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President Charles Logan was among the most unattractive and disrespected characters ever to appear on the “24” series in all of its seasons. We expect the criminals to be vile, devious, and deviant, but Mr. Logan was the Honorable President of the United States who was personally a super-big wannabe with super-tiny self-esteem–who lead neither his family nor his cabinet.

And … he neither supported nor respected series hero Jack Bauer. He engineered a series of events that eventually led to Bauer’s two years of horrendous incarceration in China. That’s why his return to this season’s series makes him one of the most unpopular characters in the history of “24’s” tradition of returning characters. It was a real risk by the producers, and while I struggle to like (or even be interested in) his part in the show, it hit me last night that he’s actually the poster child for a theme that the spiritually minded are drawn to: redemption.

Only someone as disgraced and disgraceful as an ex-President under house arrest could be so low and unattractive that his attempts at redemption and restoration seem as impossible as they are unattractive.

And such was much of the message of Jesus before He died (wherever His tomb may be). He redeemed the lives of prostitutes, tax-collectors, and arguing brothers, and even made heroes of the vile Samaritans. In a self-help society filled with positive thinking and achievement anxiety, there is room for hope in all of us for the idea that redemption is possible no matter what we’ve done. Fox is surely betting on it.

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