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Ok, Season 8 has already started and I'm back at the wiki. Other than a few scattered edits, I remained on the sidelines during the off-season cause I was quite busy working on another wiki. But now that the season has begun, I'm back as usual. Considering that I'm watching the show on Hulu, I will probably contribute from Tuesdays/Wednesdays onward cause I don't wanna have anything spoiled.
Now, after the first 5 hours, I wanted to share my thoughts on how it's going so far. My overall appreciation of the first few episodes is that I'm not surprised at all. Other than a few glimpses of awesomeness, the season began in a somewhat bland mode, suffering from the same old clichés and the same old routine. Granted, it has been that way through most of the show's life, but - so far - I didn't feel it working as effectively as other seasons. Still, as the fifth hour rolled by, I felt it clicking more on gear with both tension and great performances.
Some random comments:
- Overall, the first two episodes felt kinda bland.
- Just like the last season, President Allison Taylor lacks charisma.
- The chick that played Meredith Reed was pretty bad. And I don't really like that much the guy that plays Omar Hassan either.
- The subplot with Dana Walsh and Kevin Wade is ludicrous. How stupid do you have to be to give your house keys to a psycho? However, it is raised above level by the great performances of both actors. The guy that plays Kevin is excellent.
- The bit with Jack going to Jim Koernig's house, only to be tied and beat up by psycho guard felt like an obvious attempt of the writers to stretch/waste time. It reminded me of last season's safe room runaround with Ule Matobo and wife.
- The usually excellent Doug Hutchison was wasted in a too-brief role. Luckily, an also excellent Jurgen Prochnow seems to be taking his place.
- It was obvious that they would bring her back, but Renee Walker's return felt awfully forced and pulled-by-the-hairs. Sure, Annie Wersching has been spectacular in her performance but I just don't find all that backstory about being undercover all that plausible. I mean, that was supposed to happen before Day 7, and yet during that season, she was portrayed as a mostly naive, by-the-books agent. I can't believe that she went from over-the-edge, tough, undercover agent to naive, by-the-book agent, and back to over-the-edge, tough, etc.
Other random things that I liked:
- The axe bit made me jump in my seat.
- The helicopter explosion was cool too. Of course, it makes you wonder why Davros didn't use the same rocket launcher on Hassan's motorcade, but well.
- The last 20 minutes or so of Day 8: 6:00pm-7:00pm, when Jack gets out of the Koernig's house and tries to warn Cole Ortiz that the President is heading to a trap was excellent.
- The last bit of Day 8: 8:00pm-9:00pm with Renee daring Vladimir was acting genius.
And how 'bout Freddie Prinze, Jr. not sucking, huh? He's been quite good so far. I think I'll add more as it progresses.