24 : Fade To Black

What made ’24′ great was taking an idea so simple people couldn’t believe it hadn’t been thought of before, and doing it perfectly. The simpler a situation the show was depicting, the better it was, the purer it was.

Day One, A Federal agent is torn between his duty to protect a Senator, and his duty to protect his family. That’s all Day One was. Try as you might you won’t be able to come up with a similar one sentence description for Day Eight. Certainly there are parts which have been just a simple, the most simple an idea was Jack’s fight for justice during the last 7 hours. Which is why these last 7 hours where the best of these last 24. Why certain parts of these last two where so touching, emotional and even moving, whilst others where simply plot.

Everything involving Jack and Chloe was terrific. Logan was mostly the usual delight to watch. The action, as so often in these final episodes was tense and dramatic. Unfortunately however a number of other moments either fell flat or where horribly guilty of missed opportunities.

The show almost tortured those final moments at the UN podium until Taylor pulled out. How much better, more dramatic and hopeful would it have been if Taylor, looking resolved, steely, but oddly calm walked up to the podium after the others had signed and made a speech mirroring her Inauguration speech seen in Redemption, declaring her values of openness, peace and understanding – those which had lead her to seek high office, and whilst the initial work done in forging this peace her guiding principles meant she would unfortunately not be able to sign the treaty.

However in the places that mattered there was very little too complain about. These two hours wrapped up the Day 8 story nicely and neatly. But why then do I still feel a little reserved in my judgement?. Perhaps this is why…

The end of 24 needs to deal with what happens to those who go down that road. Can they turn back? Can there be a happy ending? Or is there simply a dead end?

I wrote that 6 months ago when looking back on 7×24 and looking forward to Series 8. Previously i’d written how 7×24 should be the last we saw of Jack Bauer, (and possibly 24) as it was the most perfect closure and judgement Jack was ever going to receive. The viewer could decide whether Jack died quietly and peacefully with Kim by his side or if simply the Jack Bauer we knew died on that hospital bed and a different man woke. Nothing in the past 24 episodes has fundamentally changed that opinion, most especially because we are no nearer an answer to the key question I pose above.

Perhaps it is an unanswerable question, perhaps that is precisely the point.

Overall a very fine end to the day, if only a satisfactory end to the show as a whole.

Best then perhaps that 8×24 is not “goodbye”, but merely “fair well, for now”.

In the meantime, back to the boxsets it is, and I would like to salute everyone who has contributed to the show these last 9 years.

Thank you very much for so much fine entertainment.

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