Goodbye Jack Bauer, A Nation Turns Its Back on You

Back during Season 1 of 24, each episode would start with a voiceover by Jack in which he declared the events of that day to be the longest day of his life.

Nine years (our time, not his) and eight seasons of 24 later, Jack might dispute that assertion (or at least say he had eight really long, bad days).  Despite the changes in presidential administrations, CTU staff and nefarious villains, one constant has remained: Jack Bauer will put himself on the line for what is right.

And here he is today, at the end of his eighth longest (and final) day.  The U.S. government is in turmoil, a foreign government he nearly decapitated will be gunning for him and Jack Bauer is a man without a country.  Hardly the thanks one would get for putting ones life on the line.

But Jack Bauer would have it no other way.

Despite all the conniving and cover-ups, in the end, President Taylor decided not to sign the peace agreement, thanks to a video file (attached to the audio evidence) recorded by Jack, likely for his daughter Kim’s eyes.  But it took a lot to get there.  Jack got into the secure perimeter by commandeering the vehicle of Logan’s main flunky.  He had Logan in his sights and was planning to assassinate the Russian President Suvarov, but was dissuaded by Chlöe, who convinced him there was a better way.  Jack was apprehended by CTU, but thanks to Logan, his escort was ambushed and Jack was about to be killed before President Taylor (who had seen the error of her ways) stepped in.  She’s going to resign for her part in the cover-up and urged Jack to leave the country.  And once again, Jack Bauer is on the run.

Overall, it was a decent final episode.  It’s the third or fourth final hour in which Jack was out of it for most of the episode, letting the rest of CTU take care of the action.  And as rumored, it sets the story up for a possible movie franchise (Jack vs. Russia).

As much as the story of the last few hours was driven by Jack’s quest for revenge for Renee’s death, it was also driven by Logan’s desire for revenge against Jack.  A few weeks ago, Logan expressed his opinion that Jack ruined him, and not his own criminal actions.  Logan’s continued actions in his final hours-putting the hit out on Jack, crowning Pillar with a whiskey bottle, and ultimately, his attempted suicide were all results of his desire for revenge.  But he didn’t win.

And as much as he has his life, I’m not sure Jack’s a clear winner today either.  Sure, he was the hero, getting the truth about Hassan’s death out into the light.  Of course, he took out a number of Russians to do so, and it’s understandable that the Russians would be gunning for him.  But what I don’t get is why Taylor told him to leave the country.  She (or whoever the next president is) can protect Jack.  Rather, she’s driving him out into the open.  At least Chlöe gave him a nice head start.

Sure, I’ll watch the movies whenever they come out.  And it will be nice to see the adventures of Jack Bauer in a much shorter, more self-contained environment.

Some other thoughts:

-Felt bad for President Hassan most of this episode.  She was pretty much bullied into signing the treaty.  But that look she threw Suvarov at the end was worth all of the headaches earlier.

-Jack Bauer is unique in U.S. history.  He’s the first person to be the first told by two separate Presidents of their intention to resign their office.  But I don’t see that one making it into the 24-universe Trivial Pursuit.

-I actually watched this episode (at first) during the commercials of the Chuck finale.  Don’t know what that has to do with anything, just thought I’d mention it.

-I was surprised by Jack’s sleeperhold on Chlöe.  And she probably was too.  But at least the last few moments of the series were shared by the two of them.  It was only fitting.

-I’d say this season was above average.  Wasn’t one of the best, but it was far above the dreadful Season 6.  I’m sure I’ll miss this show, but it was time for it to be over.

See you on the big screen Jack!

What did you think?

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7 thoughts on “Goodbye Jack Bauer, A Nation Turns Its Back on You

  1. Hey I just want to give you my “thanks” for the episode reviews you put up each week. Although i haven’t commented on each and every post,they were wonderful.

    Now that 24 is over,I don’t think I would be a regular visitor on the blog.I’m being relocated and given that there are higher priorities than ’24’ 😛 that would mean I wont visit the blog often. This was an interesting journey.Even though I am not a big fan of LOST,your reviews are forcing me to watch it from the beginning.So a big Thankyou ! 🙂

    Wishing You,Christina and Hope,the very best !
    Take care,

    P.S.: Btw do you know the name of the actor who kidnaps Jack in the finale ? Ive seen him before…maybe on 24? I just cant place him ….

  2. I was really bummed/upset that Jack didn’t have a showdown with Logan. He was such a good bad guy that he needed to go out spectacularly at Jack’s hand and that didn’t happen. Suicide…attempted suicide…just isn’t enough for me.

    Otherwise I thought the finale was a little less exciting than I hoped. After two episodes of Jack gunning down (or pokering down) every bad guy in sight, I thought this was going to be the Rambo-finale. I guess was nice to see Taylor somewhat redeem herself.

    Gotta say I’m also kind of glad that 24 is done and over. I started watching I think in Season 4 or 5 and really got into it. It was good then…and then it slowly went down hill. But I kept watching because I had invested time into all the characters, had to see what happens to them.

    But then I realized something while thinking about the 24 finale and the Lost finale. Granted, I wasn’t a Lost watcher, but the finale and recap show clearly told me that the show was a very deep character show where you cared about the good guys. For 24, I honestly don’t care as much for the good guys as much as I do the bad guys…that is, seeing how the bad guys die. You knew they were going to get caught or dead or both…but how would they meet their end? That’s what kept me going on 24.

    I need to also that the good King Tom for his reliable 24 recaps. They’ve been great thinking points for years and did the job when I failed to catch an episode. Well done, sir, well done.

  3. Thanks for the compliments. Not sure what I’m going to do now that my two main blogging topics are off the air, but life at the Kingdom will roll on.

    Andre- my family thanks you. Good luck in your new post. I hope you enjoy LOST and become a fan. Best way to watch it is from the beginning.

    And the hired gun looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. There’s no entry on the episode’s imdb page.

    djl- didn’t even think of that but you’re right.

    MT- I liked the Logan/Jack showdown through the sniper scope, but there needed to be more. Maybe we’ll see it in the feature film. It was tough to invest time into characters other than Jack because they killed them all off.

    Characters were never 24’s strong suit. Watching Jack on a rampage was. And there’s only so many different ways you can do that. At its best, 24 was a great show. But like all things, it had to end.

    Shut it down indeed.

  4. Got it.The guy is Alex Carter.He is in the CSI as a detective and Ive also seen him on Leverage.

    Take care

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