Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yes, my last post provides the perfect segue into this week's Top 5 list, which I'm simply titling, "Classic Jack." I've been quite transparent about my affection for 24, which has remained consistent despite a lackluster sixth season. Of course, Jack Bauer is the absolute heart of the show, and for good reason. He has pretty much sacrificed everything he's loved and himself, essentially to save the world. I admit it, that sounds like a bad punch line.

Anyway, I would like to highlight five classic Jack scenes. We all know that he's willing to go as far as it takes to achieve his ends, and he's been shocking and crafty time and time again. I opted to stay away from a few of his darker moves-he was forced to kill, in cold blood, not one, but TWO CTU agents, Ryan Chapelle and Curtis Manning, in order to negotiate with a terrorist (Yes, I know, we do NOT negotiate with terrorists!) and to save the life of a potentially important suspect. Jack is justifiably a mental mess.

The scenes that I have chosen for my top 5 are just a few of the most memorable. You should know that there are many, many more to choose from. Jack never lets us down! Just when you think he's been beaten, he gets back up again!

5. Season 1-Jack shoots Nina Myers. Now, unbeknownst to the evil masterminds holding Kim and Teri Bauer hostage, Jack actually managed to get a bulletproof vest on Nina before taking her out to the field to shoot her. The criminals were able to watch his every move, via CTU surveillance, but they missed the sneaky exchange of vests when Jack slammed Nina into a cabinet in his office. However, even the viewers were not privy to the full details of this exchange, so it was SHOCKING to see him actually shoot Nina, his partner, close friend, former lover, and, as it turned out in the end, the CTU mole. Even if she really didn't die!

4. Season 5-Jack uses a bomb meant to kill him to escape a locked room. In yet another of the instances when Jack's former friends/partners/mentors betray him, Jack was led to a death trap by Christopher Henderson, a dirty contractor working with the corrupt President Logan. Much to Christopher's chagrin, Jack was able to find the bomb in the room, lodge it in the doorway, and shield himself from the aftermath of the explosion. He immediately hopped up and ran right out of the room. Typical Jack behavior.

3. Season 3-Jack saws off Chase's hand to save him from the virus. Now, you might think it wouldn't be a difficult task to cut someone's hand off, particularly when doing so will not only save your life, but the lives of many others. It's not simple, people! He was amputating the hand of his partner! Needless to say, Jack saved Chase and the day, of course.

2. Season 5-Jack finagles his way into President Logan's helicopter and orchestrates a dramatic confrontation. He just has such an intimidating presence, our Jack. Did I really believe earlier in the season that he would slice the treasonous Walt Cummings' eye? In the presence of the president of the United States? Absolutely I did. Thus, nothing surprised me about Jack managing to board and co-pilot the President's flight, confronting him about his corruption and involvement in the murder of David Palmer. What was a surprise, and excellent twist, was that Jack planned the entire episode for the sole purpose of planting a recording device on the president, which his wife later used to elicit a full confession.

1. Season 2-Jack shoots a witness, then decapitates him. This is truly the classic Jack scene. When given little to work with, he does what he has to do to make it work! Having just been recruited to stop a nuclear attack, Jack is told that the one lead CTU has goes back to a guy Jack used to work with. Unfortunately, CTU hasn't been able to reach him, and their only leverage is a pedophile who would be witnessing against him in an upcoming trial. Jack calls the witness in and promptly shoots him, a fatal shot. Not two minutes later, he asks for a hack saw-you might have been confused about this request, not in small part because you're reeling from the murder of the witness. Just a few scenes later, we learn the reason for the saw: Jack has taken the head, as a trophy/bargaining item, to his former criminal partner. Crazy? Most definitely. Effective? Absolutely. By the way, I'm not condoning cold-blooded murder in the name of justice, but let it be a comfort that the guy was a sleazy pedophile who, in exchange for testifying, was getting off scot-free. I used a video instead of a picture-Jack takes over at 0:25.

I recommend tuning into Season 7-it's promising. If you're not that excited about it, at least give Season 5 a shot-it's by far the best, in my opinion. I've included a little teaser video recapping it, here. Wait for Jack's suave nod, at about 3:00. And by the way, I love Aaron Pierce!

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