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Jack Bauer At A Crossroads

by @ 11:42 am on May 22, 2007. Filed under 24, Television

Last night’s 24 season finale wasn’t perfect, but then again this entire season has left much to be desired. Nonetheless, it did bring some closure to what we’ve seen over the past six years, as Jack Bauer comes to terms with what he’s become:

Jack?s soliloquy at the end, addressing Secretary Heller and letting loose all of his frustrations, his pain, and his doubts about himself and what he has become actually tied up some loose ends from the last 4 seasons. Jack Bauer is not unaware of what he has had to do to protect the United States and what the rivers of blood he has had to wade through have made him. He hates himself for what he has become.

As I have noted since the season started, his obsession with Audrey is based on the fact that she is his last link to the world of the normal, the sane. When Jack almost tearfully tells Heller that he wants his life back, he is referring to the first season when life included family, a home he could find refuge in, the support of his wife, the love of his daughter. This veneer of normalcy (despite the problems with both wife and daughter) gave him a psychological grounding that allowed him to justify his work to himself as necessary. He clearly saw himself as a patriot doing good works. Was it pathetic of him to believe that all of that could be recaptured if only he could be with Audrey? Heller thought so as I think we were to believe as well.

As his life darkened in succeeding years and he immersed himself more and more into his work, it became harder to justify what he was doing in the name of the United States alone. In the end, his fanatical determination to get the job done ? to win ? overrode any personal considerations or doubts about the methods he was using. And his accusations against Heller during that excellent acting turn by Kiefer Sutherland revealed a Jack Bauer who knows that he was used by politicians and policy makers as the bluntest of instruments to save their own rotten hides when the security of the United States was on the line. All they had to do was appeal to his patriotism and point him toward the terrorists. Jack did the rest and made them all look good.

And, now, apparently, all of that is at an end. Where that takes the show, we’ll have to wait until January to find out.

In the meantime, Fox and American Express are running a short webisode series called 24:Debrief which is also on YouTube:

Update: In the comments, Riley Not O’Reilly gives us a tip of an animated prequel to Season One. Which, not surprisingly, is also showing up on YouTube:

2 Responses to “Jack Bauer At A Crossroads”

  1. They’re also running an animated 24 prequel series of webisodes called “Day Zero” here: (Sponsored by Degree for men deoderant.)

  2. Nice catch with the “Debrief” webisodes!

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