Tuesday, January 23, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 5: 10-11am

For the first time in I do not know how many seasons of 24 I am actually all caught up. I know this is only the second week, but you must understand that the first week was four hours worth. That is an entire month’s dosage in just 48 hours. I was in severe danger of a full over-Bauer-dose.

If you do not watch the show than you must understand that one hour of 24’s assault on your nervous system is like every rollercoaster you have ever been on at the same time. The only break you get is when a commercial is on and those only frustrate you because, unlike other shows this one’s clock is still ticking during the breaks. That means things are happening while we are learning about Taco Bell’s newest constipation inducing concoction or seeing the actor who played dead President Palmer’s ads hawking All State or some other car insurance. Last seasons those ads were really distracting because he had just been killed and there he was telling me about life insurance. Talk about irony.

Tonight’s episode covered 10-11am after, well I can tell you now I suppose. The last ten minutes of last week saw a suitcase nuke explode in Los Angeles. The show had always come close to a major attack and has even had numerous successful small attacks, but this was the first time the terrorists ever fully got one off. We learned in this hour that at least 12,000 are dead with hundreds more at risk of radiation poisoning and there are still four more somewhere out there. Jack, having just shot a good friend to protect a suspect, had quit CTU and collapsed on the ground as the mushroom cloud was seen in the distance. I told you it was an intense ending.

Tonight touched on some of the initial chaos that such an event would unleash and focused more on the White House and how they were going to handle telling the American people and what to do next. The military wanted to bomb every suspected country with three nukes each. “If they want to live in the stone age we can put them in there” or something like that was said. Others wanted to arrest all Muslims living in America and place them in detainment camps and suspend the Constitution for a time. “I want to save my country from extinction and, if fear will do that then yes, I will use fear.” The President had the luxury of a television show reality and wanted to take it slow. “We will respond, but it will be the right response and to the right people” or something like that. I am usually better at quotes to be honest.

This is why I so love 24 to be perfectly honest. I would actually be just as happy if the entire show just focused on 24 hours of how the government would respond instead of the James Bond superhero thing. It is this aspect that forces me to confront my liberal leanings and see where I honestly stand when push comes to shove. 24 will give me the situation and it makes me wonder what I would do. What liberties would I give up if I knew the full details? Is there a place for torture in today’s world really?

24 will present a compelling argument for internment camps only to follow with an Arab family helping a total stranger. They will show you the camp and make you feel safe only to show you the terrorist cells recruiting while in the camp and innocents being beaten and tortured. No matter your political stance on every issue, 24 will make you think and question every one of your beliefs.
As far as the Jack Bauer goes for this hour, he was not much of an element in it. There was a major soap opera inspired twist ending that brought us back to last season for a moment, but I will not say much more on that until later. I am still very happy about this season and invite you to come along.

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