24 Review: Jack Shoots Secret Service Agents

at . Comments

It's been building for weeks, but 24 finally went off its rocker this week.

During the 1 p.m. hour, Jack Bauer opened fire on secret service agents. This bears repeating, in all capital letters: JACK BAUER OPENED FIRE ON SECRET SERVICE AGENTS.

Apologists will echo Chloe and claim Jack was only shooting to wound, but I have a feeling that, also like Chloe, they won't be able to muster this defense with a great deal of gusto. He was in an enclosed area, with an automatic weapon, his vision affected by a mask and people were trying to kill him. Even if you wish to believe Jack was capable of using non-lethal force in this situation, are we supposed to defend him for shooting loyal American servants in the legs and shoulders?

It was an utterly ridiculous scene. It was cartoonish. Akin to a comic book movie. A really, really bad comic book movie.

The writers have somehow forgotten how to write Jack as a dark, layered hero - and just turned him into a vengeful murderer.

Logan and Taylor

Something is definitely wrong when you hear CTU has changed its orders to "shoot to kill" for Jack and you think: yup, that makes perfect sense.

In order for a storyline to possess actual resonance and suspense, we must consider what would happen if Jack fails, right? This should be a terrifying thought that causes us to side with Jack and understand his actions. So let's do that. If Jack fails...

... a worthless peace treaty will be signed.

That's it. The Russian President could still be brought to justice, one could easily argue, in a few weeks. There's no rationale explanation for why this is such an urgent mission. Instead of killing innocent Americans (yes, that's what Bledsoe, the dude torturing Dana was a couple weeks ago was: just a guy following the President's orders) AND Russians (pretty sure not everyone in that Russian delegate's office was in on Hassan's murder), Jack could simply wait a bit and the Russians could be brought to justice at a later date.

What would be the downfall of this delay? A useless peace treaty? Isn't that what we already have?

Now, consider the opposite: If Jack succeeds...

... the peace treaty will fail, the Russian government and the American government will both be brought down.

Please, someone tell me again why this is the course of action we should be cheering for?

Can anyone truly say they are excited for next week's finale? We know Jack isn't gonna die, as Kiefer Sutherland (who is doing all he can with this junk, hence the lack of a zero-star rating for the episode) has told anyone who will listen that a 24 movie is in the works.

So we can add Jack's life to the list of those that aren't at stake.

It would be one thing if President Taylor were covering up a murder she had something to do with. Then, like Logan when he was in the White House, she'd be an actual threat Jack must take down. But she learned about the Russians' involvement after Hassan was dead, and even then she didn't have any evidence.

She's clearly taken illegal, unethical actions ever since, but was she supposed to delay the peace treaty signing in order to pursue leads? Of course not. Sign the document, then follow up on the allegations and use back channels to bring down those involved if proof points in their direction. It's really pretty simple.

Instead, Renee was killed, Jack got angry over a woman he's literally known for two days and 24 turned into a show where there are no good guys. There aren't even morally grey guys.

There's simply a former hero who is heading into his final act with personal motivations overtaking loyalty to his country. He's the anti-Jack Bauer. It's all very depressing.


Editor Rating: 1.0 / 5.0
  • 1.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Jack knew Curtis for just over two days. Guess he shouldn't have felt bad about shooting him. Jack always puts the greatest good first? Hey, like when Nina said she still had more information and he shot her anyway?


I think it makes perfect sense. After everything he's been through, no one listens to him, He's been kidnapped, tortured, people he's loved been killed and tortured. He's lost everything for the good of the country. He and the woman that he loves (yes, even though they've only had contact for less than two days) were out. What does the country he's sacrificed so much for do? They try to cover it up and try to hold him against his will. He feels betrayed and is grieving and all the things that he has been through is coming to a head. He feels the only true justice any more is his justice. You try losing every woman you've ever loved, being tortured by the chinese government for something like 18 months for a country that turns its back on you.

Matt richenthal

@andrew morag: Renee's family would be touched by your affection for her, but have you never watched 24 before? The entire character of Jack Bauer is that he's a hero because he puts the greater good first. Like it or not, the death of one individual is not worth sacrificing peace in the middle east for.
You also forget: Jack has known Renee for less than TWO DAYS. That's not an exaggeration.
I'm not saying the President is right. No one is right on the entire show. You need to be able to actually root for the supposed good guys and this show has just made a jumbled mess of everyone. They should all go to jail. Also, Bledoe's motive was money? So he deserved to die?


the user rating is the REAL score.


I give this review 0.2 out of 5.


Great comment andrew morag.... you brought up some very good points that this author seemed to conveniently forget, I have yet to see a response from him, lol.... ridiculous review, for the past few weeks I have read your reviews and they seem to be following an obvious trend: Hate and criticize blindly


I can't believe you're still siding with Logan and his reptilian, shape-shifting ways. He is a mouth breather, for heaven's sake. What more do you need to come to your senses? I am not even try to debate you on issues as you have descended to deep into your erroneous ideas. Jack was awesome. He looked like a meaner, contemporary version of Michael Myers. He should wear that outfit more often.


This is all well and good, but I think the point that they're getting at here is exactly what you're pointing to, that Jack is no longer a righteous dude. He crossed the line that he's walked for so long, and he knows it and everyone knows it. And I think that it's a good thing. Jack is using this "expose the truth" angle to justify himself. He doesn't need to be justified by other people. That's what we call "delusion". He can say "I'm doing this for _______" and it doesn't matter if we don't agree with the justification, they're not hiding the fact that to the average viewer this wouldn't be justified, they're showing Jack justifying his own actions, right or wrong. What's the point? To what end? To the end of self-satisfaction. I bet Jack doesn't give a shit that the conspiracy is leaked, or at the very least it's far from his mind. Bad review because you miss the point, or are at least ignoring it.


again, LOOOOOOOOOOL at ur rating!


no, not Jack. bledsoe.
jack intends to avenge renee's murder, and expose the coverup. he cant follow presidential orders, because the president is taking one illegal action after another. she has betrayed jack (who saved her , her husband's and her daughter's live, not to mention the US from those bio missiles. she has alienated herself from her only moral adviser, Ethan. she is letting logan run amock and try to kill jack. she is betraying dalia hassan, she has betrayed the american people, who have a right to know who gave plutonium to blow up manhattan, and this list is endless- the lates being arresting illigaly a journalist. Bledsoe's motive is money- he's a merc. and jack has EVERY MOTIVE in the world to kill and torture ANYONE responsible for killing and/or covering up the killing of someone so good, patriotic, brave, and honest like agent walker. think about it.

Tags: ,