24 Deathcount Part 7: Episodes 7-12

It’s been an action-packed couple of weeks here on Jack 24, so let’s get to it. Hour seven was absolutely action packed, with Jack, Tony, and the rest of the post-CTU gang attacking Dubaku’s hideout. The editing is a little confusing in this scene, with plenty of people shooting and getting shot, but I’m calling Jack’s kills using a simple rule – if a shot of Jack firing is immediately followed by a shot of a mercenary being killed, it counts. Obviously, these numbers can swing another way if one of the Mercs shows up in the hospital in a subsequent episode. In this scene, Jack killed 6 people.

Often Jack takes a little murder break after a big episode, but not this time – Jack was back in rare form, stabbing an evil Secret Service Agent before shooting the rest of Dubaku’s henchmen to death. Between the stabbing and shooting, Jack killed 5 people.

Then we finally arrived at the slow week, as Jack calmed things down a bit by pulling a gun on a wheelchair-bound woman and convincing her sister to risk her life. Nothing on the murder front.

Nothing big the next week, either, except for the single soldier Jack gunned down while capturing Dubaku.

Next up was the two-hour half-season spectacular, with Jack 24 torturing Kurtwood Smith’s chief of staff right in the White House! While Tony Todd was waiting right outside with a small army of soldiers! The action was fast and furious for the second hour, with Jack protecting the president from Tony Todd’s mercenaries as they cut a deadly swath through white house security. Sadly, because he spent most of the episode locked in a safe room with said President, Jack was only able to kill one of theose mercenaries. This episode saw the first episode of geek casting in a while though… I think… I didn’t check the opening or ending credits (to avoid finding out what was happening ‘next time on’), so I don’t know if it was him or not, but to me it looked like Jon Voight’s assistant was played by Rory Cochrane, late of Empire Records and CSI: Miami.

As of 8PM, TFST, the totals are:

Kills: 18

Geek Castings: 6(?)

Now for a few thoughts:

That's right! With half the season left, Jack is already 3/4s of the way to fulfilling his one murder a week quota. Once that's done, all that's left is for Jack to deliver one truly memorable kill. I don't require that every season feature one, but it's always nice to see. Sliding down the hallway to shoot that one guy was nice, but it's certainly no flare gun or wall climb.

Obviously I’m really enjoying this season of 24 – more, in fact, than any season since 4, and I think there’s a pretty clear reason why. It’s got one heck of a villain, the best we’ve seen since it was Jack vs. the Mummy.

That season was truly unique in that the show actually gave its villain not only a lot of screentime, but also a clear and morally defensible point of view. While the villains of other seasons have been made up almost exclusively of genocidal foreign leaders and American business interests, the Mummy was a guy who honestly believed that American worldwide cultural and military dominance was a terrible thing, and was willing to do whatever was necessary to stop it.

Notably, the show gives the character quite a platform for his beliefs, and never offers any countering opinions, leaving viewers with the sense that while his methods were questionable, his motives – ending America’s belief that it was in charge of the rest of the world – might have been good ones. Especially considering the real-world events during which that season was produced.

Likewise, Tony Todd is playing a fascinating character this time around – the head of a sovereign nation who personally leads his soldiers into combat. Who can’t respect that? While most presidents, prime ministers, and yes, military strongmen are happy to send soldiers to do all the fighting for them, here's a man who lives it. Fighting a war against the Americans that you can't possibly win? No problem. Just lead an armed group of commandos into the white house and slap the president around a little.

The American president is depicted as being so wishy-washy that she's ready to sacrifice governmental security to protect her own family, and her opposite number is happy to go on a suicide mission behind enemy lines. He may be evil, but you can't say Tony Todd's character doesn't live it.

I'll be sad to see him go next week when Jon Voight takes the villany reins.

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