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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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Comments

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.