Spoiler Alert: Watch the 24 series finale before reading this review.
To kick off the series finale of 24 Kiefer Sutherland gave a little speech, thanking the viewers. It was cute. But it was missing something, an appropriate warning.
Warning: if you suffer from panic attacks, heart arrhythmia, are prone to excitability, or just don’t understand why someone would need to knock out every person he encounters then you might want to get out of line, er I mean try a different channel.
Jack Bauer’s hour by hour quest for justice hasn’t had many calm moments. This is a guy who never once takes a bathroom break or stops to eat and is on the go 24 hours a day. He is just too busy for calm. So when Kiefer Sutherland gave his well-wishes at the beginning of the finale, I couldn’t help but hear "enjoy the ride." And just as I had hoped at the end of the two hours my heart was pounding, my hands were clutching the pillow, and I wanted it to start all over again.
Jack Bauer spent most of the finale continuing his search for justice.
"I would have accepted justice by law but that was taken away from me by people like you so you are right I am judge and jury." Bauer explained to Jason Pillar why he needed to kill everyone involved in Renee Walker’s death before he knocked Pillar out.
While Bauer was busy plotting his form of justice, Chloe and Cole were trying to find ways to expose President Taylor’s cover-up of the Russian involvement in President Hassan’s death. Bauer had the only piece of evidence that had not been confiscated or arrested by President Taylor and her new sidekick Charles Logan. So most of Chloe and Cole’s task was to find Bauer
President Taylor proved very quickly into the finale that her role as the weak easily convinced president was soon to be over. She blackmailed Dalia Hassan into staying at the peace table, by threatening war. It seemed President Taylor herself was shocked at this evil power play, because after this occurred she began to show signs of questioning how far she had gone to cover-up the Russian involvement to preserve the peace treaty. These signs were mostly in the form of sad confused looks by President Taylor when Dalia Hassan gave her the cold shoulder.
Jack Bauer was going to be the final push to overturn Charles Logan’s power over President Taylor and end the cover-up nonsense. But for most of the last two hours Bauer was too busy setting up a sniper station to kill the Russian president to bother with President Taylor. Bauer’s resolve to bring justice seemed to be completely steadfast. He even went so far as to knock Chloe out when she tried to talk him down from killing more people.
In the end Chloe did convince Bauer, but it was of course too late for her to call Cole and tell him to call off the team he sent to kill Bauer. It would have been far too easy if she just had to sneak his information back to CTU. To save his life, Chloe had to shoot Jack and of course in an incredible twist of fate Pillar woke up in time to demand a debriefing from Chloe. Pillar then arrest her and Cole so the information Jack had didn’t leak and ruin the cover-up.
"Lasting peace can not be simply political." President Taylor received the confiscated memory card from Jack’s recorder and listened to his message to his daughter. With only 15 minutes left to go, President Taylor realizes she has gone too far, and decides to make it right. Jack is kidnapped by Charles Logan’s men while Logan kills Pillar and shoots himself.
Only 24 can have 5 minutes left to go and still have viewers on the edge of their seats wondering how it will end. Bauer makes a witty remark to the man holding a gun to his head "Am I supposed to say thank you?" Chloe and President Taylor find a way to get save Bauer’s life and then reality hits.
"Whatever happened here didn’t happen." Chloe said it best after she says goodbye to Bauer. Despite the very good reasons for Bauer’s style of justice, it just isn’t legal to run around killing people. In the end Bauer is left running for his life and the seconds tick down. Nothing is really resolved, but somehow it is the way it was meant to be. When you spend your days kicking ass like Bauer, it would take years to tie up every end and resolve every conflict. And that would just be too tedious to be bothered with. It’s much nicer to think Bauer is still out there fighting injustice and waiting for his return.