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: 4.9 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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


@Christian - You're a tool. @House - You make interesting argument about what's motivating Jack. I've been considering the same myself. But it's not out of character. His murder of Dana Walsh was an execution. Last time we saw him do something like that was when he finally caught up to Nina. She who killed Teri. As much as Jack has always been about the greater good - seeing the children on the bus rather than the law that could prevent him getting them off - he lost a part of himself when he lost Teri. An since a number of girls along the way have given him a glimpse of the happiness and human connection he lost. Kate Warner / Audrey Raines / the redhead from Spin City at the start of season 5 / most recently Freckles Bauer. And she offered him a chance at something none of the others could. She came from his world. She'd experienced loss. She'd hurt people for the 'greater good'. They were very much each others salvation. And sure they only knew each other for two days, but he wouldn't have forgot the FBI agent who broke down to him, who lost Larry and who stood by his side time and time again. He would've seen that over the course of Day 7 that she looked to him for guidance. And as is the way in life, when someone reaches out to you in that way, you feel a need to nurture and protect them. Least, people like Jack Bauer do. His entire reason for involving himself in the events of Day 8, from episode 4 onwards, were to ensure Renee came to no harm. That she would receive safe passage back from the brink. And he succeeded. Not with the mission of the day. Hassan died. Jack will carry that with him for the rest of his days. But he saved Renee. She was out. She was safe. And she was with him. Then she was murdered. In his apartment. By a faceless sniper. At the beginning of Day 8 he was ready to go live peacefully with Kim and his granddaughter. At Hour 16, he had someone to take with him. Someone he wanted to take with him. But she was murdered. And now those responsible will die at his hand. All the huge questions he's asked himself over the years are gone now. It's never been more black and white. He spent time saving Renee Walker's soul. And someone decided she had to die. This is exactly what Jack Bauer would do in this situation. The world at large doesn't matter anymore. Someone fucked with his. - So while a can see where you're coming from House, I'm going to to have to disagree. And 2.0 / 5.0 for a episode like Hour 21? I'd ask if you were high, but I've since watched it high and it was just as good. Episode rating - 4.5 / 5.0 It would've been a 5.0 if Agent of Shield Aaron Pierce was in the mix. Shame on you 24 Staff for the absence of Aaron Pierce in Day 8. Shame on you. - @Christian - You're still a tool. Peace.


@ML HOUSE: Well isn't Jack's killing of Bledsoe just the same as the killing of that special ops team sent by General Brucker. And bledsoe was not a government agent, he was working for a private security firm and Jack took him out cos he was holding someone else's life at ransom (even though it was Dana). Notice, Jack upto that point had not killed anyone, it was only when they started firing at him that he killed them. So stop being such a moron and stop writing reviews, you don't even seem to understand the show. 2.0/5 - How can anyone ever take you seriously?!


For the comment about jack being cold blooded....season 1: Victor Drazen....but how about Season 3 when he kills Nina in cold blood....if you go back and watch it, both were killed in similar styles because they both took Jack's love away (at least he blamed Dana for it)


Jack is dead, and a now-lefty writing staff killed him. The point of the last couple episodes was to show that violence can never be justified, that it turns us all into animals. So gone are the interesting moral dilemmas of past seasons, in which we must cogitate on when violence is justified for the sake of a moral end. Now we get Jack-as-rabid-dog - who murders Dana Walsh in cold blood, and who tortures just for the satisfaction - with the intended implication that that's all Jack ever really was. I blame Keifer Sutherland. He didn't write it, but as producer he had the clout to veto it. But he failed to protect his character and his show.



Matt richenthal

@JR: Thank you. What a rational thing to say about a TV show review.


Holy crap, someone please get M.L. House on ice, and get someone else to review these episodes. 2.0/5.0 for last night's episode? And it seems like they are rating the worst episodes this season the highest too, which is just an indicator that maybe I shouldn't be hanging around here.


@M.L. - don't worry, I wouldn't want to try and make you. The only reason I read so many different reviews of my favorite shows is to hear other people's thoughts and reasoning. Because I watch so few shows, next day follow-up can be as entertaining as the actual shows.

Matt richenthal

@JR: Haha, point ceded. Doesn't exactly change my overall take on the episode.


And some random dude's voice leaves the voicemail on it I thought from the first time that I heard it, the voice was easily recognizable as the voice of the Jason Pillar character. After listening several more times, I have no doubt. Perhaps you should listen again.

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