24 Day 8: 12 a.m.-1 a.m.

Dana...or is it Jenny?

Now that Jenny’s trashy ex has been perforated by his partner-in-crime, Nick (who was in turn aerated by Cole), can 24 please get back to the matter at hand – those missing uranium fuel rods?

Dana’s out-of-office domestic intrigue detour has been a terrible drag on the excitement of Day 8. In a lot of ways this season has been a return to form for Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as well as 24 itself. Unfortunately the back-to-basics approach seems have been a warts-and-all transformation, meaning the dull, credibility-stretching subplots are back (Remember Chloe and the baby? Zzzzz…). Has anyone ever labored in an office where the co-workers so worried about one another’s business? Whenever Arlo (John Boyd) wasn’t sexually harassing Dana, he was demanding to know who was talking to on the phone. I know these people are engaged in counterintelligence, but that kind of snooping beggars the imagination.

And viewers have already been asked to suspend their disbelief to accept one of the central premises of the refurbished CTU: Freddie Prinze Jr. as the lead field agent for an anti-terror organization. Now, Prinze may be a pleasant-enough comic actor, but he looks 14 years old. No way is this kid the go-to guy with Jack out of the picture. Cole Ortiz isn’t even Curtis.

Understand, I am a huge fan of Katee Sackhoff (Jenny/Dana), but this storyline has been a giant disappointment for her. She has had absolutely no opportunity to show viewers the charismatic brilliance she displayed as Battlestar Galactica’s Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. Heck, even her gig on the Bionic Woman reboot gave her more chances to shine. As Kara, Sackhoff was magnetic; as Dana, she is passive and reactive. I can understand Sackhoff wanting to show some range, but I really have little interest in seeing CTU’s crack data analyst crack like an eggshell when that loser Kevin showed his squirrely face. I hope the-powers-that-be give Jenny a chance to return to form as Dana and really contribute to the story.

Perhaps she can save us all from the annoyingly nosy Arlo!