Monday, January 24, 2005

24x4x6: Innovation And Confusion

I must say the writers at Fox have thrown a googly with this season of the thriller-drama "24" (I'd call it a chinaman, but their apparent bias leads one to believe they are not left-handed).

In case you have not been following this season, a brief synopsis: Jack's boss, the SecDef was kidnapped by a terror outfit from Turkey; Jack, having recovered from his cold turkey after Season 3 goes on the hunt for the terrorists with a brief stint as hold-up cowboy. The terrorist masterminds seem to be a sleeper cell of All-American Turks, including a young Turk, who's been influenced by the West, and whose mother kills his girlfriend to keep the mission on track. The terrorists had threatened to execute the SecDef and Jack had traced their hideout, perhaps too late.

This week, things took a few unexpected twists. The SecDef was rescued after a heated gunbattle between Jack and the terrorists, the young Turk was sent off to join his late girlfriend, driving his mother to the brink of rebellion, and a deeper, darker plot was hinted at, involving, perhaps, YADC (Yet another DefContractor). Cutting edge themes like steganographic trojan horses being transmitted in cyber-feeds are hinted at, and at least one traitor unmasked. Significant co-branding was observed, including FoxNews and the Heritage Foundation.

The plot twist in this part of the show is preferable to stretching out a single storyline interminably with inane, unrelated subplots, as in Season 3. The story can go many ways from this fork - I predict a combination of old friends turned new enemies, and internet-related cybercrime, along with a threat larger than any faced before by this fictional America.

Stay tuned.

Note: For those interested in the distinction between a chinaman and a googly, these are cricket terms for unusual and difficult spin bowling techniques.
Googly bowlers are basically Right handed Leg spin bowlers and
Chinaman bowlers are basically Left handed Leg spin bowlers (Another definition here). Chumbawumba actually has a song about these terms "Where did the Chinaman Go?"
Where did the chinaman go?
Where did the chinaman go?
Bowled out of favor when the paceman move in
As pitches got faster with no turn or spin
"Bowl faster, bowl at him, bowl bodyline
If we can't get him out, we'll make him retire!"
Where did the chinaman go?
Where did the chinaman go?
Where did the googly go?
Where did the googly go?
Who still bowls a googly in this day and age?
When bouncers and beamers are all the rage
Forced to take guard with helmet and visor
Awaiting the arrival of Slazenger armor
Where did the googly go?
Where did the googly go?
Bring back the chinaman
Bring back the googly
And long live Dicky Bird

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