Question: I can't believe they killed Edgar on 24! While it made me cry and I'll miss his and Chloe's "smoldering sexual tension," I can't say that it's a bad thing. I wonder how many people have already written to you expressing hope that maybe, just maybe, Edgar isn't dead. Maybe he'll get up at 7:01 pm and he and Chloe can share a kiss? This is why I love 24 so much. They aren't afraid to take risks and kill off a well-liked character. I think that if all the main characters had made it safely into quarantine, some people would be complaining that that scenario was too unbelievable. Kudos to the 24 writers for keeping us on the edge of our seats.
Answer: Agreed. And you're right. This was an authentic watercooler watershed. (For my own response, check out my Dispatch from earlier this week.) Some more reaction, from Michee: "Monday night's two-fer pack of 24 was awesome. I have to say the nerve-gas released in CTU was the most shocking and brilliant story line I have ever seen. I'm glad that I never look at the spoilers for this show. It was a shock-and-awe moment. There were a few contrivances, but I'm willing to overlook them. I can't believe Edgar is dead! I just wanted to rant."

You weren't the only one. Toni M. weighed in with this: "So tell me — did you cry your eyes out during the last scene like I did? I was becoming somewhat less interested in 24 the past couple of weeks, but boy was it back with a vengeance Monday night. RIP Edgar Stiles. We'll miss you, buddy."

I won't say I cried, but once I realized what was going to happen, my heart sank as I knew once again 24 was going to force us to say goodbye to a major player. It was just brilliant, and devastating.

And here's this from Laura: "I'm still jazzed after Monday night's two-hour 24. All I have to say is: Kiefer Sutherland had better win an Emmy this year! Hands-down, he is the best actor on television. Jack Bauer is the most tortured, heroic character on TV and it's about time someone notices this. What are his chances of winning?"

Sadly, probably still pretty slim. With The Sopranos and James Gandolfini back in the mix, not to mention House's Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (who was robbed last year), Kiefer will probably have to settle for another well-deserved nomination. (I'd rather any of these win than to see James Spader repeat again for Boston Legal, if in fact that show continues to compete in the drama category. Enough already.)

And finally on the 24 front, this lengthy reality check from Joe: "I've loved 24 since it premiered, and I hate to be a buzz kill, but am I the only one really disappointed with this season? My first complaint would have to be this year's terrorist plot. It's completely convoluted and makes no sense! First the terrorists held up an airport in order to stop a treaty from being signed. How does that make sense? Couldn't the president still just sign the treaty after the hostage situation was over? Or have signed it that day and not make the announcement for a few days? How did holding those people hostage really accomplish that goal — even if it was just a front so they could get the gas (inexplicably hidden at the airport, by the way)? And what about the terrorists' brilliant plan to gas Suvarov's motorcade? How does releasing gas in an outdoor area, onto a moving target, make any sense at all? Then there are the interchangeable villains, and how many times have they changed already? Walt Cummings, the guys at the airport, the guy in the yellow tie, the guy who supplied the gas, the guy with the sex slave, yellow-tie's boss? Enough already! I don't even know who the heck the villains are anymore — and worse, I'm starting not to care. Also, no one is behaving logically. There were plenty of ways the president could have handled the situation with the Suvarovs. He could easily have sent a decoy motorcade or alerted CTU to scout the route for the terrorists before the Suvarovs left. Despite his incompetence, for him (and Mike!) to act like there were no other options was ridiculous. And speaking of ridiculous, what about the "shock" of the sex slave shooting her captor? Where did she get the gun? From a CTU agent who must have ineptly left his gun lying around? Or did she always have access to guns and it just dawned on her now to use one? Either way, it's a big stretch. I hate being critical of a show I love, but when a show like 24, which has set the bar so high, falls this short, I find it impossible to ignore."

Well, Joe, it seems to me that these criticisms could apply to just about any season of 24. At the heart of your gripe is this telling statement: "I don't even know who the heck the villains are anymore — and worse, I'm starting not to care." Joe, you're not supposed to care. 24 is an exercise in suspense, not logic. It's about the thrill of the ride, not the details. The plot underpinnings of 24 are the largest living embodiment of what Hitchcock used to refer to as the "McGuffin," the ultimately irrelevant catalyst to the action and character interaction that we tune in for. If that somehow makes 24 a lesser show, so be it. It's still a gas. This week, literally.