Monday, May 10, 2010

24 8.21: Jack to the Limit

We've seen Jack torture many a suspect before, usually mostly on behalf of national security.   Tonight, in 24 8.21, Jack tortures a Russian sniper/operative all or mostly on behalf of something quite different: personal revenge.   The Russian is the sniper who killed Renee.   As Jack points out to him, the Russian killed her in a way that made her suffer.   This gives Jack motive for the very worst that he can dish out, which he does.

It isn't pretty.  It's certainly not legal.  But it's 100% believable about Jack.  And, horrible as it is to see, maybe warranted.

Jack gets nothing from the sniper.  24 here makes the point, very clearly, that torture accomplishes little or nothing - a refutation in this last season that 24 across-the-board glorifies torture as sound policy in dealing with terrorism.

But Jack figures it out, anyway.  He realizes the torture isn't working.  He gets the sniper's cellphone, retrieves the sim card by cutting open the sniper's stomach (the sniper is conscious) - this last extreme act is at least thoroughly motivated by logic, and does work.  And when Jack puts the sim card into the phone, he sees the last caller was-

Logan.   Enough said.  So now, with just three episodes left of the finale season, Jack is on a collision course with former President Logan, a Nixonian President who may be even worse than Nixon.   What is Jack going to do - torture Logan to get him to reveal his connection to the Russians?   Kill him afterwards?

Torturing a terrorist or a Russian murderer may not be legal or effective, but it could certainly be forgivable by people in high places, especially if it suited their purposes and they needed Jack for something else.   But torturing and/or killing even a disgraced ex-President?

If Jack does any of that, it's hard to see him continuing in any fashion.  Yet I'm sure he will - both confront Logan (which we saw in the coming attractions) and continue.   The next three episodes, in which Jack is pushes to and pushes the very limits, should be extraordinary television.

See also Season 8 reviews: Hours 1 and 2 ... Hours 3 and 4 ... Hour 5 ... Hour 6 ... Hour 7 ... Hour 8 ... Hour 9 ... Hour 10 ... Hour 11 ... Hour 12 ... Hour 13 ... Hour 14 ... Hours 15-16 ... Hour 17 ... Hour 18 ... Hour 19 ... Hour 20

And see also Season 7 reviews: Hours 1 and 2 ... Hours 3 and 4 ... Hour 5 ... Hour 6 ... Hour 7 ... Hour 8 ... Hour 9 ... Hour 10 ... Hours 11-12 ... Hour 13 ... Hour 14 ... Hour 15 ... Hour 16 ... Hour 17 ... Hour 18 ... Hour 19 ... Hour 20 ... Hour 21 ... Hour 22  ... Hours 23-24 



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