24: Day 8 - The final two hours reviewed
Review by Jack Foley
IN RECENT weeks, US TV has waved fond, emotional farewells to several of its landmark series of the past few years (most notably Lost and Damages). But neither of those went out on as much of a high as real-time series 24.
Much maligned over the course of the first half of its eighth and final season, the show’s creators have recently pulled out all the stops to ensure that its reputation as one of the most exciting programmes of all time didn’t end with a whimper.
Rather, it went out with all guns blazing… and how!
Having witnessed Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer go rogue in recent weeks as he attempted to expose the cover-up surrounding Russia’s involvement in the assassination of President Hassan, the biggest question surrounding the final two hours was just how much further he could possibly go.
Would he, as many suggested, perish at the final hour? Or would there be a happy ending in store? Well, neither was the case as the show hit breathless new heights in giving TV’s favourite government agent his emotional farewell.
As the episode got underway, Jack put into play the final part of his mission: to take out President Yuri Suvarov (Nick Jameson), with CTU and President Logan’s henchmen hot on his trail.
He was prevented from seeing this through, however, by Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), who managed to persuade him to allow her to see things through, before imploring her to shoot him and save both of their lives. She did, missing all of his vital organs.
While Jack’s life remained in danger, and he was out of the equation, the emotional burden of the day began to take its toll on US President Taylor (Cherry Jones), especially after she was confronted by Dalia Hassan (Necar Zadegan) over her part in the Russian cover-up.
And so, with assassins poised to silence Jack and President Logan (Gregory Itzin) poised to make a spectacular comeback, President Taylor cracked.
The final few frantic moments of Day 8 saw Logan attempt to take his own life, along with that of chief stooge Jason Pillar (Reed Diamond), while Taylor withdraw from signing the peace agreement and vow to bring the events of the day to light, including her own complicity.
Jack, meanwhile, was saved from an assassin’s bullet by a personal phone call from President Taylor, who apologised to him for all that she had done… and offered him his own chance of salvation.
Bidding tearful apology and goodbye, she wished him luck in attempting to flee the country with both the Russians and her own government shortly on his trail.
Jack, meanwhile, took one final opportunity to thank Chloe for all she had done… paying tribute to her loyalty in a heartfelt goodbye that brought the normally resolute tech expert to tears (as well as this particular reviewer).
It was an emotional way to go… and an extremely nice finish.
Jack may have survived against all the odds, but his life remained in danger and he could no longer be welcome in the country he had so loyally served. Jack’s been here before, of course… but the stakes have never been so high.
And, more importantly, it sets up any number of possibilities for the proposed Europe-set movie. We can only hope we may get the chance to see Jack Bauer for one last time.
As season finales and show-endings go, however, 24‘s had everything: guts, passion, intrigue, betrayal, action, emotion, intelligence and closure. It departed the TV landscape with as big a flourish as it began… thereby confirming its position as one of the greatest TV shows of all-time – a risk-taking, no-holds barred TV landscape changer that maintained its high standards to the very end.
We salute you, Jack Bauer, for guiding us through some of the most exciting TV hours of our lives. And we thank you for delivering a finale that was as consistently exhilarating as it was emotionally devastating. This one had it all and we were mightily impressed!
24: Day 8 – The following hours reviewed:
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