Tuesday, May 25, 2010

24 Season 8: 2PM-4PM Review- Series Finale

Confusion never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks
Gonna come back and take you home
I could not stop that you now know singing

Come out upon my seas
Cursed missed opportunities
Am I a part of the cure?
Or am I part of the disease?

                               "Clocks" by Coldplay

New York.

Cole Ortiz gets an update from Arlo- Jack has created a slaughterhouse. Cole believes that Jack is just set on killing bad guys and consoles Arlo, who is... inconsolable. Cole is also scared, but he has to do some manly shit to impress Mr. Blonde, which he does. Well done, Chico, Jr!

Chloe is at the UN telling everyone in person that they can trust Chico. The CTU agents believe Chloe. Well done, Chloe!

Chico & Chloe assemble a plan "on the fly" that will save the Universe. They know Yuri Suvarov's life is in immediate danger. Logan and his lapdog don't know this and tell President Taylor everything, which Jack overhears. Oy, we got problems!

Taylor returns to the roundtable and Logan gets into a freshly un-shot limo to return to the UN building. Logan's lapdog gets into his own vehicle and tells Eden to keep an eye out for Bauer. Oh wait, what's that? Bauer's in lapdog's truck? Ha! You've been punked, Piller!  Jack tells lapdog that he knows the Russian President is involved. Lapdog indicates non-verbally that he needs new undergarments.

Back at the UN, an international-looking group of people pow-wow about their awesomeness. Dalia Hassan hands President Taylor a guilt-ridden gift from her dead husband- a pen! I got a pen as a gift when I graduated law school. I lost it- it's somewhere in a box in my attic. One day, I will find this pen. When I'm not looking for it. Wait, is this episode still on? Oh yeah, Kayla tells her mommy that the Russians ordered the hit on Omar Hassan. They whisper this stuff. This is dramatic.

Chloe tells Chico that they're going to pull a "Firefly" and broadcast the damning evidence to the entire world (and every government employee) at once. SPAM filters will probably defeat this plan, but here's to hoping for success!

Outside a building across from the UN, Jack and lapdog pull up to the security checkpoint. The guard does not play along with lapdog's worried looks. Oh well, it was worth a try. When they pull into an empty underground lot, Jack makes lapdog suture up his wound. They are close enough to kiss, but what they really do is rehash the entire day's plot and reveal Jack's motives- Jack declares he's Judge Dredd. Lapdog cries that he has a basket full of puppies at home that he's supposed to feed in three hours. Jack loves puppies and for this reason alone, he spares lapdog's life. But that doesn't mean he can't beat him into unconsciousness! Jack is now loose inside the UN complex! He takes The Jack Sack XXL with him for an unscheduled tour. First stop- the gift shop!

Dalia Hassan goes to meet President Taylor, who is still holding that guilt-ridden pen.  Mrs. Hassan tells Taylor that she knows the Russians killed her husband. Taylor tells her it's a frivolous rumor. Mrs. Hassan tells Taylor that Meredith Reed is a slut yes, but not a frivolous one! Taylor's poker face begins to crack. Mrs. Hassan doesn't believe anyone could arrest a journalist for telling the truth. What country are you from, Dalia? (Writers of this show, you need to lay off the crackpipe, sorry). Anyway, lots of weeping and whining ensues about some peace treaty and trust. Dalia calls off the party and demands they call the caterer before they can't get their deposit back. Taylor then gets dirty- real dirty: she's offering Dalia World War Three "It will be decades before your country recovers." Damn, girl! You done gone off the deep end! What the heck am I watching?

Meanwhile, Jack gets his sniper's nest set-up. He makes a video confessional explaining what he's about to do. More motive! 24 fans, are you watching this? All of your questions are being answered repeatedly. Renee Walker is someone Jack was close to. He won't say girlfriend because fate denied them the chance to buy Pottery Barn furniture together- but he knows they were on track to move in if the Ruskies hadn't plugged her with lead. Dammit!

Yuri Suvarov pulls into the UN basement and is met by Taylor and Dalia Hassan. Suvarov tells Dalia he's sorry about her dead husband and asks to be taken to the hors d'oeuvres pronto. Taylor asks Dalia if she wants to share in cheese pinwheels. Dalia tells Taylor she doesn't want to become a fat, lying scumbag like her. Zing!

Back in his private haberdashery, Logan tries on yet ANOTHER new necktie, fresh from his ass-kicking by Jack Bauer. And speaking of Jack, Chloe gets the drop on him! There's a first for 24. But Jack puts the sleeper hold on Chloe ("Don't fight it, don't fight it"-- hey, Curtis Manning is watching this from his shiny-shirt heaven right now, laughing his dead ass off). Chloe takes a nap.

Jack calls Logan. Logan needs new undergarments to match his fresh necktie. Jack tells Logan to get Suvarov in his office so he can kill him. Logan succeeds, and Jack congratulates him on being a world class liar. This stuff is great. Logan is looking out his window with dread. Chico, Jr. gets Chloe's voicemail and calls in the tactical team to take down Jack Bauer. Dozens of men in windbreakers mobilize. The music soars!

Chloe tells Jack he's about to start WWIII. Jack tells Chloe to shut up. Dude, several years of telling Chloe O'Brian to zip it have never worked, why expect it to happen now? Jack has a moment of clarity and decides that killing Suvarov, while just, is not the best way to honor his dead... girlfrie- "person who was very close to him." He makes Chloe promise that she'll finish what he started with multimedia power. Jack tells Chloe to kill him. Chloe cries. Jack yells. Chloe cries a bit more. Jack pulls a gun on her, then he puts his gun to his own head and is about to blast his brains out and Chloe shoots Jack brilliantly in the shoulder. What are the Vegas odds this doesn't slow Jack down a bit?  Bazooka shells bounce off this guy at this point...

Lapdog arrives on the scene and senses that Jack and Chloe are in cahoots. He checks Bauer's recorder and sees there's no recording inside of it. He frisks Chloe and she asks that he be a decent chap and at least slip a $20 bill in her g-string. After Chloe leaves with the recording, lapdog learns that Jack was shot professionally! Oh, shenanigans! Before lapdog can call CTU to lockdown Chloe, Jack starts whispering at him. Uh-oh, lapdog puts his ear way too close to Jack's chompers. Wait for it... wait for it... oh yeah! Mike Tyson, if you're watching 24, you've been vindicated. Lapdog now has an asymmetrical set of ears (meaning he has only one ear left). While this is a great 24 moment, Chloe is still "locked down" and the recording falls back into the hands of evil.

Meanwhile, the 24 writers unfurl a prolonged peace treaty-signing ceremony that rivals the ending of STAR TREK VI. The Andorian delegation is seated in the front row. Their antennae signal they are hopeful for a new day in the Federation. Suvarov signs first. Dalia signs next. Taylor picks up that freakin' pen from the dead dude and stares at the treaty for 4 hrs until she decides all of her stupidity will never result in a meaningful peace. Justice is on the menu and it needs to be served. Screw the peace process! Let's get back to honesty and war!

Taylor runs off the stage and tells the ubiquitous Tim Woods to call Jack's medical transport and warn them that she ordered a hit on Bauer. Oh boy, that lady's got problems. Too late though, as we find Jack's ambulance smoldering from the ambush. Jack survives the crash (naturally) but is taken into custody by a group working for an unnamed government agency (probably the Department of the Interior, let's be honest, nobody's watching our Park Rangers).

Logan begins to understand that the jig is totally up for him and he kills his one-eared lapdog (woof?) and puts a bullet through his own head in order to avoid Federal prison food. But wouldn't you know it, Logan must have used the same bullet that Jack got shot with as an EMT informs us that Logan will probably survive. I love Gregory Itzin and Charles Logan is my favorite 24 villain, but come on guys- let the dude die already. This wasn't a cry for help- Logan really shot himself in the head. Let him go!

Jack is taken to a lot underneath the Williamsburg Bridge as a recently re-re-reinstated Chloe and Chico Jr. direct CTU to save Jack's life (on Presidential Order by Tim Woods). Okay, so the last 10 minutes have been jam-packed with plot, but we can follow this, right?

One of the "Park Rangers" has a lot of respect for Jack and tells him he's gonna kill him with love. Jack sasses him and this actually works in delaying things long enough for President Taylor to stop the murder of our man Bauer. Bauer is not gonna die (surprise!). The Park Ranger hands Jack the satellite phone and tells him some crazy old lady is asking to speak with him. Jack gets on the line and tells Taylor he's not giving up his quest to kick everyone's ass but Taylor tells him it's all good- she's going to tell the truth, resign her office and remand herself to the Attorney General. 24 writers, FYI- the Attorney General is not some super-cop. Axel Foley is a super-cop. Having her surrender to the Attorney General is like having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court take payment for her overdue parking tickets. Silly!

Anyway, we get the big farewell scene. Taylor tells Jack to leave the country otherwise he's going to get arrested. Can't she do one of those pardon-thingies before she resigns? Come on, he deserves it! Just write it out on a napkin. It's cool!

But this is 24, and while we can go down ridiculous paths story-wise, we have to leave things off with a cliffhanger: Jack is now Batman at the end of THE DARK KNIGHT. He's on the run, a man without a country. Chloe and Jack have a nice chat about friendship which is fitting in its finality. Jack makes Chloe promise to stay classy and make sure the Russians don't send a pack of cougars to take down Kim (remember her? Yeah, I almost forgot too). And then Chloe says to "Shut it down" and out goes the predator drone camera. Jack dissolves into the digital ether. Next stop: Europe(?).

The End.

My thoughts: I don't think there was ever a perfect way to close out this series. I started this review by quoting a song's lyrics that I feel speak to the writers' view of Jack Bauer- that he's a part of both the cure and the disease of his world. Vigilantism is an old story- from Robin Hood, Zorro, Superhero characters, Godzilla and now Jack Bauer- and as such there's a long history of the hero being a loner. I enjoyed the way it ended, but I still feel that Season 8's greatest failing could not be resolved by this conclusion- namely the political plot.

It is nothing short of silly what we've endured with this whole peace treaty nonsense. Taylor (who was brilliantly acted in this episode) did things that were incredibly implausible. She was bent into a shape that was unrecognizable from her character last season. Her sole motive was to preserve a peace accord? And then to cover her ass when she hid the truth about the Russians? Ethan Kanin's reaction a few episodes ago should have been Taylor's reaction as well. The writers forced a showdown that made me scratch my head quite a bit. And I get what they tried to do, but they pulled the story too far down an absurd path for the impact of the conflict to resonate fully.

Luckily, Jack remained true to his character throughout- dogged, honorable and strong. His is an iconic persona- I'm glad he didn't kill Suvarov or Logan as he would have done more harm than good in his quest for justice. And he relied on Chloe to do the right thing- willing to give up his own life to preserve something within himself. It's a sad ending in that he was willing (and almost hoping) to die, but his dedication to justice was vindicated (albeit hamfistedly by Taylor).

Personally, I would have rather seen an ending in which Jack could have moved onto his next day with a feeling that things were better than he had found them 23 hours and 59 minutes ago. Or even many years ago... but the writers are not into that sort of character arc. There is no closure here, just a prelude to more of the same. I hope the movie pushes outward with this character. Kiefer Sutherland has a lot to offer here and Jack Bauer is more than bullets and persistence. His story encapsulates a period in this country's history that, for better or worse, has changed us forever. Just as I hope we all learn from this period and form a better set of circumstances for ourselves, I hope to see Jack Bauer move forward when we see him next.

Until then, let the discussion continue...

83 comments:

Cirroc said...

....my fear and confusion with your '24' is well known.....

...in my many years, I have seen the 'finale' as you neanderthals call it of Magnum P.I. and the Firefly series (WHICH Adam, was a MOVIE called 'Serenity' ((the name of the spaceship...) ..(nested parenthesis!))

..I also am shamed by paying actual money to watch the X-Files movies...

....SO... I think the '24' finale is in 3rd place after 'Magnum' and 'Firefly'......

Adam said...

@Unfrozen Attorney-at-Law: Dammit, I knew the movie was called SERENITY! My mistake- but for the sake of this discussion, I shall keep my error intact.

I'm glad your thawed brain enjoyed the finale....

Paid for both X-Files movies? Holy mother...

singingdoll said...

Great review, Adam. Excellent use of the Coldplay song as well.

Overall, I was pleased with the finale. I was immediately satisfied, and only on a little reflection have I a few small complaints.

I would have liked an ending that was a little less like previous seasons. (season 4, anyone, minus the faked death? maybe even season 6 a little as well?) Up until the last 10 minutes, it felt different than past seasons (almost a season 5 feel actually) -- incredibly tense, I was on the edge of my seat, etc. I was let down a tiny bit, but not too much, and I did really love the emotional scene between Jack and Chloe. Maybe she's his true love after all (but not a romantic love because I don't see that happening, or in their chemistry at all)?

I actually liked the peace angle of the plot this year, but at times it was poorly executed. Actors like Cherry Jones, Bob Gunton, and of course Kiefer did the best they could with what they were given.

I'm sure they're keeping Logan alive just in case they need him again someday. I like seeing him back, but I think his character arc has ended. I wanted him to die off! Then again, maybe his punishment IS having to live, with some irreparable damage.

I think the true character arc this season -- and I think the writers wanted to convey this -- was Chloe. That's all I'll say about that, as it speaks for itself, I think.

As for Jack, I agree -- I want to see more. HoGo says 24 is a tragedy. But real life isn't all tragedy and all happiness. It's a mixture. He got a few moments of pleasure today -- hanging out with his granddaughter, banging Renee (sorry that's crass of me) -- I'd like to see him get a few more in the future. I think he can.

55 said...

I thought it was an amazing way to end the series. The scenes with Taylor/Hassan and all the Chloe/Jack moments were perfect. It's Jack Bauer and it's 24...it was never going to work out perfectly. Honestly, Jack's lucky it turned out the way it did.

Taylor's actions made sense because it wasn't just a peace treaty that she had spent probably at least a year working on, it was also her entire legacy (think "Waterloo"). And it wasn't like any of the decisions were easy for her. I wrote this before, but it's like Jack said way back in the pilot: You compromise once, and it becomes easier to compromise the next time. Taylor compromised once.

I've never cried over anything fictional, but I got misty-eyed during the goodbye season, mostly because it's gone forever.

P.S. But seriously, she could have pardoned Jack before resigning. The Russians would still want him for killing their diplomat, but they weren't going to start a war over it (especially since they're facing a major shitstorm) and Jack can hide from them perfectly well.

P.P.S. for all the people who kept insisting that it was solely about Renee...well, I'll let Jack take that one.

Dr. Alice said...

...THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. No cavaliering here. I thought the ending rocked, or as much as it could have with the (still silly) Taylor/peace process plot. The writers could have done better, as you pointed out, Adam.

Logan's ending - perfect poetic justice. Nice touch that he had no qualms killing Pillar, whereas Jack did. Jack apparently got his conscience back in these last two episodes.

A very nice bit: Suvarov rolling his eyes when he's told Logan is on the phone for him. You can see him thinking "That asshole again? What's he want THIS time?"

Maybe Chico Jr. will make it into the 24 movie as Designated Sidekick! There's nobody left alive who knows about his little slipup, is there? - or at least nobody who will talk.

I got a pen as a gift when I graduated law school. I lost it- it's somewhere in a box in my attic. One day, I will find this pen. When I'm not looking for it. Wait, is this episode still on?
OK, you made me laugh like mad with this. Hope you find your pen. :D

Hatch said...

Jack stares into the camera, into the US, and into your soul. Countdown to 0. Epic.

More thoughts later, but I will say that I doubt they'll bring Logan back - his botched suicide was just the final kick in the ribs, proving that the man is a complete failure in every way. He can't even kill himself. It's almost hilarious, in a really sad way.

Adam said...

@Molly- Thank you, my friend. Excellent observation about Chloe's arc as well- she was Jack's true protégé and she honored him well in the final hours.

@55- You're right, Taylor sought to protect her legacy. Within the 24-verse, her actions were understandable. My personal love of politics and history prejudice me in this area, and that's why I'm (overly) critical of the way this part of the story was written.

@Dr. Alice- I want to buy you a pen now! Thank you for all of your comments over the years- you and many others here have been loyal to this site and I hope our correspondence continues as I go into the retro-reviews starting with Season 1 next week!

@Hatch- another loyal reader! Amen, brother- Logan is a complete failure-- a Shakespearean-level buffoon. His ending reveals his inadequacies yet again. Poor lapdog, though, eh? I look forward to reading more of your thoughts soon.

Hatch said...

And holy crap, that quote from Logan about Jack was incredible, when Taylor suggested locking Jack down in a remote part of the world. I don't remember exactly how it went, but something along the lines of "He will claw his way out of the darkest, deepest hole..." just wow.

55 said...

Another quote I always keep in mind: Either Ramon or Hector Salazar (thinking Ramon) says, "It's Jack Bauer. The man has more lives than a cat."

Drazen and Henderson running out of bullets...Russian roulette...Mason sneaking onto the plane...now Chloe's magic bullet and Taylor's phone call after a second of hesitation from the bad guy.

singingdoll said...

so true, 55! when was the russian roulette again? damn, my memory's gone.

so adam, you're doing a retro review thing? just rewatching all of the shows and reviewing them? how frequently? i rewatched seasons 1-7 in prep for this season, so they're somewhat fresh (but not fresh enough to recall the roulette scene, apparently).

singingdoll said...

p.s. adam, have i ever told you how much i just adore your avatar on here? jack + elmo = love.

Dr. Alice said...

Someday, Aaron will find out what happened to Logan. And when he does, something completely unprecedented will happen.

He will smile. And possibly break into a tap dance.

singingdoll said...

Of course!!! How could I forget -- the absence of Aaron Pierce from this season. Sad!

singingdoll said...

also, did anyone catch that the season 8 pre-order on amazon listed carlos bernard as one of the stars? started to wonder if tony was gonna be the one kidnapping him at the end...

brandon curtis said...

I enjoyed it, the empty nagging in your soul when a great TV show ends is starting to kick things up a notch in me.

The way the finales over the past two seasons have found ways to minimize Jack's necessity seems to reiterate that the man is a dinosaur no matter how brutal and effective he may be. In this way, I am reminded of "Once Were Warriors," with Temeura Morrison, and its sequel "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." Brutality works, but considering what it does to everything around you it can't, and won't, forever. Also those, two titles: a fair statement and a fair question.

Brittany said...

I'm only posting this because I'm obviously up and on here already, having commented elsewhere. (Although I haven't read this post/comments thoroughly - it was the strangest thing; I woke up this morning NOT completely obsessed with Jack Bauer.) But bottom line - Great job, Adam and loyal slew of readers/commenters. (Said the overly encouraging elementary school teacher.) That is all.

Now, let life after 24/Jack Bauer begin.

55 said...

singingdoll-

http://24.wikia.com/wiki/Russian_roulette

Sally Jo said...

Adam,

I've enjoyed your blog over the years--thanks for putting so much into it!

24 is still the best TV show of all time to my mind, its weaknesses just highlight its strengths all the more. Jack Bauer is an icon to me, esp. in an age of political correctness.

I don't really feel like this is goodbye--because of the film in the works, I'm not sad yet. However, I did wonder if the film rumor was a red herring and Jack was going to die in the finale.

Even if he dies in the film, he'll always live on in my flinty heart :)

Charlie said...

I've been naysaying all season, so perhaps it's not surprising that the finale was just continued disappointment for me. At this point, though, the writers had dug themselves into such a deep hole that I don't think they could have salvaged a respectable ending. To be honest the end of season 7 was a respectable ending to a storyline that had gone horribly bad. I just couldn't see them pulling it off again.

Planned movie aside, I kinda wanted them to kill off Jack - even if Jack's life and death would be slandered after the fact by "the bad guys." If Jack had to live his last hours and die as a vigilante who had lost his last screw and was "grieving" in ways that wouldn't exactly meet the approval of psychiatrists, so be it. Dude needs a nap.

I hope the movie I keep hearing about at least has a semi-happy ending, or Jack dying an honorable death at the end of his 9 lives (8 seasons + 1 movie = 9 lives?), or just finally deciding that he's not going to let his life be ruined by serving the gubmint anymore and being roped into this sort of crap repeatedly. After all this, Jack needs to retire in a non-extradition country in the Caribbean or South America or something (not that that'd do any good as we found out during Redemption). This keeping Jack alive stuff is getting annoying. I don't think there's anything wrong with beating swords into plowshares.

It's not just the incredible improbability of him dodging all those bullets and surviving all that torture and not bleeding out from those knife and gunshot wounds over the years (to say nothing of the prion variant, etc, etc).

When I read, "I'm sure they're keeping Logan alive just in case they need him again someday." the first thing that came to mind was that you could substitute "Jack" for "Logan" and that sentence would still be true. It's still such a gravy train. I can't even explain the reason I've stomached the 7th and 8th seasons (6 was OK) - perhaps it's because as bad as the plots are, Jack's character and character development have always been compelling and complicated (if not a bit alluring from the schadenfreude angle). And the show's always been better about developing Jack than about telling a sane plot that doesn't swing off the paved road at some point. I don't know whether credit for the character of Bauer goes to decent/good writing or Kiefer's acting. Probably some of both.

All that said, after season after season of Jack mucking his way through inane plots and somehow surviving all the lead and steel and fire, only to survive to another season where more of his life is destroyed in complex plots involving more government service, what can they do next? Mercy already. Let Jack die or retire.

And of course it's implied in the last 10 minutes of this season that Jack's family has now unofficially entered "threatened" status. Kimmie and Teri Jr. in distress at the hands of The Bad Guys(tm), I would guess. Yawn. Somebody remind me to have the self-control to not be roped into watching that one.

I know, I know. I always saw the empty half of the glass. The finale had some up moments - Taylor not only exposing the ruse but telling Jack to have a head start was a good touch (and I didn't expect it).

They gave it a good run but 24 ran out of fertile soil sometime during season 6.

Jay said...

In thinking a little bit more about the ending, it struck me that Jack finished the show as a coward. The President made mistakes, admitted to them and said she would resign and accept punishment. Jack killed and maimed a number of people in the past few hours, many of them innocent of any crime, but chooses to run away. If he really cared about the well being of his family, he would have surrendered and stood trial. Weak season, weak ending.

Anonymous said...

"If he really cared about the well being of his family, he would have surrendered and stood trial."

Except, as he explicitly says, his family is in danger because of the Russians, who wouldn't give a crap about him being on trial or not.

Charlie said...

"If he really cared about the well being of his family, he would have surrendered and stood trial. Weak season, weak ending."

Yes and no. I think that's why Jack wanted the grunt at the end to just kill him.

As for standing trial? I don't know. I think Jack probably believes some or all of the following:
* Chloe will protect Kim and her family
* He will be able to lead away most of the heat
* He may be able to hunt down some of his hunters
* The people who are hunting him don't care about "prosecuting" Jack legally

55 said...

Howard Gordon:

"It’s not just the death of Renee so much as it is the deprivation of justice that gets Jack to this place. I think it’s really important to look at those two as being, you know, a flip side to the same coin."

Brittany said...

Good point, 55, but at this particular point in time I am still of the opinion that Howard Gordon can go suck it.

I'm sure that'll fade though.

Brittany said...

Also, (in my opinion) Mary Lynn Rajskub is pretty darn good at fake-crying. She had me convinced.

Spencer said...

Logan's fate was just a terrible slap-in-the-face from the writers. Imagine if season 7 ended with Tony getting stabbed with a needle and saying "She's gone, Jack." again.

Arrr Geee said...

"CTU MOBILE COMMAND" truck. Are they really gonna advertise that fact on the side? "Hey, terrorists! This is the truck that contains the most important people in it....target right here!" LOL

Hatch said...

OK, I'm never good at "final thoughts" for anything, so here's some random stream-of-consciousness rambling on the finale.

THE GOOD: Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack. I loved seeing him do his thing in sneaking into Pillar's car. It actually made me jump when he slowly sat up in the back seat of the car. And then using him to sneak into the building adjacent to the UN = just classic Bauer. I also loved the entire scene with him and Pillar, where Jack says that he would have been happy with justice by law, but the actions of the president have forced him to become judge, jury and executioner.

I was glad he didn't execute Pillar. That would have been too far, even for Jack. It was just so tense in that moment, and the way it was composed reminded me a lot of Chappelle.

That scene where Jack tells Chloe to shoot him was the most intense part of the finale for me. When he raised to gun to her I gasped, and when he put the gun to his own head I almost yelled. Wow.

Charles Logan. He was already one of my top 3-4 characters of the series, and he stayed true to form until the bloody end. That was another moment that made me gasp - when Jack calls him and tells him he's got the rifle pointed at him. And when he finally lost it and killed Pillar, blaming everything on Jack once again, was CLASSIC. He's almost a tragic character to me. It seems to me he was a guy who just wanted respect, love, and to be remembered as a great person. He wanted Martha's love, and when he lost her, he sought redemption. But that wasn't enough - he needed to be recognized, to be respected, to be back in the game. And he was willing to look the other way and do/let people do horrible things for that legacy. In reality, he was just a small, small man. And then he finally gets up the gumption to kill himself, and he can't even do THAT right. He can't even commit suicide! He completely fails at everything he's ever tried to do! My God, that was perfect to me. In case you couldn't tell, I really like this character. [[smile]]

Jack's recording to Kim. Man, that was great stuff. Him talking about how everything to her started with "I'm sorry" really started getting me choked up. And then his statements about "That's who I am," again, fantastic. That's Jack.

Jack and Chloe. The final scene between those two was fan-freaking-tastic. Before the finale started, I had literally commented to a pal of mine how no-one could have predicted back in S3 that Chloe would be the one who was always there for him, and then Jack SAID IT. Oh yeah, I got teary eyed. And the music there was just perfect. I was so stunned that Callery brought back the "Jack's Family" theme as he left the scene and looked into the camera, then blared the 24 theme a final time. (continued)

Hatch said...

Stuff I was disappointed with:
A lack of action/suspense in the final hour. I had this image in my mind of Jack being in one last, big action scene in the final hour of the show, with the 24 theme playing in the background. I thought we were getting it when Jack's ambulance was ambushed, but it didn't come. In fact, there was almost too little Jack in the last half hour. Too much time was spent with Taylor thinking about the peace treaty, looking at the peace treaty, hearing an introductory speech about the peace treaty, almost signing the peace treaty, not signing the peace treaty. Great scenes, but in all honesty I wanted to get back to Jack. Having him shot and almost out of commission for the final hour of the show may have been somewhat of a mistake.

And as others have said, somehow it just didn't feel like the end of the show, except for maybe the final scene and the countdown clock (which I thought was great). In my perfect 24 scenario, they would have decided that this would be the final season before the writing of it ever started, and written it accordingly, bringing back a few old storylines and characters, then ending it DEFINITIVELY. Don't get me wrong, I will crap myself when the first trailer for "24: The Movie" is released, and damned if I won't be the first in line to buy a ticket. But I still wish it had all gone down differently in the last year.

That's all I can think of for now, in truly random fashion. All in all, I'm happy with that ending, especially the final minute or so. But it just doesn't feel OVER to me; I feel like we should be talking about what will happen next year. I guess it will be that way for awhile. I just feel ready to see what happens next NOW, which I suppose is what 24 has always done to me. It just feels strange. This show was with me for the past 5 years, and I know some of you have watched it longer. It's tied especially close to my college years, pretty much represents an era of my life. Ok, now the alcohol is setting in and I'm being dramatic.

Bottom line: I have absolutely what the hell I'm going to do next Monday. Dammit.

Hatch said...

All in all...bring on the movie. I'm psyched.

Brittany said...

Holy frick Hatch actually wrote a lot.

I haven't actually read a thing yet, I'm just so surprised I had to say it.

Hatch said...

Yeah, I usually have a lot on the brain, but I don't go to the trouble to form coherent sentences on the page. Actually, I'm not sure if what I wrote above could be considered "coherent sentences."

Adam said...

@Hatch- It's coherent, buddy, and it's a good summary of the strengths and weaknesses of last night's finale.

I think you touch on a good point- that last night didn't feel like a series finale. Not until maybe the last 5 minutes maybe- where we have Jack saying goodbye to Chloe. I didn't feel sad by what happened because it didn't feel like an ending. It's actually a cliffhanger- a prelude to the next day. Stylistically, I think that's a good way to close out 24's television run. Nothing was ever neatly finished with the series- there was always another threat looming or we were left to wonder about Jack's fate (a la Season 4... 5, 6 and 7 now that I think of it!).

Last season closed with a shoot-out when Alan Wilson & Co. forced a final conflict. That was a great finish because we wanted to see Wilson get his just desserts. With this season, it feels like what the writers were aiming to do was portray the system caving in on itself after all of Taylor's poor choices came to a head. While there were bad guys this season, there was no true villain. Taylor was the central figure controlling those events- and it was ultimately her choice to resolve matters justly.

Jack leaves us as a symbol of everything he's fought for over these many years- the person who would sacrifice himself for a greater idea. Taylor sees what Jack symbolizes and abandons her scheme. She made many wrong choices, but her true decency could not ignore what Jack was doing.

Jay makes an interesting comment above when he says Jack leaves off as a coward because he ran from the justice he owes society. On the surface, I agree- and by the letter of the law, Jack is a criminal, no doubt. But that's been a central theme for this character and the entire series from Day One- do the ends justify the means? There is no clear answer to that question. And in Jack's case, he's been struggling with his choices for as long as we've known him. That's the story of Jack- the man who society cannot accept but ultimately needs in it's worst moments.

Brittany said...

I think my circuits are still fried, but as far as I can tell through this stupor, perfectly coherent (@Hatch). <--More coherent than me, it seems. In fact, I almost started composing responses in my head, until I realized -- no. I'm not up for that right now.

Although I haven't hesitated to throw in random blurbs, to be honest I still don't know where I stand about 24's finale - about the episode, the final season, or the grander picture of the show in general.

It's kind of weird. I usually have a million things to say, but right now it all just kind of seems irrelevant. The details feel extraneous and the bigger themes feel too subjective.

Ah. The daze will pass, I'm sure, and then I'll look back fondly on those rare moments when I wasn't compelled to produce mass quantities of reflection.

Adam said...

@Brittany- We're always here for you- post your thoughts when you're good and ready. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that Mary Lynn was amazing- but I get the feeling that those tears were real.

Spencer said...

Adam, could I by any chance move my thoughts of the episode to this page? I honestly doubt anyone's going to read the open thread anymore. I should've just waited until the next day to post my thoughts on this page, but I'm evil and couldn't help it.

Adam said...

@Spencer- go for it, bud. Cut and paste at will. And thank you for checking with me first-- I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed your blog over this year and now I'm gonna have time to read all the stuff of past years, so thank you so much !
And as for Jack he remains for me, as I'm not american, the ultimate american hero.

Spencer said...

@Adam- Thank you, man. I was reconsidering it, but you actually have me convinced that you don't mind, so I'll just quote my whining.

(First part of my comment)
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and give off my opinion of the finale. I might have to rewatch it before really, trully judging it, but for the time being, I'm going to go ahead and say that I felt dissapointed and unsatisfied, and that this, like most of the season, was a little too mediocre.

Let me give my reasons.

1-I know there's definatily going to be a movie, but this felt like an average season finale and not anything special. To be honest, this felt like one of the least emotional season endings. Compare this to the ending of seasons 1, 3, 4, 7, -hell, even the ending of season 6 had more of an impact on me. Even though it was an ending, it seemed more like a cliffhanger.

2-Talking talking talking. That's all that most of the finale was. Talking, and considering. It wouldn't have been so bad if maybe there was more suspense in there, but there wasn't because it was mostly predictable. Allison chose to admit her involvement at the last second, Jack decided not to shoot Yuri(Sure, I was glad that Jack turned out to be a good guy after all, but....I hated Yuri), Chloe has to shoot Jack, as if we're expected to believe that she might kill him. Yeah right. My point is that there wasn't much suspense.

3-Season finales of this show have never been known for having a high body count, but this was the LAST SEASON, and ONE PERSON DIED. JUST ONE. I mean, for fuck's sake, there were too many characters in this to begin with. Some people needed to die. Of course, if/when you look back at this season when it comes to DVD, you might notice, if you haven't already, that it takes forever for almost every significant character to die. Jesus Christ.

4- WHAT THE FUUUUUCK! THEY DID THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING WITH LOGAN THAT THEY DID IN SEASON FUCKING 6! I was excited with what Logan could do when I heard of his return, but what happens? THE SAME EXACT FUCKING THING THAT HAPPENED IN SEASON 6! HOW COULD THE FUCKING WRITERS DO THAT? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING! SURELY I'M NOT THE ONLY PERSON THAT'S OUTRAGED OF THIS! Remember when lots of people were upset that Milo returned only to be killed off? That was because of the actor, not the writers, and even if that wasn't, that's not anywhere NEAR as bad as this. This might be the biggest mistake that the writers have ever made. (Yes, worst than the fucking cougar.) I am simply outraged. OUTRAGED.

5- There were no real twists. After watching this show for so long, I couldn't help but expect one shocking reveal, but maybe my hopes were too high. Whatever.

Now before you shoot me, hang on. Let me explain some of the things that I liked about the finale, and I'll even try to be generous.

1-Micheal Madsen didn't die. After hearing that he'd make an appearance, I was simply hoping that he'd last longer than an episode.

2-Pillar getting a little bite from Jack, as suprisingly pointless as it was, was at least entertaining to watch.

3-Jack's finale words to Chloe, reflecting on their past experience was a nice little emotional suprise. I wish I had the slight excuse to cry during the ending, but I'm sure there's a lot of girls out there that probably cried just because Chloe did. I'm just saying.

Spencer said...

(Second part of my comment)
4-The moment where Charles took his gun out. I say the moment because it ended up dissapointing me, like most of the episode. Sure, it was nice to see him actually use a gun, but what he ended up doing was extremely predictable thanks to season 5. Why couldn't he have gone mad with rage and shoot at Taylor and Tim and get shot down? He could've at least killed Tim. And, of course, Logan's fate is exactly the same as season 6, in case I forgot to meintion that.

5-I said I'd be generous, so I'll meintion Jack choosing not to kill Yuri. Allison's redemption was predictable, but at least for Jack, it could've gone either way. Still, am I the only person that still kinda wishes that Jack went through with killing Yuri and the series ending with him going to prison? That would've been a truer, more brutal ending. And let's face it, the writers having to hold us to the end by only having Jack and Allison's morals quuestioned for a few episodes, while it wasn't a bad idea, ended up being a little flat.

I should probably rewatch it again before coming to a real conclusion, but I'm going to go ahead and say that I didn't think it was bad, but it was very dissapointing and average. In the long run, people will defend this season, even though 7 was a 100 times better, but this one was average. I won't dare compare it to season 6, which, thank god for it, might ultimately cover the real dissapointment of this season.

Anonymous said...

Shorter: MORE BLOOD LESS STORYTELLING!!!

Spencer said...

@Anonymous- Close, but it's really "MORE BLOOD, BETTER STORYTELLING".

Adam said...

@Spencer- thanks for you comments- they are truly worthwhile and appreciated. I'm going to respond to them when I get some more free time, but I wanted to give you a "howdy" and thanks before then. Take care.

Hatch said...

So, uh.....

...what now?

Spencer said...

@Adam-

"thanks for you comments- they are truly worthwhile and appreciated."

DAMN.

"I'm going to respond to them when I get some more free time, but I wanted to give you a "howdy" and thanks before then. Take care."

Again, DAMN. You don't have be so nice, bro, even though I love it. I'm a flawed person, like all of us. Sure, I consider myself a little superior, but I have flaws. Still, thanks for your nice replys.

And just to make sure we're on the same page, you do know that I didn't like the finale, right?

Spencer said...

@Hatch- Adam's gonna review season 1- I mean, uh, don't worry, I'm sure he'll come up with something.

In the meantime, we must talk to keep ourselves alive. The Jack Sack won't let us down- his disscussions of 24-ness are not done. One day, they might end, and after that....I don't know what'll happen. It'll be like death, the journey is unknown, and thinking about it will only give you a headache, but that time is far away, so let's not focus on that.

Who knows? One day I might wake up in Reene Walker's vagina, but then again, I naturally don't view that as likely since I'm an aithiest.

Brian Pelts said...

Finally got time to watch. And, well, you guys have pretty much said everything. Stupid DVR screw-up.

Anyway, you want to know why I didn't absolutely hate this episode? BECAUSE THEY HIT THE FUCKING RESET BUTTON AND RESTORED EVERY CHARACTER TO THEIR DEFAULT SETTINGS, ADMITTING ALL ALONG THAT THIS ENTIRE SEASON HAS BEEN ONE GIANT FUCK-UP BY A ROOM FULL OF KNUCKLE-DRAGGING FUCKWIT WRITERS.

God, that feels better.

And yes, I'm man enough to admit that I teared up like an hungry emo baby that missed out on Fall Out Boy tickets during Jack and Chloe's farewell. Just goes to show that talented actors who've created characters that we love and feel like we know can overcome any fucktarded season arc.

Hatch said...

"hungry emo baby"

Yeah, I laughed really hard.

Brittany said...

Whew, Pelty, I was beginning to wonder if you were dead.

I'm not very happy with the ending either, but that's about all I've figured out so far. Eh.

P.S. And yes, I'm man enough to admit that I teared up like an hungry emo baby that missed out on Fall Out Boy tickets during Jack and Chloe's farewell. --- a) This is funny. b) Then what does that make (dry-eyed) me?

P.S. Hatch - So, uh..... ...what now? Exactly. Ex. Act. Ly.

P.S. Spencer - I'll be brief, but I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that as fucked up as I am God is still an important part of my life. Seeking him helps with the anger and self-hatred a bit, too. Just wanted to throw that out there for you. If you want to talk about this any more, give me an email address since it's off the 24 topic. (Yeah...sorry, Adam.)

Spencer said...

Well, ok.

srhodes08@tds.net

Just don't expect to change my religion.

Adam said...

In addition to the retro-reviews that will be starting on Memorial Day (gotta love the Holiday Weekend here), I am in the early stages of putting together something very ambitious with a filmmmaking buddy of mine. I'm not 100% it will come together yet but the concept is basically "The New Original Adventures of The Jack Sack"- Jack Bauer may be off-the-grid until the movie, but the manpurse will be keeping himself busy! This will be a summer project, so give me some time to put this thing together.

Spencer said...

@Adam- Good luck with it!

singingdoll said...

there's a whole lot of comments here! sheesh. i'm getting them emailed to me.

i loved reading all of your comments. not much more for me to say at this point, though i'm pretty tired.

adam, if you would like a hand with any of your jack sack projects, lemme know. especially if you do one of those songs again (like tony's got a gun). i quite enjoy singing. and i used to write poetry. maybe i could pen an ode to jack bauer? ode to chloe? ode to the jack sack? ode to (m.i.a.) aaron pierce? heh.

Brian Pelts said...

@Brittany - Then what does that make (dry-eyed) me?

The black-hearted yin to my secret candy centered yang. Hold me closer, tiny soulless dancer.

@Adam - As the proud owner of The World's Most Dangerous Manpurse (thanks to you), I eagerly await fresh accessory adventure. And god bless you for beginning the Retro Reviews sooner rather than later, before the 24-shaped hole in my heart causes me to implode.

Adam said...

@Molly- Absolutely! Let's start thinking of something soon. I'll DM you on Twitter in the next couple of days.

@Pelty- Brother, thank YOU for your patronage. Every manpurse purchased adds to my Christmas-gift fund. To (re)quote Lt. Aldo Raine from INGLORIOUS BASTERS- "Bidness is a-boomin!"

Brian Pelts said...

Thank YOU for tirelessly tracking it down and offering it. It was pure chance that I first discovered this site around the time I was contemplating what kind of bag to get for my return to college. Me and my Jack Sack have been keeping the University of Oklahoma terrorist-free for a year now.

Adam said...

@Pelty- If you want to write a profile of you and The Jack Sack, let me know. I have a feeling it would make a killer article here. It can be called "A Very Special 'What's In My Jack Sack' After-school Special" Hehehe...

singingdoll said...

sweeeeet!

Cirroc said...

...my struggles with your world of '24' are well known...

...I have just watched the 'Chuck' finale online...

....and I am but a simple caveman, but I found the the 'Chuck' finale more compelling than the '24' finale.....

Brittany said...

Pelty, wow. That may be the sweetest thing anybody's ever said to me.

Adam/Pelty, you guys' animated banter is all kinds of hilarious. I mean, "A Very Special 'What's In My Jack Sack' After-school Special"? Wow. If I laughed out loud at things I read, I would laugh at this. I detect a budding bromance here and I approve. Keep the (would-be) laughs coming.

P.S. ALDO RAINE! Yay for mentioning him again. Anyone who can carve swastikas into the foreheads of deserving men while they squirm like little girls gets two thumbs up from me.

Brian Pelts said...

I wish I knew how to quit you, brah.

nudniq said...

http://charityfolks.com/cfauctions/auction_bid.asp?auctionid=19075&catname=Celebrity+%26+Hollywood&mcid=18204

nudniq said...

the link above is to Jack's original sack from Redemption.. It is also autographed. Saw this at 24fans.net

Anonymous said...

I have been a fan from the very first episode, and have loved the Jack sack reviews since I found them recently. I thought this season was better than the last, and eps 20-22 were brilliant, but I am now sitting here wondering how the writers could have let us down so badly?

As much as I love the show, I really wanted a definitive, almost shock ending like season 1 (maybe a bit like Hatch?) Yes, I would have shed a tear, but I would also have pulled myself together and croaked "what a show". Have they learn't nothing from season 7, incapacitating your main character (yes, I'm one of those "Jack IS 24" people) before the last 10 minutes of a season, especially the last one is unsatisfying. I wanted Jack going down in a blaze of glory, or heading of to join Dim Kim in sunny California. A couple of emotional minutes chatting to Chloe just didn't do it for me.

Yes, the "shoot me Chloe" scene was pure 24, and the previous few episodes were awesome, but I can't help feeling Kiefer Sutherland should have put his foot down and refused to play the final scene without pretending to get shot right at the end, after all, there's nothing to say the movie can't be a prequel (with a bit of make up obviously ;)). Then we could bring back Palmer, Tony and maybe even evil Nina. I'd definitely pay to watch that!

One of the best shows on TV ever, but I wish the ending had been more suspenseful, action-packed and definitive. Am currently imagining Jack buying a coffee in a chain coffee shop just so he can have a wash in the rest-room. So not cool.

Brittany said...

@Pelty - I wish I knew how to quit you, brah. --No! Don't quit! Like I said, you two keep me highly amused on a regular basis.

@Anonymous - Am currently imagining Jack buying a coffee in a chain coffee shop just so he can have a wash in the rest-room. So not cool. --I know. I know, I know, I know.

I've declined to elaborate much about my disappointment with the SERIES ending of 24, partially b/c I still haven't worked it out in my head, and partially b/c I don't know how to intelligently express all of the intricate and intertwining facets of said disappointment. (Then again, such level of detail is most likely UNNECESSARY and overkill - I don't know when I'll finally learn that life lesson.) And since I'm experiencing a miraculous reprieve from my insane 24 addiction, I haven't been compulsively returning to 24 thoughts like a crack addict who can't get enough of the drug. Soooooo.... Bottom line, I've got some disappointment, although I don't really understand it, and if I ever do get around to processing and sharing these ideas it very well may be the next holiday weekend, by which point the series end will be old news anyways.

In the meantime, the guy (guy?) at Critical Myth has expressed a lot of points that I am right on board with. (At least somebody is processing well enough to speak for me.) http://entil2001.com/series/24/season8/tf8-23.html

Peace out, motherf*ckers :), and if anybody is still reading this have a GREAT rest of the Memorial Day weekend! XD

Spencer said...

Well, the movie has been written by a different writer(and a decent one), so we can all only hope that it doesn't suck.

Dietcoke said...

Great read everyone. Very insightful.

I'm having a hard time expressing my thoughts on the finale. My first impression was depression. It's over, DAMN IT!!!

Jack deserved a better ending. He just did. Yes, it felt like a repeat of season four without the faked death.

I loved the Chloe/Jack exchange. That was pretty sweet.

I just wasn't a fan of Jack going to the darkside. Granted, Chloe brought him back. From the moment that Jack started beating the crap out of Dana and Chloe said "Jack is losing it" I completely agreed. For the first time I stopped being on Jack's side and emotionally related to Chloe and Cole.

What I did like is that Jack didn't forget about Kim and that his craziness was for more than the "person he was close to."

To be honest, I just didn't like the whole season. It wasn't the way I wanted to remember the show.

For me, season 8 was the new season 6.

Spencer said...

@Dietcoke- I agree that season 8 may've sucked more than some people realise, but don't you DARE compare it to the....season before 5 and 7.

Dietcoke said...

Season 5 is looking really good in hindsight.

Spencer said...

@Dietcoke- Sorry, I meant between, not before.

And I'm sorry, but season 7 was the season for me. Season 5 just had a few hiccups. (Such as every single character I liked getting killed. At least the actor that played Aaron slapped the writers in the face and said "Snap out of it!", before they killed off his character.

Overall, it was a wild season, and if it jumped the shark....well, that's what makes the show so friggin awesome! It tries to jump the shark before it does it on accident.

Dietcoke said...

I don't think the show ever "jumped the shark." This season did make me not like Jack.

The moment that Chloe said "Jack is losing it" I was completely on Chloe's side.

It's rather ironic that in season one Jack is trying to protect a president from an assassin. In season eight, Jack is the man who is going to assassinate a president.

singingdoll said...

I just want to add that I never really had a problem with this season, save for the whole Dana Walsh/Jenny Scott subplot. It was slow in places, and you had to suspend reality for a few things (Renee going batshit crazy and then reentering as though nothing had happened, Jack being totally peaceful at the beginning of the season and arc-ing all the way to batshit crazy at the end). But overall, I thought it was solid.

And although I don't think the finale is what most people were hoping for, I think it made sense for how the series has always worked. Just as at the end of season four, Jack has reached a turning point. He can't go back to the way things used to be. So ending it with him leaving made sense to me. I think the writers don't really see it as an end of the franchise, and they gave us enough heartfelt and intense moments for it to being the end of the TV portion of 24. The last several episodes had me on my seat constantly (maybe because I didn't have any spoilers? lol) and the finale was no exception.

I definitely would NOT compare it to the atrocity that was Season 6... although I think it had its redeeming moments anyway (Tom Lennox for one, Bill ascending from directorship to helping Jack in the field, closing off the Audrey character because I did not at all like her, the first four episodes).

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Spencer said...

Jack loses it every season. Season 8 just made the writers look desperate.

Spencer said...

@singingdoll- And, of course, "Say hello to your brother."

Dietcoke said...

Season 6 was pretty bad. Still, I liked Jack. Season 8 made me not like him.

Spencer said...

Why? Because he lost the woman that he loved for like, the one hundreth time?

He deserves an award for not killing Yuri.

Dietcoke said...

I think it was all the brutality. Too much.

Spencer said...

Well sure, he senselessly tortured some guy in every single way possible, but he killed Renee.

Brittany said...

Wow - I can't believe it was just (exactly) a week ago.

Dietcoke said...

It just doesn't feel like Monday.

Spencer said...

You know, maybe I'm the first person to notice this, or maybe everyone else has noticed this and were too high and mighty to ruin it's subtlety, but I realised in season 8 when Allison's morals were questioned, Kanin was the writers' way of saying that she shouldn't agree to the cover-up.

If Kanin had in fact died of his heart attack, then Allison really would've had nothing, and, quite frankly, nothing that would give her any reason to pull back.

This is why in season 7, when Taylor thought that she's lost everyone, Kanin said "not everyone.", but despite still being "here", Allison still went to the dark side, because it wasn't enough. That's really one of the deeper and better things to pick up on in season 8.

Cirroc said...

....after some thought about your confusing world of '24', I realized in my own simple unfrozen way that Dana Walsh/Jenny Scott killed the parole officer and hid his body because, despite her mole status, she was upset how he had betrayed the free underground in 'Robocop 3" !!!

Post a Comment