Thursday, October 17, 2013

24 @ 24: Day One, 5:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M.

As the sun rises on this first day of 24, I've noticed that the show has started to draw parallels between Jack Bauer and David Palmer.

In these four episodes alone, this has become especially evident. On the one hand we have Bauer, counter-terrorism super-agent. He's virtuous in the sense that his ultimate mission is to protect the country, but in kidnapping Nina (Sarah Clarke) and potentially being framed for an attempted assassination on Palmer, it's obvious he's willing to take extreme measures to do so. Yes, he was being manipulated by Gaines (Michael Massee), the apparent mastermind behind this convoluted plot. But note how, from the very beginning, he's been breaking protocol in the name of the mission. He's making progress, but at what cost to those around him?

Palmer, on the other hand, has based his campaign on "integrity," and he seems to be an exemplar of that. Everyone around him - including (especially?) his wife (Penny Johnson Jerald) - is intent on convincing him to keep quiet about his son accidentally killing his daughter's rapist seven years prior. Even Keith (Vicellous Shannon) is against it, fearing that his dad his throwing him under the bus just to save his campaign. Palmer's intention is more pure, though - he feels morally wrong about covering it up, and wants to come clean with the voters. Whereas Bauer is using questionable means for "the greater good," Palmer's trying hard to do good in a world where it's easer to be easy.

It's an interesting contrast going forward, and it'll be interesting to see if Palmer's asked to compromise that integrity he prides himself on later.

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