“The airstrikes will continue until the Emir surrenders unconditionally.”
Having started out as a careful, even-tempered moderate for whom violence was a last resort, President Jack Bauer is turning into something of a hawk. A perfectly sensible argument could be made that it’s the stresses and losses of the past 18 months which have broken him, which would make sense and explain his complete change of attitude and increasingly angry behaviour, except that, apart from a few perfunctory nods to “other views,” the show doesn’t seem to think there’s any real problem with the president’s new Charles Bronson-ish outlook on everything. I mean, although it’s eventually established that, in his fury, PJB did indeed jump the gun and order the attacks on Kunami on the basis of faulty intelligence and that if he’d waited half a second, he might have realised that, as soon as he shows any signs of accepting that he was wrong, the show provides him with not one but two “justifications” after the fact: number one being that (contrary to my expectations last week) it was indeed a senior Kunami official who was responsible for the bombing of Brandt station, just not the one he thought it was, and number two, what do you know, the Emir had a
deux ex machina secret stash of chemical weapons and “plans to attack civilians” just lying around for special emissary Q to find, so he was a bad dude anyway and nobody’s going to come after POTUS for bombing his country to bits and getting rid of him on a false premise after all. Handy.
Anyway, the entire war plot does my head in this week, which is becoming a regular state of affairs with this show. I miss season one. Chuck is almost as fed up as I am, since the appalling Damien is back and now has an immunity deal (FFS), and Aaron gets a bit tetchy as well, albeit he cheers me up in the process by getting all up in Lyor’s face. Not that it lasts, this being Aaron’s week to succumb to the lure of Lyor and comfort the “political director” in his time of (momentary) doubt with “You have a streak of decency. You’ll never be (Bowen).” I don’t know if the writers have got a bet on or something, but we get it: Lyor is their favourite. We really don’t need to have a different character learn to appreciate him Every. Single. Week.
By way of silver lining, however, Trisha and Mike hang out, which is lovely, and we meet Trisha’s brother Royce (accompanying Q of all people on a ridiculous mission to Kunami, don’t get me started) who is also great – niceness clearly runs in their family – and seems to be the only person who’s worked out that Q might not be in the best headspace either. I’d be much happier watching a spin-off with the four of them, than whatever it is this show thinks it’s doing.