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BILL! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?

We have all spent a lot of time contemplating Tony’s apparent seduction by the Dark Side of the Force (well, I haven’t, but Tony never struck me as all that interesting). But I never expected Bill Buchanan to go dark. Good, upstanding, calm, professional Zen Master yoga Bill.

* sobs *

How could I have been so wrong?

Exactly HOW much smarm have I written involving Bill being all guilty over leaving Jack in China, fussing over his well-being and medical care, putting him up at Chez Buchanan, or helping Jack with his paperwork and bank account?

I even wrote this Fawning Essay

I have been played. PLAYED, I tell you.

Bill may seem nice and caring and ethical, but let's review the facts:

• There is not one shred of evidence that Bill lifted a finger to try to get Jack out of China. He didn’t try, or he didn’t try hard enough.

• Within 30 minutes of Jack’s release, Bill handcuffed him to a sewer grate where Jack faced certain death and torture.

• He let an unhinged and distraught Jack back into the field with broken ribs and a heart even more broken than usual.

• He ordered Jack’s arrest as soon as Jack went rogue and decided to rescue Audrey.

• When Jack fell from the helicopter, Bill couldn’t even be bothered to go look for him.

But enough about Day 6. On to Day 7 thus far:

• Shouldn’t Bill be in front of the Senate? The man has some ‘plaining to do.

• After Jack breaks Tony out of the FBI, Bill is all too willing to sacrifice him once more in order to help Tony reestablish his cover. THAT didn’t take long. Although it did get Jack out of that dumpy overcoat and back into denim and Kievlar, so all is not lost.

Note to Bill: Jack is not a virgin teenage girl who you can sacrifice to the nearest vengeful demigod. Jack is one of the single most competent and useful people on the planet. Stop handing him over to people with weird agendas already.

Bill is currently running a mini-CTU in what looks like the attic of a museum or church. Nothing suspicious there. His staff consists of undead Tony and socially awkward Chloe. Bill probably used his powers of influence to get Chloe to work for him. For all we know, the “Wide and deep” conspiracy of which Bill speaks may be a paranoid fantasy. Or something.

Bill was a good guy who went dark, or he wasn’t all that warm and fuzzy to begin with. He may be feeling betrayed by the government he faithfully served, as that does seem to be one of Day 7’s themes. We don’t know what happened with Karen, so I’m going to assume they got divorced. Jack and Tony aren’t the only x-CTUer’s with issues. Or maybe there really is a huge government conspiricy. Shocking, I know. In any case, James Morrison is looking fab in his black turtleneck and jeans. We are only four eps in, so it is too early to draw any conclusions.

Save for one: In 24land, no one is what they seem. Except, perhaps, for our dear, violent, put-upon Jack.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
the_gadgetman
Jan. 14th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
Did you watch the 24 movie that was on a month or so ago? Answers some of your questions.
marinw
Jan. 14th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
Redemption? There was nary a mention of Bill, if I recall.
the_gadgetman
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
True, no Bill info. But it does answer the existence of a conspiracy.
xbedhead
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Hmmm....I'll go for some rebuttals, even though I agree, but just to try and point out that we weren't necessarily entirely wrong about him.

*Yes, there's no evidence - there's also no evidence on a lot of things, so maybe it just didn't get mentioned? Maybe somewhere four years down the line, we'll find out that Bill took a two week, unpaid suspension for pushing to get Jack released. You just never know with the vagueness.

*He did it because he was ordered to per the president and Homeland Security - it wasn't a great thing, but his only option was to refuse which would mean losing his job, but, much more importantly, losing more innocent lives.

*There's no excuse for this one. Jack wanted to do it, then he didn't, then he did after Palmer asked him to go back. I'm pretty sure, though, that Buchanan knew of Jack's reputation enough to know that, if Jack wanted to get back in the game (which he did, at one point), he eventually would. Standing in his way would do nothing but allow himself to sleep a little better at the end of the day.

*Doing his job again - what Jack was apparently doing was putting an entire country (and subsequently, the rest of the world) at risk. If he didn't do it, then the shit would've hit his proverbial fan.

*I wouldn't say that he couldn't be bothered - I would characterize it more as him knowing that Jack knew the game was over. Jack was in over his head as far as consequences went. I see him not going to look for Jack as more like letting him get off the hook and at least have a chance to make a run for it.

I was definitely surprised by Bill, though. He was just so much colder than he was in previous seasons, and, again, we don't know what happened to him between 6 and 7, but three years is a LONG time. We don't even know if he hasn't already faced a Senate panel - maybe he has and that's another log in the fire. I guess, though, he's still the same character - he's still committed to the overarching 'greater good' he's just a little more blatant about it being achieved at all costs. He's still got his eyes on the bigger picture. I'm just not sure if I'm digging this less-compassionate Bill.

I think it's the scruff. It makes him a little less sympathetic to me, more hardened. And the black. But it's still so damn hot.

Then again, maybe Bill's always been an asshole on all the other 'days' at work and we just haven't seen it! Maybe these ARE his true colors. *G*
marinw
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
Good rebuttal. You were obviously on the debating team.

What I wrote was mostly the result of me jumping up and down and flailing.

When Bill gave Jack to Fayed, he was clearly in agaony over it. When it looked as if Emerson would Kill Jack, Bill had a very cold reaction. Seems like an awfully steep price to pay to re-establish Tony's cover. Oh, Wait, Jack almost killed Chase in Day 3 for the same reason, Round and round we go...

I think you and I were surprised because we both thought Bill was uncorruptable, that he wouldn't allow things to get to him at this level.

Perhaps his mini-CTU is the most rational solution he can manage. We have 20 more hours to find out.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )