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24: 6:00PM - 7:00PM

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 3rd 2009 4:15AM

Kiefer Sutherland(S07E11) "I can pull the trigger 128 more times before this battery dies." - Jack

Jack Bauer doing what Jack Bauer does best - torturing one to save many. It only seems appropriate that we heard Jack drop that line in tonight's first hour, immediately following a conversation between Senator Mayer and the President about how the United States shouldn't condone torture. Mayer doesn't. Allison is on the fence. And Jack ... well, we know where he stands.

The entire debate about torture and "how far do you go to save lives" has been at the forefront of this season since the opening minutes as Jack sat in front of the Senate sub-committee at the beginning of the day. Now it's been thrust right back in our faces, and Blaine's, too, as he's now been put in the unique position to witness Jack doing the exact thing he's trying to prosecute him for.


The majority of tonight's first episode was essentially a lot of set up:

  • the "nerd feud" between Chloe and Janis
  • the inevitable showdown between Juma and Ike's son when he finds out that Juma had his father killed
  • Renee's get-a-way from Juma's goons
  • Jack and Juma's showdown in the "high profile, high value" target - the White House
  • Jack and Blaine's showdown about "how far is too far"

The foundation for all these plots was laid, but they're still not going to come to fruition until the next hour. That being said, the foundation was freakin' awesome. Right from the get-go after Jack and Chloe's conversation, the hour didn't let up. From Jack's confrontation with Bill (Was he doing the right thing by leaving him out? I say no.) to Allison's final ultimatum to Burnett, the entire set-up was riveting.

Now that we know Juma and his men are drilling into the bottom of the White House (presumably into some sort of secret caverns meant for Presidential escape), it certainly puts Jack's actions into perspective. I'm thoroughly looking forward to Blaine trying to shoot down Jack's methods while he has a Sangalese rifle shoved in his mouth. That's the best part about this situation - it'll make a believer out of Mayer. I'm thinking something similar to Judge Wexler's court in Ghostbusters II when the Scolari brothers got loose - when that happens, you have to believe.

A few final thoughts --

  • Bill made a good point with Tony - banking only on Burnett's acceptance of an immunity deal was really stupid.
  • Speaking of Burnett, how about Jack trying to convince him to talk? Bauer is like Santa Claus - he's knows if you're been lying, he knows if you've got intel...
  • I know I've mentioned it before, but I still don't get Dubaku and Juma's motivation for coming all the way to Washington DC to kill the President. This guy is orchestrating a civil war! Regardless of the the US troops getting in his way in Sangala, he shouldn't have time to pull this off.

That's all I got. Check back here later for my review of tonight's second hour and the return of Jonas Hodges.

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dreamer

The global warming speech must have been made very quietly, cause I didn't hear it.

March 21 2009 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dreamer

I really loved Jack tasering the phone.

March 21 2009 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ELAINE AND FRANK

WHAT'S WITH THE GLOBAL WARMING SPEECH, I THOUGHT IT WASN'T NECESSARY AND I'M NOT CONVINCED THERE IS ENOUGH PROOF OF IT'S EXISTENCE. MANY SCIENTISTS DISPROVED IT. LIBERAL BULL !

March 10 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nola

My two cents? I think there was no source. I think the source is Tony himself. I think he was planning on helping Juma take the White House because of his anger and hatred of the American Government but then he changed his mind. I think he never quite told Bill the full extent of his workings with Emerson. He was probably just thinking to save the thousands of Americans from dying by the CPI device but he was fine with the President being taught a lesson after all he'd been through.

March 07 2009 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

I hated this first hour. One thing that's annoying me about this season is the constant references to those who hate Jack because he tortures people for the "greater good." The producers and writers are trying too hard to justify Jack's actions. You constantly have the stereotypical liberal who hates torture and causes Jack to defend his actions, then Jack is proven to be correct and torture is always and forever justified. Enough already. If we want to get into a philosophical discussion about when or if torture is a necessary evil in a free society we're not going get that from watching 24. Personally, I think a country like America engaging in torture is a despicable thing, but I still like watching Jack stick the electrodes to a bad guy. Why? Because it's television, for Pete's sake. I'm able to separate the real from the fantasy -- as are most of the audience, for that matter. Stop trying to justify Jack's action. We take for granted Jack feels he must do this, now move on. Of course, on this subject, having read interviews with some of the writers and producers of 24, and knowing many of them vote Democrat and have quite liberal views, I always get annoyed when they create these stereotypical liberals like Senator Mayer. Come on! You can do better than that.

March 03 2009 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment
Tri

Jimmy,

You say it is "despicable", but you don't say what you think ought to have been done. Sure, the show is a comic book canvas, and we have to suspend disbelief to play within its constraints. But if you've seen past episodes, Jack has been on both sides of this debate. He's tortured innocent people to death, and he's done the same with terrorists. A "free world" safe and without enemies is an isolationist utopia. In the small, super-connected world we now find ourselves in, can we really stand by and allow the innocents to be sacrificed in the name of moral superiority? And can we really claim such superiority if we let that happen?

These are the questions 24 asks. Its entertainment, but don't dismiss the question -- its valid for all the ludicrous showbiz manipulation.

And while I am at it, I agree with a comment someone made last week: MI-5 (BBC Spooks) is a much better show.

March 05 2009 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diego M

well we got suspension of disbelief, and didn't they get all the specs of all the security with secret service tracking and from jon voight's character, hodges?

that's why it's not so hard to believe that they got there. it's not like they gonna show all the planning that they did over the months.

of course the timing of it all and the fact that juma himself is there is weird but i truly enjoyed the pay off. it was a great set up

good show

March 03 2009 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jnewman176

kept feeling throughout the show that I kept sensing there were sharks being jumped over between the potomac river and the white house...come on, we're supposed to believe that terrorists from Africa can easily break into the white house security system using a laptop (the white house must use IE and not been downloading updates), and the secret sevice is helpless to do anything? There is a "safe room", but no way for the occupants to phone out? Where is Jack's trusty cell phone? The President of the USA is going to willingly allow herself to be taken hostage by a terrorist and not have expected to be exploited and then killed? Next episode I expect the President to get her leg caught in a bear trap while a mountain lion is nearby (not that that would ever be a plot line).....

March 03 2009 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

That "torture" scene was so audience-manipulative ! My gahd, Burnett's saying "Stop, I'll tell you whatever you want" is the typical anti-torture phrasing that opponents always use. Silly.

I don't know, so much of this and the following episode was just ludicrous but I need to torture myself as to why I keep watching when I swear I won't watch again!

March 03 2009 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

ROTFL, good one.

March 03 2009 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derek

That whole entry into the White House is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. First, they drill underwater from the Potomac into some sub-sub-basement of the WH, when it's almost a mile from the water? Then, they shut-off the James Bond laser grid, and no alarms go off?

But the icing on the cake was how all the secret service agents went "Oh, they have the President? FALL BACK!" That's why they have continuity and transfer of power! You don't just stop and let them *have* the frakking White House! Go in!

Yea 24's awesome and everything, but I've seen episodes of Family Guy that's more believable.

March 03 2009 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Derek's comment

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