In its 8th – and final – season, 24 never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been a huge fan of the show since it’s first ‘real-time’ episode back in 2001 and I think Jack Bauer has become one of the most iconic figures of television during the show’s run. The show has successfully kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen next, what ingenious twist the writers are going to come up with for the next episode.
Last night was no different. As of today, there are only 7 episodes left in the season and the series as a whole and rumors of a 24 movie that’s set to come out after the end of the season. As far as this season goes, it has quickly become one of my favorite, aside from season 5 which I think may have been the best of all of them.
All of that being said, I’ve had my gripes and complaints about the direction the writers have taken in certain seasons. The cougar in season 2? Vampire Jack in season 6? Some crazy stuff has come down the wire, but overall I have always enjoyed the series and continue to enjoy the series, especially after last night’s turn of events.
Any fan of 24 will tell you that Jack never really gets the woman. He’s a hero, but one whose life is full of sacrifice and misery. Those two things never really stop Jack from doing what he does best, but they add a flavor to the show that you don’t find very often nowadays. In 24 there are really no definitive happy endings. This season had Renee Walker, a former FBI agent who showed up in season 7, tagging along with Jack. She was essentially a female Jack Bauer and the perfect counterpart to his isolated existence. And just when mostly everyone watching the show thought the writer’s would give Jack a happy ending in Renee Walker, they go off and kill her on last night’s episode.
I won’t be the first to say this didn’t shock me. Last week’s episode had President Hassan dying at the hands of Samir, despite Jack’s determination to save him. Hassan does receive the legendary silent clock at the end of the episode that the show’s producers give to main characters that pass. Jack failed – or thought he failed – the President. With that heavy heartiness, he entered last night’s episode with the grim realization that he had nowhere to really go after those events except for his place with Renee. There, in his apartment, she is shot by a sniper that recognized her at the scene of President Hassan’s death. Jack races her to the hospital but she dies, receiving the second silent clock in two consecutive episodes, making this one of the more tragic episodes, up there with the death of President Palmer, Michelle Almeida, and Teri Bauer.
I see people all over the internet today complaining about how stupid the writers are to write Renee off like that. But if everyone stops to look at the big picture, they’ll realize – hopefully – that it was really the only way to get the show moving in the direction the writers want to go for the last 7 episodes of the season. See, Jack had no reason to go back to CTU. He had no idea there were still bad guys roaming around. Renee dying put Jack back into his ‘nothing to lose’ mode that he is so famous for. Now he knows there are others involved with the terrorist activities of the day and he will find them and hunt them down and hopefully kill them. His character has always been dark, misunderstood, but always conquering when it comes to doing what needs to be done. I feel Renee’s death only put things into a straight perspective for him, brought him back to his real purpose which is to save the day. He learned in season 1 that he can’t do what he does and have a family at the same time.
Now, whether he dies at the end of the season or not is to be seen, but even if he did, it would be a hero’s death – hopefully. I think the writers have something great set up, it’s all hinging on the execution now.