24 Review: Jack Gets (Gross) Revenge

at . Comments

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
  • 2.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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+.


Why is no one concentrating on the Michael Madsen character? Where is his electronic lair/Weapons 'R Us emporium and how much does he pay in rent? Is his character a shout-out to the Kevin Smith character in "Live Free or Die Hard," a fat, sequestered gizmo nerd (albeit one who wields a mean weapon)? And how could he have missed what Pavel was doing with the sim card? Even I, hampered by the tin foil I wear on my head during "24," noticed that.

Matt richenthal

@iggawit: Yes, he's a dark hero, but always has one thing in mind: the greater good. I'd love for anyone to point out a past example of Jack putting lives at risk in order to reap personal vengeance.
I said last week that killing Dana was great, I'm not remotely against Jack's demons or his cold-blooded kills.
But I've been consistent in my critique of this storyline: Jack is acting in his own personal interest, and killing innocent people in the process. What did that Blackwater-esque agent, Bledsoe, do? He tortured Dana at the President's orders -- the same Dana who Jack himself then killed!
By all means, please defend Jack killing Bledsoe. That was outright murder, and to what end? Not a single life was saved as a result. I've watched every second of every season and been a 24 apologist throughout. But there's nothing heroic about this version of Jack Bauer. He's not trying to save anyone. Moreover, he's trying to thwart a peace agreement solely to get revenge for one person's death. Nothing could be more opposed to the philosophy Jack lived by for eight years prior to this.


@ ML HOUSE: What's wrong with you? Have you never watched 24 before season 8? Jack isn't your regular hero, he's meant to be very dark. Your reply to Christian's post just shows what a moron you are. Don't you remember the season one finale you ass? Drazen being taken down in an act of revenge. You really need to stop hating on 24. It's ok with me though, every other review seems to have rated this episode very highly, must be something wrong with you.


@Christian: You used the wrong type of "your" in your bitter comment. You really did vote for Sarah Palin, didn't you?
Anyway, I agree with M.L. House: you really need to relax. I personally think 24 is still entertaining, but of course it's ridiculous, like a parody of itself, at this point. Jack has clearly crossed a line and is now acting in his own, selfish interests... which is disappointing.
I think TV Fanatic has been a little harsh in its critiques, but - news flash! - M.L. House is a TV critic. His job is to break down and analyze plot developments, not blindly express love for a show. Can anyone out there truly say 24 is at the same level now as it was a few seasons ago?
Healthy debate on a show is great, but my goodness. Who personally slams a critic simply for expressing a few reasonable critiques?

Matt richenthal

@Christian: I appreciate your passion for the show (although am disturbed by your personal attack simply because we disagree on this season of 24. It's a TV show, man, take a deep breath), but may I ask: why do you think it's been canceled? You sound as if I'm the only person down on 24, when the ratings have plummeted and interest has waned in the face of such repetitive storytelling.
Would the average American seek revenge if a girlfriend was killed? Sure. But that just means you miss the entire point of Jack Bauer, or role models in general: isn't he supposed to be a national hero? He's not supposed to do what just anyone would do. He's supposed to do what NO ONE can and/or is willing to do: fight for the greater good over one's selfish, personal interests. If you wish to cheer on someone that is just like yourself, you most likely support Sarah Palin for the same, narrow-minded, misguided reason. The reason why we admire certain politicians and, well, CTU agents is precisely because they are NOT like most people.
Me? I'd prefer my heroes to act above and beyond the call of regular duty. I want someone extraordinary, like the Jack Bauer I used to know.


Your an ass. Full Stop. Stop hating on 24 because you can. Jack is showing what we would do if someone we loved was shot dead a few hours ago but then again, i doubt you have that compassion for someone and wouldn't want to go to extreme lengths to find out why. Oh yeah and he was involved in trying to stop a major catastrophe happening so he may just be slightly on the edge. but seriously i expect you will be wondering what next show to sabotage now 24 is gone

Tags: ,