Tuesday is my favorite night of TV this season. Buffy, 24, The Shield, and even if one of them isn't new (or isn't on) there's a pretty good chance at least one of them will be.
24 has had a pretty strong second season... I'm not sure if I think it's better than the first, but there are elements that are certainly as good. I'm hoping and praying that Kim won't be a part of the third season, as her part of the show started out as a stretch and quickly veered into ridiculous (a friend and I have taken to making constant fun of the whole cougar thing). But I am very pleased at how they took what could have been the finale of the season (the bomb going off) and turned it into the catalyst for the last 8 hours and a new conflict, preventing an enormous and costly war. I'm also pleased with how they've introduced new characters fairly late in the game (the foreign intelligence agent who has become Jack's ally, Michelle's former boss, the rogue Coral Snake operative) and made them interesting and important to the ongoing story. If you cut out Kim's part of the story, I'm really happy with tonight's episode, although I'm not entirely sure I follow the plot logic for why Coral Snake guy needed Kate Warner. I'm hoping he was lying about needing her DOD connections, because I couldn't quite figure out how taking her with him was going to help when her using her business connections wouldn't, except that (out of plot necessity) it puts Kate in danger and forces Jack to make a hard choice.
The Shield finished up tonight, and I won't say much about it to avoid spoiling anyone... but if you aren't watching this show, you should be. Fantastic moral ambiguity, amazing direction, strong scripts, great characters and actors, this is a top notch show on every level. The finale of season two wasn't quite the nail-biter that season one was, but it was a great show to finish out a great second season, and has me chomping at the bit to see season three.