24: Day Three, 12:00-1:00 P.M.
FOX promised that the final hour of this year's 24
would be one to remember and they were right. The final hour of the season had all the things we've come to expect and then some. Just as you think the day can't get any worse, they keep managing to find ways to make it worse. First, Mrs. Gael shows up and kills Saunders just as he's about to tell us who the final virus carrier is. Then virus carrier runs into a middle school where Chase takes him down in a brutal fight (no wonder the poor guy is thinking of transferring to a desk job) and then he's asked to lend a hand literally to Jack to save the day. Just like a few weeks ago when Chapelle had to die to keep Saunders at bay, I kept figuring they're going to find a way to not either a)kill Chase or b)cut off his arm with axe until the second that Jack had to go Misery
on him. You know, I don't watch some of the higher-brow dramas like West Wing
but that scene alone should win 24
an Emmy this year.
Of course, the final few minutes features some of those absurdities that we've all come to excpect as part of the whole 24
watching experience--namely that everything in L.A. is within 2 minutes of each other and they would be able to get Chase under and operating on him that quickly. But hey, ya know, it's good to know that Chase will be OK and wasn't getting fitted for a red-shirt, as I'd assumed early in the episode when he spoke of wanting to retire from field ops and be there for his daughter and Kim.
And then to see Jack break down in the end. Wow, that's been three years coming. I'm glad to see that all of this affects him somehow and that he doesn't live in a vaccum.
And really, looking back now on the complete day that was the third day of 24
, I think what it all comes down to is the characters deciding whether or not the cost of the life they've chosen is worth it. Tony decided it was--he is going to jail, but it was worth it to save the woman he loved. Palmer finally decided it had cost too much for him to continue to be president--all the things he had to do that day and then to have the mother of his children's life ended in addition to losing his new girlfriend. Also, his brother--what cost is there to Wayne, who lost Julia and was heading down a slippery sloap of morality (Gee, David, we can spin this to our advantage.) I wonder how much of Palmer's decision to get out now was so he could save not only what's left of his family but also save Wayne. Of course, we had Chase weighing the costs and deciding what he wanted most was a life with his daughter and Kim. And then we had Jack, who is overwhelmed by all this life has cost him--he's lost his wife, he's a drug addict, he's put his daughter in harm's way and he's had to chop off his partner's arm with an axe (yeah, that should make the rehearsal dinner really fun when that comes up!). Of all the characters, it's only Jack who can continue onward--he's chosen an existence that is a solitary one. He will get his accolades and be a hero, but at the end of the day he's still a tragic, lonely figure--kind of like John Wayne's character in The Searchers
. He's even now kind of lost Kim, who he was slowly re-building a relationship with. She is establishing a life with Chase and Jack will be left alone--his dark side pushed away Sarah Wynter's character as we saw to start the season.
So, where do we go from here? Heaven only knows. But I can tell you one thing. In January, when 24
comes back, I am definitely signed up for the ride.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/26/2004 01:21:00 PM