Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Fiendish Plots of Habib Marwan

A Boxed Set Review

I believe that season 4 of 24 is still held as the programs strongest in terms of ratings. It certainly is engaging and different from its predecessors in several ways. First off the season begins with an almost entirely new cast, though many previously established charters do return to the program by its finall, Kim however (much to the joy of many fans who find her annoying) does not. The season also differs in that there is only one primary villain, Habib Marwan (Arnold Vosloo) a Turkish born terrorist leader who heads a surprisingly secular seeming group of Islamic radicals. The Muslim extremist from season 2 seemed pretty true to our expectations of those groups, whereas season 4's badies have no problems working with non-Muslim mercenaries, having very western relationships with women, and hardly mention their religion. Mostly they just want Americans to butt-out of the affairs of other nations, much like the disillusioned former British intelligence officer who was Season 3's final villain.

Of course being open to other allies was probably essential to this group of terrorists, )and keeping the season intersting) as they had a pretty ambitious agenda for day 4: derail a passenger train, kidnap the Secretary of Defense, meltdown a nuclear powerplant, steal a stealth bomber and use it to shoot down Air Force One (leaving the President in a comma), and steal and launch a nuclear missile from Iowa towards a major American city (and who was surprised it turned out to be Los Angeles).

In terms of new characters I liked the Hellers (William Devine and Kim Raver as his daughter), as well a Paul Rains (James Frain) and Edger (Louis Lombardi). Curtis (Roger Cross) was cool, Erin Driscoll (Alberta Wastson) grew on me, and Gregory Itzins vice-president, and later president Charles Logan was great as one of those characters you almost enjoy being annoyed by. Shohreh Aghdashloo of House of Sand and Fog fame made her terrorist mother character something far above any stereo-type. Also the lovely Mia Kirshner's Mandy (though not really a 'new' character, but developed more here then ever before) has the same voice inflection and dark looks of a young Mary-Louise Parker.

Anyways Season 4 was great, though my heart belongs to the dramatic symmetry of Season 2 (and by extension Sarah Winter). Now I am stuck in that wasteland waiting for the Season 5 DVD release.


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

If you buy or rent the DVD boxed-set make sure that you watch the "mobisodes". These are 24 one minute long episodes that tell a parallel story to the events of season 4 set at the D.C. offices of CTU. It's kind of campy and low-budget, and the lead character just can't act worth anything, but its kind of fun.


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