Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"24" season finale recap: "6:00 a.m. to 7 a.m."/"7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m."

You know what was the most ridiculous moment in last night's season finale of the Fox action drama "24"? No, it wasn't when Tony got all mad scientist and theorized that his madcap band of terrorists could recreate the bioweapon by harvesting Jack's infected organs, though that was pretty insane. Nor was it when we learned that Tony wasn't really a turncoat, but the world's most vengeful widower, murdering an innocent FBI agent and plotting the deaths of a bunch of innocent people, all to avenge the murder of his wife and unborn child (though I did adore Carlos Bernand's over-the-top delivery of the line "THEY KILLED! MY! SON!!!!" Fabulous.)
No, the most ridiculous moment of last night's "24" finale was when Renee told Chloe that Kim Bauer was in danger and...Chloe looked surprised. Really? I mean, I could understand Renee or Janis being shocked that Kim Bauer was under terrorist watch, but Chloe? Chloe, who's known Kim for years? Chloe, who is well aware that trouble follows Kim Bauer like dust clouds follow Pigpen from the Peanut comics? Chloe would not be surprised. Not only that, but Chloe, upon hearing of Kim's latest setback, would roll her eyes, puff out her cheeks and say something snide like "Oh great. Now we have to save Blondie again."
But that character inconsistency aside, last night's "24" finale wasn't bad. There was a decent amount of action, and we finally learned the reason for Tony's crazed behavior. It was all about getting close to Alan Wilson, leader of the terrorist syndicate and the man responsible for the assassination of David Palmer and, of course, Michelle Dessler. I liked that Jack just wounded Tony, instead of killing him. It would have been really ridiculous for the show to bring Tony back just so it could kill him. Still not sure how I feel about them bringing Tony back only to make him an evil mastermind, though.
I also kind of liked the way it ended, with Renee deciding whether to torture Alan Wilson for information. I liked that the show didn't show the answer. I believe she didn't do it, especially since she knew how ashamed her late buddy Larry would be if she did, but we won't know until season eight, I guess. And yes, the 11th hour decision by Kim to save her poor daddy was cheesy, but believable, and totally consistent with Kim Bauer's inability to do anything her father tells her to.
Overall, this season wasn't on a par with the show's best (season five remains its high water mark), but it was a vast improvement over season six.
Some more thoughts on the finale:
* Maybe the best moment of last night's two-part finale was when a dying Jack miraculously busted through his restraints in the terrorist operating room and proceeded to kill everyone in it with his bare hands. Fantastic, old-school "24" stuff. Yes, Jack Bauer's body might be slowly failing him and yes, he's convulsing with seizures, but the man can still bring it when needed. Because he's Jack.
* Also loved when Kim's cell phone died during her conversation with Renee and she emitted a solid, Jack-style "Dammit!" in response to the setback. Like father, like daughter, I guess.
* OK, does anybody else get a homoerotic vibe from the Jack-Tony relationship? All those longing glances; all the touching; all the wounded rage when one of them betrays the other? Last night's episode contained one of the season's more eyebrow-raising moments, when Jack, on his hands and knees, tried to chase down the flare that he threw, and Tony followed him -- not walking beside or behind Jack, but straddling him! Does anybody else get the feeling that all of the nation's problems would be over if Tony and Jack could just resolve all this sexual tension?
* Could have done without the whole President's daughter plot, though it did provide a few more glimpses of my beloved Aaron Pierce, perhaps the most honorable, competent and intelligent character in the "24" universe. Can we get a spinoff for him? Preferably one in which we learn what happened to poor Martha Logan?
* One last note: though I think this show has one more season left in it, I'm hoping that's it. Season seven was decent enough that I'd like to see what they'd do with a season eight, but after that, I'm probably done.
What do you think?

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