Tuesday, February 06, 2007

24: His Name is Jack Bauer, and He's a Torturer

Jack has a problem. More than one, of course, but one in particular stands out in this episode, and it's the torturing. Call it what you will - questioning, breaking, sweet lady interrogating - he just can't get enough. He gets the shakes early in the episode when his dad kills one of the minions assigned to take them out before he can "question" him, and then he just needs someone to torture. Like Graem. There have been many shocking torture scenes before on 24, but nothing quite like watching Jack grow more steadily kookoo for torture while injecting his brother with increasing doses of a neuroinflammatory. If Jack ever could realize that he has a problem, and it's hurting people (rather, about hurting people), this would be the time. But he can't, because America needs him to torture. Besides, he seems to hit pay dirt, as he always does, by getting Graem to confess that he was the big bad behind season 5, that he arranged Palmer's, Tony's, and Michelle's deaths, and that he was trying to get Jack killed. Because he "loves his country." Graem, if you really loved America, you'd keep Jack alive, because he's the only one keeping the country in one piece.

Although I suppose that if Graem really, really loved America, he'd break under torture and tell him that Philip is his partner in evil. Yep, Papa Bauer is a supervillain too, which only makes sense, given how his sons turned out. Ineffectual Philip just wasn't cutting it at all. (However, that still doesn't explain Kim.) And to prove his evil, Philip kills Graem to prevent him from ever talking. Another Bauer-Bauer showdown is in the works, and I predict maybe five minutes of agonizing before Jack starts torturing his dad. He can't help himself! He has an addiction!

Meanwhile, Fayed and McCarthy the Aussie guy have agreed upon a new nuclear engineer, but because the show is so careful not to tell us his name or show us his face, it has to be someone we know. Unfortunately, CTU's decryption program working to restore the engineer's picture moves ever so slowly, as though it were waiting for Morris to leave to go see his brother in the hospital. So the CTUers don't realize that it's Morris until just before he's kidnapped. He puts up very little resistance, severely disappointing my mom, who points out that even Chloe knew how to handle a gun. Maybe so, but Morris is British. His only weapon is a cutting wit.