Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Jack Bauer's Gone Nuts, Plus He Looked Like a Clone Trooper, Or Maybe Iron Man in That Stupid Mask
After a strong start, this final season of 24 has been bumpy and has had some dreadful patches -- like the business with Dana Walsh and her ex-con boyfriend, as well as the probation officer storyline, whose body is rotting inside CTU walls -- but in the last few weeks, 24 had seemed as though it had picked up and redeemed itself. Loved the political intrigue, Chloe as the head of CTU and I’ve been a fan of the President Allison Taylor character.
Then came the last two episodes when 24 writers decided to have Jack Bauer completely unravel and go on a brutal killing spree and perform a vicious vivisection, only to be topped by that atrocious scene where he donned a ridiculous mask and stomped on the front windshield of the conniving former President Charles Logan's limo as Logan's eyes bulged in fear. Jack shoved a canister of tear gas into the hole in the windshield, forcing Logan to exit the vehicle so Jack could drag him away and terrorize Logan into revealing the names of those in Russian government who ordered the murder of Renee Walker.
While I understand that the writers may be trying to set up a situation where viewers would accept Jack’s death in the series finale – I am NOT privy to any inside information but I’m convinced Jack’ll die in the final moments – they’ve gone overboard. Jack has always lived in the gray area, committing evil acts if they were a means to an end of protecting people and the nation, of preventing terrorism and war, even if it meant torturing his own brother and facing off against his father in the process of ultimately doing good. But Jack’s never been as patently vicious as he has been in the past two episodes, acting as though his moral compass is as busted as that limo windshield. He’s not saving people right now, he’d exterminating them.
There were plenty of other ways to have Jack evade federal government officials, his CTU colleagues and the goons Logan hired, all in order to do the right thing and expose the presidential cover-up of the Russians’ involvement in President Hassan’s assassination without having the character morph into a grief-stricken, soulless killer bent on revenge, who occasionally dons Iron Man-like masks when he's breaking up a presidential motorcade. They didn't have to have the hero, Jack Bauer, become a terminator.
Anyone else turned off by Jack’s last two horrifically bad hours?
Image credit: Fox via BSC.