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24: Day 8 - Noon to 1pm - Review

24: Day 8

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

What’s the story? Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) tracks down Pavel Tokarev (Joel Bissonnette), the man responsible for killing Renee Walker, as CTU – now headed by Jason Pillard (Reed Diamond) – tries everything in its power to stop him.

Our verdict: With just four hours to go on Jack Bauer’s final day, 24 continues to turn up the heat on proceedings. The hour between noon and 1pm, like the hour before it, has to rate among the best in the show’s illustrious history.

At what point the writers knew they had to go for broke is debatable (would Day 8 have gone down this path had it not been the end of the series?), but they’re determined to go out in style… and to provide fans with plenty to talk about.

Noon to 1pm was a bravura episode in every sense. Jack, dogged as ever, took no prisoners in his quest to uncover the conspiracy and – more importantly – gain revenge.

He used a reporter as bait to draw out the assassin responsible for killing Renee, and he then ruthlessly tortured that assassin (Bissonnette’s unlucky Pavel) for more information.

But far from being just another 24 torture scene, this one had real significance. No longer restrained by being on the side of “right”, Jack was able to employ any and every means necessary to get what he wanted – whether that was a knife or a blow-torch.

The use of torture has been a sore point for 24 ever since the power drill sequence in Day 6… here it felt as much like a big f**k you to the show’s previous critics as it did a “there you go” for the show’s long-term fans. Read more

What’s more, it came with a nice in joke… namely the presence of Reservoir Dogs‘ torture icon Michael Madsen keeping the news reporter at bay in the room next door!

But it somehow didn’t feel gratuitous either. Jack, now desperate and angry, is clearly a man with nothing to lose. Betrayed, alone, resentful… this particular torture came loaded with the torment of his past.

When he snarled at Pavel: “You guys are so stupid… all you had to do was leave us alone. We were out.” You knew he meant it. Jack now knows his one chance at a happy ending was gone. Those responsible had to pay. And boy are they paying!

It took Jack into yet more unchartered territory. In order to beat the villains, he must now become as bad as them – a point not lost on Cole Porter (Freddie Prinze Jr) as he was questioned by Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) as she continued to search for Jack.

Having witnessed the scene of Jack’s execution of Dana Walsh, he told Chloe: “There are no good guys here…”

Jack remains the hero, but his methods are now so desperate and revenge driven that even his judgement is clouded. But justifiably so? The grey area in which the show now exists is a terrifically exciting place to be.

Kudos to the writers, therefore, for not merely marking time, or counting down to a nicely pat conclusion. Kudos, too, for making 24‘s final hours so breathlessly exciting.

Unlike the first half of the series, you now can’t wait for the beginning of each new hour, given the mouthwatering possibilities the previous one sets up.

On this occasion, Jack now knows where his revenge rampage will next take him: Having extracted a SIM card from Pavel’s gut and dialling the number on his mobile, he now knows that ex-President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) is the man behind everything.

Jack had let Logan off the hook once before to protect the greater good. Will Logan be quite so lucky this time? We suspect not…

And what of President Taylor’s (Cherry Jones’) role? Will she be made accountable? Or will she realise the error of her ways and make a last-ditch attempt to correct the dark path she is now walking?

Like we said, with just three hours remaining, 24 has some truly delicious issues to resolve…

11am to noon reviewed