WWJBD, or Jack Bauer vs. Jack Bristow

Clark’s comment over at the George-Lucas-bashing thread has gotten me to thinking. Clark astutely notes the implausibility of Han Solo’s tough-guy persona based on some of the re-done encounters in Lucas’s digital re-release Star Wars (i.e. the Solo-shoots-last scene). Clark asks

What would Jack Bauer do? Probably grab Gweedo and start breaking fingers demanding where Jaba is.

Last night’s Alias episode had me asking this question as well. After a brief and aggressive restroom encounter with Sloan, Jack Bristow is rather easily convinced that a clone, and not Sloan, is responsible for the havoc in Sydney’s and Vaughn’s lives. I must admit that I rolled my eyes and thought, what would Jack Bauer do?

Jack Bristow, in earlier days, might not have backed down so easily. I remember well encounters between Jack Bristow and some unlucky reprobate that ended in a torturous death. Is Jack Bristow’s age and radiation poisoning softening him? It seems the days are over when one could plausibly ask, what would Jack Bristow do?

Whether you hold to Jack Bauer or Jack Bristow, you still ask, “WWJBD?”. But what has got me wondering is how would a direct confrontation between these two turn out? Jack Bauer has the advantage, perhaps, of being ten to twenty years younger and of being unshakeable in his dedication to homeland security. Jack Bristow, on the other hand, has the advantage of moral ambiguity on who are the good and bad guys, often siding with the bad guys himself, as when he was assistent director of SD-6. Would Jack Bristow muster some of his youthful craftiness in such a fight? Would Jack Bauer find it in him to break a few CIA fingers?


6 Responses to WWJBD, or Jack Bauer vs. Jack Bristow

  1. NFlanders says:

    I’d have to give it to Jack Bristow; he’s ruthless. He’s the only TV character ever to kill a prisoner, bring him back to life with defibrillators, and then threaten to kill him again if he didn’t spill the beans.

  2. Ronan says:

    I posted on Jack’s torture methods over at Headlife (headlife.blogspot.com).

    I tried to watch Alias this season but couldn’t get into it.

  3. john f. says:

    Well, I must admit that I feel a little sheepish now about asking whether Bauer could find it in him to break a few CIA fingers in the face-to-face with Bristow. After all, I just remembered that he executed fellow CTU worker Eric Chappelle last season.

    By the way, Chappelle was on Law and Order last night. He played a dirty cop.

  4. john f. says:

    Ronan, I saw your treatment of Bauer’s methods at Headlife. This was also discussed over at Kulturblog by Brian G., and I left my ideas on the matter there. Here is the link: http://www.kulturblog.com/kulturblog/2005/01/do_terrorists_w.html#c3497209

    I sure wish we could add hyperlinks with Blogger’s comments. I’m thinking about reinstalling the Metempsychosis hack from Bloggerhacks.

  5. jeff g says:

    I don’t think that anybody is more happy than I am that Jack Bauer has made his way into the bloggernacle. The church must be true! ;>)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was quite the Jack Bauer fan the first two seasons of 24 … after that I couldn’t keep up with all the episodes. And yes, I think his ability to make difficult decisions involving violence was one of the most intriguing aspects of the show. 

    Posted by danithew

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