'24' boss to fans: 'Be patient with Dana'

katee-sackhoffImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/FoxNot since Elisha Cuthbert tangled with that cougar back in season 2 has a 24 story line been subject to such widespread ridicule as the current imbroglio involving Katee Sackhoff’s CTU analyst/mole, Dana Walsh. And rest assured, executive producer Howard Gordon — who’s currently overseeing production of the show’s series finale — is well aware of just how poorly the plot has been received.

“God almighty there has been a Dana backlash,” bemoans Gordon, who argues that “thrillers have a finite number of tropes. It’s like saying, ‘Another murder on CSI? Are you kidding?!’ Moles and betrayals are the stock-in-trade of the show.

“I understand how it appears [to be] tiresome and lazy storytelling, but I really would betray anyone to try to sit in our chair and figure out how to do 24 continuous, real-time episodes, without using certain devices,” the exec continues. “I would implore people to be more patient with Dana.”

What say you? Do you have any more patience to spare when it comes to the Dana plot? And do you think it deserves the title of 24‘s second dopiest plot ever? Sound off below! (Reporting by Lynette Rice)


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  • Rick Moyer

    It is really hard to suspend belief that CTU didn’t check her background better, and then the whole tied up with terrorist things is laughable. Duh. I wish it weren’t happening. Poor Starbuck.


    • Dani

      I get that we have to suspend disbelief sometimes and can kinda overlook the usual “CTU mole” element and the apparent lack of background checks… but the thing that frustrates me and probably others is not that she was revealed as a mole, but it made all the drama with Kevin the ex and the bounty hunter as making no sense and a waste of time. If she’s such a capable infiltrator, why was she cowering to him and didn’t just eliminate them at the first opportunity? Also anytime that she was away from her desk kept her out of doing her mole activities and could’ve gotten her fired, making her useless to whatever scheme she’s a part of. The only thing about her story now that is even remotely intriguing to me is that she is following oreders from someone else: because she told Samir, “My instructions were to assist you, not blow my cover”…… which leads me to believe that the discovery of this secondary agenda will be the basis of the rest of the season. Bummer, because so far it feels like KS and Stephen Root have been wasted here so far… imho

      • CG

        Dani, couldn’t agree with you more. I thought the same thing.

      • Jennifer

        I completely agree. It’s like that whole mess of a few hours was just so Stephen Root’s character could stop by for a chat just so she could kill him and the show could say “Oh, by the way she’s a mole”. Like I’ve said before, Sybil better pick a personality and stick with it.

      • renee

        agree rick and dani. i can suspend belief. i can’t play stupid and be insulted. add that i saw the dana traitor plot coming two miles out, and i now use tivo so i can fast forward through dana.

    • Howard Zen

      People are still watching this crap? There hasn’t been a good season since #5, and that was fairly ridiculous. Just give it up!!!

      • Karl

        Season 6 was the ridiculous season. The first four eps were great; after that… not so much.

      • Dylan

        Season 7 was one of the best. Definitely up there with 5.

      • beans

        Go away and watch Dancing with the Stars

    • Kevin

      This show has always had below average script writing. It has been so bad as to be fairly called “lazy” for years. That said, this storyline is AWFUL TV, caused me to totally stop watching this show and began my open rooting for it to be cancelled. A movie franchise? No thank you – I wouldn’t watch any more of this garbage for free, now you expect people to pay?

      • tom

        Kevin you are spot on. I have watched every 24 until this year. after a few episode the dana character drove me back to the library and reading some good books. How much patience does Howard Gordon think his viewers have?

    • Tracy

      The only way to correct the Dana situation is for Jack to catch her and torture her for information. That girl deserves a beating at this point – and Jack’s just the guy for the job.

      • stacy

        That is a great idea!

      • Chica

        I TOTALLY agree!! I would absolutely LOVE to see Jack or maybe even Chloe to torture her sneaky rear-end!! You know Chloe can’t stand her and since Chloe came out of her shell and tossed some authority around.. maybe she can now get some stress release by torturing the crap out of Dana!!

  • George

    Honestly, I can’t stand her.

    • Minnie

      I can’t stand her either, so when she gets what’s coming to her, it’ll be swell!

      • Minnie

        P.S. But I LOVE 24. Always have. It’s an amazing show. (Cherry Jones is my favorite President so hope she makes it to the film version.) It’s just that Dana is a villainess and I want Jack to take her out.

      • jules

        Sorry Minnie…have to disagree with you there. David Palmer was, hands down, the best one.

      • Abby

        I can’t stand her facial expressions, it looks like she is constantly eating lemons. And for a group of people who work to take down terrorists all day long I don’t understand how they don’t catch Dana’s extremely obvious “I’m guilty” face. I’ve always wanted to watch Battlestar Galactica, but I think she might ruin it for me now.

      • T

        Starbuck and Dana Walsh are two TOTALLY different people! Katee rocked in Battlestar Galactica, which I believe is one of the best shows that’s ever been on TV. Don’t let whatever this mess is that’s going on right now stop you from enjoying that fantastic show!

      • Sen

        Abby- You read my mind! I was totally getting ready to watch BSG this summer, but now, I think “Dana” has ruined the image. Although, friends have said she is not as bad on BSG, I’m never going to be able to get the Dana image out of my mind…

    • tvfan

      I hate the character, not the actress. However, the writing has soooo bad this season, I am only hanging in there because this is the end…

  • Kristine

    Dana would have been more relevant if she’d be the mole from the get-go. Instead we were subjected to the first 12 hours of the show where she was hanging out with Kevin and his friend for massive amounts of time. And sadly, I ended up liking Kevin best of all.

    I will miss Jack Bauer being on TV every week in the years to come. But will I miss the rest of 24? Not as much.

    • Growler

      Agree with Kristine. Look, I am NEVER going to say 24 jumps the shark! I have loved the show, and I know the unique challenges they face. But the problem this time is they went out of their way to make Dana into such a lame, dumb@ss character that by the time she was revealed as the mole, it was more an eyeroll than an “oh cool!” moment.

      I had speculated after the reveal that maybe she’d be a double-agent, but after watching scenes for the 2-hour special next week, it’s pretty clear that isn’t the case. At least it appears she’s been outed quickly. Let’s hope.

      • Dani

        I agree. I pretty much was saying that if there is a mole, it can only be Dana or Arlo… My opinion is that it could’ve came off better/and perhaps a bit of a shock if Dana was the portrayed as the picture of efficiency, perhaps either butting heads and/or helpful to Chloe but still always on top of things and the n to be revealed would’ve been more effective imho….

    • Jimmy

      Agreed. The whole former boyfriend plot was totally counter to how they are now portraying the character. Even now it still makes no sense to the overall story. But hey, I’m in to the end so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

      • James


    • Kenn

      I still remember the first ten minutes of season 5 when they got rid of Tony, Michelle, and Palmer. 24 hasn’t created a secondary character I’ve liked since.. there was Bill… but yeah

  • CoreyNYC

    Obviously she is going to be a double agent and ultimately help Jack & CTU defeat the bad guys.

    Largely because of the Dana Walsh plots, this season has been horrible. Though thankfully it has gotten better the last 2 weeks.http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/popwatch/btn_postcomment.gif

  • Jim

    All will be forgiven if Cole Ortiz puts a gruesome end to her. That’s all I want to see.

    • Nicole


    • C.J.

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Nick C

      WORD Jim,WORD!

      COLE rules…

  • Robert

    I’d just love to know how Dana had all the time in the first 6-7 hours to deal with her ex-boyfriend, including spending half her time on the phone with him, while she’s supposedly on the phone with the terrorists the whole time. It’s lazy writing, with an unnecessary and useless subplot.

    I expected her to be a traitor, because she’s incompetent, and that’s the only reason she’d still be there.

    24 has been lousy this year, for numerous reasons (Renee’s psychological break and messed up timeline, the ridiculous coup last week, Aldo, the horrific casting choice that was Freddie Prinze Jr), but no reason more than Dana and her subplots.

    • jason

      what do youse mean. freddie sounds just like a noo yawka.

  • pedro

    SOOO many worse storylines
    Not even worst 5. Maya driscoll, palmer season, baby, kim, all of season 6. Geez people have no patience! Relax!

    • harry

      yes people should take a chill pill!

    • ksoze

      I liked the Palmer subplots.

    • JaySin420

      24 has gone downhill fast since the Marwan season but this year is BY FAR the worst ever.

    • Kenn

      You forgot the amnesia storyline, Kim and her adventure through the woods, the president’s daughter trying a coverup, the first 5 episodes of the Warner family, touche on mentioning all of season 6 though

  • Gene

    I think Mr. Gordon is making excuses if he’s pulling the “you try this job” card instead of taking responsibility for a very bad plot line. I know writing for a TV show isn’t easy, but I feel like they should have seen this coming, they should have looked at how bad this was looking and they should have not made it last over half the season. The most annoying thing about the Dana Walsh plotline, which was parallel to Kim’s season 2 storyline (unrelated random peril), seems to thankfully be over. Since the character is so hated, I’m thinking his logic is that it will feel that much better when she dies, but I have to immediately say that it wasn’t worth it. If all of poor Sachoff’s scenes were cut out of the show, this would have been another season 4 or even 5. But at least it’s not as bad as season 6.

    • Jane

      Seriously. Remember when Lost got pretty bad for awhile and Lindeloff & Cuse admitted it was pretty bad? They didn’t make excuses- they gave the show a definitive exit date and the writing got so much better. Shame on you Gordon for telling us to see things from your POV. You get paid millions of dollars, so earn it!

      • WhoMe

        wow what a bunch of ingrates, its a friggin tv show

    • Doremifah Solatido

      Dead on correct – what the hell kind of excuse is “Hey, writing creatively is a tough job – like it or lump it.” Well, enough people lumped it to kill the whole franchise this year. This is why Hollywood puts out so much garbage, remaking utter crap like “Clash of the Titans”, “Alvin & The Chipmunks” and “Bewithched”. Nobody can come up with a decent original idea anymore because it’s too hard. Idiots.

  • Jon

    Poor Sachoff, she’s a great actress, she coulda been a contender; instead she’s Dana in a terrible storyline. Hope this doesn’t erase all the goodwill she earned in BSG.
    And no, we don’t forgive the writers. they should’ve known better. I expected more of 24 than this.

    • Chenzo

      Her Career’s Credibility seems to have dissapeared on that ancient Earth along with Starbuck. She’s got some repair work to do before I buy into anything she’s in again.
      Also, 24 jumped it’s shark years ago people! After the second or third nuclear attack on U.S. soil or presidential assasination attempt, CTU would’ve been shut down faster than the Heinz factory during a tomato scare.

      • Jane

        I thought they jumped the shark when Leland Palmer’s idiot brother became President too. Fortunately that didn’t last long.

      • Chappel

        “Leland Palmer”?? Is his daughter Laura also in the show? She’d be a good mole. But agent Cooper would sniff her out quick enough after a good hot cup of Joe.

      • Lea

        Actually, after at least day 3, and probably day 2, Jack would have said, “I don’t get paid enough for this #@#$” and quit.

      • Mark

        Leland Palmer is Bob and the owls are not what they seem!

      • James

        It seems like they jumped the shark when they said they couldn’t torture anymore. Season 7 at least addressed this. I’m basing my current continuous watching on the fact that 24, with its flaws, has been the best TV show in our modern era.

        However, torture could also be defined as any time Dana’s character is on screen not dying.

    • Cdog923

      I’m going to go ahead and just say she’s not a very good actress.

      • tex

        but she is though

      • tipsy

        Damn right! She was so overrated in BSG that I knew this would not work.

      • Justin

        Hey now, you don’t know how hard it is to harshly whisper into your hair while glaring menacingly at everyone.

  • Kpryde

    hey Mike, Its Sackhoff.

  • LG

    It’s not that there’s another mole at CTU – it’s like Rick said, she works for a government agency and they didn’t do a better background check? That’s lazy storytelling to me. Hopefully she will not be around much longer.

    • Wait..

      Maybe the person in charge of background checks at CTU is also a mole!

      • tvgirl48

        Lol that is so perfect! That would explain so much.

    • Lockly

      Yep — and since we saw her when she was alone, it is clear that they didn’t know she was going to be a mole at that point. It’s so “added at the last minute.”

  • Will

    I think he used “betray” when he meant to use “defy”. It’s a sad excuse, which leads one to believe that the show should’ve been canceled years ago, due to its “limited tropes”…

  • Matt

    I don’t think Howard Gordon gets it. It’s not that Dana is another mole its that her storylines from the moment we’ve seen her have been downright awful. I don’t think anyone would have complained as much if she had an interesting storyline. The turn itself was done in a pretty cool way, it’s just that her character sucks.

    • Mels

      Definitely agree with everything you said. I can’t stand her character.

    • BruceMpls

      You’re right about the storyline. There are more things wrong than right about it starting with having an affair with a fellow worker. And all the nonsense about the ex-boyfriend, stealing right in the middle of her “mole activities” and probation officer crap, it all makes no sense what-so-ever as to how a mole would probably work. Plain and simple, no one ever stood back and looked at the Dana character and said, does this work?

  • Joe

    lazy writers. dana’s plot line is horrible

    • BruceMpls

      The plot line of the probation officer (PO) is even worse. Here CTU is in the middle of a national crisis and we have the PO roaming the halls. He is concerned about one ex-con who might be in trouble. Well, hell, that’s a good enough reason during the crisis to put some of CTU’s resources to work helping him with his one ex-con. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • laura

    I want to see Renee kick her ass.

    • Tony

      Yeah! Renee and Dana in a girl fight, rolling around together. That would be hot.

      • CTUChief

        Oh man…don’t get me started on that…I would love to see them go at it. Now that’s a story line that would draw viewers!

      • Justin

        that is a great idea..

    • Lisa

      I want to see CHLOE kick her ass!!

      • Jackee


      • janeyre

        Bravo… Chloe to the rescue… Dana would be minced meat…

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