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24: Season 7 - 6am to 8am (Season finale reviewed)

24, Day 7

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from current television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the Season 7 episode of 24 entitled 6am – 8am (as aired on Sky1 on Monday, May 25, 2009).

What’s the story? Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) helps Tony (Carlos Bernard) to escape having been told that his daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) will be killed otherwise. It’s only then that Tony reveals his grand plan: firstly, to use Jack’s contagious body as bait to lure Alan Wilson (Will Patton) out of hiding and finally gain revenge for the murder of Michelle and his unborn son. Alan, it seems, was the mastermind responsible for the assassination of former President Palmer and the real power behind President Logan.

Elsewhere in the White House, President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is facing more heartbreaking decisions over the fate of her family, as the murderous scheming of her daughter Olivia (Sprague Grayden) is finally revealed.

Was it any good? It’s hard to know whether the final two hours of Day 7 ended on a high, or a disappointment. One thing’s for sure, it was a low-key cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger nonetheless.

Questions remain unanswered, situations unresolved. Jack’s life continues to hang in the balance, even though his daughter, Kim, has belatedly come to his aid.

And then there’s Renee’s final moments with Alan – moments when she appeared to have turned her back on her training to do what needed to be done. Renee seems to have crossed over to the dark side and has become a new Jack Bauer in the process.

President Taylor, meanwhile, faced the implosion of her family: a dead son, a scheming, murderous daughter placed under arrest and a husband who no longer wishes to stand by her every decision. And only Ethan Kanin (Bob Gunton) for support.

All go into Day 8 with renewed expectation… although, at this stage, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll be around to stoke up the interest.

As ever, the final moments of a 24 season came to a suitably exciting finish. Although the fireworks that usually accompany the final few minutes were replaced instead by much more personal situations.

In a season marked by the soul-searching of its principal characters, and when morality played an even greater part, it was fitting that the final hour gave fans some pause to consider the implications of what has come to pass.

For men like Jack and Tony it was all about redemption and saving souls. Jack sought forgiveness from a Muslim preacher; Tony revenge for the death of his wife and unborn child. Both were broken men. Both were haunted by past acts. Their moments together were electrifying and among the best that the show has ever had to offer.

Tony’s heartbreak at the loss of his wife and child were painfully realised as he almost got the opportunity to end Alan Wilson’s life and claim a final revenge. It’s a measure of the admiration fans have for the character that we sympathised deeply with his plight, no matter how bad some of his actions had been over the course of the day.

And Jack, too, was afforded some quiet introspection as he sought nothing more than to die with dignity and gain some measure of forgiveness for the things that he’d been forced to do. His confessions, of sorts, to Tony, Renee and his Muslim friend were all poignant in their own way and, as ever, Sutherland expertly juggled the vulnerability of the character with a sustained need to remain tough.

If 24 is more widely known for its nail-biting tension and taut action, it’s these quieter moments that have helped to ensure its continued success. We care for the characters deeply… and never more so than in this final episode.

There’s lots more to write about given the rollercoaster ride that marked the final two hours, but the various plot machinations are too complex and too many to go into properly here.

Suffice it to say that Monday nights will be poorer for not having Jack Bauer and company in our lives for another few months. Day 7 has been a humdinger and a surefire return to form after the disappointment of Day 6.

Moral complexity, heartbreaking character development, brilliantly disguised twists and breathtaking action have been the order of a day in which nothing and no one could be taken for granted… and which proved, once again, that 24 remains one of the very best programmes on TV.

Just how good this season 7 finale was will only probably become fully evident once the remaining pieces fit together as Day 8 unfolds. We can only count down the months to its opening seconds with baited breath…

What did you think?

  1. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

    For me it was the best season yet, and just to add the icing to the cake, I hear its all coming out on Blu-ray in october with amazing features. Jack in Hi-def (yes please).

    Ted Bailey    May 26    #
  2. Best season for a long, long time. Action matched the emotional content and realy delivered on all fronts. Roll on Day 8

    Jay    May 26    #
  3. Slightly disappointed, to be honest. Fine series up until final two hours and then Kim was daughter in peril again, Will Patton had next to nothing to do, and the ending was a little underwhelming. It felt like there should have been another hour, rather than a 12 month wait for the next day.

    Sam    May 26    #
  4. more questions than answers, also what about the movie? ANY NEWS PLEASE.

    marc    Jun 9    #
  5. I must give thanks to the writers for not turning Jack into a wimp, he hung on tough to the last moments, I don’t think Renee’ will make a good substitute although she was a good student. Jack will be back, Tony will get a pardon considering he’s a producer (Carlos Bernard) 10/10 ratings. A nice African beginning with a good Muslim ending. Putting the brothers on the map! In tune with the goings on of the real world as always. The best show on Earth……..

    Ari    Jun 11    #