>So, the eighth worst day of Jack Bauer’s life has come to a close and with it, the series as a whole.
I stopped commenting about every episode mid-way through the season, but that doesn’t mean I gave up watching. I still faithfully tuned in because with 24, there’s always the potential for that one episode or moment that will just come out of left field and surprise you.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that necessarily happened this year.
Too many of the twists were so tossed in without much thought that they ended up not making sense. The biggest one was the sudden turn mid-season to make Dana Walsh from a woman trying to escape her past into a secret mole for the Russians. I balked at the scene as she’s helping the terrorist cell get away by using her bluetooth attachment and muttering under her breath. Yes, I know CTU is tense, but come on already! That’s a bit much to take.
Also, we never really got any real clarification on whether or not part of her mole role was to seduce Cole and possibly use him to learn more information. Did she really love him? Is it part of the act? I get that in the heat of the day, these questions may not come up, but it would have been more interesting had they occurred to anyone.
Then we got to the final six hours when Jack goes rogue and takes on CTU, the FBI, the CIA, the Russian government and anyone else who gets in his way. It’s nice to see Charles Logan back, being slimy and duplicitous. It was nice to see him try to take advantage of the situation to win back power and to possibly get some measure of revenge on Jack. But…and it’s a big one here, the end of the day saw Jack trade in his ideals for revenge. I realize it’s the culmination of eight years of story telling and Jack’s frustration at the president for the cover-up, but when the day starts with Jack wanting to retire and hang out with Kim and his grandchild, it seems odd that at some point this thought didn’t cross Jack’s mind. It eventually does in the final moments as we say farewell to Jack, but somehow it should have occurred earlier. I realize that Jack has a deep connection to Renee Walker, but she’s not the first to have her life ended or destroyed by orbiting too close to planet Jack.
Just as Jack is corrupted and eventually compromised, so also we see President Taylor go down the path of vanity, blinded by her place in history and her obsession with the peace treaty. Bring in Charles Logan and that will happen. But it was nice to see her at least try to salvage something, though the ending with a president in disgrace was too clearly a bit of a repeat of when Logan went down.
And yet the ending made me wish that the show would somehow break it’s real-time convention in the end to give us a coda. I wanted to see Taylor have to step up and take the blame for what she’s done. I want to hear Ethan come to her in prison and tell her I told you so and offer his council. I want to know if Logan will live or die–it’s implied he could live and that he failed even in taking his own life. I want to know if Jack got away. I want to know if the bad guys will target Chloe and her family now for helping Jack.
In the end, the show wrapped up some things, said farewell to Jack but left too many threads dangling to really be as satisfying as I’d hoped. It was a decent season and it had some interesting points. But it wasn’t quite the victory lap a show like 24 deserves.