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One Last Tick Tock of the Clock
on 15 May 2015
When 24 debuted in the Fall of 2001, there was nothing like it on TV. And when it ended at the end of eight seasons, there was still nothing like it on TV. I watched every second of this taunt thriller. Through the well written plot twists and the stupid sub-plots, I never missed a moment. Season eight might not have been the best the series had to offer, but I did still enjoy the final ride.
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) has spent the last few months in New York recuperating from season 7. He has just agreed to move to Los Angeles to be close to his daughter and her family. Before he can leave town, he gets word that an old contact has information for him, and will only talk to him.
Meanwhile, President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is in town to sign a historic peace treaty with President Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor), president of the Islamic Republic.
Naturally, this means that someone is trying to kill President Hassan, so Jack must join forces with Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) at the newly reformed CTU to stop the plot. Can he do it? And where will the next 24 hours lead?
Critics have complained about the recycled plot points in this season, and I can't argue with them at all. Anyone who has seen a season or two of the show will recognize several cliffhangers. In fact, I am to the point that I can pretty much call them about 10 minutes before the end of the episode.
But you know what? I don't care. The thrill ride is still plenty fun, and I got so caught up in events more than once that I experienced the old sweaty palms and rapid heartbeat that this show always gives me.
Normally, I stick with escapist, light entertainment, and 24 is anything but that. Sadly, even most of their attempts at serious tended to be predictable. It would have actually been a refreshing twist if several of the plot twists this season hadn't happened. I'm just saying.
There is one twist late in the season involving President Taylor that pretty much destroyed the character. Unlike many of their earlier plot twists, this one never made any sense by the end of the season. Seriously, the character was too smart to do what she did. Actress Cherry Jones tries to pull it off, but I never bought it.
The other flaw was Katee Sackhoff. The actress played one of the new CTU employees. I seriously want to know who in the world thinks she can act. Yes, she is beautiful to look at. I'm a guy, I couldn't deny it if I tried. However, if the scene calls for her to be anything other than smug, she fails miserably. Any episode where she wasn't around much was a welcome one.
Aside from Katee, the rest of the cast was great. Kiefer still manages to make Jack an almost superhero of a mortal with very real emotions. Mary Lynn Rajskub is always perfect as Chloe, providing just the right mix of comic relief and serious ally. I've long been a fan of Freddie Prinze, Jr., so I had fun watching him as a major player in the cast this year. Annie Wersching was back as Renee Walker in a much darker plot than last season that she pulled off beautifully.
This set consists of all 24 episodes from the season in wide screen and full surround sound on six discs. There isn't much in the way of extras apart from deleted scenes. Yes, there are a couple of featurettes, but nothing like what we used to get. Then again, after all they told us about making the series in previous sets, I'm not sure what else there is to say.
While I would have chosen another ending for season eight, and the series, 24 was always worth watching. I don't regret a second I spent watching it over the years. This is a show that will be talked about and remembered for a long time to come.