24 Live Another Day: 10:00 p.m.-11:00 a.m.

"At this point, I think I'm the only friend you have left."

Jack saved the world yet again, but he lost Audrey. They even gave her one of her best character moments, jumping up and running while literally in the crosshairs, before she was killed. This was no small thing. Audrey was one of the longest-running characters in the series, and it got to me.

But it wasn't her actual death that did it. It was the way it affected Heller and, of course, Jack.

I was saying out loud, no McCall, please don't tell Heller his daughter is dead while he's trying to stop a war. Thankfully, McCall didn't tell Heller until after the crisis was over. Heller, another major long-running character in this series, may have gotten his best scenes ever in this episode. He was very presidential, very calm, very "don't fuck with me" while negotiating with President Wei. But in the coda, he told the Prime Minister about looking at Audrey's photo on his desk, and forgetting who she was.

"I won't remember anything that happens today. I won't remember anything that happens, period. I won't remember that I had a daughter who died in such a horrible fashion." Yes, I was sobbing. William Devane, you've still got it, baby. Gold acting stars.

Kiefer Sutherland gets gold acting stars for this one, too. When he learned that Audrey was dead, his face just disintegrated, and his anguish was right there for us to see. Jack is such a controlling, unemotional man; when he loses it, it's huge. Of course, Jack then expressed his rage by committing mass murder, which is never really okay even when it's the baddest of bad guys, but it was very 24. So was beheading Cheng, which was very satisfying. Jack is like the Incredible Hulk. You just don't want to make him angry.

This abbreviated season began with Jack rescuing Chloe, so it was fitting that it ended the same way. Jack's odd friendship with Chloe, his loyalty to her, and her deep and unwavering commitment to him in return, has always been one of the best things about 24. I mean, Chloe is awesome. How can anyone carry out a clandestine operation with synchronized executions without her?

During the exchange, Jack grabbed Chloe's hand and they said true things to one another. She is and has always been his best friend, and it was the perfect sentiment to close the series. Jack actually looked relieved when he got in that helicopter, maybe because it was all out of his hands. He didn't have to make any more decisions. He is willing to spend the rest of his life suffering in a gulag in exchange for Chloe's life and her freedom, while doing penance for Audrey at the same time.

I honestly thought that they were going to kill off our Jack in this finale and it would have made sense if they had, but you know, I'm glad they didn't. Audrey's death and Heller knowing he would forget her were bad enough. With Jack and Chloe still alive, the door is open for more 24. And I'm okay with that.

Bits:

-- We got the silent clock for Audrey halfway through the episode. Very effective.

-- The time jump we've all been waiting for finally happened near the end of this episode, p.m. to a.m.

-- Jack trusted Kate to go save Audrey while he was pursuing Cheng, and Kate did her best, which was very good. It wasn't her fault that it went south, and Jack wouldn't have blamed her. Kate quietly left her badge and gun behind when she left the building. Yvonne Strahovski did a great job with this role. If there is ever more 24, they should bring her back.

-- Belcheck backed Jack up during his rampage. I liked Belcheck.

-- Boudreau was such an annoying character, and Tate Donovan was unfortunate enough to get the high school line (Audrey loves you, not me) early in the episode. But in the end, his grief for Audrey and concern for Heller were real. So he was never evil. Just misguided.

-- My least favorite mispronunciation ever is "nucular", and they did it again. The word is "nu-clear". It's an important word. Say it correctly!

24 rarely makes me cry, but I spent the last twenty minutes of this finale in tears. Four out of four katanas,

Billie
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.

2 comments:

ChrisB said...

I was sobbing as well. As Heller described his future to the Prime Minister, I was just devastated. He will lose so much, but he will also lose all the pain. Will it be worth it? I doubt it.

I thought the end was great. Jack is different. He is harder, harsher. I believe he would willing give up, especially for someone as important as Chloe. Plus -- he escaped China. Russia should be possible as well.

At least I hope so. I would very gladly watch another season of this amazing show.

WADEZILLA13 said...

Really loved this finale, even the ending which left me... conflicted, I guess? On one hand, I was so happy that I didn't have to watch one of my favorite characters of all time die (which I'd been bracing myself for all season), but on the other hand, his fate was ambiguous, leaning to the grim side (I recall reading somewhere that Kiefer Sutherland said the ending would be conclusive - it wasn't). But hey, that's great because it leaves the door open for more 24, and at the same time it's frustrating because it would be nice to see Jack Bauer rewarded with a little happiness after all he's done, lost and given up for the world. I'm not talking about Audrey - whom I'll get to in a second - I'm just saying is it too much to ask to see Jack and Kim reunited? People are going on about Chloe (who is indeed awesome) but before she showed up in Season 3 Jack was all about his family, and all they got was a passing mention.

But that's my only gripe - the rest of the episode was awesome, with plenty of action, emotion and Classic Jack moments (though one more "DAMMIT!!" would've been nice. I must say I did not see Audrey's death coming until right before it occurred; being a long-time Audrey hater it didn't affect me much, but Jack and Heller's reactions did. So did Kate's, and hopefully she'll use her guilt as fuel to search for Jack. At least Audrey's demise, like Terri and Renee's before her, sparked another great Bauer killing spree!

I half expected Jack to blow himself up as that chopper was taking off, but there's no way he could've guaranteed the safety from retaliation of the few loved ones he has left... So all we got was a strangely resigned smile, an even more ominous silent clock, and a window of hope that we haven't seen the last of America's greatest hero. But if we have seen the last of Jack Bauer, this (half) season was a fitting send off.