We have been watching number 2 of the television series “24” and I have to admit it has kept us gripped just as the first 24 hours did. We still have twelve hours left but somehow I doubt very much if we will want to go beyond the second round. (I believe there are eight in all). It is certainly ingenious with all its twists and turns, goodies and baddies, especially the Agatha Christie type guess who dunnit, but it is beginning, for me anyway, to strain credibility rather. Let us consider our hero Jack Bauer’s (Keifer Sutherland) daughter, Kim. In the first series she was kidnapped, if I remember correctly not once but twice, escaped death a couple of times, survived a quite spectacular car wreck and at the end saw her mother killed. In this one she is baby-sitting a psychopath’s daughter and, although innocent, is accused of murder and kidnapping in her attempt to get the child away from her father and the discovery of the man’s wife in the trunk of his car she and her boyfriend have commandeered. She is now involved in yet another car crash when the police vehicle taking them in is set on fire by the boyfriend and the driver loses control, as he would of course because he doesn’t think of just pulling up and evacuating the vehicle. Leaving the police officer and the injured boyfriend in the upturned vehicle from which she manages to clamber out she runs away. Naturally the terrain is forest so she gets lost, gets caught in a trap, is threatened momentarily by a cougar and is eventually rescued by a guy named Lonnie who takes her to his cabin in the wood. At first he is pretty decent but we know perfectly well it ain’t going to stay that way. She tells him she can’t go back to L.A. because of this terrorist threat of a nuclear bomb. Lonnie says he always believed this would happen and shows her the bomb-shelter he has built. Now this is where the imagination boggles slightly. This shelter isn’t just a hole in the ground. This shelter is thirty foot down, reached by a spiral staircase and ends in a tunnel and blast proof chamber. ‘You did this yourself?’ Kim asks. ‘Yeah,’ Lonnie replies, ‘Took me two years.’ Sorry, I just don’t wear it. Chris and Douglas have no problems with it; I am obviously a cynic. The second question I ask is where did Lonnie get the money from to build something that must have cost all of a quarter of a million dollars when he’s a loner who lives in a little wood cabin? Why should we second guess it? He was left it an inheritance? He robbed a bank? What? He is too young to have made it. Douglas and I said simultaneously, ‘Where the hell is all this electricity coming from?’ Okay so far? Right – Kim looks around and sees all sorts of nasty things like knives and guns, panics and is up the spiral staircase faster than you can say knives and guns her excuse being, when Lonnie questions her, that she suffered a bout of claustrophobia. So now he is ready to take her back to the freeway but at this moment a car approaches (of course) and it is the ranger come looking for her. Lonnie denies he has seen her, the ranger drives away, Lonnie, having heard the words murder and kidnapping now feels he can get up to that nastiness promised earlier. He makes believe through a portable radio that the bomb in LA has gone off and he and Kin should take shelter from the fallout and so he gets her back down the spiral staircase…
I’m afraid were I a script editor or a producer I would never have countenanced this storyline. Lonnie can attempt to have his wicked way with Kim in the locked wood cabin but I suppose the shelter makes for better drama. Or does it?
With the trauma the poor girl has suffered in the first 24 hours and now this; if she doesn’t end up a basket case she will start to look like the world’s oldest woman and I never again want to hear Jack Bauer say, ‘Find my daughter, please!’
Kerchunk Kerchunk Kerchunk Kerchunk.