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HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Here’s something I’m wondering about:


When Kiefer and Cherry Jones were doing the phone convos in eps 17 and 18, were K and C actually talking to each other, or to assistants saying the other actor’s lines in a monotone? I’m thinking the former, as those two play off each other wonderfully.

Speaking of CJ, I know I’ve gone on about this before, but I find her performance so damn SATISFYING. I loved how she was cranky during her first talk with Jack in Ep 18: “No, we don’t need to talk, you need to listen.” And “I’m not new at this, Jack.” The poor POTUS has had a hellava day: Her husband was shot, the White House was invaded, her senior government corrupted by moles, two planes have crashed outside her window, she is being blackmailed by a Bond villain, and she has subconsciously adopted a lonely rogue anti-terrorist who is now dying from a weaponized virus. (And a bunch of other stuff. Let's not even start on Olivia) She’s entitled to her crankiness.

I also like that she has gray hair and wrinkles and isn't a size two. IIRC, CJ said in an interview that she wanted to look like hell as she was starting the day from an emotionally compromised place. Does this make her not beautiful? Or beautiful in a different way? 24 does have a knack for casting the unconventionally attractive.

More on the Exposed theme: Jack was exposed to the virus, then he was exposed physically to the CDC people. Now, he is being exposed emotionally as he loses his ability to contain his emotions (This too can be a sign of dementia. My late grandma wasn't senile in the classic sence, but did lose the abilty to edit her thought. But I digress). This is a whole new situation: When Jack has sacrificed himself in the past, he expected to die in a plane crash or an explosion or a gunshot or something. It’s one thing to offer one’s life, it’s something else to have the time to contemplate one’s impending demise.

In terms of personality change, Jack seems really PASSIVE. Aside from chewing out Renee over Kim, the fight appears to have gone out of him. I am reminded of how he was at the very start of Day 6, stumbling out of the military aircraft and quietly listening to Bill’s explanation of why he was released.

The writers are being clever here: They both managed to lighten Kiefer’s workload (Which I imagine must be brutal) while at the same time allowing him to do some meaty, dramatic stuff.

Thematically, Day 7 seems like the opposite of Day 4: On that Day, Jack starts out in a respected place in the world. 24 hours later, he’s an exile. He remains so for years. In Day 7, he is slowly working his way back. This isn’t done counciously, and circumstances have forced Jack’s hand: He’s sick and he has to depend on others.

Taylor’s Mom-Like concern for Jack is wonderful. I'm kinda speculating that Taylor is (subconsciously) looking for a surrogate son, as the loss of Roger is something she hasn’t had time to process. Taylor has witnessed some of Jack’s admirable qualities: courage, loyalty, and, even now, his incredible usefulness. Taylor now finds her surrogate slipping away.

The idea of Jack having a Mom (figuratively speaking, NO idea what’s up with Mrs. Phillip Bauer, if she still lives) fills me with endless squee. Whether he realizes it or not, I think Jack needs a mom, someone to tell him to dress warmly before going out to fight terrorists.

I don’t even care if Taylor is a Republican. Wow.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
xandra73
Apr. 16th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
When Kiefer and Cherry Jones were doing the phone convos in eps 17 and 18, were K and C actually talking to each other, or to assistants saying the other actor’s lines in a monotone? I’m thinking the former, as those two play off each other wonderfully.

Well, Kiefer always did those phone conversations himself since Day 1 so I don't think he changed that habit. Every actor said in interviews how impressed they are that he's doing them and comes in to work even on his days off. Since he's doing it, everyone else is doing it too. Therefore on 24 there are no assistants standing in for telephone conversations. One of the things that make 24 so awesome, because it comes across so much more believable. And that's necessary if you look on the sheer amount of time people are on the phone on 24. ;)
marinw
Apr. 16th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
One of the things that make 24 so awesome, because it comes across so much more believable.

Word. Even though the plots may be ridiculous, the show does strive for some sort of emotional and psychological truth.That must be harder to achieve then if the show was a straight, realistic drama. Emotional truth in a fantastical setting somehow resonates more with me than something that is based in mundane reality.
xbedhead
Apr. 16th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
I don't think that Kiefer uses Cherry either, but they might, you never know. I don't think that they act it out like it's being done on the show, but I saw some BTS footage before with David and Sherry Palmer, I believe, and David is talking into the phone and Sherry is off-screen, just reading her lines because she had already shot hers. Maybe it just depends on the actors' preferences? I suppose. I agree, though - they really do play off one another well and that's a hard, hard thing to do when A) you can't see that person and/or B) they're not even there to begin with.

I agree about Taylor stepping in as a surrogate. Not so much as Jack stepping in as a 'son' (not that you implied that), but she is definitely feeling maternal towards him. And how could she not? She knows his history, probably knows how isolated he is/has become, and because of what he's been able to do for her, no matter how much he protests it, she still wants to do something in return for him.

Just love him, President Taylor! Just give him love! :P
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Note how Taylor says that she wants “real time updates” on Jack’s condition from CDC Dude. That gives me hope * clings * . When she tells Jack “I wish there as something I could do” she wasn’t just speaking platitudes, she’s totally going to back that up.

I am SO idolizing Taylor here.
dealan311
Apr. 17th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
In an interview, Cherry mentioned that she's been playing Taylor as a person dealing with depression. I thought that was an interesting take, because it's true that she hasn't had any time to really process losing a child. And I think you're right that Jack has provided a way for her to deal with it, in part because he's delivered her the one thing she never knew she needed: someone to blame for her son's death.

Dealing with the suicide of a loved one can dredge up all sorts of feelings of anger, loss and guilt, and the question of why always remains the strongest. With Taylor, it must have been doubly hard because she was probably more focused on trying to help Henry move on and accept Roger's death, that she never dealt with her own questions and doubts as to what she could have done, as a mother, to stop Roger from killing himself.

Not only did he save her husband, Jack's also given her closure because now she knows it was never her fault. She knows that her son was murdered and more than that, Jack has found the person responsible for it. Jack will forever be tied to Roger in her head, because of that fact.

So yeah, I could definitely see the surrogate thing.

Also, I think that with Cherry Jones, because Kiefer has gone on record as saying that she was the person he was most intimidated/excited to work with this season, chances are he showed up for the offscreen work. I have a feeling that they might have relaxed the policy in S6, but after the disaster, they took a sort of back-to-basics, and although Kiefer has relocated to NYC, he still tries to do it as best he can.
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)
Good point, knowing that Roger's death wasn't a suicide must be a huge load off her mind. However,Roger still died (albeit indirectly)as a result of Taylor being President and her involvement in Sangala.

I am wondering about the Senate Hearings now that Mayer is dead. Working on the assumption that Jack somehow survives *clings to Day 8 news* then I doubt she will let Jack go to prsion.

I am a little sad we seem to have seen the last of Henry Taylor this season,as I adore Colm Foere. Glad Henry will recover, although there are 6 hours left, so all bets are off.

Edited at 2009-04-17 12:04 pm (UTC)
dealan311
Apr. 17th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
True, but at the end of the day, she can tell herself that she raised her child up right, that no child of hers would be so desperate that he would off himself without reaching out to her first. That he actually died tryint to expose the corruption. I'm not sure if Allison is religious or not, but if she is, it would weigh less heavily on her mind to know his soul was intact. It's still sad and the hurt will never go away, but it's less senseless because now she knows why.

I wonder about the Senate Hearing less because Mayer is dead and more because of the level of corruption that has been exposed in the government. With that amount of arrests, the AG's office and the Department of Homeland Security would be overwhelmed, and when it gets out that Jack Bauer was one of the ones who stopped it, I wouldn't be surprised if another CTU-like division was installed on a provisional basis. Much like the months immediately following 9-11 gave birth to things like the Patriot Act, I could see the pendulum swinging back to the public being more sympathetic to the words Jack said.

Yeah, and Colm Foere was so excited to be on 24 too. I'm hoping that we get to see him next year, as I'm guessing Allison will be sticking around. She's too good a character for them not to, especially now that we have a President who has a personal connection to Jack ala David Palmer, not just an indirect one ala Logan and Wayne.
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and Colm Foere was so excited to be on 24 too. I'm hoping that we get to see him next year, as I'm guessing Allison will be sticking around.

That's a good point! Thank you.
dealan311
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Did you see him in that 24 3-part insider thing on hulu? He was sooo cute talking about how he got casted.
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
We don't get hulu in Canada. Even if Colm Foere and Kiefer are Kanadian. *pouts*
dealan311
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
*gasp*

Must work on that for you. Will try to hunt it down as he is really adorable in it.
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
There is a way to get one's computer tosend out a fakeIP signal, thusly conviecing the server that the computer is in the US. Must explore further.
dealan311
Apr. 17th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
Wait, so that also means you've never seen some of the Scenemaker stuff with James and Jeffrey and Annie and stuff? Let me know what you haven't seen yet in a PM or email. You definitely would enjoy that stuff.
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
I can see that. Just not anything on Hulu.

Edited at 2009-04-17 06:03 pm (UTC)
take005
Apr. 17th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
1) Taylor's a Republican? Huh...

2) YES! Totally agree on Taylor being like a mom to Jack. I had just been saying to gracekellymovie the same thing. I think he kind of likes it ;)
marinw
Apr. 17th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
I am talking slightly out of my ass here. If the Palmers were Democrats, then Taylor must be either an Independent or a Ruplican.

As dealan311 had pointed out, Taylor is now too protective of Jack to let him go to prsion, sick or healthy.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )