Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Series Finale: 24

I just finished watching the season, no the SERIES finale of 24. OH MY GOD!!!! This was probably the best series finale I could have hoped for. Aside from ONE stylistic change, this ending was perfect! I knew from the moment the episode started I was going to love it. Right when they went back to an old standard of theirs: Events occur in real time.

Hearing that brought a smile to my face, cause I knew the producers of the show put that in as a nod to those people, myself included, who kept talking about how season 8 was turning into nothing more than a re-hashing of seasons 1-7. Was I wrong about that or what?? Then events started unfolding and it just got better and better.

The emotional struggle President Taylor went through was amazingly well done. After season 7, I knew that Cherry Jones could give an amazing performance, but she outdid herself here. That moment when Taylor threatens Dahlia Hussan was awesome. You could SEE the pain behind the mask of anger that led her to say something that terrible. The statement alone went against EVERYTHING that Taylor stands for, but in the moment, you could see EXACTLY why she said it. Oh, and let's not forget Dahlia herself.

That woman stood face to face with the most powerful woman in the world and told her to fuck off. She had earned my respect when she took the post of her dead husband, but she earned my loyalty when she made that statement to Taylor. Then seeing her during the ceremony, knowing that she was about to be signed into a political agreement that had been corrupted into being nothing more than a cage of peace, and that she couldn't do a single thing about it, was heartbreaking.

It's moments like that where 24 really shines. Just presenting the concept that this country is more than capable of cowing another country into submission, and how WRONG that action is, no matter what the motivation behind it, is a RARE thing on American television. And, that's what makes 24 MORE than just some action show. 24 has always been at its best when the storylines are at a perfect balance between the two tentpoles of the show: Politics & Action. It was commented earlier in the season that the show was heavy on action, and to maintain that balance, the latter half of the show was heavy on politics.

Speaking of politics, I can't believe they went so far as to have Charles Logan commit suicide. It was an amazing, and surprising, act of strength on the part of Logan. (Never thought he had it in him.) He killed himself, so Taylor wouldn't find Jack in time to save him. And yet, as it happened with most of the big moves he makes, his death (and the murder of his aid prior to that) pushed him into irrelevancy. It was poetic justice. Logan was always more successful with his smaller moves, for example, his corruption of Taylor.

And then, there's Jack.

I knew when it was announced that 24 was ending AND that Jack would survive it all, that there HAD to be more to it. Given that this is 24, the idea of Jack being out free & clear wasn't going to happen. This show NEVER gives happy endings, just emotionally satisfying ones. When Jack went on his own near the end of this season, I remember thinking, what the fuck is he doing?? In the little bit that they played of his recording, they answered that question. And it reminded Taylor of who she was, someone that takes the law of country seriously. You can't do what she did to her daughter in season 7 and NOT take the law seriously.

For me, the coolest scene was a reference to a movie Keifer Sutherland did during season two called PhoneBooth. He plays a guy who terrorizes people by calling them and sniping them. The scene when he has Logan in the cross-hairs, and calls him was just extra awesome because of that movie.

“I have a 556 rifle pointed straight at your head…which travels two thousand nine hundred feet per second. If you try to move, you’re a dead man.”

But the most powerful parts for me were the conversations between Chloe and Jack. The first one, while Jack was planning on killing the Russian president, was awesome because it showed how loyal Chloe was to Jack. In the end, Jack made the same mistake President Taylor did and let his passion for justice/revenge get the better of him. Chloe brought him back from the edge that Tony jumped off of prior to season 7. Jack's greatest strength has always been the quality of the people supporting him, and Chloe really nailed it.

The phone conversation at the very end, was awesome because it showed that Jack KNEW the friend he had in her, and recognized all the sacrifices she made for him. He KNEW how much he had cost her, and acknowledged that. He was now a fugitive wanted by two out of the three most powerful countries in the world, (China isn't actively looking for him anymore.) and yet he took the time to acknowledge her loyalty to him. Why? Because THAT is the man Jack Bauer is.

And Chloe proved her worth again, with the last command she gives on the show, killing the surveillance tracking Jack and giving him time to disappear. "Shut it down". And like that... he's gone.

And that's my one TINY nitpick. I would have had the clock countdown while Jack's image pixelated it's way into nothingness. I did like that the clock counted down to all zeroes, instead of 4 o'clock. It was a nice touch.

Overall, this season was a great final season and this finale was a fantastic way to bring the show to a close. Tied up everything that needed to be done, and let Jack go. I'm sad to see the show end, and I'm looking forward to any 24 movies they decide to make, but at least they ended the show properly.

Good luck, and God bless, Jack Bauer. Now, I'm going back and watching the WHOLE SERIES from beginning to end!! Who's with me?!

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