Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers for 24, the complete series.
9 years ago on a Tuesday night, at my father’s suggestion, I sat down to watch a television show that would end up defining how I watched TV and movies for the years to come. I didn’t know it then but this show would change television and it would change me all for the better. This show of course was 24.
I mean that part about changing me with little grandiose too. If it weren’t for 24, I may never have written my first feature length screenplay, tried to produce it and discovered my passion for filmmaking, but this post isn’t about me, it’s about 24. A brilliant and groundbreaking show that ended tonight.
Lost may have gotten all of the publicity for the last couple of years and its finale will probably have pulled in higher ratings, but 24 was and will always be my show. I tuned in every week for every episode, stuck it out through stupid plot lines and never gave up, knowing that even when Kim was getting chased by cougars and we were all stuck in the twisted brady bunch episode that was season 6, the writers would still find a way to pull it all back in and keep us loyal fans entertained.
It’s hard for me to put into words what exactly 24 has meant to me over the years. As anyone who knows me can attest, it was my obsession. It was the one thing I totally nerded out for: knowing the names of peripheral characters and even being able to name what happened in what episode in what season on cue. I let myself get immersed in this show and loved every minute of the ride. I did this with no shame or self consciousness because I recognized this as a show that offered escapism into a world where things were simple, Jack was always right and the good guys could be counted on winning, by any means necessary.
I’ll miss the comfort of knowing that this coming January, Jack Bauer will be back for another power hour to help protect us innocent and clueless Americans from threats we can only imagine and will never find out about.
I could go on and on about what 24 has meant to me, how it redefined the serial television show (and it could be argued, paved the way for other groundbreaking shows like Lost) and everything else, but I am still trying to process that my show for the last decade has just ended.
Eventually, maybe I’ll give a more detailed review of tonight’s finale as its still too fresh and I haven’t totally unpacked it yet but my first reaction is #1 making a fully satisfactory finale to such a monumental show is a huge task but this last episode delivered. #2, for those of us watching Lost, 24 had the bar set pretty high in terms of drama in the final moments. What I will say is that these final 2 hours were very tight and very tense. Like the best 24 episodes throughout the years, these final 2 hours kept us on the edge of our seats the entire time with some really great scenes and about as much resolution as we get from 24. I liked Jack and Chloe’s final conversation and the fact that in the end no one was clean and once they all had become corrupted like Jack himself, he of course was the true voice of reason.
I think president Taylor summed up pretty much the whole show in her final conversation with Jack…
"If only I had listened to you from the beginning, none of this would have happened this way."
Ah, that has been true for so long. In a world of both extremes and terrible gray areas, Jack Bauer is the only constant force of what is right.
Before really giving myself some time to think back on this season as a whole, what I can say looking back on it now was that I appreciated this season for taking the show back to its roots. It was once again a character drama built around a fast paced plot. Jack had depth again and he had purpose. He had to save Renee because that was the only way he could save himself. Once the forces of corruption took that away from him, he realized he would have to go down destroying the forces of evil and corruption in the name of justice. As it should be.
Also, I really liked how they very consciously put in little throwbacks to previous seasons throughout this one, between the cole and dana walker parking lot fight all the way up to the ending which is incredibly reminiscent of season 4, the strongest ending of all of the finales, I feel like the writers knew it was time to end they were paying tribute to their previous success as they got ready to say goodbye.
I could go on and on but I won’t. I’ll wrap this up by rating the seasons not including season 8 since i’ll need to decompress a little before i figure out where it fits in the grand scheme of things.
Max K’s official 24 seasons 1-7 ratings of the seasons overall.
And there it is.
Farewell 24. Thanks Kiefer Sutherland and the incredible staff who put that show together. It was certainly a remarkable feat.
Also I would like to thank all of you who read this or at least had to put up with this big block of text filling up your dashboards these past few weeks. If you didn’t know the show it probably sounded like the ramblings of a lunatic and if you do know the show, I hope you could appreciate with me the true impact of a show like this ending.
So that’s that. The terrorist plot is resolved, order is restored to the world and Jack is still out there somewhere.
”Shut it down.”
Farewell Jack Bauer. Farewell 24.
Tick Tock. Tick Tock.