After eight seasons of never ending threats, countless explosions, deeper and deeper conspiracies, government moles, political maneuvering, trials, tribulations, screams of “We’re twenty minutes out,” unthinkable body counts, one cougar, a nuclear detonation, Chinese militants, drug dealers, prison escapes, torture sessions, deadly viruses and an attack on CTU later we come to the end of Jack’s last day.

Jack’s story is 21st century America’s tale of how we’d love to deal with threats both foreign and domestic. We want to take the initiative and never back down. In his final on-screen hours Jack still embodied a man on a mission. A man who’d been taken for granted time after time and still got up to fight the good fight.

In honor of the show’s format, I wanted to send 24 out with the classic “Beeps” synonymous with the show. So for the final 24 reaction I’ll send us out like a clock clicking down. Let’s beep, beep, beep to the finish.

*Beep*

I don’t know if it’s me, but that is the first time in a long while I remember the voiceover of “Events occur in real time” since the first season or so. Anyone else know about this? Loved it.

*Beep*

Has anyone ever had an easier time driving and parking in New York than Bauer, Cole and company this season? Tonight, Cole pulled up to Ricker’s apartment and just found the dream spot right out front. I have suspended a great deal of disbelief for this show, but that almost put me over the edge. Last time I drove into the city I circled for 35 minutes before finally ponying up the $25 for a parking garage.

*Beep*

Jack has wanted to do some crazy things in the past, but trying to assassinate the President of Russia is probably at the top of the list. (Remember, this is the same guy who wanted to fly a small plane with a nuclear device ticking away, aboard it.)

*Beep*

Cheesy product placement for the Hyundai rear camera thingy Cole used to pull out of his dream parking spot. Who are you trying to fool? Government agents don’t drive Hyundais.

*Beep*

Is there anything scarier than hearing “Jack Bauer is seeking retribution?”

*Beep*

A bit convenient that Logan would get bugged and then proceed to spill the beans about the whole conspiracy, identify every major player, have President Taylor implicate herself over the phone, and let on his travel itinerary just in a matter of seconds. But it was worth it just to see Jack get the drop on a terrified Jason Pillar (played by a very convincing Reed Diamond).

*Beep*

Did anyone really care at all about this peace treaty? I needed a reminder every week that it was an over-arching aspect of this season. At this point, who would ever conceivably sign a peace treaty with the United States? In the 24 world, peace is absolutely and completely unattainable. The only peace people can hope to get it knowing Jack Bauer isn’t hunting them.

*Beep*

How steady a hand do you think you’d have if you had to stitch someone up with needle and thread, in a dingy parking garage with a gun pointed at your head? What I’m saying is, Jack’ll definitely have a scar. But in the end of this scene I almost felt bad for Pillar (as crooked as he is) when he whimpered for his life because he’s just another guy who got too caught up in a conspiracy out of control. (This opinion changed later.)

*Beep*

Isn’t it a little convenient that Jack found the perfect sniper nest to look down on Logan? How could secret service not be monitoring an elevated, covered position within the ex-President’s security perimeter?

*Beep*

Jack’s video recording to Kim in which he explains the truth was a fantastic scene and gives a shout out to previous season when he says, “Every time I spoke to you I started off by saying I’m sorry.” Jack spent so much time apologizing just for doing the right thing.

*Beep*

Eriq Lasalle left the ER and moved into high level, international diplomacy. Good for him.

*Beep*

Watching Logan shake in his slimy loafers was one of my favorite aspects of this last episode and I’m so happy they brought him back just so I could hate him even more. When Jack encourages him to “tell the truth for a change,” in an effort to get the Russian President into the kill zone I could just see Logan soiling his drawers.

*Beep*

I can’t help but think when Jack says, “I’m going to finish what I started,” that he’s speaking to all the terrorists and injustices he faced throughout the years. He won some and lost some, but never strayed too far from the course.

*Beep*

I never liked Chloe as a character or a personality. That being said, her plea to Jack not to shoot President Suvarov (equal begging and anger) and plea to not shoot Jack (equal begging and fear) was the crowning moment in her run on the television show. I always thought her character rang completely false from an attitude and terseness point of view, but for some reason her demeanor completely worked in this moment. And she was caught at a crossroads in wanting to help Jack in any way possible, but not able to do the one thing he needed her to do until he gave her no choice.

*Beep*

Who else smiled a bit when the old whisper trick worked to get Pillar’s ear chomped off? This was made even better because Jack promised to take him apart “piece by piece” earlier in the episode. My man’s nothing if not literal.

*Beep*

Has anyone made more mistakes this year than President Taylor? I thought she was a total disaster last year, but she looked like FDR compared to her clusterf#$% of a job this year. She got into bed with President Logan, got Hassan killed, arrested a reporter to suppress the truth, cried a little, blackmailed Hassan’s wife, and tried to put down Jack Bauer. And yes I remember that she got the White House destroyed last year. Even in the end, when she wanted to save Jack, she almost made the decision too late. She needs to embody a little more President David Palmer and a little less President James Prescott (remember him?).

*Beep*

Isn’t it so fitting for Logan to take the coward’s way out of his mess? No other 24 character was more reviled than President Chuck, and it makes total sense he’d go out in the least satisfying way possible. The piece of crap even took out his most devoted follower in Pillar before trying to off himself (and he couldn’t even do that right).

*Beep*

Even looking down death, hands behind his back, on his knees Jack is willing to accept his fate (from the hands of his own government, who else?) like a true soldier who understands his time has come. In classic 24 fashion, he’s saved at the last second. But only as a momentary reprieve because soon the Russians and Americans will be hunting him down. So now the country he worked so diligently and selflessly to save is the very one turning their collective backs on his service and making him public enemy number one. I never expected Jack to walk into the sunset with Medals of Honor draped around his neck, but this wasn’t the ending he deserved.

His fate may have been at the hands of an unforeseen end to the show’s run. Maybe his future lies on the big screen. Or maybe this was the last image we were meant to see of Jack, staring beaten and bloodied up to the sky, resigned to his future as a fugitive. He never made excuses, never complained about his lot in life and even at its most ridiculous 24 never lost focus on Jack’s character or commitment to his cause.

But sadly, this ending isn’t new for Jack. We’ve seen it before. From that standpoint, I’m left a little disappointed because we aren’t covering any new territory. With Jack on the run (again), we’re left knowing he’s just a new administration and rogue nuclear threat away from being back in the game. 24 missed a chance to give us even a modicum of closure on a character who more than deserved it. Like I said, I didn’t need medals; I just didn’t want the final solution of saving Jack leading to a been-there-done-that cliffhanger. So goes 24.

*Beep*Beep*Beep*Beep*

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