Don’t read this if you object to spoilers. You’ve been warned.

This show gets me worked up week after week. Were it not for my wanting to spend time with Mrs. T. who likes to watch it I wouldn’t watch.

Two things bother me about it. One is Jack Bauer. Yeah, he’s the hero. But the man is so into torture and it seems like each show brings things down to the bad guys winning (where the bad guys are defined as anti what ever Jack is for) or jack has to torture someone. And yet torture is bad/evil. Such a conundrum.

Of course it ignores that torture doesn’t always work. In fact if often backfires. So what we have are artificial cases that make it look like a bad thing gets a good result. The ends justifies the means? In this case they are building a straw man argument of sorts. What if they showed it sometimes not working? But on 24 is is so artificially clear that “torture is the answer.”

This is not a good thing. In fact I worry a little that the show is going to convince a lot of people that torture is ok if done by the good guys. Talk about a TV show teaching something about morality!

And the other part of the show that bothers me (this is the spoiler I warned you about). Some of the characters are complete idiots. The VP tonight should absolutely 100% without hesitation have ordered the re-taking of the White House. But no. He doesn’t want to be blamed for the off chance that someone could hold him responsible for the President getting killed. Ordering the retaking is still a no-brainer.

If he doesn’t order the re-taking they might get the President and bad things happen. (Which oh by the way exactly what is happening.) If he does order the retaking and the President is killed people will blame him. But at least the real bad guys lose. Probably he survives to finish the term as President. Maybe if he is as good as he things he is people forgive him for any bad that comes out of it and he gets reelected.  Fifty years from now someone will write about him and call the book “More Profiles in Courage” and he’ll have done the right thing. And maybe, and this has a high probability of happening, the President will be saved, the bad guys will be dead, the White House will be free. In the real work there is not Superman Jack Bauer. Dang how hard is this one to call?

Maybe idiot is not the right word. Maybe the right way to describe it is that people are so totally self-serving that they can’t put the good of the nation ahead of themselves. There are just so many of those characters on 24. Sometimes it makes we want to throw things. Arrggghh!

Now the President had a terrible choice tonight. Did she make the right decision? I don’t think so. Not on a rational logical basis. But of course you can’t make decisions about your children’s well being logically and rationally. On the other hand she is the President of the US! We ask a lot of those people.

Now I don’t fault her completely. I don’t know how I would have decided and perhaps I would have done the same. But just once I want to see someone do something genuinely heroic at great personal cost. I want to cry for them in their pain rather than wait for some deus ex machina Jack Bauer to make things right.

Yeah I’m grumpy. 24 does that to me.

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