JACK BAUER began Day One of ‘worst days of his life’ back in November 2001, just weeks after America’s pivotal moment, September 11, 2001. The fast-paced, ‘real time’ drama follows Bauer and his fellow CTU (Counter-Terrorist-Unit) operatives as their hunt weaves through domestic and international storylines and over a series of hurdles that outline one, terror-filled, 24-hour day.
Back in 2001, Derek and I gave the new series our attention for two episodes, but we chose to discontinue based on busy schedules and disappointment at the ‘real time’ premise that allows anyone to drive crosstown in LA in less than 10 minutes. Bauer and crew are now in their sixth season, and the ante has upped to far more than we ever imagined back in 2001. In fact, the buzz about a nuclear option in the four-hour premiere prompted us to give the show another look.I’m very glad we did.
Thanks to Wikipedia and iTunes (you can download all of Day Five), we’re piecing together the events of the past five seasons (Days 1-5), and this sketchy background helped enormously while watching last night’s two-hour conclusion to the two-night airing on FOX. I took volumes of notes during the program, which I’ll continue to do as we keep watch on Bauer et al, but let me share just a few observations:
1. Eleven weeks of terrorist activity throughout the United States preceded Day Six. Sites included St. Louis and Baltimore with high casualty counts.
2. Martial law had been declared by previous president, Charles Logan (Day Five) — though not mentioned specifically, I assume the nation is still under this declaration.
3. Arab Americans are being rounded up and detained in ‘internment camps’, held as ‘enemy combatants’.
4. A terrorist known as Abu Fayed has fooled the sitting president (Wayne Palmer, brother of assassinated former president, David Palmer) into accepting a deal: Fayed will help the US find the terrorist behind the US bombings in exchange for Jack Bauer. Fayed falsely implicates a man who has befriended Bauer, Hamri Al-Assad, as the mastermind behind the attacks. After the exchange, Fayed tortures Bauer (who is willing to give his life to save his country), but (in true villain fashion) gloats that it is he (Fayed) who is really behind the attacks. Bauer won’t give his life for a lie, and he escapes.
5. Fayed demands the release of 110 (note the second ’11’ — 11 weeks being the first) men held in the camps. By now, President Palmer realizes his mistake and calls in Bauer to bail him out — playing for time, the president releases the prisoners while Bauer hunts down Fayed and his cell.
6. Fayed possesses a ‘Visitor’ (a nuclear suitcase bomb) and needs to activate it. A series of events leads to the fulfillment of this requirement (in fact, one of the released prisoners is the only scientist who could configure the trigger — hence Fayed’s insistance that these men be released).
7. Fayed leaves the building where the nuke is being assembled (his getaway time is about 20 minutes, which in ’24’s’ improbable space/time continuum could have taken him well outside LA).
8. A bungled raid leads to the detonation of the nuclear weapon, and a mushroom cloud rises over LA county.
9. An insider tip reveals the presence of four more ‘Visitors’ (nukes) inside the United States.
Those who listen to PID or read articles here know that we believe entertainment media are often used to mold viewers’ thoughts and opinions. FOX now appears to be sending out huge signals — in the shape of an ominous mushroom cloud — that America is due.
Doug Hagmann has been warning us for some time about cells within the United States. ’24’ comes right out and tells us — they are here, and they mean us harm. I won’t get into the politics of internment camps or surveillance with this article, although the material is certainly there. Let me just say this: Keep an eye on Day Six of ’24’. The fact that the show’s producers appear to have abruptly switched from a China-based terrorism storyline back to one rooted in Muslim Extremism is indicative of a bell ringing very loudly.
So buckle up, everyone. The year 2007 promises to be a very bumpy ride.