Day Five: 2 -3 p.m.
The theme of this week's episode is "acceptable losses." Everyone in the show has an idea of what an acceptable loss could be. For Bill Buchanan and Lynn McGill, they're prepared to sacrifice potentially close to 900 lives in a mall to save hundreds of thousands more by having the terrorists lead them to the other 19 canisters of nerve gas. Then there's Audrey Raines who feels that the lives in the mall shouldn't be put at risk because they can't be certain the terrorists will take them to the canisters and not just kill Jack one he's outlives his usefulness. And then there's President Logan, who the term acceptable loss seems to be whatever he thinks will play best to the press and the American public. Logan's definition changes on an almost minute by minute basis. It's interesting to consider Logan in comparison to David Palmer who agonized over decisions but still made the hard choices and was less concerned with political fall out than doing the right thing. Logan seems to alway be thinking of the polls and his standing in them, rather than doing what's right and taking the hit politically should it come to that.
It's also a good thing that the terrorists are complete idiots at times in this episode. They call up the dead bad guy and Jack basically says, "Yo!" and they give him a time and place to meet. I guess they had no idea that CTU had found their guy but you'd think terrorists hijacking nerve gas would have a few more security procedures in place. Of course, CTU doesn't run background checks so why should the terrorists?
And was it just me or when the terrorists are having long conversations between each other at the mall and the hideout, why didn't CTU do something simple like trace the call? From what I could see, this call was taking place in the more than six second window CTU needs to trace any other call on the show, so why not use that option? Or why not somehow get a fix on the tracking system inside head terrorists cell phone and trace him. If you can find the link in time, you have one unit move in and take the other 19 canisters while Jack kicks butt and takes names at the mall. To me it seems to be a win-win situation and it's not like we haven't seen CTU use that technology before.
I will say this--24 now has a prime way for the Chinese to find out Jack's alive. The video footage from the mall. You can bet it shows up on CNN and Fox News and if it does, surely the Chinese might find out. I do have a feeling that somehow Jack will end up saving China before the day is over and that may lead to them dropping the charges. I can see that logic--you know, he invaded our embassy and killed our diplomats, but he saved us from having Kim visit our country, so I'd say we're even.
And if you think Jack is going to face some kind of repurcussion for violating orders, yeah, you're not watching the same show I am. Don't get me wrong--I love that Jack can take the situation into his own hands and come out of it smelling like a rose, but at some point you wish that realistically it'd backfire on him big time. And that he'd have to deal with the consequences of that in a real way. But it won't happen becuase as we all know Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.
Also along those lines, it's a good thing Jack is not a mere mortal and can shake off being clubbed in the head in two minutes or less. Of course, the man was dead and brought back to life with paddles and five minutes later was running around kicking butt and taking names again...so I guess it's just to be expected.
And Lynn McGill....anyone else feel like he's got no real power or authority or control in any other area of his life, so he's taking it out on everyone under him at CTU. And he really doesn't have that great a grip on the CTU thing since Logan is threatening to pull his power should things not go Logan's way. I'm calling it now--Jack will be running CTU by day's end...