seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sat, 2006-02-18 22:18

You can look the other way once and it’s no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time and pretty soon that’s all you’re doing because that’s how you think things are done.
You know the guys I blew the whistle on. You think they were the bad guys—cause they weren’t. They weren’t the bad guy--they were just like you and me, except they compromised--ONCE.

Jack Bauer - the hero of "24" This is from season one, hour one.

Choices and Decisions are the heart of '24'

Rowlf's picture

~~ Near the end of Matrix-Reloaded, Neo sums up The Architect's challenge as: "Choices. It's all about choices." --- Indeed, human life is all about such (as some threads on this blog have shown), most especially, in crisis situations.

~~ And '24' is definitely all about those (made frequently, chronically and especially by 1, but not  only him) who put their lives-and-careers on-the-line re crisis situations. This includes 'bad guys'...who randomly seem 'well-intentioned.'

~~ My fascination with the series is that Jack is chronically faced with not only new choices/decisions to make (and they'd better be correct, else...bad news, man!) as the story progresses (and developments REQUIRE new choices/decisions), but also extremely hard ones; ones that require utter ruthlessness in carrying out what you KNOW is needed to do, but, you KNOW you really don't 'want' to; conflicts of 'mixed feelings' with 'perception-of-necessities'. These are often not merely tactical-oriented but clearly, specifically moral-oriented choices/decisions. --- Talk about 'principle'-oriented persons/problems! (The trick for the viewers is: identifying the 'principles'!!!...and...which is the 'best' to work from!)

~~ And then there's the constant, petty, bureaucratic turf-war 'politics' that are clearly a hindrance to accomplishing anything, which he's got to know how to maneuver around/through!

~~ One occasionally might be non-plussed by the alternative he picks, but hindsight on it is definitely thought-provoking. 1) In that situation, would *I* have done what he did (such as [can we say 'illegally'?] executing Victor Drazen)? 2) Should *I* have kept secret (from the organization I 'respect') that I allowed myself to become a 'rogue' executioner? Indeed, 3) re chopping my partner's arm off, could I have had the wherewithal to do it...soon enough? Then there's 4) the mental skill of keeping your wits about you, such as being aware that the threatened school has a refrig in a lab (you've glanced at the bldg schematics) that'd be useful in delimiting surrounding-environmental effects of a timed lethal-virus-sprayer (obtained from the chopped arm) whose timer is closely approaching t=0?

~~  Of course, there's the shooting, explosions, and tension in terms of 'Will s/he make it?' (whatever goals conflicting with others) knowing that sometimes they-just-don't make it.

~~ The chronically inter-connected (well, most) sub-plots (some soap-opera-ish), woven into the main threat-plot are really what keeps the mind's attention, making one wonder how the resolution will, or even can, come about. Usually, with these good writers, it's satisfactory plus.

~~ But, DVD on this kind of story is the way to go. Tip on that though: don't do marathons.


P.S: Jack's a 'maverick' who breaks rules only to make them precedents in The Rule Book.

P.P.S: NTL, all this praise re Jack does have a prob re his choice to accept being extorted into (can we call it anything else?) being a murderer of Chappelle. --- Reminds me of the ending of the 1st episode of The Shield. --- Indeed, mewonders how he, supposedly, would/could/should have handled it, if it was Kim rather than Chappelle, he was extorted into murdering...for the sake of 'the country', of course. Here, where would *he* (or we?) have...drawn a line? Mesuspects, we'll never know...about him.


seddon's picture

Let me give credit where credit is due. The creators of the show are Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow. They also wrote hour one from which the quotation came. But I noticed that hours 2 and 3 were written by Surnow and Michael Loceff; hour 4 by Cochran alone.

Season two hour one was written by Surnow and Loceff.

I can't stop watching this show. Ayn and I own the first four seasons. It's fairly consistent. I'm loving it. Season 5 is currently running.


Good Shows...

jtgagnon's picture

I don't spend much time watching TV; I've got too many things going on and I generally find TV to be a waste of time. That being said, I have recently become very fond of two shows: 24 and Boston Legal. I have been pleasantly surprised at the level of serious discourse, solid acting, and more or less appropriate underlying philosophy. Jack Bauer's character - principled, individualistic, and passionate -may be one of the better "heroes" that has come out of TV in a long, long time. In Boston Legal, James Spader's character is excellent and - as Linz noted - you just gotta love the interaction between him and Shatner. The show combines humor, passion, and serious ideas. I am particularly fond of it because the legal field, of which I am a part - needs a bit more humor...and considerably more principled practicioners like Spader's character. But, I digress.

24 is killer

Lanza Morio's picture

At least the first season was...that's all I've seen. I bought the box set last summer and watched all twenty-four episodes in three of four days. Highly recommended. It's not high art but it's action-packed, value-oriented TV.

Is anyone else here ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... a fan of Boston Legal? When I first stumbled across it I couldn't believe the level of philosophical discourse that was going on. Last night, for instance, the courtroom arguments were about whether someone had to right to be euthanased and put in cold storage pending resuscitation, and whether a school principal should be blocking news transmission from a conservative channel because it was "unbalanced" and preached "intolerance." The latter didn't get to the point where anyone said that the principal of a private school could block what the hell he liked and all schools should be private anyway, but to hear the free speech issue debated the way it was was inspiring nonetheless. And the cigar-deck exchanges between James Spader & William Schatner (spelling?) that always end the programme are priceless, as is the running gag of Schatner's "Alzheimers."

V for Vendetta

Robert's picture

"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, there is an idea! And ideas Mr Cregley, are bullet-proof"

"People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people."

V for Vendetta: the movie version of an illustrated novel produced by the makers of The Matrix; two reasons to suspect that these lines are the ~only~ good thing in this movie...

Other than that the only other good (well, funny) line that I've (recently) heard uttered in a contemporary movie was by Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge:

"If I were as half as ugly as you Sergeant-Major, I'd be a poster-boy for a prophylactic!"


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Are lines like that really written any more?

Well spotted, Fred.

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