’24’: Bumblefest Nears Climax

MK emails a link to a very serious piece of prose on Salon that tries to answer the not-very-tough question: “How real is ’24’?” It’s an over-serious piece that seemingly misses what’s in plain sight: That ’24’ is a prime-time soap with high-explosive props and a main character with major anger-management issues. The writer refers to the show’s Counterterrorism Unit (CTU) and its “ridiculously capable agents.” No! Most of the agents, walk-on types who never get names, are on screen only to provide targets for terrorists. Faithful viewers know they can count on CTU (and everyone else in the U.S. government) to make the wrong choice every time: “Lunch break or try to figure out where that nuclear warhead is?” “Lunch — I could use a bellyful of Wendy’s chili right about now.”

The lone exception is the anger-management-problem guy, Jack Bauer, who has a faultless ability to overcome the bumblers and see through all terrorist machinations. He even died and came back to life one season in his quest to see the bad guys get theirs. But what can one man do against all those evil-doers? Plenty. But Jack’s personal life is much more difficult. As his Cubs-fan sidekick, Tony Almeida, said last night of Jack and his current love interest: “Funny … Yesterday Jack and Audrey were talking about their future together. Now he’s responsible for her husband’s death, and he might have to torture her brother.”

This season’s ending in the next week or two. Last night’s episode ended with a nuclear-armed cruise missile headed for some big city from Iowa. It’s been in the air for more than an hour, so I think Chicago is safe. The rest of the country — watch out.

2 Replies to “’24’: Bumblefest Nears Climax”

  1. Last night’s episode was a pretty pathetic attempt to begin to wind things down on 24. The Tony/Audrey exchange was awful, but what was worse was Jack’s cellphone call to Audrey from the Huey helicopter, en route to the landing area where CTU agents would stage their next assault. Just as he was trying to salvage his love life, Jack is tapped on the shoulder by another CTU agent and brought back to the reality of his job. Talk about soap opera. This is all besides the fact that there’s a missile flying over the US and nobody seems to know where it is or where it’s headed. How is that? CTU satellites can see someone moving through buildings, but they apparently can’t track nuclear missiles.
    Anyway, just when I was ready to be done with 24 for the season, they introduced a new villain to the real plot. She’s wicked, holding Tony hostage, and now I must watch the season finale.

  2. Oh, I forgot about the outing of the defense secretary’s son. If that’s not pure soap, I don’t know what is.

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