Going for the Jugular - Jack Bauer Unites a Nation

Curator's Note

Jack Bauer is back for Day 6 of ‘24’ as a somewhat broken man after two years of being tortured in a Chinese prison. However, he has emerged with his sense of patriotism and commitment to fighting terrorism intact, even after being abandoned and sacrificed by the President himself “for the good of the country.” This clip of Jack eluding his captors– part Hannibal Lechter, part LOST BOYS – offers one of the most graphically violent prime-time displays on broadcast television. In light of the current clamor about this show’s alleged right wing agenda (which I would argue are far too simplistic) and the debates over the limits of indecency on television as (not) defined by the FCC, Jack Bauer is literally going for the jugular on both counts. He refines “counterterrorist measures” as a bloody art form and proves once again that torture (and vigilantism) does indeed work. At the same time, he provides fuel for a desperate Congress now looking to regulate entertainment to stem violence on television --instead of focusing on how to stop the actual bleeding in Iraq. Thus, as he wipes out another terrorist with both hands tied behind his back, Jack Bauer also manages to ignite critics across the political and ideological spectrum who are all hoping his uber-violent killing spree on behalf of America will quiet down soon. Not likely, as there are still 4 suitcase nukes missing in the Greater Los Angeles area….


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