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 1:00-2:00pm
With only three hours left at the start of this last TV-based day of 24, Jack’s one-man war against conspiracy shows no sign of slowing down. This week’s episode was a superb outing for Mr Bauer, and he spent much of it kicking derriere and taking names.
Events were kicked off as the President’s staff announced Charles Logan’s involvement in the peace process. Logan, getting ready for his meeting with the Russian President, was comfortably smug and pompous, smirking at his grand scheme, even with the knowledge that Bauer is still at large.
He’s shaken a little, though, as Pillar informs Logan that the Russian agent/sniper has been brutally tortured and killed by Jack, and that Meredith Reed is still unaccounted for. Pillar once more urges Logan to step back, but, as Logan stated, thanks to his public announcement, he’s past the point of no return.
Still, even with all of this info, Logan’s devious streak knows no bounds, and he heads off to speak with President Taylor. We then see Dhalia Hassan show signs of suspicion with Logan, which she quickly dismisses as she trusts Taylor’s judgement. You know what they say, Dhalia. Never double guess yourself, love!
Logan then divulges the full situation to Taylor, and with her in an obvious state of panic, he convinces her to effectively muzzle the press, stopping Reed’s story before it’s even created. Freedom of the press be damned.
This was another good scene between Logan and Taylor, and with two great actors, it was a tense and heavy one, as Taylor can clearly see her presidency slipping through her hands. Logan, on the other hand, appears to take nothing but pleasure in the whole situation, especially as he reels off lines about his unproven crimes, and Taylor’s popularity being metaphorical handcuffs around her hands. Once more, Logan is solidified as a true weasel, which is just how we like him.
Jack, Ricker and Reed are on the move, and Jack tasks Ricker to trace the last number in the assassin’s phone. He also tells Reed to contact her editor in order to get the truth out. They all part company, something that can’t be good for Reed. Without Jack looking out for her, she’s clearly doomed.
Back at CTU, Chloe and Arlo are still mooching around trying to find Jack and his friend, James Ricker. They discover Ricker’s identity, and begin to search for his location. I must say, although Chloe is one of the best characters in the show, the last few episodes have sidelined her somewhat, with CTU being little more than an aside to usher in fragments of information. Hopefully, she’ll become more involved by the end of the day, but there’s not much time left.
All of this was just the starter, though, and the real main course of this episode was to come. It began with Jack contacting Ricker, asking him to track Logan’s number. Ricker learns that Jack is after the ex-president and urges caution, saying he won’t survive the confrontation. Jack, however, states his true intentions, saying that he’s not expecting to come back from his plan.
When Jack’s resolved to sacrifice everything, you just know it’s not going to mean good things for his targets.
Before the sparks fly, we see Taylor ordering Tim Woods to silence Reed’s editor, and despite Woods’ concerns, Taylor tells him to do it anyway. How the mighty have fallen, eh? Taylor’s transformation into a corrupt president is coming along nicely, and this episode eventually shows her seemingly becoming comfortable with her new role. Hmmm.
Enough of this build up, though, as the episode’s clear highlight kicked off with Logan conversing with Russian Minister Novakovic, assuring him that Jack had no idea that they were involved. Of course, we know that’s not entirely true, and all of Logan’s arrogance and smugness would soon vanish, along with last night’s dinner, as Jack launches his attack on his motorcade.
Trapping Logan’s car in a tunnel, Jack, clad in full body armour and looking more like Salem or Rios from EA’s Army Of Two, storms towards Logan’s position, incapacitating anyone foolish enough to stop him. All the while Logan is trapped in his car, absolutely terrified, snivelling and crying. A particularly great moment was Jack’s appearance at Logan’s window. The Jason Voorhees on steroids and armed to the teeth look didn’t do Logan’s bowels any good at all. Not so smug now, eh, Logan?
Jack then proceeds to shoot a small hole in the windscreen of the car, and shoves a gas grenade in, forcing Logan to leave his almost-bullet-proof haven. Jack drags him off, and we see Jason Pillar panic as his control on the situation is shattered.
Jack proceeds to interrogate a scared, witless Logan, and the ex-president divulges everything, including the involvement of Novakovic. Logan catches a break, though, and hearing Pillar approaching, Jack renders Logan unconscious, leaving him alive, and makes his escape.
This was a truly great sequence, and Bauer’s all-out use of force, and single-minded goal of grabbing Logan made for a great Jack moment, something that the series so far hasn’t really had too much of. The use of scary body armour, and questionable tactics like scaring civilians and shooting law enforcement added to Jack’s shattered frame of mind. He really is on a one-man mission, and nothing is going to stop him.
Back at CTU again, Chloe and Arlo find Ricker’s location, and she orders Cole Ortiz’s release, claiming that she needs him for UN security duty. We also quickly zip to Reed’s editor. After speaking with her earlier, and arranging a meeting, he’s now under lockdown by the FBI, under Taylor’s orders. With her editor in trouble, Reed sets off to find another option. Meanwhile, Ortiz sets off, not before telling Chloe that, after Jack’s recent actions, he won’t hesitate to take him down if he does anything other than surrender. We’d like to see you try, Cole!
We’re then taken back to Reed, and although her story is important, as she’s going to be the one uncovering the conspiracy, the episode made it difficult to really care, in my opinion. Jack’s rampage is far more interesting and has overshadowed the core thread somewhat. Still, it’s important, and her conversation with Dhalia Hassan’s daughter, in which she reveals she knows the truth behind her father’s death, is a key scene. Unfortunately for both Reed and the Hassans, the FBI quickly apprehends Reed and ushers her away.
Back with Jack, and accompanied by some rather Terminator-style music, he attacks some Russian perimeter guards at Novakovic’s location, gaining entry into his building, but he’s stabbed by a guard on the way. Usually this wouldn’t be anything to worry about. After all, he’s been stabbed before today and shook that off. However, if memory serves, Renee stabbed him in the same place, so maybe Jack can’t shake this additional injury off as easily…
Logan, now safe and sound, calls Novakovic to warn him of Jack’s arrival, and as the phone rings, we see a scene of total carnage. The camera pans towards the ringing phone, with Russian agents strewn about the room, blood everywhere, and a lone live agent struggling to reach what we assume to be Novakovic’s phone. We then see why the Russian minister hasn’t answered. Yep, he’s a gonner, with no less than a fire poker shoved through his chest. Nice.
This grizzly death prompts Logan to call the Russian President. He informs him that Novakovic is dead, but is certain that Jack gained no info from him. It’s revealed that the Russian President himself is the man behind the whole thing, including the order to terminate Renee Walker. Logan assures the President that Jack can’t possibly know this, and we see another wave of genius from Jack.
In his altercation with Logan earlier, he attached a hidden mic to Logan’s collar. The scene switches to Jack, listening in on the conversation, and although clearly hurting, he now knows exactly what’s going on. Tick, tock. Tick, tock…
The last few episodes of season eight have been great, and this week’s outing was no exception. Once again the story continued to play out at a good pace, and we’ve seen key characters move further into place for the finale.
With Jack’s motives clearly set out, and the Russian President now his target, we’ve also got Taylor’s possible downfall to contend with, Logan’s involvement to tie up and a showdown between Jack and Ortiz to come.
I’ve been wondering for a while now if the eight seasons of 24 will come full circle in the end. Season one kicked things off with a plot to assassinate a president, with Jack Bauer trying to stop it, and it looks like season eight may well end with another presidential assassination, except this time Jack Bauer will be the one pulling the trigger. If so, it’d be quite a ride, and a cool way to end the TV run, but you have to wonder how it will lead into a movie.
Regardless, it looks like 24 may well end up on a real high, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in the double episode finale next week.
Read our review of episode 21 here.