Tuesday, February 17, 2009

24: Kissing, Moral Ambiguity, and Free Will

I haven't posted about 24 in a few weeks, but after seeing the previews for next week's show, I just have to make a prognostication: There will be kissing. Here's the back-story:

Little Agent Freckles started off the day with her professional ethics intact. She and her buddy, Boss Moss, were on the same page when it came to interrogation torture: it's wrong, don't do it.

But five minutes after hooking up with Jack "We don't have a choice!" Bauer, her integrity crumbled, and she told Jack to "do whatever it takes" to get an answer from a suspect. Later she backpedaled a bit, telling him that she didn't really mean whatever it took--it was just, you know, a figure of speech. I think he rolled his eyes at her.

But by the next episode, she was fully engaged, threatening to pinch a child if mommy wouldn't dish, and defending Jack's killing of a suspect to a disgusted and disbelieving Boss Moss. "We're supposed bring suspects in, not murder them!" he said. He obviously has not spent enough time in the company of Our Morally Ambiguous Hero.

So back to my point: there will be kissing. In the preview, Agent Freckles is upset about all the questionable interrogation practices. "Tell me it bothers you!" she yells at Jack. "Tell me you feel it!" Then she slaps him in the face. "Do you feel it?" She slaps him again. "Do you feel anything?"

And here's where the fan fic writers will get all moist and fire up their keyboards. Everyone knows that where there's sexual tension and slapping, there is kissing. The previews teased us and didn't show this, but I am willing to lay odds that Jack grabs her tiny wrist and tells her in a voice like gravel in a velvet bag tied with a silk ribbon, "Come here." She'll resist, of course, but he'll pull her close, put his hand on the back of her head, and kiss her--and then all moral ambiguity will melt away, and two lost souls will comfort each other in the knowledge that everyone else just doesn't get it. They didn't have a choice.

Free will means you do have a choice, Jack. You always have a choice.

But I still love you, even though you are a hot mess.

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