After the whatever-you-call-it that is the sixth season, the current 24 season wins. Personally, it felt like a return to what they’ve been doing in the early seasons, and then some, with all the emotional toll finally kicking in, after all that betrayal and all those deaths. Oh, and the possibility of a dead Jack Bauer, too. The two-hour season finale promised to wrap everything up with a bang and the usual “and then some”, and for the first time in weeks, we’re doing a recap of all that happened. Because I finally got the go-signal, or something. Ready?
Last week, the authorities barely averted a biological attack in Washington, D.C., and to top it all off, Jack gets Tony. Kim flirts with trouble yet again, and Olivia gets cornered after Hodges was killed by a car bomb.
Olivia sits in some conference room with loads of monitors. It’s the Deputy Attorney General and a couple of folks from the Justice Department on the other end; it’s an investigation into Hodges’ murder. She wonders why she needs protection; he answers that her questioning is all just a formality.
President Taylor looks for her daughter as she goes to her daily briefing, and Woods tells her that the leak came from the inside. Meeting commences, and she briefs officials regarding the events of the past hours, including Hodges’ revelation about the “big machine” whatever. She says Tony got arrested, too.
Jack and Renee’s traveling with a convoy, bringing Tony to somewhere for an investigation. The woman on the other end of Jack’s earpiece says there isn’t much time to bust Tony out, as they’re going to the interstate. The two guys look at each other, communicating, or whatever. They have four miles to work with. Stop trying to be a hero, she says; she’s got Kim on her screen.
Kim’s still at the airport, with two supposedly friendly guys who are actually the bad guys, too. She’s a little worried that the flight would be delayed again. Kim notices that the male operative’s bleeding in the neck, and he leaves to get bandages, but you can sense they’re all worried now. What he actually does is call that woman on Jack’s earpiece up–Cara’s her name, right–and he’s worried that the FBI agent he just killed will be discovered, and that Kim’s getting suspicious.
The convoy is going to an exit, and Jack is contemplating, contemplating… and suddenly pulls a gun at Renee! He demands the other agents in the van give up their weapons. Renee’s confused, thinking it’s mind control. Tony looks bored, and Jack shoots the other guy when she hesitates. The van splits from the convoy, and nobody can reach Renee, after Jack kills her receiver.
Jack explains that they got her daughter. Tony wants Jack to stop, and Renee calls him something. They move to a tunnel, effectively losing visual. They pull up to the side, and Renee is forced to uncuff Tony. Jack still pleads to her to save Kim, believing they won’t let her go even after the escape. Tony asks Jack to cuff himself, and the two get out of the van. Girl-in-earpiece is surprised, and Tony gets Jack inside their car. Apparently he thinks they can still launch a biological attack–by harvesting the pathogen from Jack’s organs! Eeeek.
Ethan finally gets inside the White House, and Agent Pierce briefs him about everything he knows about Hodges’ death, and his suspicions about Olivia’s involvement. Ethan won’t believe him. Pierce wants him to access a recording tool inside Olivia’s office, to see if her conversations were recorded. After budging a bit, Ethan finally gives in. He can, after all, still access everything–she’s barely settled into that position. Olivia leaves the “thorough” questioning, and heads back into her office. She sees Ethan inside her office, and he barely snakes through–she’s too argumentative this time. She then gives Pierce a grilling–and discovers the recording device inside her office, hidden behind a picture frame, which Ethan left open. She panics, and asks security to detain Ethan.
Renee gets in touch with Janis, and explains why Jack was forced to escaped Tony. She wants no police involvement until they know who’s holding Kim. Back at the airport, the plane finally gets going, but Kim gets called to the counter. Renee’s calling her, and explains everything. A lot of explaining, eh? She doesn’t believe Tony’s doing this. She finally figures out that the people she’s with are at it–and then the male operative comes up to her. She had to drop the call.
Kim returns to her seat a little more nervous. She knows the FBI’s coming for her, but the operatives are on to it, too. He pulls a gun and starts shooting at the agents. Discriminately. His companion grabs Kim, but she stabs her with a pen, before someone else shoots her dead. Male op’s still shooting, before trying to escape. Kim calls Renee, but she’s run out of batteries. Bad timing. She decides to pursue the male op by foot.
Olivia visits Ethan in detention. She says she found the digital recorder and threatens to strip search him. He says he took a recording of his personal account of his last days in office; she says it’s a national security issue, and that he’s violating federal laws, not her. Okay. It’s official. Olivia is a bitch. Okay. She orders a strip search, claiming the President asked for it. She gets her data card, and as he leaves for processing, he says she doesn’t understand what she’s doing. Olivia throws that one back at him, and then destroys the card. Pierce takes Ethan, who claims to be lucky to not be paranoid. He does say the recording device is also in his car; a point of preparedness, he says.
Jack is brought to some dark room, with folks in masks half-dragging him to a makeshift operating room. Tony gives up his end game. They’ll take 15 minutes to get stuff from his spine. He gets sedated while he’s shaking. Tony pulls Cara aside, and begs for a bigger role in the group, claiming that without him, nothing would’ve happened. He wants a conversation with the top guy, but she claims he’d rather stay anonymous. Back inside, a pretty large needle’s injected into Jack’s spine. Of course, he screams.
Olivia calls Martin scared; he tries to quell her fears, saying she’s destroyed the card, and she’s the President’s daughter, meaning she won’t be touched. Woods finds her, and gets her to her mom’s briefing.
Back at the airport, Renee gets to the airport, and tries to find Kim. She’s actually pursued the male op, in the cargo bay. A long hide and seek game, this one. I don’t know if he’s bleeding, but he’s limping. He goes up the stairs; she goes up the stairs, but goes a different way. She finds a police officer and asks them to contact Renee; he gets into a car and leaves.
Kim gets a hold of Renee, telling that the male op’s in the parking building. Suddenly someone starts shooting–male op, in the car, shooting at Kim. He gets hit, and the car flips and burns. She goes to the car, peeks inside, and grabs the laptop–but male op is still fighting, while stuck in his seat! It’s a screaming match, a weird one, but his arm is set on fire, and the car goes up in flames.
Renee gets to her, and Kim explains how she’s being tracked, and how they might find Jack. Technobabble? “CTU, systems analyst.” Oh, right. She asks to talk to someone at base, and is relieved when she finds out that Chloe’s working the desks.
Ethan leaves the White House, and accesses the recording device in his car. Aha! He has the real data card. Olivia, you’re so screwed again. He hears her chat with Martin, that one when she first ordered the attack.
The doctors tell Tony that the pathogen inside Jack is viable. The stuff in hiis spine isn’t enough to redo the canister, but it’s more than they expected; they still have the organs to deal with. Jack looks very sick. He’s got two hours to live, they say, but even if he dies, they can still take the pathogen up to two hours after. Cara sends the word up to Wilson, and mentions Tony’s wishes. He calls it “premature”, but she still sells the idea, saying they’d lose him if nothing happens, and that they don’t have any other choice.
He eventually decides to give everyone a visit–surprise!–intending to see Jack mucked up, and Tony in the face. But, if it goes bad, he’ll kill Tony. The doctors prepare to get more of the pathogen out of him, but he starts fighting back, attacking with scalpels and his cuffed hands. He starts walking out, still in pain, aimlessly walking, aimlessly walking, until he hits the roof of the building. It’s daylight!
Split-screen time: Tony gives chase, Olivia is confident, Wilson gets going, Kim is safe… clock ticks. This is a two-hour episode, so…
It’s a chaotic scene at the airport. Renee gets to Chloe, who says the transmitter on the laptop is encrypted. Kim asks if there are more leads, and gets the consolation that hers is the best–but, of course, Jack is dying. Speaking of which, he’s still trying to escape with handcuffs on, worming his way to a taxi garage. Tony gets to him and starts shooting, but Jack slams the door shut. Tony returns with a forklift and pierces the door up–that’s funny. Jack tried to break his cuffs, but Tony gets in first and kicks a smoke flare out of his hands, before subduing him. Then he drags Jack out again.
Ethan returns to Olivia’s office, with Agent Pierce in tow. She wants her predecessor out; he won’t budge. She calls security, but Ethan plays the recorded phone call–that one between Olivia and Martin. Turns out he gave the real card to Pierce, before he was detained. She continues to state her case, that she isn’t responsible for the death, that she tried to stop the whole thing, but Ethan now thinks she’s screwed. And then she gives up, offering to resign. Ethan claims he doesn’t want his old job back, rather wanting President Taylor to know her involvement. He wants her to say it herself.
Tony’s got Jack cuffed (again, man) against the wall. We get that speech again from the sick guy. Tony’s doing something, anything apart from listening… or maybe not. He turns to Jack just as he says the right words: “as someone who was once your friend, let me die in peace.” Tony says that the plan to get the pathogen out of Jack is just for play. Really now? He wanted Wilson to come out and meet him in person. And then it comes full circle. Wilson, the guy who killed David Palmer, and Michelle Dressler–the guy Tony tracked down for four years. It’s for justice, he says. Yeah, yeah, continue the argument.
Tony insists Jack screwed everything up, and that he saved lives today. Zing! His plan is to kill Wilson–and he wants Jack to kill him. Suicide bombing, yes. Tony straps a bomb around Jack’s waist, gags him, and remotely turns it on. Cara comes in and asks Tony to keep their affair a secret. Wilson arrives, with a convoy of Humvees and whatnot; the couple leave Jack and greet him. He comes out, but only after they’re stripped of all their weapons.
Finally, Wilson comes out, but Tony isn’t allowed to come close. Ten feet or so. It’s a weird conversation. He tries selling himself, but he wants to look at Jack’s stats first. To make things worse, the FBI choppers in, and everything descends to, well, further chaos. Everybody hides–Wilson and Cara, a surprised Tony, and Jack, who’s probably worried about getting hit. Tony, seeing that some fuel tanks have been hit, decides to shoot them until they explode. It’s absolute chaos. Renee gets to Jack, but not after shooting at people while hanging on to a van. Jack wants her away, though, because of the bomb. She detonates it, though, while he gives that looong explanation.
Wilson and Cara try to escape, and finally bump into Tony, who proceeds to shoot–his lover. Insert that look in his eyes. Tony points a gun to Wilson’s head, giving that looong explanation again, on how he and Michelle were to start everything until her death. And then he hits Wilson with his gun. And then he starts ranting about the death of his unborn son. Renee comes along and shoots Tony in the shoulder. Jack wants him to freeze, and he won’t, so he gets shot at the hand again. All to intense cheesy music. As Tony gets arrested, he claims that Jack’s running away from everything, and that he’s one of them now, but really, I can’t understand what he’s saying. Jack moves aside. It’s the pathogen kicking in again.
Renee talks to Wilson, and floats Moss’ death. It’s treason and conspiracy, and it’s the death penalty for him. She wants names; he won’t give them, saying there’s no case against him.
Jack’s being prepared for the trip to the hospital, and Renee gets to him. She tells everything–that long explanation again–and asks for advice. Jack couldn’t give any, but says he doesn’t regret anything over the past day. It’s becoming a chat on ethics. I can barely understand Jack now. But it’s basically him passing down stuff to her. Stuff about not letting revenge get to you. It’s a teary-eyed chat, this one. Then he gets sent to the hospital.
President Taylor is surprised to see the First Gentleman out in bed–and then realizes it’s something serious when she sees Olivia. She finally admits to ordering the killings, but not before pinning the blame on the President putting him to witness protection. She admits Ethan has the recording, and that he won’t turn it over as evidence. Henry wants to cover up the murder, and destroy the recording once and for all–he thinks Roger died because of the presidency. They can’t lose another child, he argues. Woods comes in at the wrong moment, but he’s asking her down there, and she obliges. Olivia’s more worried than ever, but Henry promises they’ll figure it out.
Janis gets to Chloe and, after talking about Wilson’s debriefing, thanks her for everything. Now there’s an awkward moment. Chloe finally gives her a compliment. She smiles pretty wide after that.
Jack’s got no more hope, apparently, and all Dr. Maser can do is throw in the morphine to ease the pain. He refuses. He’s got a visitor–the Muslim guy in the mosque from last week. Jack apparently called him. He’s feeling very guilty about everything, all while twitching, and the visitor gives some enlightenment. It’s a surprising scene, personally. He holds his hand and they pray together. Jack thanks him, and says it’s time.
President Taylor returns to Henry and Olivia, and plants a kiss on both. Apologies for the toll her presidency had on both of them. Is she resigning? Apparently not. She’ll pursue the case against Olivia, and asks Pierce to escort her to the Justice Department. After a short apology to Olivia, the President turns to Henry, and he doesn’t respond. She’s never been this distraught. She leaves the room, and Ethan bumps into her. She fears that Henry won’t understand her decision, and that she’s lost everyone. Not everyone, Ethan argues, and takes back his position as chief of staff.
As Wilson is ferried into the FBI, Janis asks Renee to sign the transfer papers. She doesn’t want to. She asks Janis out, and when she wouldn’t budge, she kills the locks, points a gun at her, and cuffs her to a pole. Janis tries talking her out of it, still sounding stern, but nothing. Renee gets to Wilson… ahh, she got convinced.
Kim finally gets to Jack, but it’s too late–well, not exactly, since he’s just in a coma. The Muslim guy says he seems to have accepted his fate–but she hasn’t. So they float the stem cell experiment here, huh? It’s not too late for that, so Kim volunteers herself. As they prepare for surgery, Kim enters Jack’s room and says that she’s not ready to let him go.
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)