24: Day 8 (8am - 9am) - Review
Review by Jack Foley
What happened? Following Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and Renee (Annie Wersching)‘s failure to save Hassan on time, Ethan suggests to President Taylor (Cherry Jones) to bring in disgraced former President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) to cement the peace agreement with the Russians. Jack and Renee confirm their romantic feelings for each other.
Our verdict: Another week, another climax involving a silent ticking clock. Sadly, this one felt more cruel than inspired.
With 24 fans still breathless from CTU’s failure to save the life of President Hassan last week, and pondering what new direction Day 8 might take, they were subsequently put through a whole range of emotions during the ensuing 60 minutes.
On the plus side, we had the return of a former nemesis in the shadowy, apparently repentant, yet deeply untrustworthy disgraced former President Charles Logan.
Plus, there was Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub)‘s surprise promotion to acting CTU head following the sacking of Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson).
The re-emergence of the Russians as the new villains of the day confirmed what every 24 fan also knew: that the real instigators of the day’s events hadn’t yet fully revealed themselves until this point.
But while all of the above made for tasty ingredients as the show heads towards its final few hours, it was the fate of Renee Walker that left a particularly bitter taste.
Having identified a medic as a potential Russian Mob assassin, Renee became a new target and was promptly and clinically taken out only moments after confirming her feelings for Jack. The final few minutes of the show saw Jack desperately racing to A&E to save her, only for surgeons to report that the injuries had been too extensive.
Hence, only moments after Jack had found unlikely happiness, it was taken away.
Jack’s had bad days before, of course, but coming so close to the season finale this felt like a particularly cruel – and dare I say desperate – attempt to raise the stakes emotionally. Jack’s opportunity for a happy ending appears to be diminishing.
I also felt sorry for Wersching’s character, who has been badly let down by the show writers this season. True, its depiction of women has generally been good: with both Cherry Jones’ President Taylor and Necar Zadegan’s Dalia Hassan both emerging as formidable women in power during the course of this season.
But having emerged as such a feisty character over the course of Day 7, Wersching’s Renee had been reduced to a shadow of her former self during this particular season: a martyr in waiting.
A suicidal wreck one minute, she allowed herself to be raped by a suspect the next and then was assassinated moments after being offered a shot of redemption/happiness with Jack. I suspect that even the most ardent 24 fan will have had some problems with this particular story arc.
It does, however, set up some intriguing possibilities. Will Jack now go rogue to gain revenge? And just how angry and unhinged will he become as he seeks to find answers and a path to Renee’s killers? What role will Itzin’s Logan also play in the final few episodes, and will this place him once more on a collision course with Jack?
Sutherland is never better as Jack than when portraying moments of extreme anguish… and his final few tearful moments as he came to terms with Renee’s impending fate were excellent.
But as powerful and moving as Renee’s death may ultimately prove in the 24 mythology, it still felt like a cheap shot and a waste of a character once the initial shock of what had happened died down.
What did you think?
- Buy 24: Day 7 on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy 24: Day 7 on Blu-ray (Amazon)
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- 24: Behind The Scenes
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- 24: Season 2 review
- 24: Season 1 review