Suspense and Suspision in Episode 1 of Season 2 of the TV Show "24" Essays

Suspense and Suspision in Episode 1 of Season 2 of the TV Show "24" Essays

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Media directs the thought processes of society. Daya Kishan Thussa says, “US popular culture… is steeped in Hollywood spectacles on war, battles and conflict, as evidenced by the international success of films about war, conflict, and battles between good and evil,” (p.265 reader). Hollywood –the media—portrays war as a conflict between good and evil, redefining war and conflict to be something that is black and white, with a sure winning side. The show 24, produced after 9/11, at the start of the War on Terror, represents a conflict between the good and the evil by paralleling the distrust and suspicion of the real world with the distrust and suspicion of the world in the show. By using elements such as windowing, zooming and panning into faces, dark lighting, and slow, eerie music, Season 2, Episode 1 of 24, creates an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust similar to post 9/11 United States that explains why officials tried to resolve conflicts even without all relevant information present.
The camera zooms into the faces of the characters speaking, directing the audience’s attention to what they are saying making this information seem important and true. In the scene where David Palmer finds out about the nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, the camera first focuses on Eric Rayburn who is telling Palmer about the bomb but then zooms into Palmer’s face to show his expression at receiving this information. When Palmer is told the bomb will go off today, he asks, “How do we know this?” Rayburn replies with a computer image of Mahmoud and the camera zooms into the suspected terrorist’s face. The camera in this scene moves quickly from face-to-face, following the conversation visually. Additionally, the camera captures the expressions of...


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...ndowing destroys this barrier because it allows the characters to know more. During the post 9/11 time period, everyone was suspicious of everyone else. Baudrillard says, “The faultless mastery of this clandestine style of operation is almost as terroristic as the spectacular act of September 11, since it casts suspicion on any and every individual” (20). The “clandestine style of operation” that Baudrillard refers to is how the terrorists could be people who are walking amongst us, living similar lives. Being able to see the reactions of the people gives insight to what the people may actually be thinking and that’s why windowing is important.
Episode 1 of Season 2 uses many elements to create suspense and suspicion. In the post 9/11 time period, this show would’ve gotten a lot of attention because the audience would be able to relate to the aura of suspicion.

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