Friday, January 27, 2006

'24' Alert: George Mason is Definitely a Jew

Inspired by the recent essay revealing Jack Bauer's Jewishness, correspondent Fausta of Bad Hair Blog gazed thoughtfully at the ever-expanding CTU Memorial Wall of Honor in LA and wondered whether the late George Mason might also be Jewish (that's George at the right in the photo, going mano-a-mano with Jack Bauer).

Fantastic idea, Fausta. And you know what? You're right. George Mason IS (or was, anyway) Jewish. Here's why.

One strong factor point to George Mason's Judaism is that he is undoubtedly related to this well-known fellow. My sense is that their grandmothers were second cousins.

During his time at CTU, seasons 1 and 2, Mason was a highly ambiguous character, at least in the beginning. As LA director of CTU, Mason clashed with Jack Bauer and had a history of financial chicanery, both of which made him a prime candidate as a mole.

However, like Judah in the story of Joseph, Mason revealed himself to be a man with a deep sense of self-sacrificing decency. During season 2, Mason is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation as CTU tries to stop a nuclear bomb plot. He realizes instantly he's a dead man, but rather than moan and kvetch and spend his final hours downing Jell-o shots at Hooter's, Mason reaches out to his estranged son John and reconciles with him before his fateful last assignment as a stow-away.

Mason, brilliantly played by Xander Berkeley, emerges from the back of an airplane that Jack is flying with a nuke to a remote area of Southern California. In a moment of supreme composure and duty, Mason boots Jack out (with a parachute, of course) and pilots the plane himself and saves millions of lives. I'm pretty sure I heard him reciting the Sh'ma as the plane headed deep into the mountains.

Here's an erev shabbat salute to George Mason, our landsman.

(And besides being a mensch, you know George was Jewish because he was also a generous macher and a MAJOR supporter of this institution.)

1 comment:

Fausta said...

Cool! Very cool!

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