For those of you who don’t know (and didn’t read the title) this was 24′s 200th episode, and it’s obvious that a show consumed with numbers wouldn’t let such a milestone pass by without a significant event. That event, sadly was the passing of President James Heller (William Devane), who managed to be President on-screen for all of 8 episodes. Unlike some other major character deaths (including President AllState), the writers decided to build up the whole episode by letting Heller’s planned death be known from the beginning. This was actually a great decision, since Heller had time to put his affairs into order and have a gut-wrenching informal farewell to his daughter Audrey. Devane did a great job the whole hour through, but that scene hit me the hardest, as we’ve grown attached to both these great characters who have had an impressive run on the show (most characters don’t make it through 24 hours). By the end of the hour, we arrived at a well-deserved emotional payoff with Heller walking to midfield to calmly go out on his terms, at his time- all while (supposedly) stopping the deaths of thousands.
Meanwhile, the Jordan and Simone/Kate subplots were given the side burner treatment this hour, and that was completely the right choice by the writers. This was Heller’s moment, and honestly Jordan losing his life isn’t nearly as threatening as a series regular. I don’t think Jordan’s quite out anyway. Expect his story and villains (Adrian and Navarro) to become major players after Jack takes out the Al-Harazi’s. On that note, I’m pretty sure most viewers don’t particularly care at all if Simone dies, so good call on giving that the least amount of time.
I know everyone’s saying that since there was no “silent clock” at the end of the episode (as 24 does after most important character deaths), that it was all a ruse and Heller is not dead. I think he’s really gone, mostly because that’d be super cheesy after all that build. It was a shame he didn’t get the silent clock send-off though since he was such a great character of the series. All in all, solid episode, maybe not the best ever but definitely this season’s most heart-felt. It was good to have you around one last time, James Heller.
1. Funniest quote from Jack- “So wake the b- up!”
2. If I had been Jordan and some hit man had told me the safety was on, I would’ve checked by shooting at his feet instead of looking down at the gun. Just sayin’.
3. This season is chugging along, and there’s still so many hostile factions out there- will there be time to take them all out or could they be setting up another season (gasp). All I can say is if they are building towards a classic 24 season ending cliffhanger, there dang sure better be another 12 episode season. Closure, people.
4. Mark was borderline likable this episode with James and Audrey, but I’m waiting for him to pin this all on Jack.
5. (Silent Clock)