It’s been a bumpy ride. Scores of people are dead – some innocent, some not. There’s been torture (what did I tell you?), double crosses, fake outs, moles and a corrupt murderous President. We’ve had nerve-gas attacks, the Russian presidential motorcade turned into a shooting gallery, and waved bye-bye to Tony, Michelle, President Palmer and Edgar. If you think you’re having a bad day, trust me – Jack Bauer has had five days that will nuke yours out of the sky, the fifth of which concluded this week on Fox in a two-hour double bill trans-spectacular firework display of shit! damnnit! and blast!
“That’s 24, folks. The show that raised the bar so high that the rest can only run under it.”
That’s 24, folks. The show that raised the bar so high that the rest can only run under it. This year’s baddy Vladimir Bierko was finally foiled and had his neck snapped by Jack lovingly wrapping his legs around his throat and twisting – a moment which won Scene of the Year in the S&M Homoerotic Subtext Awards. Jack went on to take down the President by kidnapping and interrogating him (which didn’t work), and placing a bugging device on him (which did).
“‘anyone stupid enough to let some mustachioed dago come upon them in a corridor, saying, ‘Excuse me Meester’ and hit them over the head with a big stick deserves everything they get.'”
Just when all looked well, the President was under arrest, Jack was free from danger and Tawdry was looking to get some good loving a Chinese gentleman approaches Jack and tells him there’s a call from his daughter in the big abandoned hangar to his right. This reminds me of the scene from Blackadder where Edmund says “Look, anyone stupid enough to let some mustachioed dago come upon them in a corridor, saying, ‘Excuse me Meester’ and hit them over the head with a big stick deserves everything they get.”.
Of course, there is no phone call from Kim (she’s a rubbish daughter) and before you know it it’s like a scene from Hong Kong Phooey only the good guy is getting the ass whipping. He is quickly chloroformed into sleepytown and wakes up on a ship destined for China, beaten and bloody, surrounded by celestials eager for more.
“It looks like he’s going to be used as a bargaining chip in the tepid cold war between America and the emerging superpower.”
The Chinese remember the Embassy incident from last year and are not in a forgiving mood. “Just kill me” gasps Jack but just like in a Chinese restaurant, you can never get exactly what you want. He’s more use to them alive than dead and it looks like he’s going to be used as a bargaining chip in the tepid cold war between America and the emerging superpower.
“Jack falls in love with Ting Tong – a talented blind shorthand secretary and dulcimer player whose husband beats her mercilessly (for being a smart arse).”
But you’re not going to see Jack riding a bike, wearing a pointy hat and singing the praises of Deng Xiaoping. Unless the show moves networks to UPN and they buddy him up with Jackie Chan, the pair of them taking on the Triads while Jack falls in love with Ting Tong – a talented blind shorthand secretary and dulcimer player whose husband beats her mercilessly (for being a smart arse).
Fuck no. He’ll be capering to get escapering.There’s not a jail cell built that can hold this man. At the last count there was one Jack Bauer and 1.3 billion Chinese. I like those odds – that’s a lot of potential torture victims to get his teeth into. That’s the thing with torturing the Chinese – 20 minutes later you feel like another one.
There was a time when the only justification for torture was: saving millions of American lives.
“Now, the official line is that America tortures because:
i) We can
ii) We haven’t finished that roll of film from vacation yet.”
Now, the official line is that America tortures because:
i) We can
ii) We haven’t finished that roll of film from vacation yet
iii) Something about national security – sorry, we weren’t paying attention because we were preparing the cattle prod.
“I’m just saying that if he even asks you for the time, make sure you talk or he’ll have you tied to that chair before you can say ‘Geneva Convention’.”
The democratisation of torture is reflected in 24. I’m not saying that Jack tortures people at the drop of a hat – I’m just saying that if he even asks you for the time, make sure you talk or he’ll have you tied to that chair before you can say “Geneva Convention” with Johnson‘s special nerve frying injections shortly following.
Oh well. 24 is a dangerous world. Super resourceful male model terrorists are everywhere – corruption and conspiracy are endemic and everyone has a price tag. Everyone, that is, except Jack and his friends. One of the few TV characters who never lets you down, he makes you proud to be an American even when you’re not. Season six can’t come quickly enough.
The best thing about it: We’re going to China next season. Woo-hoo!
The worst thing about it: Miles – scheming weasel.
The verdict on 24 Season Five Finale: Strong finale to a strong season.
Marks out of 10: 8