Tuesday, May 25, 2010
24 Series Finale: My Review
So after eight seasons and an equal amount of days 24 came to a big resounding end on Monday night. I am a huge fan of 24, have been ever since I started watching the series a few years ago. At that point I was living in a room in a huge house with like eight other people. I was between girlfriends and when I wasn't slutting it out with the local college talent I didn't have much to do. On my down time from work I'd go over to Hollywood video and rent DVDs just to kill time. One day I decided to rent 24 season one and instantly I was hooked. I started renting them furiously until I had made my way through the first four seasons.
Starting with season 5 I became a weekly watcher and while seasons five and six kind of blew monkey dick the producers really stepped up the game with season seven and season eight started with great promise. So how did the final two hours of one of the best shows on television measure up? Well, to be honest, it was all kind of a let down. Not so much because the season was bad but because the writers really chickened the fuck out. First off with this whole 24 movie nonsense. The whole idea of 24 is a day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) so to cram that into two hours would probably suck. It also left the end very anticlimactic since Bauer escapes in a seriously unbelievable way.
For those not hip to season 8 the entire thing centers around a plot by the Russian Government to derail a peace treaty being signed between them, the USA and a middle eastern country called the IRQ. Through a series of events way, way too long to go into Jack Bauer's lover is killed, and the President Of The United States becomes embroiled in a massive cover up consisting of the death of the President of the IRQ as well as the Russians and so on. The cover up and the death of his lover turns Jack Bauer into a revenge seeking super solider driven by bloodlust.
That's where the real problems come in and how the writers chickened out. Nobody in this season acted like anything close to their characters. If they had the entire season would have been ground to halt around 3/4 of the way through. Right up until President Taylor is seduced into covering up the Russian conspiracy that nearly destroyed NYC and ended the life of the IRQ President, everything was fine. Once she agreed to the ridiculous cover up the entire show came apart. Due to her compliance Jack Bauer, still pissed the Russians assassinated his lady, snaps and goes on a killing spree to "uncover the truth".
The problem is he never really tries to uncover any truth but rather just starts killing people. This is not what the last seven seasons of 24 have shown Bauer to be. He may have hurt and killed the enemy to expose the truth behind the cover up but whole sale slaughter just doesn't ring true. Plus he was doing it over a chick he hadn't seen in years but suddenly became so in love with he threw his life with his daughter and granddaughter down the shitter? That's no Jack, it's some 80s Commando type guy.
President Taylor's sudden involvement in the conspiracy, something that goes against her character for the last two seasons, is so out of left field that the resolution suddenly becomes clear. As cliche as it is you just know she'll have some moment of clarity that will make her rise to the occasion. When she does it rings as shallow and false as does her sudden ability to give Bauer time to try and leave the country. If Bauer had died doing this or had he taken his own life once he realized what he had become at least the show would've ended with some weight to it. Instead Jack just runs off into the sunset leaving it open for the movie.
Overall 24 season eight was a thumbs up because more of it kicked ass than sucked but the end was a big let down. I expected more from such an awesome writing team and I expected more from Kiefer Sutherland and company. Though I enjoyed all eight seasons of 24 on some level nothing that happened in these last two hours gives me any desire to see the movie.
I guess you'd called that a failed mission.