Interesting that Executive Producer Howard Gordon doesn't see that (the mountain lion) as one of the show's worst decisions.
Zap2it: What was your worst decision?
Howard Gordon: "I feel as though the story made a very wrong turn in season 6. I don't think the idea of Jack's family was a wrong turn, but I think the way we accelerated the story was wrong, and we paid for it the balance of the year. That, to me, is one of the narrative gaps I don't think we ever quite recovered from. We did, on an episode-by-episode basis,or on a certain arc-by-arc basis, but the DNA of the season never really recovered from it.
"Honestly, other than that, I'm remarkably free of regrets, because even the moments that one would imagine we'd regret -- like the cougar or amnesia or shooting JoBeth Williams in the leg, the moments people would point to as being gaffes -- I have to say, they occurred in moments when the story needed them to happen. They were really just collateral damage of the real-time conceit."
Full interview here.
Well, Gordon's right about the family drivel in season 6. But as for the justifcation of the other stuff, is he that delusional, or does he honestly believe that the "Pam-Ewing's-dream / We-can-do-whatever-we-want-and-dramatic-logic-be-damned" method of story writing makes for good TV?