(Spoilers, in case you didn't know it)
10. Continued abuse of the "events occur in real time" conceit. Apparently, everything in New York City occurs within five or ten minutes of everything else. This is less egregious than it was when CTU was in L.A., but it's still laughable.
9. Letting CTU be redesigned by rejects from Top Design. Glass walls everywhere, again? Orange? Humongous room-sized displays so that every analyst, janitor, and visitor in the room can see the classified data you're working on? Please.
8. Amping up the Hispanicity of Freddie Prinze's character, Ortiz, by having him pronounce Hispanic last names as if he were speaking Spanish. I realize that Prinze may actually be Hispanic, but that's not the point. He played Fred in the Scooby Doo movies, and I don't think it gets much more Anglo than that. And over-pronouncing "Torres" is silly.
7. Arlo using security drones to spy on sunbathing women. We're not supposed to like Arlo, but every time he's on screen he says or does something obnoxious, and using the drones to play Peeping Tom is too much to ask me to accept. This is the kind of guy who downloads porn and asks co-workers if they want to watch. And he's working at CTU? Don't these people vet their employees? Oh, wait.
6.a. Miscasting Katee Sackhoff: the character as written should be, well, more girly. It's difficult if not impossible for any viewer of BSG to forget Starbuck, and so it's just weird to see Sackhoff batting her eyelashes, cringing, and getting flustered when some two-bit creep starts hassling her. When we heard that Sackhoff was going to appear this season, it's safe to say we assumed she'd be a field agent, a role which suits Sackhoff's physical presence more than the mousy data analyst role does. Does anyone believe that a woman with that face and body would have such a milksap personality?
6.b. Writing Sackhoff's character with such an impossible-to-believe backstory. She has a not-so-buried secret past? Don't these people vet their employees? Oh, wait.
5. Farhad walking away from the accident scene even though CTU and the police had set up a cordon to catch the would-be assassin. What, they couldn't look for 2 different guys? He was wearing a white suit! It's not like he was going to be able to blend in.
4. Agent Freckles has a deep cover with the Russian Mafia? No. The Irish Mob, sure, with her coloring she could pull that off. But there's no way Russian hoods would hang out with her.
3. Jack's completely fine after getting pounded on by the burly NYPD moron. He should have broken bones in his face after that.
2. The new head of CTU is written as more interested in covering his own ass than in realistically assessing and neutralizing any threats. Who put this guy in charge? He's ridiculously blinkered. Prime example: he knows the reporterette, Meredith, is lying about something. But when she finally breaks down and admits her affair with Omar, does he check to see whether the biometric data indicates she's lying? No, he does not. He thinks she's just blowing smoke, but he doesn't even bother to check his own data. Also, I get that he's a really tall guy, but in the fourth hour he started doing this hunching thing that's annoying. Stand up straight, Hastings. You look obsequious to your superiors and condescending to your employees.
1. Writing a NYC cop into a terrorist situation and having him go along with the terrorist's demands. Davros pulls the gun on the cop and his wife and all of sudden starts speaking in a (what we now know to be Russian) accent. At that point, the cop knows he and his wife are dead, so why did he go along with Davros? No way, no how would one of NYPD's finest give in so easily, even if his wife got shot in the leg. She's already dead, she just doesn't know it yet. If he goes along with the terrorist, not only will he and his wife be dead, but the terrorist's targets will be, too. The only chance he has to save either himself or his wife is to fight back. If he gets himself killed in the process, at least he hasn't helped the terrorist advance his plans.
Yeah, I'm still planning to watch the rest of the season. There's enough good (or at least OK) stuff for me to hang in there, but I'm not sure I'll be in for the long haul if they don't clean up some of these messes.