Fade To Black. The Finale Reviewed

June 7th, 2010

What made ’24’ great was taking an idea so simple people couldn’t believe it hadn’t been thought of before, and doing it perfectly. The simpler a situation the show was depicting, the better it was, the purer it was.

Day One, A Federal agent is torn between his duty to protect a Senator, and his duty to protect his family. That’s all Day One was. Try as you might you won’t be able to come up with a similar one sentence description for Day Eight. Certainly there are parts which have been just a simple, the most simple an idea was Jack’s fight for justice during the last 7 hours. Which is why these last 7 hours where the best of these last 24. Why certain parts of these last two where so touching, emotional and even moving, whilst others where simply plot.

Everything involving Jack and Chloe was terrific. Logan was mostly the usual delight to watch. The action, as so often in these final episodes was tense and dramatic. Unfortunately however a number of other moments either fell flat or where horribly guilty of missed opportunities.

The show almost tortured those final moments at the UN podium until Taylor pulled out. How much better, more dramatic and hopeful would it have been if Taylor, looking resolved, steely, but oddly calm walked up to the podium after the others had signed and made a speech mirroring her Inauguration speech seen in Redemption, declaring her values of openness, peace and understanding – those which had lead her to seek high office, and whilst the initial work done in forging this peace her guiding principles meant she would unfortunately not be able to sign the treaty.

However in the places that mattered there was very little too complain about. These two hours wrapped up the Day 8 story nicely and neatly. But why then do I still feel a little reserved in my judgement?. Perhaps this is why…

The end of 24 needs to deal with what happens to those who go down that road. Can they turn back? Can there be a happy ending? Or is there simply a dead end?

I wrote that 6 months ago when looking back on 7×24 and looking forward to Series 8. Previously i’d written how 7×24 should be the last we saw of Jack Bauer, (and possibly 24) as it was the most perfect closure and judgement Jack was ever going to receive. The viewer could decide whether Jack died quietly and peacefully with Kim by his side or if simply the Jack Bauer we knew died on that hospital bed and a different man woke. Nothing in the past 24 episodes has fundamentally changed that opinion, most especially because we are no nearer an answer to the key question I pose above.

Perhaps it is an unanswerable question, perhaps that is precisely the point.

Overall a very fine end to the day, if only a satisfactory end to the show as a whole.

Best then perhaps that 8×24 is not “goodbye”, but merely “fair well, for now”.

In the meantime, back to the boxsets it is, and I would like to salute everyone who has contributed to the show these last 9 years.

Thank you very much for so much fine entertainment.

Up The Ladder. Review of Episodes 21 & 22

June 5th, 2010

I’m not sure of how much interest my thoughts on episodes 21 & 22 will be to anyone whose already seen 23 & 24, but we’ll see. I felt compelled to put my reactions down to have a further bench mark to compare against when I finally review the last two. Also since I enjoyed these a lot more than previous episodes.

The last few episodes really hadn’t done much for me, I still wasn’t getting excited, because of all the procedural rubbish that was going on around the edges I was finding it hard to get emotionally invested (or connected). But in 21 and 22, as we see just how far Jack is willing to go, and is going. Suddenly I get it, i’m with it. I’m edging ever so slightly towards the edge of my seat.

It’s all a bit more guilty pleasure than it was back in the good old days of Series One when you gained some satisfaction from deciphering the plot and perhaps guessing a plot twist no one else saw coming, the 2010 breed is a little more “detach the brain and enjoy the ride”, but hey, if the ride is this enjoyable then sure i’ll let a few plot holes (Novacovic gave the order to shoot Renee, not the Russian Pres.) the size of Manhattan flash by me. Same goes for a little repetition (Logan undone by a microphone after a rough and ready encounter with Jack).

Really is worth ignored when where treated to such gloriously scenes as Jacks full on assault whilst masked and in full body armour wielding an AK or something similar. Any encounter between Jack and Logan is worth watching and 22 didn’t disappoint. Truth be told any scene with Logan scheming, and twisting and being so Machiavellian and Nixon-esque is worth watching.

A lot of the problems of previous episodes was still present in these episodes, I just found myself not caring so much.

The show has set itself up for a very promising end, lets see if it delivers….

Wait, you already know if it delivers. Lets see if I think it delivers…. (yeah, thats better.)

Looking Back & Looking Forward

May 29th, 2010

Hi everybody, just a real quick update. I’m so glad to see so many comments on J_A’s Finale Review and so many votes in the “Rate Episodes 23 & 24” poll.

I wanted to let you know that I hadn’t dropped out the picture. I will be posting my thoughts on the final hours of Series Eight just as soon as I’ve seen them, (i’ve got the last four episodes to watch) and while the urge to simply rush through them is very great, knowing that these are the final 4 hours I’m resisting that temptation and will wait to watch them when I can really savour them.

Looking forward, I also wanted to let people know that we’ll continue to cover 24 whatever form it now takes. Hopefully this will be a Movie in the not too distant future, or it may be that the Movie doesn’t happen straight away and we’ll have to amuse ourselves in the meantime with a look back at the show over the years.

The clock never stops.

The Clock Has Stopped. A Finale Review.

May 25th, 2010

I never thought that I would find myself crying once those final seconds of 24 ticked away. And yet, here I am, sitting on my computer chair with my left leg pulled up to my stomach and my right curled under my butt, the show as I’ve known it is over, and tears are rolling down my face…

How did this happen? Wasn’t I one of the advocates of the “It should have ended years ago” and “It’s time to stop the clock”-credos? Didn’t I firmly believe myself past my 24 addiction?

And why exactly am I crying?

There’s no easy answer to that. The simplest and most detached explanation would be “because Howard Gordon wrote a damn good script and the actors did a damn good job of acting it”. But that reply doesn’t tell you why it has made me cry. I can try to dissect things a little. I know that I’m sad over “24” ending, despite everything, because it has been a part of my life and the best thing on TV for the last 9 years. I’m sad because back in 2001, when “24” first happened, I felt like I’d been searching for that very TV show to come along for more than two decades of my life; never before had a TV show so completely and thoroughly consumed me, engaged me, made me wonder, fear, tremble with anticipation and want more like a junkie in desperate need of his next shot. Never before had a show (re-)awakened the writer in me and inspired me to write hundreds of pages of fanfiction, pushed me to create my own storylines, fill in the blanks for existing characters, spin the thread further, create my own world beyond the show. But most of all, it was so bloody entertaining to watch.

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Downfall – Episode 19 Review

April 27th, 2010

I’ve just finished watching the 19th episode, and it was one of those rare eps this season that have kept me really interested, one of those rare eps that I had to watch twice in a row because they were so good. Before the tension wears off, I’d like to share a few thoughts on it. I’m even putting off dinner so that I can write these lines. While I do, I’m letting the ep run in the background for the third time.

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The Perfect Scenario – Episode 15 Review

April 24th, 2010

As always it’s been a while since I chimed in, although in the meantime you’ve had J_A filling in nicely keeping you all up to date. Unfortunately due to circumstances i’m fairly behind to schedule and only now starting to catch up. But having just watched episode 15 I noticed that the last review posted was of 13 so I thought it was the perfect moment to post my thoughts on the season and put down a marker to compare against when the season is over. In all likelihood my musings at the end of the season maybe a little clouded. So hopefully these can be slightly more clear headed than those will probably be. Spoilers for episode 15 follow… Continue Reading »

Howard Gordon Talks About the Final Season and the Movie Plans

April 10th, 2010

In a recently published article on hollywoodreporter.com, Howard Gordon talks about the show’s past, present and future, the status of the big-screen edition of 24, and how he wants 24 to be remembered.

The article does not really contain spoilers, so don’t be afraid to read it.

Below are a few excerpts from the article, answers to questions you might be asking yourself.

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