Monday night’s two-hour finale of Fox’s “24” is a bloody mess. It’s that good, and yes, we expected no less. Like “The Sopranos,” “The Shield” and other A-list crime-and-morality dramas, “24” doesn’t pretend that the end of the show means injustice, corruption and evil can magically be made to disappear.
So the show provides some resolution to this season’s story line, which revolved around the human and moral cost of trying to craft a Middle East peace treaty. At the same time, Monday’s finale makes it clear that counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) will always be outnumbered and outgunned in his battle to stop the bad guys.
The best Jack can do is stick his finger in the dam from time to time while he searches for the occasional ray of light. The last time he found one of those, however, in fellow agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching), she was promptly killed.
Renee’s death continues to set up this season’s climactic action, as a near-psychotic Jack seeks to kill everyone involved. Even if that person is a head of state.
It’s vintage Jack, an equalizer whose raw fury we understand. “I would have accepted justice by law,” Jack says, in what could serve as a mission statement for the whole eight-season run of “24.” “But that was taken from me. [So] I am judge and jury.” That sort of remark explains why Jack has been compared to Clint Eastwood’s justice-dealing cop Dirty Harry. Jack’s world, however, has never been as black-and-white as Harry’s, and things don’t change Monday just because the series is ending.
His adversaries include true creeps like robotic Russians and former President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin), whose every utterance makes your skin crawl. It includes good people who have lost their way, like President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones). He also runs with some good people who stay good, like young agent Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and loyal associate Chloe O’Brian (Mary Ann Rajskub). The fact he and Chloe at one point are yelling threats at each other underscores how a few bad decisions at the top can poison the whole world.
So yes, the world is a mess. It’s also bloody, and while Monday’s finale may have fewer outright deaths than usual, it compensates for any shortfall in body count with nice touches like having body parts bitten off. All props to Mike Tyson.
It shouldn’t be any major spoiler to say that in the end, neither Jack Bauer nor “24” leaves us with any rosy illusions about saving or cleaning up the world. Jack never stops trying to make his corner a little better, however, and in the process, he closes out “24” the same way he ushered it in: as a fast-paced, first-rate action-adventure that pauses just long enough to show us a heart.
What have you heard about the 24 movie?
MICKEY: There’s a script, but the studio hasn’t read or approved it, so any intel must be taken with a grain of salt. As of now, the movie finds Jack all over Eastern Europe, but particularly in Prague. Of all the cast members past and present, only Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is being considered to appear alongside Jack. Further, I’m hearing that no effort will be made for the film to be canonical — that is, it won’t necessarily be a “sequel” to the TV series. (Double-secret scoop: I hear it might feature a mole.) Source: TV Guide
Question: I’m literally dying for some 24 scoop. Please, give me some!
Ausiello: The May 24 series finale will find Jack squaring off against his most formidable adversary yet: Chloe! “Chloe and Jack are in a real face-off,” reveals executive producer Howard Gordon. between her duty [as head of CTU] and her friendship and allegiance to Jack. Their “And Chloe has to decide relationship gets put to the test in a way it’s never been tested before. It’s a collision course that culminates in the finale. It’s about as hairy a confrontation as you can possibly imagine, and it“very emotional,” says Mary Lynn Rajskub. “[It’s] kind of ’s a nearly lethal one.” Playing those scenes was “really fun” and crazydone anything like that.”
…what happens between Jack and Chloe. I’ve never
JACK BAUER DEMANDS RETRIBUTION WITH ONLY THREE HOURS LEFT
ON AN ALL-NEW “24” MONDAY, MAY 17, ON FOX
As the clock ticks toward the climactic series finale, three hours remain and a ruthless Jack Bauer is on an unwavering mission to uncover the truth, which only complicates circumstances for President Taylor as she prepares for a signing ceremony. Meanwhile, President Logan comes face-to-face with a formidable foe, and Chloe leads CTU on a high-stakes collision course with Jack Bauer in the all-new “Day 8: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM” episode of 24 airing Monday, May 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (TWF-822) (TV-14 L, V)
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer; Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian; Cherry Jones as Allison Taylor; Katee Sackhoff as Dana Walsh; Freddie Prinze Jr. as Cole Ortiz; John Boyd as Arlo Glass
Guest Cast: Gregory Itzin as Charles Logan; Frank John Hughes as Tim Woods; Jennifer Westfeldt as Meredith Reed; Necar Zadegan as Dalia Hassan; Joel Bissonnette as Pavel; Thomas Ryan as Gary Klausner; Sarah Hollis as Susan; Reed Diamond as Jason Pillar; Michael Madsen as Jim Ricker; Julie Claire as Eden Linley; Navid Negahban as Jamot; Lesley Fera as Angela Nelson; Kathryn Winslow as Ellen Kramer; James Hiroyuki Liao; Graham McTavish as Mikhail Novakovich; Joe Sabatino as Captain Walleki
A ROGUE JACK BAUER REMAINS RESOLUTE IN HIS VENDETTA ON AN ALL-NEW “24” MONDAY, MAY 10, ON FOX
Michael Madsen, Gregory Itzin and Jennifer Westfeldt Guest-Star
With only four hours left, a rogue Jack Bauer stops at nothing to determine who is behind the day’s most devastating events, and he uncovers an unexpected lead in the all-new “Day 8: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM” episode of 24 airing Monday, May 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (TWF-821) (TV-14 L, V)
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer; Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian; Cherry Jones as Allison Taylor; Mykelti Williamson as Brian Hastings; Chris Diamantopoulos as Rob Weiss; Katee Sackhoff as Dana Walsh; Freddie Prinze Jr. as Cole Ortiz; John Boyd as Arlo Glass
Guest Cast: Gregory Itzin as Charles Logan; Jennifer Westfeldt as Meredith Reed; Necar Zadegan as Dalia Hassan; Joel Bissonnette as Pavel; Thomas Ryan as Gary Klausner; Sarah Hollis as Susan; Reed Diamond as Jason Pillar; Michael Madsen as Jim Ricker; Julie Claire as Eden Linley; Navid Negahban as Jamot; Graham McTavish as Mikhail Novakovich; Joe Sabatino as Captain Walleki