I caught the double episode of “24” last night, and I continue to astonished by the performance of Gregory Itzin, who plays creepy President Charles Logan, second-rate politician and third-rate man. One key to Itzin’s performance is his poker-faced display of Logan’s Nixon-esque weakness for self-pity, even as the ruthless leader allows the murder of innocent Americans, the assassination of a former president, and commits enough acts of treason to make one dizzy. Another key is the voice. Itzin makes Logan sound like he’s always sorry about something, humble and penitent, even as Logan imagines himself an uber-president, able to play everyone else like a cheap violin. Also, when President Logan is lying, which is most of the time, Itzin makes it obvious, but the man is trying so hard to be believed that you can see why the person he’s lying to gives him a pass. And after all, he’s the president. Or was. Alas, we won’t have Logan to kick around anymore.
Jean Smart as first lady has also been excellent, of course, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, as Chloe, continues to prove that she’s one of the best actresses on television right now.
57 minutes ago