DVD Review: 24 - Season Five
Release Date: December 5, 2006
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
· Jon Cassar
· Kiefer Sutherland
· Mary Lynn Rajskub
· Kim Raver
· Jean Smart
· James Morrison
· Official Site
· IMDb: 24
· Sirlinksalot: 24
by Paul Schultz
Published: December 7, 2006
If I had a dollar for every time Jack Bauer barked "do it, NOW!"
or "get down, NOW!", I'd be a rich man. Since I don't, and I'm not, I'm content to just watch the fifth season of Fox's 24 in its entirety on this 7-disc set as the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) field agent repeatedly utters these favorite lines. I enjoy the luxury of resolving an episode's cliffhanger with the press of a button to advance to the next show, rather than dwelling on it for a whole week. Really, this is the way to watch 24 for the health of your heart.
Season 5 was showered with twelve Emmy nominations, and won five Emmy Awards: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Kiefer Sutherland), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore). So, for me to say this show is outstanding would be superfluous. This season provides timely political commentary in the guise of a government conspiracy -- no, that doesn't quite express it -- a government conspiracy of grand proportions. How far will our nation's lust for oil lead to unseemly actions? It just takes one day to answer that question and, oh, what an eventful day it is.
Day 5 begins at 7:00 AM with a bang... literally. Eighteen months have
passed since the "death" of Jack (Sutherland, "The Sentinel")
and he's living a low-key existence as Frank Flynn, an oil refinery laborer
renting out a room from a single mother raising her teenage son. CTU nerd
Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub, "Little Miss Sunshine")
is banging a new co-worker, but is regretting it in the morning light. CTU
couple Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth, "Shooting Vegetarians") and Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard, "10.5: Apocalypse") begin their day by being caught up in a car bomb. And former President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert,
"The Unit"), is composing his memoirs in his brother's penthouse suite. That is, until he's shockingly assassinated.
Big things are happening to the country, as well. President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin, "Star Trek Enterprise") is set to sign an anti-terrorism alliance treaty with the Russian President. Terrorists from the former Soviet Union, led by Vladimir Bierko (Julian Sands, "The
Medallion"), attempt to thwart the unwanted alliance by first taking people hostage inside an airport, then stealing canisters nerve gas which they manage deploy in four locations with varying degrees of success.
Jack is dragged back into the action when he is framed for the murder of the ex-president and agent Dessler. Once back in the swing of things, he learn that the terrorist attacks are authorized by someone high up... way high up. While getting a handle on the reach of the conspiracy, Jack encounters his estranged daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert, "The Girl Next Door") and former girlfriend Audrey Raines (Kim Raver, "Night
at the Museum") who deal with his "revival" in very different ways.
A power struggle between new CTU director Lynn McGill (Sean Astin,
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King") and ex-director Bill Buchanan (James Morrison, "Jarhead") isn't helping matters. Yet another agent, Edgar Stiles (Louis Lombardi, "The Sopranos"), meets an untimely demise, and Chloe's ex-husband Morris (Carlo Rota, "The Boondock Saints") needs to be brought in for assistance, just to show how desperate things have gotten.
Chief of Staff Walt Cummings' (John Allen Nelson, "Vanished") role in killing Palmer is exposed, and so another dead body is added to the pile. New Chief of Staff Mike Novick (Jude Ciccolella, "World Trade Center") has to team up with First Lady Martha Logan (Jean Smart, "I Heart Huckabees") to bring down a sitting president, with Jack firmly in the mix. If that's not enough excitement for you, the day winds down with Jack getting rudely kidnapped by the Chinese, who still want him for the death of the Chinese Consul who was killed in Season 4, and for any other secrets they can beat out of him.
Whew... what a busy day! There's an extraordinarily high body count for
a single day, and plenty of shootings in the head. But, most of all, suspense is sustained throughout the season. Thankfully, the camera-work is intense with minimal quick-closeups during emotional distress that so annoys me
about Battlestar Galactica. Special guests add to the twists of the season, including the aforementioned Astin, Peter Weller ("The
Order") as former CTU head Christopher Henderson, and William Devane ("Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman") as Secretary of Defense James Heller.
Audio Commentaries - 12 optional commentaries are provided for various episodes (and noted in the table below).
Season 6 Prequel - Begins briefly with Jack's capture at the end of Season 5. Events leap forward seven months, with his captors still unsuccessful in extracting information from him regarding a Chinese government agent believed to be working for the United States. Soon enough, Jack is freed by two American covert-ops soldiers, but gets recaptured after a short chase. He inadvertently identifies the sought-after government mole, who is immediately executed. This scene is a nice bonus, while being completely unnecessary and able to stand on its own
apart from the bigger story. (11 minutes)
Season 6 Trailer - Brief trailer for the upcoming season, scheduled to premiere on January 14, 2007 as a two-night, four-hour event.
Unfortunately, there's no new footage, only a recap of Season 5. (1 minute)
Supporting Players - Interviews with various cast members, and the interested lives they lead away from the show. (20 minutes)
Unsung Heroes: 24 Camera Department - A day in the life of camera operators. This interesting featurette shows how several cameras are used to shoot different angles of a particular scene, and how they manage to stay out of each other's way. It's fairly technical and people proudly introduce their various gadgets, like a doohickey that automatically focuses the lenses so the camera operators doesn't have to do it himself. Cool stuff. (40 minutes)
Music by Sean Callery - The composer's tools of the trade and how his craft augments a scene. He demonstrates different emotions that can be conveyed in the same scene by using divergent music themes. (9 minutes)
Logan's Retreat - A walk-through of the Presidential retreat and the revelation that the pool is actually built on-set, despite the difficulty in
upkeep. (6 minutes)
Extended and Deleted Scenes - 23 scenes that can be watched with or without commentary by writer/producer Stephen Kronish and editor Scott Powell. Most seem to have been cut for time. A nice feature is that you can access these scenes with their respective episodes on the other discs. (About 38 minutes total)
100th Episode Reel - For those pressed for time, this montage
highlights all the pertinent action from all the previous seasons up to the
present. (7 minutes)
24: Behind the Scenes Book Sample - After brief introductory comments by Jon Cassar, there's a self-tour stills gallery of photos from the book.
Available Subtitles: Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
24 - Day 5
7:00 AM - 8:00 AMDisc Two
Commentary by Kiefer Sutherland & Jon Cassar
Commentary by Jon Cassar & Howard Gordon
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Commentary by Jon Cassar & Howard Gordon
11:00 AM - 12:00 PMDisc Three
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Commentary by David Fury & John Allen Nelson
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Commentary by Evan Katz & Brad Turner
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Commentary by Tim Iacofano & Julian Sands
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Commentary by by Jean Smart & Greg Itzin
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Commentary by by Matt Michnovetz, Duppy Demetrius, and Nicole Ranadive
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Commentary by by Jon Cassar & Joseph Hodges
10:00 PM - 11:00 PM
11:00 PM - 12:00 AM
12:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Commentary by by Howard Gordon & Mary Lynn Rajskub
1:00 AM - 2:00 AM
2:00 AM - 3:00 AM
3:00 AM - 4:00 AM
Commentary by by Manny Coto & Jude Ciccollela
4:00 AM - 5:00 AM
5:00 AM - 6:00 AM
6:00 AM - 7:00 AM
Commentary by by Bob Cochran & Greg Itzin
Season 6 Prequel
Season 6 Trailer
Unsung Heroes: 24 Camera Department
Music by Sean Callery
Extended and Deleted Scenes
100th Episode Reel
24: Behind the Scenes Book Sample