The ending has come; Jack will no longer be frantically running around, defying hunger or the calls of nature. We have watched Mr Bauer experience pleasure and pain (usually the latter) yet save the day, all in the space of 24 hours. In Jack we have found a figure of masculinity for the modern age, someone who presents old fashioned toughness yet comes complete with an all too important touch of vulnerability and humanity, something very important in today's screen heroes.
What about season 8 as a whole? Well the first half I have to say seemed a relatively pedestrian affair. Granted the twists and turns were present and people were not who they appeared, but it seemed that they were re-cycling old ideas. The introduction of Cole, an admittedly likeable young agent, seemed too much of a throwback to the days of Chase from season 3... And don't get me started on Dana Walsh. Mid way during the season came the announcement that this was to be the final run of the show. Although I found myself thinking that, after a nine year stint, this was the right move by the writers as the show was certainly past its peak, I knew I simply had to follow it through to the bitter end.
I think its safe to say, to use an old cliché, that the writers definitely pulled out all the stops for the final few hours. For me, the turning point was episode 16, in which events suddenly moved in a generally unexpected direction. From then on, what was a fairly average season suddenly became a lot more intriguing. Jack, a character who has always been somewhat on the edge, suddenly seemed more determined yet more unstable than ever. Would he emerge unscathed or would he go out in a blaze of glory and conclude 24's long list of characters that have died in the line of duty?
The final itself was a fitting send off. I have to say that, as the final words were uttered followed by the 3,2,1,0 countdown I did find myself feeling a little nostalgic. As someone who was introduced to 24 fairly late on and caught up via the miracle of DVD, I nonetheless felt that this was the end of an era.
P.s. Rest in piece Dennis Hopper - one of the first onscreen adversaries for Mr Bauer.