“10:00 PM- 11:00AM” 24: Live Another Day Finale Review (Season 9, Episode 12)

16 07 2014

Watch out London. (Slow Clap). This season’s finale managed to incorporate every part of what makes 24 one of the most legendary shows out there. The whole hour was filled with tight action scenes, plot twists, emotional whiplash, and major character deaths, resulting in TWO silent clocks. I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but I’m not sure they could have ended with a bigger bang- but they certainly could have ended on a higher note. And that’s the only thing keeping this from a perfect score for me. If there is no renewal for 24 next year, what we got was actually a lousy ending for show hero Jack Bauer. If there is a season 10 (fingers crossed), than the last few minutes would fall into the patented cliffhanger ending 24 seems to enjoy. More on that in a few, but what about the actual events this hour? And will we get another season of 24?

The biggest shocker of course came when Audrey was saved from the sniper, only to be unexpectedly gunned down by a second attacker. That just hit like a ton of bricks, especially considering how it finally looked like Audrey may have a happy ending…geez, just think about all her character has gone through. Big shout-out to Kim Raver’s emotional performance all throughout. Gosh, why do my favorite characters always get the ax?

The positive effect of Audrey’s demise came immediately when Jack heard the news. Yes, he had a great vengeful rampage through the ship, but before that we saw Kiefer Sutherland‘s best acting this season as he portrayed Jack’s spirit crushing in a long, unblinking shot. That moment was meant to be felt, and he delivered the despair. How much more satisfying did that make Cheng’s duel and ultimate head release?! Talk about dumb moves- never kill Jack’s love interest if you’re within 100 miles of him. He’ll find a sword and mess you up.

Mark, President Heller, and Kate may have made it through the day, but gosh were their final situations depressing. They finally made me feel bad for Mark Boudreau after the flash forward, he’s lost his wife (who he loved but controlled), his idol the President (who he thought he was protecting), and his freedom. And President Heller’s breakdown was awful, but even sadder was his final monologue with the Prime Minister. He had already forgotten who Audrey was once, and he knew soon he’d forget, well, everything about her, and during all of this we’re watching her coffin board Air Force One. Dang. I hate to say it, but it would have been so much happier if he had died and she had lived. I hate that tragic ending for both of these strong, classic characters. Man, the feels.

Chloe played a huge part this finale with several great scenes with Jack: her talk with him in the car, getting back into her tech support mode during that awesome ship infiltration sequence, and finally her final moment with Jack during the exchange. You could argue that moment was a sort of redemptive one for Jack, and at the very least it shows how deep their friendship has become.

All in all, I’d say the doubters of this show’s return have been silenced. This season was a return to the best days of the series, with twists and turns, slick action, and genuine emotion. While I hate the fate of some of the characters, that’s what makes 24 work- nobody is safe, and every threat can be felt. Jack may have stopped World War 3, but none of the characters will be the same. Here’s hoping the show’s announced appearance at Comic-Con soon will mean the announcement of Season 10.

Pre-Jack Rage Mode.

Pre-Jack Rage Mode.

Final Thoughts:

1. Could this be the best season of 24 yet? I’m not sure, but the very fact that many people are asking that question is a glowing review either way.

2. If there were another season (12 episodes are fine), who could they bring back? I feel like 95% of the characters are deceased. Maybe the Russian president, or Logan?

3. This whole season really worked well with 12 episodes- it cut the fat and moved the story faster.

4. Please bring Kate back!

5. FOX YOU WILL RENEW THIS SHOW. WE CLEAR?

Final Score:

9.5/10





“9:00 PM-10:00 PM” 24: Live Another Day Review (Season 9, Episode 10, 11)

13 07 2014

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I know it’s getting redundant at this point, but I’m really enjoying this show’s return. Though it may just be a final treat for fans, I can safely say that all my initial misgivings about bringing it back have been eliminated faster than a terrorist fighting Jack Bauer. That said, I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon for the last two weeks. The finale is tomorrow, so that means I need to hurriedly put together a summary of episodes 10 and 11 thoughts. 

First of all, is anyone else surprised the Russians and Cheng are working together? I had been expecting Navarro and Adrien Cross to be the final villains, but gosh was I proven wrong. Live Another Day‘s final hours have really been burning through the rogues gallery, no? First Margot gets thrown out the window, next we have a satisfying trick confessional with Navarro, Adrien gets shockingly blown away by Cheng (!), and this last hour Russian Walrus Man got dominated by some glass shards. This leaves us with Cheng, one of the worst dudes Jack has ever faced. Here’s hoping for an epic death, because honestly this guy’s messed up.

This was a strong recovery episode for Chloe, who had been making less than wise choices lately. Way to think on your toes and make a successful escape, Ms. O’Brian. Now please stay alive for one more hour. And take off that ridiculous raccoon eye makeup.

Poor Mark Boudreau (sort of). He’s been so consistently slimy this series that I was surprised when I felt a little bad for him. During his whole confrontation scene with Heller and Bauer, I went from “heck yeah!” to “aw, he really wanted to do the right thing for his idol Heller.” Helping Jack with a crazy mission is a good first step (even if he did manage to get their only source of information killed). Will he make it through the last hour, or will Jack have a second chance with Audrey?

Speaking of Audrey, I’m so glad Kim Raver was able to return to the series. Of course the Cheng storyline gives her extra material, but this whole mini-season she’s balanced a lot of emotions quite nicely. I would be more than a little depressed if she doesn’t make it through.

 

24 Russian Sutherland

(Pew! Pew!)

Extra Time:

1. They need to explain why the Chinese sniper was waiting for Audrey and her contact. Was she followed, and if so, why was Cheng so interested in her? How did they know where she would be?

2. They’ve officially covered every type of 24 villain in just 12 hours- terrorist, mole, Russian, Chinese, misguided idealist. If they make a follow-up season, they’re going to have to think outside the box.

3. I actually felt bad for ol’ Adrien in his final moments, seeing his entire team destroyed and his plan to disarm the world backfire. He also gained points for letting Chloe know the truth about her family. Even if it was late, he didn’t have to tell her. Maybe he did care about her somewhat?

4. Again, if this is indeed the last we see of 24, PLEASE give some closure here. Maybe even give Jack a love interest who won’t get killed off in the last 5 minutes…

 

Final Score:

9/10





“7:00 PM-8:00 PM” 24: Live Another Day Review (Season 9, Episode 9)

24 06 2014

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Jack’s got a Presidential pardon, and he’s gonna ride that bus until those wheels fall off. Episode 9 answered the question, what happens when you give Jack Bauer free reign? Well, let’s ask the Al-Harazi family, who opted to skip the stairs this time. Now yes, that was basically an execution, and blah blah blah that’s not great, BUT good grief that was a Bauer Moment to end all Bauer Moments, was it not?! Margot (Michelle Fairley) managed to get one more attempt at killing hundreds of people (including threatening her so-loyal son) before Jack finally decided to save a trial. In 24‘s world, flying out a window was a great ending for a such a memorably evil villain. Good job Michelle Fairley, and maybe you won’t keep dying in your TV shows in the future…

How awesome was that whole mid-episode gunfight showdown? It was so good that I forgot my misgivings about President Heller’s return. That’s right, I’m basically having to retcon the majority of my previous review, where I gushed about what a heroic sendoff that hour was for that character. The way they fooled us was even how I thought it would be, but honestly I didn’t think they’d go that route, mainly because of how less powerful the previous episode now is. That said, I don’t think it was cheap. With a show like 24, where main characters died before Game of Thrones made it cool, it really is a twist for a character to show up alive (minus Tony).

The death that did take me for surprise was poor Jordan, who was dead before the hour even began. Ironically, this makes the other part of last hour more meaningful- we witnessed Jordan’s murder, but we thought he’d pull through, or at least long enough to see Kate. Of course, this seamlessly and quickly brought us to the season’s (maybe?) final villains- Navarro and Cross (Michael Wincott), who have been in plain sight the entire time. I like that they’re motives are connected to the original story (override codes/framing Kate’s husband), but they still were unconnected to Margot’s terrorist aims. Aaaaand I have no idea what Choe’s thinking with Adrian. Nope. I can accept your raccoon eye liner, but Cross as your love interest? Yuck.

 

Michael-Wincott-Mary-Lynn-Rajskub

Noooo Chloe.

Extra Time:

1. Best Quote goes to Belcheck (Branko Tomovic) – “I’m not an American citizen and we are not in America.”

2. Also about his name Belcheck- “Belcheck. Just one word. Like Madonna.”

3. Mark Boudreau hates Jack Bauer, so hard.

4. I remember thinking, “Chloe’s finally losing some of that overblown makeup.” And then she reapplies. Sigh.

5. Could we please have more of Stephen Fry’s Prime Minister?

Final Score:

9/10





“6:00 PM-7:00 PM” 200th Episode 24 Review (Season 9, Episode 8)

18 06 2014

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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.

 

William Devane President Heller dies

“I could hug you goodbye, but naw.”

 

Extra Time:

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)

Final Review:

9.5/10

 





“Day 9: 5:00 PM-6:00 PM” 24 Review (Season 9, Episode 7)

10 06 2014

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“Game of Drones” continued to gain steam tonight in a Michael Bay-inspired episode. The standout moment was definitely the drone chase from the hospital to the streets of London, as Margot (Michelle Fairley) demonstrates that some parents use drones to discipline their children when they disobey. I don’t care if we knew Jack wasn’t going to get plastered everywhere in a fiery explosion- or if they might have been product placing that car- the whole sequence could have been in a summer blockbuster and looked great.

What wasn’t great was poor Boudreau (not) and his self-made predicament with the Russians, specifically Deputy Minister Walrus Thug. The Russian diplomat with the impressive ‘stache is putting on the pressure for Bauer’s head. You really have to wonder how Boudreu could have been so dumb as to forge the President’s signature, but if it means he gets taken out, that wouldn’t be a terrible thing for Mr. Jerkface.

Finally, it turns out Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) is Steve Navarro’s contact who helped him sell secrets to the Chinese. I wasn’t surprised to find out he was a badder guy than we at first were told, but honestly I didn’t see him working with a government official like Navarro. Their endgame seems to have nothing to do with Margot’s terrorism attacks, so this could become interesting. To be honest I was hoping the voice on the phone would turn out to be Tony, but that was a long shot and I’m not sure fans would like that. Anyway, President Heller (William Devane) seems ready to surrender himself after Stephen Fry’s stern talking. Will he go through it? Would they really knock off his character? It’s 24, so anything could happen.

 

Jordan's bad day begins.

Jordan’s bad day begins.

 

Extra Time:

1. Best quote goes to Jack Bauer- “She wasn’t going to talk anyway” after making Simone pass out. I love how he can defend any action…

2. Navarro must have gotten his hit man at a discount website. So close and yet still a miss.

3. Did they ever reveal who warned Choe to get out of the hideout? I thought it was Adrian but not sure if he really would have cared that much, knowing what a two-face he is now.

4. I’ll be mildly upset if President Heller gets offed next week. He’s been a great character and I’m hoping he’ll be around the whole day, even if he pulls a Mrs. Bauer at the very end.

5. The London setting is still working to keep things fresh and different from previous seasons. Cheers to the writers on that one!

 

Final Score:

8.5/10





“4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.” – 24 Live Another Day (Episode 6)

3 06 2014

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First of all, let me say the last quarter hour tonight was classic 24 goodness. Jack finally teaming up with Kate ( Yvonne Strahovski ) for a crazily suicidal mission was easily the most tense moment of the season thus far. I realized how much I didn’t want Kate to die during the torture scene, and honestly it looked like she was about to be written off the season suddenly in typical 24 fashion. This added a good deal of tension to Jack bluffing his way through several agonizing minutes, and made the finale gunfight all the more satisfying when Kate offed her own captors. And then in the last few seconds (of course), we get the big mole reveal- Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt), basically the last person I was predicting due to his previous commendable behavior. He’s stuck up for Kate, but now it looks like he’s responsible for framing her husband. This season really has gotten the whole loathsome villains thing down, eh?

On the other side of the story, we have the continuing tale of the world’s most dysfunctional terrorist family. Naveed may be in the ground, but Margot (Michelle Fairley) thought it would be a nice touch to take out his sister as well. And why not send her own recently widowed terrorist daughter to do the deed? What could possibly go wrong? Well, Simone played with our expectations for a while, and finally decided to save the sister but ended up murdering her instead (you kinda had to be there). Once her daughter saw and ran out the door and Simone gave chase, I could tell someone was about to lose a game of Frogger crossing the street. Simone ended up being the one to catch a bus the wrong way, and by the looks of the preview it’s off to the ER for her and Bauer. Oh, and what about those Russians? So much stress!

 

episode 6

Mother Dysfunctional

 

Extra Time:

1.  Sometimes 24 has been criticized (rightly) for characters changing their minds suddenly. We knew President Heller would let Jack go eventually, but at least this change of heart can be attributed to the failed SWAT op and his own weakening mental state.

2. Stephen Fry is finally getting some screen time, and is convincing as a Prime Minister who’s tired of this crap.

3. Navarro may be a mole, but is he with the terrorists bombing London or some outside group? It’s obvious he was unaware of the drone trap, so it’s more likely he was working with the government that Kate’s husband was accused of dealing with. Time will tell just how much we’ll have to hate this guy.

4. Point goes to Kate for best take down of the episode.

5. Point goes to Heller for best quote- “Well, put her back in the field! Jack wants her, Jack needs her, Jack gets her!”

Final Score:

9/10





“3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.” – 24 Live Another Day Review (Episode 5)

2 06 2014

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Any 24 episodes without any “Bauer Moments” are generally not standout hours, and with Jack in custody, this was such an hour. However, the 3-4 PM time slot did treat us to the next best thing- a “Everyone Realizes Jack Was Right” moment. I high-fived myself (a side effect of watching days after the air time) during the whole moment of revelation for President Heller (William Devane) and crew. You have to wonder, how many millions of lives does Jack have to save before they take him at his word? Heller especially has seen all of Jack’s crazy schemes foil terrorist plots and corrupt politicians, so you think that if Jack Bauer told them about an attack they’d send the whole army. No wonder he looks so depressed.

Speaking of inefficient governments, Kate is off the case, again, even after discovering the drone hacking plot (I really hope our government isn’t this absurd). Obviously, she won’t be out for long, and neither will Jack. One person who won’t be back, however, is of course Naveed (Sacha Dhawan). I’m pretty sure there were no more dumb decisions for him to make at this point. Why did he marry into the psycho family? Why did he trust his psycho wife Simone? Why was he so careless in front of Ian? We’ll never know, and unfortunately his death was tragically sad as he realized how hopeless his life had become.

 

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 Extra Time:

1. This was  a shorter review today since I was delayed in my viewing. Tomorrow will be up by midnight.

2. The misdirection with the estate location was well done, and hopefully Director Steve (Benjamin Bratt) makes it out. He’s actually proven to be a decent field director in a show that’s been filled with inept or corrupt authority figures.

3. Margot is still crazy as balls.

4. Chloe made the right decision, but will it cost her later?

5. This wasn’t the best episode yet, but now all the pieces are in place. There’s still 5 drones out there…

 

Final Score:

7.5/10