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24 – Die Harder

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I love the notion of terrorists taking control of our air traffic control systems, well, I love the idea in film and television anyway.  24, of course, did it last night.  Terribly fun to watch, it was almost as fun as when the terrorists did it in Die Hard 2: Die Harder.  Now, I think Jack Bauer is probably better than John McClane from Live Free or Die Hard, but I don't think he's better than McClane in Die Hard 2, after all, you remember that great ejector seat thing, don't you?  If only Jack's wife wasn't dead, but was onboard one of the planes in the sky, then maybe I'd give the edge to Jack, but bringing back one dead character was enough for 24's first episode of the season I guess.  At least no one at the FAA gave the order last night to "stack'em, pack'em, and rack'em."

Okay, let's forget for a minute that messing with airplanes heading into or out of DC has been done before with great success, I really liked the 24's season premiere.   Turning the once-dead Tony Almeda into a bad guy is, if you ask me, kind of a cop out in terms of villains, even if he doesn't seem to be this season's Big Bad.  No?  Doesn't it seem just a wee bit too easy to have Tony be our bad guy?  After all, please remember, Jack suspected him of being a mole at CTU back in season one (that turned out to be Nina, but that's a different story).

Speaking of moles, I know that I've complained about this in past seasons, but why does there always have to be a mole?  Are we, as an audience, really to believe that each hand every intelligence agency that our government has is infested with moles?  They did get that little bit of the plot out of the way in the premiere though, so hopefully we won't see another mole for the rest of the season… fingers crossed.

As for the single most interesting thing in last night's premiere – hands down that has to be Jack explaining how it's okay for the federal government to be investigating — and quite possibly indicting —  him.  The show is so incredibly right-wing in its view of the world, that I guess someone felt the need to pull it back to the center just a little bit.  I don't think Jack was really saying that he should be convicted, just that investigating and arresting him wasn't necessarily out of line.

But, in the world of 24, as a recent Newsweek article pointed out, Jack is never wrong in his actions.  He tortures people because it's the only way to get his job done and save lives.  As the article suggested, it would be terribly interesting to see Jack torture the wrong person and have to deal with the consequences.  It will be interesting to see if Sen. Blaine Meyer still wants Jack convicted at the end of the day.  In a normal show, Meyer wouldn't, Jack would have done something to convince Meyer that Jack's methods are necessary for the preservation of the free world.  On 24, the season might end with Jack going to prison, just because the producers like to do that sort of thing.  Again, remember, he was arrested by the Chinese once.

Only time will tell what happens to Jack, but happily for me, I'm still interested in finding out and very much looking forward to tonight's two hours.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.