Season 3 Roundtable | Season 4 Roundtable

Overall thoughts on the season?

Bradley: Incredible. Absolutely incredible. The entire season was unpredictable. Everything worked, everything came together to give us a phenomenal season of 24.

Sean: Almost every 24 fan will either list this as their favorite season or in the top three. It started with a bang and never let up. I’m not so sure that killing off so many beloved characters was positive thing for the series in the long run, but it was certainly exciting to watch at the time.

George: One of the best seasons of television and one of top seasons of ‘24’. I loved this season from the moment it started to the moment the last seconds ticked off. It was brilliant how they brought Jack “back from the dead” and immediately into the action. I could watch this season over and over again.

popcultureguy: It’s no wonder that season 5 was the most critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated, fan praised, and highly rated of the show. Came out the gate shocking and strong, felt less filler-y in the middle, and concluded with both a satisfying comeuppance and a surprising cliffhanger. Season 5 was just a perfectly balanced blend of everything that makes “24” entertaining and fun.

Favourite episode of the season? Why?

Bradley: While it wasn’t the best of the season, 7pm-8pm will always be my favourite. Off of the back of killing off Edgar, the show goes and kills Lynn and Tony in the same episode. I loved the way everything was done, from the deaths to Jack threatening Dr. Landes.

Sean: The finale. Seeing President Logan get arrested and escorted away as Palmer’s casket got the 21-gun salute was extremely satisfying. And then finishing the season with the great cliffhanger of Jack being captured/tortured and put on a slow boat to China.

George: I loved the finale. The whole season was spectacular with all of the unexpected deaths and twists that its difficult to choose one episode as my favorite, but the finale capped off the perfect season and did a great job at bridging it with season 6.

popcultureguy: That’s a tough one, there were a lot of great episodes, but I have to go with “Day 5: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.,” the finale. The audience had been cheering for weeks for President Logan to get what was coming to him and seeing him finally, finally exposed – by Martha, no less – was fantastic. And then the cliffhanger – with Jack on a slow boat to China – was the kind that (in the best way) makes you want to rip your hair out because you can’t wait to see what happens next.

How much of a shock was the first episode for you?

Bradley: It was incredible. I would put it down as the best episode of the season, if not the series. The shocking deaths of Palmer and Michelle solidified the fact that this show is not afraid of anything. And that end moment with Jack killing Haas is probably one of the most memorable in the series.

Sean: Killing off two long-running major characters during the opening credits was extremely ballsy. Just as viewers were processing the death of David Palmer, they shocked us with Michelle dying from the car bomb. The writers were making a statement that anything could happen and nobody was safe. The unpredictability of 24 was back.

George: I couldn’t believe what transpired in the first part of the episode. I was genuinely shocked about the deaths and explosions and thought to myself that this was going to be a great season if the writers are willing to go to these lengths right off the bat.

popcultureguy: A big one, a bold statement from the show that, this season, all bets were off and nobody was safe. President Palmer’s assassination was a stunner, but it also made some sense, that he had otherwise served his purpose as a story source and that his death made things personal for Jack. But then immediately blowing up Michelle and Tony really took me by surprise and rammed that point home.

Thoughts on the villains?

Bradley: I thought Julian Sands did a great job as Vladimir Bierko, but he could never match the brilliance of Gregory Itzin’s Charles Logan. Having the President as the main villain was an incredible idea, and Itzin played the role perfectly.

Sean: Christopher Henderson was my favorite villain of the entire series. Being the former director of field operations meant that he knew all of CTU’s protocols and everything Jack would do. And then there’s Logan - it’s hard to top the President of the United States as a bad guy.

George: The stakes were raised pretty high this season so it’s only natural that the villains be equally exciting and treacherous. I really liked the character of Conrad Haas and having Jack’s brother, Graem, be a bad guy was perfect. The best villain of the season was Logan and Jack trying to get him to admit his dealings with the terrorists.

popcultureguy: Taking the oily, spineless President the audience already didn’t like and making him the season’s Big Bad was a genius move that really shook up the political/presidential side of the show and was brilliantly played by Gregory Itzin. But I also thought Julian Sands had real presence as Vladimir Bierko. And I felt making a former mentor of Jack’s (Peter Weller’s Christopher Henderson) a conspirator was a smart move that added another personal dimension to the story.

What did you think about the way President Logan and Martha were portrayed?

Bradley: This was the only season in which I thoroughly enjoyed the Presidential storyline from start to finish. The portrayal of Logan as President was superb, and the immediate switch in his portrayal upon being revealed as a villain was fantastic. Jean Smart was fantastic in the role of Martha. Her first scene is one of my favourite from the show, and while not totally sane, Martha always tried to do what she thought was best and I really enjoyed that.

George: I think they were portrayed well enough, at least President Logan was. Logan was my favorite villain of the season and one of the best of the series. They did a great job with his character and development. I almost wish that Martha would have been a villain as well or helped her husband, but the way she was depicted still worked. I didn’t like her character all that much, but Logan was awesome.

popcultureguy: It goes without saying that Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart gave phenomenal performances all season long. They really captured the complicated history, the love and the hate, between these two people that you’d think they’d worked together for years. And I enjoyed that their dynamic kept shifting based on who had the upper hand, who knew what, who was a liability, etc.

Thanks to all for participating, and thanks to you for reading. We'll be back in a couple of days with season five's roundtable, but for now please leave a comment with your thoughts, and follow us on Twitter at the handles below.

@Bradley_STV | @geonak19 | @24spoilers | @popcultureguy

Bradley Adams
15 year old in England. Love Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, NCIS LA, Person of Interest, Elementary, Criminal Minds, Nikita and Arrow, and the new The Blacklist, Hostages and The Tomorrow People. I am reviewing Person of Interest and The Tomorrow People for Spoiler TV. I run an Arrow blog, ArrowFansUK. Aside from TV, a keen cricketer.

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