And after eight seasons, 192 episodes (and a TV movie), Jack Bauer has finally left our television screens.
I finally got around to watching the end of 24 (spoilers ahead), and … excuse me, but the final season wrapped up essentially without Jack (Keifer Sutherland)? For almost the entire last hour Jack was out of action as he had been shot, and then kidnapped towards the end, so we had to count on the president’s sense of guilt to end all the insanity … er, okay? We watched seven other seasons where it came down to the wire of Jack stopping whatever happened, but in season eight we get Jack not even being involved.
Despite that, I did like the very end with him finally telling Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) that he appreciated how she had always stood behind him, and it was about time he voiced that. The ending wasn’t tidy (you know, no mass exodus into the light …), but if they had let Jack go off into a happy ending, it wouldn’t have fit the tone of the series in the least. Instead he goes back on the run, hunted by people that should be thanking him and holding him up as a hero.
So, a feature film is expected, and while we will lose the real-time aspect, there are valuable lessons the series taught me over eight seasons:
- No matter what major city you are in, and no matter what time of day it is, you are never more than ten minutes from your destination.
- CTU has the worst employee screenings known to man as there was always a mole.
- Jack Bauer had the bladder of ten men.
- Everyone that had ever worked with Jack in the past was presumed dead … until the person needed to show up to be a villain or assistant.
- Opening a “socket” turns any computer into a super computer.
- No one that has the title of “president” can be trusted, no matter what country they are in charge of.
- Suturing up a wound not only stops bleeding, but apparently makes everything stop hurting, no matter how strenuous.
Make no mistake, I have no delusions to this show having ever been “good”. It was a cliché-ridden piece of garbage that always made me feel dirty having watched it. I was first grabbed by the concept of the series being done in “real-time”, and then it turned into a train wreck I couldn’t pull my eyes away from. When I thought it had sucked as hard as it could, they would push it a little bit further.
So long, 24 … I still haven’t determined if I will miss your ridiculousness or not …