Smarter than its critics, bolder than its peers, tougher than the rest, wild at heart and crazy on top, 24 came out for the final round swinging and went out slugging with a fine, gutsy and moving finale that showed up Lost’s ending as the jizz slurping fudge Armageddon it really was. Was it as great as The Shield finale? Naw papi, but The Shield is The Shield and very few things touch that masterpiece in any area. What it was was thrilling, true to the characters and consistent with both the show’s ethic and canon.
It began as a 24 finale always should: with Jack on a killing spree, fatally wounded, rogue as fuck, pursued by the Feds, CTU, the Army and Government. Having recorded a data card with a recording of Logan and Suvarov providing irrefutable evidence of the Big Mad Conspiracy, he’s also slaughtering a slew of dudes but no one you would really want to see taking another breath.
Assassinating the Russian President though? Now he’s really losing his mind, though on a personal level you can understand it. President Suvarov is behind the day’s terrorist attacks, Hussan’s killing and Renée Walker’s death. It was Renée being plugged right after Jack had put his cock in her that really toppled him over the edge. He was all “don’t Walker way Renée!”1 but the kid didn’t pull through. Yoink!
“When Taylor tells her she will nuke the IRK back to the Stone Age if she doesn’t, her hand is forced. Hussan reels away in fury as the rest of us wonder when Taylor grew a pair.”
Incidentally, the peace process is still on track despite President Taylor (Hyacinth Bucket) telling President Dalia Hussan (Slumdog Shrillionaire) that she’ll be signing the treaty with Suvarov, her husband’s murderer. Dalia ain’t trying to hear this but when Taylor tells her she will nuke the IRK back to the Stone Age if she doesn’t, her hand is forced. Hussan reels away in fury as the rest of us wonder when Taylor grew a pair.
For now though it’s important that Chloe, Cole and Arlo get to Jack before Jason Pillar and his bonehead flunkies do. Jack’s way ahead of them though as he kidnaps Pillar, makes him stitch his fatal wound to make it marginally less fatal then chickens out on executing the motherfucker when Pillar stars blubbing about his six-year-old daughter. Never leave a Republican breathing, Jack. That was your first mistake.
Occupying a Lee Harvey Oswald sniper’s nest in a building opposite the UN, Jack waits to pop a cap in Suvarov. Chloe locates him by the power of potato knowledge and to thank her he knocks her out with the death grip and handcuffs her to a railing. After coming round, she manages to talk him down, having promised to do whatever it takes to expose the conspiracy. It turns out this involves shooting Jack in the tits which, despite his exhortations, Chloe really doesn’t want to do. But when Jack moves to shoot himself, Chloe plugs him proper – he survives because he’s Jack. Pillar takes control of the scene but not before Jack bites a chunk out of his ear to buy Chloe some time. It really fucking hurts.
“Chloe gets the data card but can’t quite upload it before she’s apprehended. Before you know it, it’s in the hands of President Taylor. She watches Jack’s emotional goodbye to Kim he recorded on the same card making it feel like a family wedding videotaped over with secret footage of the Kennedy assassination.”
And Chloe? She gets the data card but can’t quite upload it to CTU servers in time before she’s apprehended. Before you know it, it’s in the hands of President Taylor. She watches Jack’s emotional goodbye to Kim2 that he recorded on the same card making it feel like a family wedding videotaped over with secret footage of the Kennedy assassination. She feels wretched. She’s betrayed Jack, the American people and everything she ever stood for. If only there were some way she could make amends, come clean and square this, the roundest of circles?
Yeah, that’s right. At the treaty signing, President Taylor makes a dramatic public confession, refusing to sign the document, dropping herself, Suvarov, Logan and the rest of the traitors in the deepest of shit. Nice work Madam soon-to-be-impeached President but do you think you could take time out from your Tiger Woods moment to get a phone call to Charles Logan’s goons? They are just about to execute Jack Bauer. Madam President? Madam President?
“If you want pious backslapping circle jerk, liberal orthodoxy fuck off and watch The West Wing. 24 brought the motherfucking drama and only liars, whores and fools denied its brilliance.”
Patched through in lightening time by Chloe’s technological genius, President Taylor halts the execution, says “sorry for all that” to Jack, admits he was right and tells him to get the fuck out of there because the Russians, Americans and the Intergalactic Alliance are all after a piece of his ass. Wounded but walking, Jack agrees this would be a good idea but wants one final word with Chloe. Deep breath, guys.
This is the final scene of 24 and it’s glorious. Jack is on video surveillance as Chloe speaks to him on the phone at CTU. They speak like parting lovers. He makes her promise she will protect his family while he’s on the run. Tears run down her potato face as she gives her word to do her spuddy autistic best. “Chloe…” Jack velvets “When you first came to CTU.. I never thought it was gonna be you that would cover my back all those years” Chloe is in bits. She can just manage “Good luck Jack” before the call ends. She pulls it together to say “Bring the drone back to base – whatever happened here didn’t happen, you understand? Shut it down” – the final line of dialogue on 24. 00.00.03 – 00.00.02 – 00.00.01 and it’s OUT.
Hell of a show, hell of an ending. If you want pious backslapping circle jerk liberal orthodoxy fuck off and watch The West Wing. 24 brought the motherfucking drama and only liars, whores and fools deny its brilliance.
The verdict on 24 Series Finale: A triumph.
Marks out of 10: 8
1 Fuck you. I’ve waited three years to tell that joke.
2 Eliza Cuthbert does not show and nor do any of her T-shirts.