One of the tenants of 24 is that Jack Bauer catches the bad guys at the end and averts disaster. In tonight’s episodes, you can say that the national disaster was averted. You can say that the safety of New York City was secured, and the bomb was neutralized. But you can’t say that disaster itself was averted tonight. In tonight episodes, Jack was simply too late in saving one of my favorite characters – President Omar Hassan (played by Anil Kapoor).
To his fans, Hassan is (*tear* – was) affectionately dubbed “President Hair” and I’m sure you know exactly why – look at that coif. What a mane. What a man. He was the president of “The Islamic Republic of Kamistan,” and he was in the U.S. to arrange a peace treaty. A treaty which the extremists in his country were violently opposed to, and to which were ready to “retaliate” with a radiological bomb in New York. Well, so of course, President Hair fought his way out of Bauer’s protection and gave himself up to those cretins to try to save NYC. And at every juncture of the mission to retrieve him, Bauer’s ambushes kept getting derailed. Quickly, they apprehended the dumb bitch mole who was working at CTU and supplying the terrorists with exits, and at the end of the two hours, things were looking hopeful for Hassan’s rescue. They located the building he was in, the probable apartment he was being held in, and even the floor he was on. They got to the place right as the terrorists were broadcasting his “crimes” on the Internet and were preparing to murder him. They were right there, and as they stormed the apartment, you discover the live feed wasn’t so live…there he was, blood-soaked, and throat-severed. I’m still stunned, and I watched it over a half hour ago. It was so emotional: Jack, President Taylor, Hassan’s family, Renee, and me, all in tears. And of course, they silent-clocked the end.
But how awful for him to die. How shocking, and how heartbreaking. I’m so angry that such extremism is alive and well in our world. I’m so furious that people will resort to such violence, and such primitive acts, and do it all with masks on their faces rather than the power of words and diplomacy. This is not only the death of one of my favorite 24 characters, but the death of the prospect of peace between the U.S. and the I.R.K. – something that hits very close to home in our very own political arena these days. It’s so disheartening that one man’s attempt to create peace can be so violently opposed due to his “alliance” with the West. I hate to sound idealistic, but why can’t there be peace? Why can’t the hard work of these good leaders be rewarded? Yes, it’s a show, but it resonates.