24 Series Finale Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by , Updated May 25th, 2010 at 8:30 am,

24 finale jack bauer 24 Series Finale Review & Discussion

Well it’s finally here: The 24 finale. Not only the season finale, but the series finale. It’s the end of the road for Jack Bauer – and based on what Fox has allowed to be done to his character this season all I can say is “Rest in Peace.”

Now that’s not to say that I know he’s going to die in tonight’s episode (this is being written prior to the show airing), but what I am saying is that as far as I’m concerned the well-loved, honorable, stop-at-(almost)-nothing to defend his country man that we’ve come to know died a few episodes back.

Whoever took over the series and the character played by Keifer SutherlandĀ from the original creators of 24 seems to have had a different vision of who Jack Bauer really is… apparantly a vengeful psychopath that has just been barely held in check for 7 seasons. This season he’s crossed a line he never actually contemplated crossing before: Cold blooded murder of unarmed people for revenge – and torture so vile that it would make Al Qaeda proud.

In case it’s not clear, I’ve not been happy about this final season (#8) of 24 – frankly, I wish they’d retired it about three years ago while it was still great – and with what they’ve done with the show this season I just don’t see the prospect of a theatrical version of 24 doing that well at the box office.

The following review is full of spoilers for this episode.

The culmination of the season sees Jack determined to go all the way up to the top of the chain of terrorist events of the past 24 hours and expose Russian President Suvarov, who was the ultimate power behind the day’s events. Jack has killed everyone up the chain up to that point and is making headway in getting to Suvarov. They do at least show a bit of humanity in Jack when he tells ex-President Logan’s aide that they took away the option of a justice system for him when they tried to bury the events of the day – making him judge and jury. He spares the life of the aide instead of murdering him.

Dalia (now President of the IRK) finds out about the source of the assassination and confronts President Taylor, who finally has to come clean about the cover up. Taylor has been sliding down that slippery slope and fighting it as best she can, but is willing to pay almost any price for the Middle East peace agreement to go through. When Dalia refuses to sign the agreement once she learns the truth, Taylor goes off the deep end and threatens a full scale attack if Dalia doesn’t sign the treaty. VERY grudgingly, Dalia agrees to sign.

Jack of course makes it into the UN building without much trouble, while Chloe, Arlo and Ortiz try to get to Jack in order to retrieve the video evidence, get the information out and stop him from assassinating the Russian President.

Chloe comes upon Jack as he is about to assassinate the Russian President, and manages to get through to him by invoking Renee Walker – saying she wouldn’t want a war started because of her (with a country that has intercontinental nukes, no less). Jack acquiesces, – but knows that the TAC team is coming and gets Chloe to shoot him just as they arrive in order for her to be able to get the digital recording out.

Eventually President Taylor has a change of heart, after watching a recording that Jack made for his daughter about the events of the day and stops the agreement from being signed – along with stopping the planned assassination of Bauer by Logan. In the end Jack’s death is barely averted, but Taylor tells him that they’ll both have to face the consequences of what they did that day – and is going to give him some time to leave the country and go into hiding. In a heartfelt goodbye, Jack tells Chloe that he never thought that she would be the one who watched out for him for so many years – and that is the end.

After the incredible suspense of some previous seasons, this final episode felt lacking. Maybe it’s from having gone through this so many times, but there was never really a sense that the plan wouldn’t succeed or that the news wouldn’t somehow get out. I guess they can only dangle you out over the edge of the precipice so many times until you learn they’re always going to bring you back in to safety.

And here’s a major issue: The final episode of every season has always revolved around some critical danger that Jack has to stop. In this episode the big issue was “will he assassinate the Russian President?”


Was the audience supposed to be on the edge of its seat for fear that Jack would go through with it? The man was responsible for an attempted terrorist attack that would have taken out tens of thousands of people, which was only avoided because JACK stopped it.

Jack had already taken out everyone else up the chain who was involved, so who gives a damn if the guy was killed? That was a poor, poor lynch-pin for the episode. Yeah, yeah – nuclear war, yadda yadda – not much of a motivating threat in the last 45 minutes of a series finale.

The one thing that was in doubt was whether they would actually kill Jack at the end of the episode since this was the end of the series – but no, they left him alive and on the run. There was too much similarity to the same thing that happened a few seasons back when Jack had to go on the run from the U.S. government. Frankly after 8 “days” I was ready to see Jack finally have some peace in his life, as they hinted at 24 episodes ago in the season opener… the chance to finally retire and enjoy life with his daughter and grandchild.

So after so many years of nail-biting episodes and entire seasons, this final episode of 24 felt like it went out more with a whimper than with a roar.

Sadly, not a fitting end to the story of Jack Bauer – no doubt due to the bloody temptation to bring him back once more whether it be in another season, series or feature film.


TAGS: 24
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  1. In honor of the series finale of “24,” check out this list of the Top 10 Bad Guys on “24″ and their next villainous TV roles. http://tvtango.com/news/detail/id/208/sr

  2. Probably the worst ending I have ever seen. This was a lot worse than even the Sapronos. Truly terrible.

  3. It wasn’t THAT bad……..it wasn’t THAT good either. I suspected Jack to get off with a bullet to the head but instead……….spoiler alert……………….he lives to complete his movie I guess.

    This whole day was so implausible that in the same amount of time, I did the laundry, finished a design project, cleaned out my fridge, ate three times, went to the grocery, called New Zealand and scratched my butt.

    All in a day’s work.

    So long FULL DAY SHOW.

  4. The finale overall was great but there wasn’t any closure. Jack, Jack’s family etc…..hopefully a spinoff is created.

  5. Boo!! Can they write a freaking happy ending for once. I have watched every episode of 24 and this ending was nothing more than a season ending. For a fan, it would have been nice to see after all the BS Jack had to go through in the last 8 seasons that they wrote a happy ending to close the show with. Maybe showing him finally retiring from CTU with clips of past seasons and at least a drive away with how they started this season –with family. Very disappointed!! Boo!!

    • This was a good season finale. It could have been better. It really did not close the story. I could make another season of this ending with Jack showing up in another country with other government after him. Sort of a Jason Bourne spin.

  6. I thought it was awesome. They did a fantastic job. I will miss this show

  7. Wow you guys sure are nit-picking, I guess you guys are “Lost” fans because this finale to me was a great finale to a great series. I love how it ended, truly made me sad. The ending was perfect as it represents how Jack must always be on the run. I’m gonna miss this show a lot, one of the few great shows of our generation in TV. Long live 24 and long live Jack Bauer :)

    • i have not missed a single episode in all the seasons, it was amazing,I hope we hear from Jack in the furture. He has always been on the run that is who he is.cloe have a strong chemistry, the ending was pretty intense and paid respect to his character as well as the relationship. Thank you Fox for a great show!

  8. It is going to be very very hard, to look at TV on Monday nights, and NOT see Jack. I will forever miss 24, it was my Favorite show on TV. Bye Jack, but I hope you reconsider and come back. I am a fan forever.

  9. I Completely agree a huge disapointment for the 24 series finale. i have seen every episode and own all the seasons and this was not satisfying like earlier stated it was a season ending not a series. The writing also has gone down hill. I havent been able to get into the same amount of interest in season 7 and 8. Anyway i hope there is a film to provide closer to this unreal TV series becuase that ending didnt cut it. There wasnt even a silent clock (i know no one died but its the last episode its like all the characters dying kind of) Thats my opinion

  10. I guess after 8 years if ending with the show with “the Russians will be looking for you and so will we” was what this show was about—I wasted 8 years of viewing.

  11. Also what ever happend to thoes characters you could always count on. In the midst of all the conspiracy and schemes you ahd thoes characters which you could count on to get some good out of. EX, David Palmer, Aaron Pierce, Mike Novac, Bill Bucannon ext. I realize there were some in the recent seasons but still.

  12. It was alright leaves you hanging wondering wjat is to come. Hope the movies sums it up and explains his family and where he will go.

  13. I will miss the show it wasn’t the greatest ending but i guess all good things must end. I just wish there was more closure i mean come on its always open ended for another season, a spin off, or a motion picture who knows. Glad prdesident Taylor came through besides president Palmer she was my second favorite

  14. After 8 seasons of Jack, it sure makes you hope we have several people like him working for our government. Well, with our current president we probably would apologize for the Jacks in our government instead of thanking the Jacks we have for protecting us from the scum who are out to get us. Jack was great.

    • See how everyone else on here is talking about the show…and JUST the show? Then you decide to politicize it…low-class, to sat the least.

  15. Great pacing and finish for Jack and the series(and to hopefully start a 3 movie deal.) Glad President Logan is out of the picture(or so we think). He always reminded me of Nixon, only more of a weasel. It’s sad to see 24 go, but it is time. I wish the best in the future for the cast and crew. Thanks for the great TV!

  16. Before the finale, I was willing to bet that Jack Bauer would vindicate himself at the end by putting himself between a bullet and President Taylor. Instead, he was able to force Charles Logan to kill himself, brought President Allison Taylor to her senses and make her pull out of the agreement. She did all she could for him by allowing him to leave the country. You bet there will be a Jack Bauer movie. The closing dialog between Jack and Chloe was very moving, nothing less could have been said.

    • You’re right. That ending made me bawl. Once Chloe started to cry, I started.

  17. The door was left open for Jacks return..or for Cole to take his place,..to protect Jacks family.,.then finally Jack and cloe will hookup..

  18. Yes a good show and it will be missed. I just wish that network TV writers will just get back to entertaining us instead of trying to provoke unexplained theories when they conclude a show and other blah blah stuff that does everything but that.

    It’s Television. we watch it to be entertained and escape from reality==I analyze enough crap at work. I don’t watch to have to analyze the TV programs I watch.

  19. WORST ENDING EVER! I know it was a setup for the movie and all but seriously there were so many better SEASON endings, you would think a SERIES ending would beat all of those. This season had no direction whatsoever and was soo poorly put together.
    Best Season – Day 3…

  20. It was alright leaves you hanging wondering wjat is to come. Hope the movies sums it up and explains his family and where he will go.I will miss u jack.

  21. I thought the ending was great. I thought it was well thought out, he and Chloe started it together and should have ended it. I will miss Jack Bauer. I feel as if I have lost a personal friend

  22. I can’t see any other way of ending this series, though it was a little reminiscent of the ending in season 4, where Palmer calls Jack to tell him he’ll be hunted and that he should disappear–hopefully they don’t start a movie with Chloe being killed to draw him out. A happy ending would see Jack go home to his family but find him in action the next time his country needed him: like every other season finale. This way, even without a movie, he can be seen as moving beyond being (more or less) a mercenary on call. Overall, very satisfying ending to a GREAT (though very flawed at times) show. Best season imho was season 5.

    • Also, to the reviewer above. In Season 5, Jack kills Christopher Henderson when he is unarmed for revenge (he gives him a gun with no bullets in it and kills him for all his dead friends). Jack has always been known to cross the line from time to time for what he believes in–when his president refused to uphold the morals and justice that he’d sacrificed so much for, it’s understandable how a man with his skills might take the law into his own hands. Sorry, I find that I always defend Jack because he’s always forced to make difficult (not always popular) decisions to see that the spirit of the law is upheld.

      • Ah, my memory was fuzzy going back a few years – but I’ve NEVER seen him do anything remotely like what he did to the assassin in this episode.

        • Agreed. That was uncomfortable to watch.

  23. Post has been updated with my review.


  24. I’ve watched since day 1 and I got say I was a fan, am a fan and always will be. I thought the ending was great! Sure its sad he didn’t get a happy one but wouldn’t have worked. Jack’s the man. Its more respect to the fans to keep it alittle open…lets our imaginations run wild. Plus, possible movie in the future? I think so.

  25. This ending was absolute BS. I understand the idea that the producers want to do a setup for a movie, but this is a tv show. There should be closure within the tv show, not ‘ok, well it’s not going to be on the air any more so we’re going to continue the series in movies.’ 24 has been a great show in the past, but there was no focus towards the end and all of this season. The writers compromised the character Jack has become over the course of the series and of all thing, they left us with a cliffhanger as the last shot in the series. Awful way to end it. I liked the tearful goodbye between him and chloe, but come on. There needs to be some kind of resolution or closure. Like everybody else is saying, they made a season finale, not a series finale. For a show that has been on the air this long, the fans who have invested 8 years of their lives watching this deserve some closure, not ‘thanks for watching this on tv, now come pay money to watch the end of the story.’ The story should end with the end of the show, while whatever movie they make exists within that story, not following up that story.

  26. As a “RABID” 24 fan for 8 seasons I was an emotional wreck tonight but I thought they ended it with consideration to us fans as well as keeping it open for the future 24 movie franchise. Good job 24 and America is going to miss you JACK!

  27. Wow, the end of an era/week + one day!!!

    Thanks Keifer and the producers of 24, for a great show!

    Now onto the movies!

  28. Why is everyone complaining? Is there a better way to end it w/o messing up the ties with the movie?

  29. Well, they had been saying fo r years they would probably kill him off, giving his life for his country.
    That would have been better,but in the end its about the money they can make by taking it to the movies.