So it has come down to this. The final episode of 24. It has been such a great season that the producers were really going to have to do something crazy in order to wrap this thing up. I don’t know, but I guess they can start with Jack stopping a crazy terrorist from unloading a dozen cruise missiles onto the west coast and finish it with perhaps Jack finally bringing President Logan to justice? I think it can be done. That may seem like a lot to do, but we have not one, but TWO WHOLE hours of Bauer. And you just knew that there was going to be a crazy twist at the end. Was all of that time worth it? I sure as hell think so. Join me as we say farewell to the Aviator Glasses of Badness, the Hoodie of Inflitration, the Messenger Bag of Death, and another gnarly season of 24.OK, so I just used gnarly in a sentence. Forgive me; I just though pop culture terms form 1989 would really sum up how I felt about this episode. As we all know from last week, Bierko just commandeered a submarine using a backup canister of the VX gas that he’s been messing around with all day. Why the submarine? Submarines have missile, and while there were no nukes onboard, each missile was capable of leveling several city blocks, and with a range of several hundred miles, there weren’t going to be many places on the West Coast that would be safe. Like any crazy terrorist, Bierko was running down his list of high value targets (HVTs) including financial centers, transportation hubs, high population density areas, and Famima! OK, that last one is only high value to me, but when it’s 2AM and you need a vitamin water and sushi fix, you need to set your priorities.
Since everybody on the submarine was either dead or a terrorist, nobody had any qualms about just blowing that submarine out of the water. Audrey Raines got on the phone with our buddy Admiral “Sugar Ray” Kirkland and let him know that the submarine had been seized. Kirkland knew nothing about this, perhaps because George Costanza was working on that special project downtown, but said he could get his F18s scrambled in 22-25 minutes. Unfortunately, that would not be enough time to stop Bierko, as Chloe said he would be ready to launch in less than twenty minutes. Hmm, perhaps if Kirkland took his jets sunny side up instead of scrambled, he could save some time? Also, it was great to see Audrey use that high-end Cisco Systems technology to make a phone call, maybe next time they’ll make something that can COPY A TAPE RECORDING so we don’t have to go through all of this again.
Let’s be honest though. Sending in some fighter pilots to blow up the sub wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as watching Jack do it himself. Unfortunately, the sub’s entry hatches were closed and they are literally airtight. And even if Jack could get inside, does he have the manpower to take out Bierko? But wait a minute, how are you going to get inside of a LOCKED SUBMARINE in less than twenty minutes.
Suddenly, we have our answer. Henderson notices out of the corner of his eye that a signal tube has been dropped out of the side of the submarine. Luckily, Chloe didn’t know what a signal tube was either which gave Jack a convenient way to explain all of this to us. “Asignaltubeisaradiobeaconsentoutincaseofemergencies” Jack said in one breath. Man, how many takes did you think they needed to finish THAT? Anyway, this signal tube I guess helps somebody inside of the sub get radio messages to the outside world. If somebody inside released a signal tube, maybe that means somebody inside is a friendly and can help them get, uh, inside.
Mr. Bauer, bring toilet paper. I just shat myself.
Chloe was able to patch Jack with the person inside, one Petty Officer Tim Rooney, an engineer aboard the sub. Luckily, he happened to be in a sealed compartment and didn’t get any of that deadly nerve gas herpes, but there were notother survivors. All of the terrorists were inside, having flushed the ventilation systems, which meant is was safe to move without a gas mask. Rooney also happened to be in a place on the ship where he could see all of the movements of the terrorists through closed circuit camera, but they were unable to see him. Jack explained to Rooney the situation and that they would need help getting inside. OK, cool, what’s this guy have to do? Oh, nothing besides come up behind the terrorist guarding the rear hatch silently and then slit his throat and kill him without anybody noticing.
Is THAT all he has to do? Wow, should be no trouble at all for an engineer that is reading gauges all day! The kid is worried, but Jack walks him through it. Just sneak up behind him, cover his mouth, and then slit his throat with that utility tool of hours, making sure to get deep enough to sever the vocal cords and the carotid artery. It’s a walk in the park! Quick! Less than ten minutes until launch!
It didn’t look like Petty Officer Rooney was going to be able to go through with it, but after seeing one of his comrades lying on the floor; he sucks it up and moves. So far, so good. Sneaking up on the guy, nobody notices him. Nice. Now, grab his mouth from behind so he can’t scream. Check. Now, time to go for the jugular! D’oh! Rooney never anticipated that terrorist being as strong as he was and he couldn’t quite get that blade into the guy’s neck. When he finally managed to plunge that shiv into him, it was more of a poke than a slice, so it took a good five or six times before he kills him. Jack’s a little impatient and asks Rooney for the status. “My status is, uh, he’s dead.” My status is, uh, TIME FOR JACK TO KICK ASS!
For all the fuss Jack made about Rooney doing the silent kill, he had no problem killing the guard on the top of the sub with a un-silenced shot to the chest. I mean, I guess the people inside the sub can’t hear anything, but why take that chance? Jack, Henderson (who is now armed after jack grudgingly gave him a gun) and agent McCullough enter the submarine. Oh agent McCullough, it was nice knowing you. You aren’t dead yet, but you soon will be red-shirted ensign.
Just in case you didn’t realize we are in an urgent situation, the missile hatches open. That means there is less than seven minutes until launch. Jack and his friends get inside and meet Rooney, where Jack asks him to lead everybody to the control room. It’s also very convenient because if Rooney were to get shot, Jack would be protected and then kill that shooter. That’s how you get to be Jack, sacrificing the lives of lesser people to make yourself a bad ass.
As anticipated, the control room where the missiles are being targeted is heavily guarded. Jack asks Rooney to create a diversion and then lay low. Just as Jack planned, the terrorists hear the diversion and run off to see what it’s all about. It might have been smart to send only one or two people guarding the guy programming the missiles, but it’s not like anybody could get on the submarine, so why not send all three?
With the guards out of the way, Jack is able to sneak into the control room and put on a proper knife to the neck kill. Oh man! I bet Curtis is going to be really jealous to hear that. He did get to punch Mandy, but that was frickin cool. Jack leaves Henderson to work on disarming the missiles while he and McCullough go after Bierko. Jack and McCullough use those SWAT team hand signals to make their way through the sub, but it looks like Jack forgot the one for “WATCH OUT YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET SHOT” and as they round a corner, we say bye bye to McCullough. As far as random CTU field agents go, this guy had a pretty good life.
Henderson is still working on disarming the missiles, and Jack now finds himself in a two on one situation, which as we know is not a fair fight. Jack taking out two terrorists takes about as much effort as it takes a dog to lick his own balls. With enough motivation, it comes really easy. Jack manages to shoot Bierko, but gets into a fight with the other guy. It gives him a little difficulty until one of the steam pipes comes loose, and Jack decides to give him part one of the Jack Bauer spa treatment, where the soothing steam COOKS YOUR FACE until you die, or something.
But Jack’s work is not done. Bierko comes at him with a wrench and hits him in the head twice. Normally, this would be enough to stun any man, but Jack Bauer once pulled a tree branch out of his thigh, so this is nothing. Jack grabs a pipe, wraps his leg around Bierko’s neck, then gives Bierko a few minutes to contemplate the last moments of his life before part two of the Jack Bauer spa treatment, where he uses his special Thai massage techniques to snap your neck.
Henderson managed to cancel the launch sequence, but when Jack returns to the control room, Henderson is gone. Jack goes topside, and is trapped by Henderson. Right about now, I wish that Jack didn’t give Henderson. Not because I thinks Henderson will kill him, because Jack can get out of that, but because Henderson has to do his little monologue about Jack never intending to let him go, and really, nobody wants to hear Robocop speak. So, how does Jack get out of this one? He’s going to have to think fast before Henderson pulls the….
CLICK. CLICK. CLICK
WOW! I was expecting a BANG! BANG! BANG!, but it looks like Henderson didn’t realize that there was no ammo in that gun that Jack gave him. Henderson doesn’t bother to beg for his life, and Jack isn’t going to spare him anyway. Now comes part three of the Jack Bauer spa treatment, the deep meditation, where your life flashes before your eyes right before Jack shots you twice in the head because you killed the President and two of his friends.
Not a bad way to start an episode, and we’re only twenty minutes in!
Of course a whole shit load of Navy reinforcements come just in time to miss all of the action. Missiles are unarmed, Henderson is dead, and Jack can now go back to CTU. He grabs a Navy car and is on his way, but not back to CTU. He calls up Chloe for one more favor. Jack is going after the president, and Jack needs help modifying some field communications equipment. Chloe’s had a rough day, she’s already going to be on trial for treason, and so this wasn’t that big of a gamble. OF COURSE SHE’S GOING TO HELP.
By this time, President Pussy is very happy. No more threats to the country, and with Henderson dead, no more threats to him. He gets Graham on the horn to tell him the good news, and then sends Mike away to prepare a statement. Logan decides that he will up the hypocrisy scale by speaking some words in memory of David Palmer as his casket is boarded on a plane on it’s way to Arlington Cemetery.
Since Mike is gone, it makes it much easier for Martha to talk to him. She has been trying to help Aaron get off the reservation so to speak, but she needs Mike’s help. Novick thinks that the First Lady must be on drugs, but she assures him that she is sober and convinces him to follow her. They meet in the back of the barn with Aaron, and suddenly, all of those suspicions that Mike has had all day are starting to make sense. He agrees to help Aaron off of the ranch. Martha can barely let go of Aaron, and I understand. You really have a bond with somebody if they save your life. Hell, you have a bond with somebody if they give you a Tic Tac. Martha hopes that he will keep in touch, but Aaron says that for his own safety, he will never be able to contact her again. They share some close moments, and I thought there would be a kiss in there, but there was none. *Sigh* I guess Jack and Audrey used up all of the sappy moments for this show already.
Chloe was going to help Jack, but he was also going to need some help from inside the ranch. He wants to call Aaron, but of course Aaron doesn’t have his cell phone. He calls Mike Novick, who has conveniently left the ranch and just happens to be with Aaron. Aaron tells Jack that Mike knows everything that is going on and is on their side, and Jack fills them in on his plans for the rest of the day. He’s going to get a direct confession from President Logan, and he’s going to do anything it takes to make that happen. That’s all fine and dandy, but Jack is still twenty minutes away and the President is about to leave by helicopter. Mike’s going to have to find a way to distract him.
Back at CTU, Chloe is discussing the possibility of bringing Morris back. Who’s Morris? Well, we’re not sure, but we do know that he is selling women’s shoes in Beverly Hills. Hmm, we already had one overly effeminate character, but Miles is gone. Who is this Morris guy? Oh, he’s Morris O’Brian. Chloe’s brother? No. Her uncle? No. Her cousin? No. Her ex-husband? YES?!?! Oh man! I have got to see what this guy looks like. What kind of guy would Chloe marry? A short, stocky, quirky bald man? She’s got taste like Marisa Tomei. Check him out:
Willie Garson + Dave Attell = Morris
Chloe got Morris special Clearance by saying that he might be able to salvage the recording, but she really brought him in to help with the modifications Jack needed.
Mike is still working on stalling the President, but he is having no luck. He does no one person that may have some better luck, however. Martha Logan. He explains that Jack Bauer is on his way and is going to confront the President directly. At first, she wonders if Jack is going to hurt him, but I think it was only wishful thinking on her part that Jack would hurt her husband and make him pay. Martha agrees to help create a diversion.
As she finds her husband, he is talking with an aide about finding Wayne Palmer so he can be present for the memorial he is giving his brother on the tarmac. Good idea! I mean, we thought he was at Bill Buchanan’s house, but we don’t know. When they find him, ask him what he was doing at Bill’s house. I have a sneaking suspicion that Buchanan has a foosball table in the rec room downstairs, which is what kept Wayne preoccupied, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, Martha needs to distract the President and there is no better way to distract a President who feels lonely and isolated than..sex! Martha says that she owes him “an apology” and that although she doesn’t always understand him, she still needs him, and loves him. Then she starts the kisses. President Pussy is about to protest that a helicopter is waiting for him, but he’s the President. If President Pussy is about to get some, well, you know, then the helicopter is going to have to wait. Martha got her groove on, and President Logan was not about to say no. This is makeup sex after all, and when you’re responsible for the death of a President and a lot of innocent civilians, you do have a lot to make up for.
She’s probably going to need a shower now
I was very stoked to see that Martha was able to pull a fast one on the President, but boy did I feel sorry for her. After they were done, it looked like she was going to be sick. It’s not like she wasn’t used to having him being there, but I’m sure even when he wasn’t a murderer, he wasn’t a killer in the sack either. At least it was over pretty quickly. When they cut away right before they were about to get all nekkid, it was like 5:56AM. The President arrived at his helicopter at 6:06AM. Figure at least a minute or two to drive out there and another minute or two of freshening up and minute or two of taking clothes off/foreplay, and it looks like Logan is about a five-pump chump.
Martha’s distraction did work however. Jack was able to fake credentials and get onto the Presidential helicopter. There is not a lot of times that I would say Jack Bauer looks silly, but do you think they could have found a helicopter helmet that was more his size? He looked like Rick Moranis is Spaceballs. I was just waiting for him to say, “I see your Schwartz is as big as mine. Let’s see how well you handle it!”
Jack makes his way on to the helicopter, then the President gets on with his Secret Service detail (Martha said she needed her medication and had to stay behind) and then gets to business. First, he tells the pilot to follow his instructions or he will die. Then, he uses the stun gun to take out the two secret service agents. Logan now realizes he is in trouble and tries to reason with Jack. First he says that he didn’t know how far his people would go, and then he says that he always acted in the best interest of the country, and finally he tells Jack to think about what would happen to the country if something happened to their President. None of this means anything to Jack, who instructs the pilot to land at an abandoned printing press. Once there, Jack shocks the pilot and takes the President inside.
I guess this is where Jack is going to make his stand. He cuffs Logan for a pipe and waits for Morris to meet him. Yes, that Morris. Poor Curtis, even with an injured arm, they could have let him drive a briefcase out to meet Jack. Morris is funny and it’s funny to think he was married to Chloe, but don’t put him out in the field! Oi.
Once he gets the things from Morris, Jack begins to prepare the President for some serious interrogation. He searches him and everything, but he knows that the Secret Service is probably about ten minutes away, so he is going to have to work quick. I have to hand it to President Pussy; he was quite the trooper. I thought he would have peed himself, but he is no Walt Cummings. Would Jack kill him in only ten minutes? He can’t kill him because he needs the confession right? Jack went to a lot of trouble for Morris to bring out all of this recording and broadcast equipment, so if he shoots the President, nothing good can come of it.
Jack has his little laptop and starts to ask Logan a bunch of questions. He is actually doing a very good job of laying out all of the information he knows. The President didn’t come up with the plan to use the VX gas, but he did authorize it. David Palmer was assassinated when he asked too many questions. More people were killed to help cover up Palmer’s murder. The terrorists discovered that the President double-crossed them and decided to release the gas on American soil. Then a lot of people were killed when he tried to cover all of that up.
It all sounds good, but the President is not admitting anything. He’s stalling, and to tell you the truth, it seems to be working. Logan looks right at the camera and says that anybody watching this recording will see that anything he says is being coerced. When asked to name the co-conspirators, Logan says there are none because there is no conspiracy, and then says that if he says something under torture, it won’t mean a thing.
Calmly, Jack says that he doesn’t plan on torturing Logan, but if he doesn’t get answers, he will put a bullet in his brain. 18 months ago, Jack was told to go underground. He lied to the people that he loved; he lied to his only daughter. The people that tried to warn him or protect him about Logan have been killed. They say the most dangerous person is the one who plays like they have nothing to lose. If Jack has nothing to lose, that makes him the most dangerous man on earth, don’t you think?
Jack says that it is personal, and then gives the President until the count of three to speak.
The President says that if he is killed, he will be a martyr, and be mentioned with the likes of Lincoln and Kennedy, and although he neglects to mention William McKinley and James Garfield, he did have a point. There is no reason for Jack to help Logan’s legacy….
The President then appeals to Jack’s sense of honor. Jack wouldn’t kill the President in front of the entire world, would he? Jack loves his country; he won’t pull the trigger…
President Pussy closes his eyes, starts to cry, and we all wait for Jack to splatter his brains across the floor, but Jack can’t do it. Oh, it could have been so perfect! I can see it now:
“I’ve killed men and women and terrorists. I’ve killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, President Pussy, for what you done to Palmer”. I guess I’ll have to wait for the Eastwood remix before that happens though.
The President realizes this all of a sudden, and then starts to taunt Jack. Before Jack can rethink this whole killing the President thing, the SWAT team arrives, and Jack surrenders. Can Jack surrender? What’s going on here? HE HAS TO SAVE THE WORLD.
Wow, I never saw that coming, but now Jack is being taken to solitary confinement. How in the hell is he going to make the President pay now? Well, if you were watching carefully, the producers tipped us off. Jack took great care to frisk the President and then the Producers took great care to show the President putting his pen and cell phone back into his pockets. Morris didn’t just bring Jack a laptop and webcam; he must have bugged the President’s phone and pen. Jack knew that if the other recording was ruined, then they will have to come up with a new one.
So, there’s still a chance that Logan will be brought to justice, but Martha and Mike don’t know it. When Mike hears that Jack is in custody, he tells Martha. They are both waiting on the tarmac as Logan arrives by helicopter. She’s done a good job holding it all together, but you just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen.
As they are loading Palmer’s body out of the hearse and towards the plane, Mike is watching on his Sprint phone. Look at that clear picture! It just makes me want to get a Sprint phone and watch these things. Then again, maybe if I were Mike I would just find a nice plasma screen or in this case look up from his phone since the whole thing is FIVE FEET AWAY.
And then the crazy music starts to play. Thankfully, the press was all shooed away and there doesn’t appear to be any cameras, so the President has the Secret Service take her into a hangar nearby. Logan follows her in and then slaps her across the face. Oh man. You know, the President has done a lot of crazy shit today, but when he hit his wife, it was the first time I believed that he was definitely going to pay. The President realized that whole sexcapade was just a plot to delay him.
But as soon as I started feeling really sorry for Martha, I realized the President was saying a lot of things he shouldn’t be saying if he was being recorded, not only personal threat to stuff her full of drugs and send her that asylum in Vermont, but all about how he was responsible for Palmer’s death. He tells her to watch herself, or he’ll introduce her to what pain really is.
As the President is giving his speech, and I saw Chloe furiously working, I was wondering if they were going to replay the President talking about killing David Palmer over the loudspeaker, like that scene from Batman Returns. While that would have been cool, Chloe simply set up a conference call with the Attorney General. Karen, Bill, and the AG hear the President’s words. It’s enough evidence to send the order to arrest the President. Good thing we haven’t done anything about those warrantless wiretaps, or this whole thing might be unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, these weren’t pointed at President Pussy
As he is finishing up his speech, he starts to notice that guys in dark suits are starting to circle the wagons and he gets an eerie feeling. When he finishes, a federal marshal tells him that he is under arrest. As the President is looking for explanation, the Marshall shows him the transmitter in his pen. BUSTED! Oh, Logan, you were really played! Jack never wanted to get you to talk, he just needed to sell his failure or you wouldn’t believe him! As he is taken into custody, he looks over at Martha, who flashes him the biggest shit-eating grin you have ever seen. It’s a look that says, “I may have had to pretend I liked your sixty-year old penis, but this makes it all worthwhile.”
She who laughs last…
So, now that The President is about to get justice, it looks like everything is back to normal. Jack is released, and Audrey comes to see him. They share another kiss, and although there are fifteen minutes left, I figure the big twist this year is that Jack will have a happy ending. No wife being killed, no President poisoned, no chopping off of a hand, no having to fake his own death. He tells Audrey that he needs to be debriefed, but afterwards, he is going to come back and give Audrey a chance to de-brief him. And look at that. Jack gets a phone call from Kim. He just has to walk inside this building and take care of things. This will be no problem at all.
Through all of this happiness, I forgot one thing. GRAHAM! As Jack goes inside to pick up the phone, he is ambushed. Oh man, I thought that everything would be OK, but now I am not so sure. Jack struggles to get free, but it is no use. They really surprised him and drugged him before he even had time to think. And all that time, Audrey is just outside, minding her own business, unaware that her man has been captured.
Wow, this is tough. After all the shit that happened. I mean, everybody else is happy. Karen and Bill are discussing the day’s events. Looks like that Papasyian guy is fucked. Bill is worried about his job, but Karen assures him that she will put in a good word with Hal Gordon, who swears he didn’t kill Laura Palmer. Karen says she has to go, but before she leaves, Bill asks her to have breakfast. Everybody seems to be getting a piece of the action. Although Karen declines his invitation, she does say that she’ll take a rain check. Poor Bill, I guess Miss Hayes doesn’t sleep on the first date. I wonder if they’ll make a new spin-off series. Bill and Karen would be like Moonlighting for a new generation.
Pass the Courvasier…
As Karen leaves, Bill has this look of pure joy on his face, like he’s finally going to be able to show off that new Crate and Barrel headboard to somebody besides his mother. It’s all so happy, but then it’s time for another heartbreak. He finds Chloe and hands her a picture that Edgar had in his belongings. It’s Chloe and Edgar, and they are so happy, and the photo doesn’t even have ketchup or powdered sugar stains. I nearly cried again. I am so glad that Chloe has a way to remember her friend.
Oh, and Jack? Audrey notices that he is gone, and tells security, but it is too late. The next scene, we see Jack, beaten and bloodied. His captors reveal their faces.
IT’S THE CHINESE!
I guess I should have known. Jack has only been gone for like ten minutes, and he is already beaten pretty badly. That’s some serious Asian efficiency right there. It’s been 18 months, but they hold a grudge. And now, I am thinking that means there will be an even bigger twist, like Jack’s death. Would they kill Jack off? Jack is right there, he knows what this means. He’s in a warehouse, nobody is around. They shoot him in the head and dump his body. Jack even asks these guys to kill him.
But there will be no death. The creepy Chinese government official says it himself – Jack is too valuable to kill. As we pan out, we see that Jack is not in some abandoned warehouse, he is in the middle of a container ship, and it’s marked “Shanghai”. How will he get out of this one?
In another seven months, we’ll find out.
So, I know a lot of people had problems with this episode, and there was a lot of monologuing and ranting with both Jack and the President in various situations, but I thought that there was tons of suspense as well. The first twenty minutes were amazing, as was the time when Jack was interrogating the President. And Jean Smart? Simply amazing. We were lucky enough to have Penny Johnson Jerald and then Shoreh Aghdashloo with unbelievable performances in this series, and this year, we had Jean Smart. Kim Raver also did a great job, but over the last few weeks, I think Jean Smart set herself apart.
It was strange to see everybody else so happy at the end, and I wonder what sort of little bureaucrat babies Bill and Karen are going pop out (or adopt, judging by Karen’s age) and I think the final tribute to Edgar was the perfect touch.
And then there is Jack. Obviously they can take this series in a number of direction. You don’t necessarily have to have him escaping China, but it seems like they have to do more than just explain away what happened with a few flashbacks and some expository talk. After this excellent season, I hope whatever they think ofwill do this show justice.
What did you think of the episode? Are you upset that Miles didn’t get bitchslapped as well? Are wedding bells in store for Bill and Karen? How in the hell will Jack get out of China? WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO GRAHAM AND THE BLUETOOTH GROUP?