The End of An Era

I remember the first time I turned on the TV on a Monday Night at eight to see what this show 24 was all about. It was four years ago and my wife and I were dating at the time. There was no good sports on tv, so we decided to check out this show that we had seen advertised all over the place. I wanted to find out more about it. It didn't take long for my wife and I to become engrossed in what I think is the greatest television show of all time. We watched season 5 until the end of the spring when Jack Bauer had just saved the country from nuclear armageddon and was then knocked out and kidnapped by the Chinese whose embassy he had stormed in trying to stop the nuclear attack on the country. The show was sensational.

We talked about it all summer and decided at the end of the summer to start from the beginning, season one. The show didn't begin again until January of 2007, so we wanted to catch up. Season one was incredibly exciting, spell-bounding and intensely emotional at times. I would think about the shows at night when I got in bed. Those characters and the show just moved me. It hit me emotionally like no other show I had ever seen. Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) was just making his mark as a CTU agent and was riveting in his role in an amazing first season.

My wife and I proceeded to watch the next four seasons. The first was amazing with more twists and turns than a Vince Flynn novel (if you haven't read Vince, I would highly recommend it. He's an anti-terrorism, riveting writer; begin with his first novel, Term Limits). Jack was an unappreciated hero. He kept fighting for his country when a lot of times his country gave up on him.

Last night was the denouement of television perfection. Jack is ready to extract more revenge from the Russians and their evil president, Sukurov. Sukorov was behind the assassination of President Hassan and the nuclear attempt on New York . He is in cahoots with Charles Logan, the former president and the coward politician. President Allison Taylor has folded to the pressure Logan has put on her to make her mark by signing the peace agreement. She has gone against her principles of decency and has allowed the agreement to go despite knowing of the assassination of President Hassan, the nuclear attempt on New York and the killing of good men and Renee Walker by the Russians. She  has condoned Logan and Sukorov's actions and turned her back on President Dalia Hassan of the IRK, the former president's wife.

But Dalia finds out about the plot from daughter Kayla who had spoken to the reporter Meredith Reed about the Russian involvement in her husband's assassination and everything else Russia has done. Dalia confronts Taylor and says there will be no peace agreement. You can see the disdain she now has for Taylor. Taylor becomes a monster and says she'll implicate Hassan's government in  the attempted nuclear attack on the U.S. and order full retaliation. Hassan, hatred in her eyes, has no choice but to go along.

Meanwhile, Jack is waiting in Jason Pillar's car when he gets in, and at gunpoint, tells Pillar he will kill him right there unless Pillar drives him to the U.N. Jack is planning on killing Sukurov.

Chloe is trying desperately to find Jack and deploys Cole to the arms dealer's apartment. After a standoff, Cole tells the dealer the only way to save Jack is to find him and that he (Cole) will report the guy has illegal arms and will serve the rest of his life in prison unless he tells him where Jack is. The guy tells him.

Pillar, under gun point, gets Jack into the parking garage across the street from the UN building. Jack is badly wounded, and gets Pillar to stitch him up. Jack then tells Pillar to get on his knees. Pillar pleads with Jack not to kill him. He says he has a little girl at home. Jack doesn't pull the trigger but knocks him out and puts him in the back of Pillar's SUV bound up and unconcsious.

Jack makes it to the 24th floor of the building. He gets out his high powered rifle and gets prepared. He makes a call. Logan answers the phone. He tells Logan he is aimed right at his head and tells him to call Sukurov and tell him to come to his (Logan's) office or he's dead.

Logan waffles and Jack plays the tape of Logan talking to Sukurov talking about everything they've done that day. Logan calls Sukorov, who has just gotten out of a press conference with Taylor and Dalia. Sukorov had noticed there was hatred in Dalia's eyes and knows that she knows what has happened. He tells the president he knows that she has coerced Dalia to sign. When Logan calls, Sukorov is suspicious, but Logan, being the professional liar that he is, gets Sukorov to come to his office.

Chloe finds out where Jack is and tells Cole she's going up there. Cole says if she's not out of there in 20 minutes he's going to send his men up there to take out Jack.

Chloe makes it up to the 24th floor where Jack is. They are together again. Chloe pleads with Jack to not do this and get out, that there will be men coming after him with orders to kill him. He puts down his gun, but then grabs Chloe from behind the neck and like so many others, squeezes her neck and she goes unconscious.

Jack is now waiting for Sukorov. There is a knock at Logan's door. Logan hesitates, but then says to come in. Jack is ready when Chloe wakes up and starts trying to talk Jack out of this saying this will start a war and a nuclear armed country will retaliate against the U.S. She says that Renee would not want him to do this. Jack starts thinking hard then puts down the gun. Logan, waiting for the worst, is shocked Sukorov is not dead by now. He says it was a false alarm there is nothing he needs  to tell him. Sukorov walks away in disgust not knowing that he was a couple of seconds from being dead.

Cole has already ordered the men to storm the building and tells them Jack's location. Cole didn't want to do this, he's an ally of Jack's, but he can't let Jack kill the Russian leader. The men are coming. Chloe tells him they have to get out. Jack says there is no time and orders her to shoot him and take the computer chip to Cole and to send it to Arlo so they can circulate it everywhere and expose Sukorov, Logan and Taylor ultimately. Chloe is scared to death and will not shoot Jack. Jack implores her to. Right before the men get there, Chloe shoots Jack in the shoulder.

Pillar gets up there. He has talked to Logan and knows Jack has the disc. They need that disc. They have checked Jack and he doesn't have it. He looks at Chloe. Chloe is nervous, but trying to be calm. She says she has to go get back to UN detail, but Pillar says he wants to shake her down. It's very tense. She's clean and she leaves. Now she's on her way down. Pillar realizes she has it, that Jack doesn't. He's about to go after Chloe again, but Jack calls him over acting like he'll confess something. Jack has an oxygen mask on, there were no internal injuries as Jack was shot in the shoulder, luckily. Jack calls Pillar over and Pillar leans down, Jack bites him hard on the cheek. Pillar is screaming in pain. He commands his men to get Chloe.

Chloe gets to Cole and they try to send the disc to Arlo. It is downloading to Arlo when the CTU men get there and arrest Chloe and Cole. The transmission doesn't go through. Pillar now has the disc.

Logan takes the disc into Taylor and says they're free. Taylor looks troubled. Logan tells her they need to eliminate Bauer on the drive to CTU. He will make the order. Taylor can't believe she's doing this. When Logan leaves after getting her consent to take out Bauer, she puts the disc in her computer and watches what Jack has to say. It seems as he's talking to his daughter, Kim, and telling her what has transpired and what he has had to do. He says there were a lot of good people killed that day and that he is sacrificing himself for people he cares about particularly her and Renee Walker. Taylor is very moved.

The leaders get to the signing. Sukorov and Hassan sign and it's Taylor's turn. Taylor gets to the podium and hesitates. She does not sign and speaks to reporters saying there is a conspiracy and she will expose it in an hour. There is shock in the room.

Taylor tells her chief of staff to send men out to save Jack from being ambushed. Logan and Pillar are in Logan's office when they see what Taylor has done. Logan gets a call. He knows it's over. Pillar says he has to answer  the phone. It's Taylor and she is having them arrested. Logan tells Pillar to answer the phone, and, as he does, Logan bangs him over the head with a glass whiskey container. He puts a pillow over Pillar's head and shoots him. Taylor and her men are now at Logan's door pounding on it. Logan puts a gun to his chin and fires. The men burst in the room.

Taylor calls the CTU men, but it's too late. The ambulance carrying Jack has been ambushed and Jack, badly wounded, taken by Logan's men to be assassinated. Taylor has installed only Chloe, Cole and Arlo in charge at CTU to try and find Jack. They send a drone out to try to find where these men have taken him.

The two men pull Jack out of the van and take him to an area by a warehouse. The assassin tells Jack he doesn't want to do this. Jack hits him and tries to take him down, but Jack is handcuffed. The man regains control and knocks Jack down. He's ready to pull the trigger now when the other guy tells him to hold off, the President is on the line. Taylor tells the man to stop and let Jack go. The guy unties Jack, gives him the phone and leaves.

Taylor tells Jack she's failed him, but will be giving up to authorities, but that he has to get out of the country. The Russians will be after him as will the U.S. Chloe has Jack on satellite and Jack tells Chloe how much she's meant to him. It's moving, reflective of all the time they've spent together and all they've been through. You almost think Jack is going to tell her he loves her. Jack thanks her. Chloe has broken down in tears. The show fades to black and the countdown goes to zero.

There should be a movie. There's a lot left to determine. What is going to happen to Jack? Will he catch Sukorov? Can he survive? Will he ever see Chloe again or Cole? Will he ever see his daughter Kim again? Is Logan still alive? What happens to the presidency? Amazing scenarios are waiting to happen. It should be powerful.

This was the greatest show of all time in my opinion. I'm really going to miss it. Can't believe it's over, but it should be discussed for a long time as an American classic. It's so authentic, I think history classes should talk about it. It tackles the most important world issues today aside from the economy. National security. It's Hollywood, but it's conservative, Reaganesque. Jack Bauer is the hero we're all looking for in this country. It's so patriotic.

Jack Bauer is the ultimate patriot and this show and his legacy will endure through the ages.