24 Review: Jack Gets (Gross) Revenge

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The following review takes place between 7:01 a.m. and 7:22 a.m. Words are written in real time...

Before we get to the plot holes of the noon hour of 24, we must celebrate the return of some classic Jack Bauer torture. Hooray for blow torches and knife wounds! It had been way too long since Jack went all, well, Jack on someone.

We're not sure what it says about Kiefer Sutherland that he plays these scenes so well, but the actor deserves Emmy consideration again for the way he can make Jack both violent and vulnerable at the same time.

Set to Torture

Still, we can't shake the notion that Jack is NOT acting heroic during this interrogation. He scarcely even pretends to be, screaming at Pavel for information on the man that wanted Renee dead, as opposed to the man that organized Hassan's murder.

Jack isn't really after peace in any of this. He just wants revenge. Does that make for an interesting character study? Absolutely.

But it also makes for a radical transformation of a man heretofore sold as a true American hero, which is an odd decision for the show to make during its final few episodes.

Are we really supposed to be rooting for Jack Bauer right now? He killed a man last week who was doing nothing but following the President's orders and torturing the same woman that Jack himself shot in cold blood a few minutes later. That was just straight-up murder of Bledsoe right there.

This week, Jack initiated a shoot-out IN A CROWDED MALL. Has he always taken such risks? Yes. But past examples were always with the greater good in mind: if someone got shot in a similar incident, the rationale was that more lives were being saved as a result of it.

I could buy that. It made Jack into a focused, morally grey individual and made 24 into the show I fell in love with.

But now Jack is just a vengeance-seeking killer. He's not even pretending to have anything in mind except for Renee's death, and I also can't forget this simple fact: he knew her for two days! Literally! Two whole days.

My other complaint about events on the show: Logan has desperately wanted credit for his role in the peace treaty, something Pillar now thinks he ought to distance himself from.

But what kind of credit would Logan receive anyway? To the rest of the world, he's a traitorous former President. Once Taylor acknowledges any role he played in the process, the press would be ALL over her and him for details. What, exactly, is their plan? They can't reveal Logan's actual role in the treaty or events from the day.

I'm sure 24 writers would even admit this wasn't thought-out and would defend the return of Logan as a way to get the great Gregory Itzin involved again. We can't fault them too much for that, as the actor plays an incredible villain.

But, seriously, his personal cell phone (which he was apparently using to talk to Pavel, as opposed to one of those private, secured phone he keeps stashed away in U.N desks) was turned off during this crisis?!? And some random dude's voice leaves the voicemail on it? I laughed out loud at the aburdity of this revelation.

Still, I must admit: I'm excited for the upcoming showdown between Bauer and Logan. I may complain about specific plot points, but I can also suspend disbelief when it comes down to major events on the show. If anyone doesn't get psyched to watch Jack take down his former nemesis, that person really shouldn't be watching 24 at this point.


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

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

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