Saturday, January 20, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 2,3,4: 7-10am

I spoke too soon and jumped the gun. Jack Bauer is not back to form on 24 and the show has taken a major dramatic turn for it. This is not a complaint from me at all and as usual there will be no spoilers in this article. I have just returned from a three hour marathon at my Rent’s house and this season, sorry day looks to be the most intense yet and is bringing up some very serious issues.

24 is a show that has been synonymous with torture since its first season. The show has danced a very fine line between supporting torture and condemning it and the writers have really allowed the viewer to decide for themselves what the show is trying to say on the subject. Torture on 24 is a main character, but is usually applied to the wrong person or produces no results. This would make it seem like the show is anti-torture, but Jack Bauer also always gets the information he needs through torture. It is almost as if the show sometimes says that torture works only if you use the right type. Jack does not think twice to rip a lamp out of the wall and use the exposed wires for some memory refreshment or to shoot a guy’s wife in the leg if he believes the guy is willing to be shot himself. He is very effective at it and the show plays on the Incredible Hulk quote “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

This season we find Jack after he has been the victim of almost two years of torture in China and he is no where near as ready to get back into it as he once was. The torture king has found sympathy at the worst possible time. Just tonight he stops torturing a suspect because he believes the guy will not talk. Five minutes later after some cleaver knife play by another, the guy tells everything. Jack was affected by memories of China and what it felt like. Jack cannot do his job and says as much, but quickly get caught back up in the day’s events and the most surprising, shocking, and any other adjective you want to add ending to an hour of 24 I have ever seen.

I do not do spoilers here, but will say the last 10 minutes of the first 4 hours is a very clear message from the writers to us, the viewers. They basically said that the gloves are off this year and nothing is safe. We cannot rest on the “happy ending” we normally know will come at the end of the season. In ten minutes they changed all the rules of a show that has always broken the rules and shocked an audience that has come to expect shocks. The one-two punch it delivers is something I am going to need a few days to get over to be honest.

I promise to get into some of the other issues being addressed this season in the next update for 24. The ending really took quite a bit out of me honestly. The DVD is out for these first four hours and I really suggest getting it NOW! GO!

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