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24 - Season 7 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 seven, involving myself, Sean M, George N and popcultureguy.

Season 1 Roundtable | Season 2 Roundtable | Season 3 Roundtable | Season 4 Roundtable | Season 5 Roundtable | Season 6 Roundtable

Overall thoughts on the season?

Bradley: This is my least favourite season. While the change up of everything was interesting, I loathed the way that Tony was portrayed. He was my favourite character from the first five seasons and they ruined him.

Sean: After the poor sixth season, this was a return to form. The location being moved to Washington D.C. was a breath of fresh air after years of being in Los Angeles. The villains were mostly strong throughout, and some great new characters were introduced like Renee Walker and Allison Taylor. Annie Wersching was a fantastic new addition to the cast.

George: I liked Day 7 for a few reasons, besides it being much better than Day 6. I enjoyed the fact that the scenes were now in Washington D.C. and the White House. I think that made all the difference with the change in cities and venue. Also, the upgrade in villains made this season really great as well as bringing back some characters we didn’t expect to see at all.

popcultureguy: A definite improvement over season 6. You have to applaud the show for taking the criticism to heart and shaking things up with a new president, a new setting, a new government agency, etc. And I felt Jack himself had a much stronger personal arc, with his methods being called into question and his facing his mortality after he’s lethally poisoned and his making peace with Kim.

Favourite episode of the season? Why?

Bradley: I would have to say the finale. Seeing Tony be stopped was great, but what was also great was Jack’s real struggle over whether or not to shoot at his former friend. I also enjoyed the ending in that Kim wasn’t going to let Jack die, which considering he had made his peace with it, I was a little surprised - even though 24 isn’t 24 without Jack.

Sean: Episode 8 where Jack and Renee had to rescue First Gentleman Henry Taylor. Great performances, great writing and dialogue, nice action scenes. Jack and Renee having a 45 minute deadline to pull off the impossible had me on the edge of my seat.

George: It’s difficult to choose one favorite episode. One thing that ‘24’ does exceptionally well is their finale’s and I have really liked all the finale’s of each season. Day 7’s finale was great with all the unexpected outcomes and twists. I especially loved Kim stepping up and helping to save her dad and Tony’s story line made so much sense when you look back on Day 7’s events and incorporate the finale.

popcultureguy: “Day 7: 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.” It’s the episode where Bill Buchanan sacrifices himself for the greater good and the hostage crisis in the White House comes to an end. Though I hated losing the actor and the character, I thought they gave Bill Buchanan a heroic exit worthy of him.

What impact did the season being set in the FBI instead of CTU have on the season?

Bradley:The only real change was the regard for any sort of law. The FBI follow the rules while CTU, and Jack in particular, did not. However, the same plot lines cropped up, while by the end it was “CTU Lite”, as Janis called it.

Sean: The FBI felt no different than CTU, unfortunately. The writers repeated all the familiar CTU storylines - moles, secure perimeters being breached, etc. It was a nice idea to switch things up, but I’m not sure why they bothered if they were going to end up repeating the same exact things as before.

George: Although it felt the same as CTU, I think it helped a little. It was good to see a change in venue and I liked that they did it, but I feel the writers could have done a lot more with it.

popcultureguy: Again, you gotta give credit to the writers for attempting to shake up this side of the show (arguably the most formulaic from season to season) with a new government agency and set location. And I liked the contrast in how Jack and Renee operated and how those lines shifted as the day went on. But overall, the difference was pretty negligible.

Was having Tony return as a bad guy a good decision or a bad one?

Bradley: This was possibly the worst idea ever. They totally obliterated his character by making him a bad guy. While his motive seemed remotely sane, I hate how they explained his turn. Tony loved the country, and yet he was willing to kill thousands of people just to get revenge? That is not Tony. He should have stayed dead.

Sean: I like that Tony returned, but didn’t like the twist with him being a bad guy. He killed Larry Moss and then blew up a building full of FBI agents in it among other things. It’s hard for a character to come back from that kind of thing.

George: I think it was a great idea by the writers to bring him back. I would expect nothing less from ‘24’. Although he see-sawed throughout the season and his return was questionable I understand why the writers did it and Tony’s return made sense when you look at the season as a whole. It all came together nicely in the finale.

popcultureguy: My feelings about Tony’s return are decidedly mixed. On one hand, I do really like the actor and the character and it created a charged dynamic with Jack where Tony being back was both a dream come true and a terrible nightmare. On the other, given the circumstances under which he died, Tony’s resurrection always felt to me like a cheat and I think they had him toggle back and forth between good and bad a time too many.

Thoughts on the villains?

Bradley: Excluding Tony, I rather liked the villains. I enjoyed the way that they had Dubaku and Juma for the first half of the season, and then Hodges for the second half. Had either lasted any longer, they probably would have become boring, but as it was they worked well. Jon Voight in particular was outstanding - his line “Let’s play some darts” is a particular favourite of mine.

Sean: The standout villain of the season for me was Jonas Hodges (played by Jon Voight). Benjamin Juma was very intimidating and badass in his brief time. Even the smaller villains, like David Emerson, were great.

George: Best villain of the season was definitely Jonas Hodges. Played by Jon Voight, Jonas was arguably one of the best villains on the entire show. I enjoyed all of his scenes and he always seemed to stay one step ahead of everyone else. Well, maybe not always, but he was a great villain to watch and one of my favorites of the series.

popcultureguy: Well you can’t go wrong casting Jon Voight to play your Big Bad. His Jonas Hodges was a fun villain and a breath of fresh air from the foreign terrorists that populated previous seasons. And I thought Sprague Grayden added some spice as the duplicitous First Daughter.

Thanks to all for participating, and thanks to you for reading. We'll be back in a couple of days with season eight'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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