24 Season 8 episode 21 review

Jack’s trip down the conspiracy rabbit hole deepens in this week’s 24…

UK readers please note: this episode doesn’t screen for another couple of weeks on Sky1 and this review contains major spoilers.24 Season 8 12:00-1:00pm

Ding dong the witch is dead! Yes, after last week’s shock ending, the landscape of 24‘s last season is changing rapidly, and this week’s episode also upped the ante, continuing to build into what could be an epic series finale.

Things kick off with Ortiz identifying Dana’s body, and the look in his eyes clearly points to his realisation that Dana could be right after all – Jack’s gone off the deep end. He knows she was executed, and that this was no self-defensive killing.

Meanwhile, we finally see Dana’s evidence, a recording of her speaking to her Russian contact. The recording not only gives Jack the ammunition he needs, but also confirms something else: Dana really was in love with Ortiz. We’ll just have to wait and see how this will play out when Cole discovers this fact, but I’m betting he’s not going to be happy about it.

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Back at CTU the tension is rising, and Jason Pillar isn’t trying to make friends. He’s taking no crap and will stop at nothing to remove Jack’s threat from the board. Chloe and Arlo finally realise something’s amiss, though, and decide to take matters into their own hands.

Jack then visits his contact, Jim Ricker (Michael Madsen) to ask for help once more. He needs to track down the Russian in Dana’s video, but Ricker wants to know why Jack simply didn’t disappear when he was framed, and we find out that, after all, Jack is out for revenge, as he says, “I need to make them pay.”

He tells Ricker about losing Renee, who then gives Jack the info he needs. With no way of knowing where the Russian contact is, Jack has an idea and calls Meredith Reed, the reporter from the beginning of the series who was in love with President Hassan. He promises to give her proof of the Russian’s involvement, and plans to meet her at a downtown store.

With Ortiz back at CTU, Pillar performs the interview only to find an uncooperative Cole Ortiz. Despite threats, Ortiz doesn’t say a thing, except that he knows about the cover-up, to which Pillar responds that the situation is in the best interest of the US. Pillar is then informed of the interception of the call between Jack and Reed, and immediately starts an operation.

Logan is immediately made aware of this and is played the whole conversation and, as squirmy as ever, insists that Jack be apprehended using this information.

Back to CTU, Pillar and his right-hand woman, Eden, discuss the plan, not before using some extremely funky self-tinting glass to grab some privacy. (I always thought Hasting’s office was a little open. Must have made it hard to sneak in the odd game of Minesweeper.)

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Chloe and Arlo are now certain of the cover-up, and with a healthy dose of technobabble, and what must be the quickest network setup routine I’ve ever seen (10 seconds and not a single Yes/No confirmation box in sight), establish an untraceable link to the CTU network.

Using this impromptu tech, Arlo loops the security feed in Ortiz’s cell and Chloe goes to question him. Ortiz isn’t initially willing to help, though, saying Jack has gone too far, but eventually tells Chloe to find Jack’s contact.

The episode then starts to heat up, and at the department store for Jack’s meet, the Russian sniper is in position, and Logan gives the sniper free rein to use whatever force necessary to cover things up, including the death of Meredith Reed.

In a scene right out of a Bourne flick, the sniper sights Reed, but Jack is nowhere to be seen. In fact, Jack is around, but is avoiding cameras by hiding behind other shoppers. He’s spotted eventually, though, but before the sniper can fire, he’s held at gunpoint by Ricker, and Jack then proceeds to take out each and every agent in the store, before making his escape. Ricker takes the sniper captive, and all of them leave the building.

This news doesn’t go down well with Logan, who had previously revealed the good news of Jack’s eventual capture to President Taylor. She agreed to make Logan a public face once more, with an announcement of his help in securing the peace deal. Logan is so pleased, he’s even spending time picking out just the right tie for his TV spot.

With Jack free, Jason Pillar recommends Logan distance himself from Taylor, leaving her to the wolves. Logan, however, isn’t so keen on letting go of his goal of getting back into the public limelight. He wants to be a hero, and so, against all common sense, insists Pillar continue to try and stop Bauer.

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Jack and Co arrive in an abandoned building, worryingly close to the department store (across the street! Come on, Jack, what are you thinking?), and perhaps the most cringe worthy and brutal 24 torture seen ever ensues.

Jack, realising that his captive is the very same sniper that killed Renee is in no mood for games. He demands the name of the person who ordered Renee’s death, and the captive simply spits in Jack’s face. Note to terrorists around the world: NEVER, EVER, spit in Jack Bauer’s face.

After some gut-wrenching (literally) torture using pliers, a knife and even a blowtorch, the sniper doesn’t divulge anything. Jack then realises that the sniper’s phone is missing its SIM card, and also discovers that he’s swallowed it… 

Yes, that’s right, Jack then proceeds to gut said sniper like a fish and grabs the SIM card.

Amazingly not eroded beyond repair, a quick clean off of the card is all Jack needs and the card reveals the last number dialled. Jack calls this number and is greeted by a voicemail message – the voicemail for none other than Charles Logan. Oh shit!

Jack’s face said it all, and after finding out that ex-president Logan is involved, the episode came to an end. Brilliant, and a great cliff hanger.

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This was a triumph of an episode, with a ton of story developments and even more ramping up of the tension. Jack’s motives are clearly dark, and he’s certainly wandered off the reservation somewhat, which is not going to be good news for Logan.

I did suspect Logan’s eventual confrontation with Jack, and so it was no surprise that he would be implicated, but this reveal to Jack was great, especially after such a brutal torture scene that highlighted Jack’s willingness to do whatever it takes to get revenge.

This also brings Jack even closer to Taylor, and you have to wonder what will happen if he finds out that she was in cahoots with Logan.

Well, we’ve got three more episodes left to find out, and I, for one, am not going to miss them.

Read our review of episode 20 here.