Until this week, I honestly didn’t think that ’24’ still had the power to surprise me. As I’ve mentioned in previous recaps, the series has been on a downhill slide in recent years. Even this current season started out on a bad foot, with one of the worst storylines in the show’s history. I’ve been determined to see it through to the bitter end, but hadn’t been looking forward to it. Then things started to pick up a bit a couple weeks ago, where the plot took a very dark turn. Even though the last two episodes have certainly been better-than-average, I still remained skeptical. Yet even I have to admit that this week’s episode (‘Day 8: 1:00PM – 2:00PM’) is pretty terrific. (Spoilers after the break.)
Let’s get right to it: Jack Bauer has come completely unhinged. The man has suffered many traumas and indignities over the years, from his wife being murdered to his imprisonment in a Chinese labor camp. Somehow, he always persevered, driven by his own sense of justice and a moral obligation to do the right thing. Apparently, Renee Walker’s death was the proverbial last straw. With his only remaining chance for some happiness in life ripped away, Jack has just plain lost his shit. This became evident when he cold-bloodedly murdered Dana Walsh two weeks (or hours, in show time) ago, and continued through his gruesome torture and murder of a Russian operative in the last episode, which provided him the revelation that ex-President Logan is tied to the conspiracy. But even that pales to his actions this week.
Jack’s seemingly-suicidal direct frontal assault on Logan’s motorcade is both shocking and frankly awesome. The scene is truly sold by Logan’s absolute terror as soon as he realizes what’s happening. Jack Bauer is an unstoppable Angel of Death, who will tear his way through anyone and anything to get his revenge. Although he doesn’t ultimately kill Logan (which confused and disappointed me at first), his later slaughter of the other Russian agents is incredibly disturbing. We don’t even need to see him do it. The aftermath alone is pretty horrific. And the final reveal of his game plan (the reason why he let Logan live) shows just how far Jack’s willing to go. I have no doubt that he’ll kill Logan. He’ll kill the Russian Premiere. I’m sure he won’t hesitate to kill President Taylor or even dear, beloved Chloe if they at all get in his way.
I’ll be honest, I’m very surprised and impressed that the show’s producers are willing to go this dark in the final act. Jack Bauer isn’t a hero anymore. I can’t see any conclusion for next week’s series finale other than his death. But I’ll tell you this, I’m actually excited to find out how ’24’ ends. That’s something I didn’t think possible even just a few weeks ago.