Despite a killer cast lineup, CBS's run at Israeli adaptations has yet to redeem itself. Is it a thrilling plot, full of secrecy and double crosses? Yes. But do we care? Nah, not really. They made a few slight inroads into getting to know the hostage-takers this episode, which has built me a fragile bridge of interest, but without either a) a deeper explanation of the conspiracy theories and political machinations or b) a complex family dynamic that keeps me invested, this show just isn't getting me in the gut like it should.
One of the reasons the first season of 24 was so genius was that you had zero doubt concerning Jack Bauer's love for both his family and country, and watching where that drove him is what made the twists of the plot so rewarding. It had all of the tension and intrigue that Hostages is trying to create, with the addition of creating a real exchange between viewer and character.
Here, we have no Bauer family. At this point, I would even take Teri and her ridiculous amnesia over the limp victim noodles that are son, daughter, and father alike. The daughter's boyfriend deserves so much better, I was only disappointed that the drug dealer let the son off so easily, and I'm not buying the husband's eleventh hour bid for nobility.
Toni is the only character that does anything other than passively accept her status. She's fairly clever in her problem solving, but even she can't be the Jack Bauer, because I don't buy that she really loves her family. They haven't convinced me in the writing--and believe me, if they can convince me that Kim should live for Jack's sake, anything is possible.
I attribute a main reason for my disconnect with the son and daughter's plights to a common television narrative device: they exhibit teenagers in their worst light, where they withhold information and then act enraged that no one around them knows their pain. Then, they use the careful reveal of pieces of the truth as a tool to make their parents feel like trash.
It's possibly a good thing I'm not a parent. I'd take them back to the pound if they ever acted like that.
I end with a nod to the choice to show both Dylan and the weasley chief of staff show facial expressions that betray desperation in quick succession. I thought Dylan couldn't be any sexier--and then they compared him to that.