I've finally gotten the opportunity the last couple of days to start watching (re-watching, rather) the 1st season of 24 I bought on DVD.
Warning: 1st, 2nd and 3rd season spoilers follow, but philosophical commentary abounds...
So far I've watched the first two episodes (12am-1am and 1am-2am) and the differences from the end of Season 3 are striking. Jack is much more flighty, and less driven than he is later (which of course, is understandable given the events of those three seasons.
I still think Teri is bland, bland, bland....with her dark, butch haircut and nonexpressive face it's hard to see Jack falling for her. Maybe the day before she'd just been the the hairstylist and been given a horrible style. Maybe she's normally got long, blonde hair :) After seeing Jack with Nina, Kate, the Mexican girl last year and this season another long blond, it's hard to see Teri was ever his type. But, bland and all, it was still nice seeing her again.
Tony is far from the stand-up guy he will be in later seasons. In truth, at this junction the producers probably weren't sure themselves who the real CTU mole was going to be and were making every agent act suspiciously.
Then there's the eventual turncoat, Nina. Sweetness and light personified, yet horribly ugly to come. It's going to be fun watching all the signals they put in to point her out as the traitor, that we missed the first time around.
Then there's Mason, Walsh, even a mention of Division Director Chappelle...
Ok, here's where the review stops really.
When I first saw Richard Walsh, Jack's superiour and obviously dear friend I thought, "Poor guy - you're going to be dead by the end of the next episode". When I saw George Mason being snarky to Jack, I thought, "Poor guy - you'll redeem yourself next year, catch radiation sickness and eventually sacrifice yourself by flying the plane with the nuke out to the desert." When Teri called Nina to ask for help in finding where Kim had run away too, I thought it ironic that in less than 24 hours, Nina would kill Teri.
Even the one mention of Division Boss Ryan Chappelle made me wonder what he'd think if he knew he'd eventually let himself be shot in the back of the neck by Jack.
At this point Tony has yet to even meet his future wife, Michelle, nor think about how we would be throwing his career and freedom away for her several years later.
It makes me wonder what we would do if we knew our fate. Or knew others'. If Gary Lundy's co-workers at the Knoxville News Sentinel could know a couple of weeks ago that he would be struck down by a fatal heart attack last Monday in the newsroom. What plans had Gary had? He had an 11-year-old son that he undoubtedly was looking forward to seeing grow up, graduate, marry, have children.... But now he can't.
Every person who ever gets in a car has dreams, hopes, plans... Most of us get out of our cars and keep on with our lives, but some people don't. Some people never leave their cars alive.
Obviously none of the jet passengers nor the World Trade Center or Pentagon workers ever thought that September 11, 2001 would be their last days on Earth. Some arrived for work or boarded the planes that morning thinking about what they were going to cook for dinner that night, or looking forward to their daughter's recital next week, or wondering if they had saved enough for retirement, or if they were going to make next month's mortgage payment.
Or if they'd forgotten to kiss their wife goodbye that morning, or regretted yelling at their kids to get ready for school, because I have to make the Manhatten bus RIGHT NOW!
If they all had known today would be their last day, would they have done things differently that morning? If they had known on September 4 that they would be killed the next week, would they have taken time to set some things right that they'd been putting off?
If that dad that's about to be hit by a drunk driver and thrown from their SUV to land in a ditch and slowly bleed to death had known they would die that day...would he have read to his daughter before bed the previous night instead of watching the end of the football game?
Foresight is a dangerous thing.
Cassandra of ancient Greek mythology was cursed to know the future, but unable to get anyone to believe her. Somehow I'd like to believe we know the future. One day each of us will no longer be here, and there will be no more chances.
Take the chances now.
UPDATE: After rereading this, I'm reminded of just such a chance that was taken on 24.
In the second season, George Mason is accidently exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. He knows that he has less than 24 hours to live, and is forced to deal with that foreknowledge. George locates his estranged son, who lives in LA, and invites him out to CTU headquarters to meet with him. The son is understandably resistant but George eventually is able to at least make his peace with his son.
This is just what I'm talking about. If he had not been able to resolve this conflict before he died, it would never have been cleared up and his son would've lived the rest of his life not knowing what his father had to say.