This season’s “24″ has been far more entertaining than last year, where the storylines felt reconstituted and the ending strung together with duct tape and chicken wire. Fortunately, the writers’ strike gave them time to ensure a proper 24 hour timeline for Day 7 where plotlines could be properly opened and closed.
And this final episode, while a bit flaccid and predictable at the tail end, had enough thrills and spills and even an emotional crescendo, to satisfy most “24″ addicts.
There were basically three plotlines going on at once.
First, there’s the tie between Jack and his daughter Kim. At 6 a.m., the bad guys are using Jack to try to apprehend Tony away from the FBI by holding his daughter unknowingly hostage at the airport.
He frees Tony, who takes Jack with him. His female operative buddy wonders why he wants to even take Jack. Tony says Jack has the pathogen in him, enough possibly to reconstitute the bio-pathogen.
After Jack is tortured by docs who take spinal fluid from his back (ouch!), he ovecomes them and tries to get away before Tony apprehends him one more time. By then, Tony had convinced the female bad gal that he has earned his keep and should meet Alan Wilson, the big bad guy.
In the interim, Kim finds out she’s being followed. The two bad folks linked to Alan Wilson create a ruckus, shooting up guards in the airport terminal. The stringy-haired dude gets away but Kim follows him. The guards shoot him as he tries to get away, his car flips and she grabs his computer before he dies. That leads the FBI to Jack Bauer in time to save him and get Tony.
This ties into this Tony Almeda revenge situation, which is an interwoven second thread. At the start of the day (or this season), he was a good guy gone bad. But wait–he was actually working on the inside with Bill and Chloe. He’s good. Oh, no. He’s really bad, killing the head of the FBI. But now we find out he’s sorta kinda good? He wanted to get to the head of this dark conspiracy, an ordinary looking dude with an ordinary name, Alan Wilson. Why? The dude killed Tony’s love of his life Michelle Day 5 AND his unborn son. His unborn son!
Yes, he wasted time actually having to explain his rationale for killing Alan before trying to kill him because that’s what people do on TV shows. And he left just enough time for Jack to come in and shoot him so he wouldn’t shoot Alan. Alan was taken into custody, as was Tony. Renee, who debates the merits of torture outside the law as a means to a proper end with Jack, decides to torture him though we don’t find out the consequences. Presumably, Renee will be back next year and we’ll find out what she learns.
Meanwhile, Jack is dying and placed in a coma. Naturally, the predictable part happens next. Kim arrives at the hospital and finds out she might be able to save his life. Of course, she does it without his permission. We know that since Kiefer Sutherland is set to be around for season eight, Kim will indeed save his life. Yawn. But Jack Bauer.. cannot.. die.
Finally, there was the president’s daughter Olivia and her bad behavior. She had set up to kill off Jonas Hodges, the bad military contractor played by Jon Voight, then changed her mind. But he was killed anyway. She tries to cover her tracks but Agent Pierce (our favorite “24″ character ever) is suspicious and has the former Chief of Staff Kinan she had ousted earlier in the day come back to check out the DVR which had taped her conversation. She didn’t know about the taping device.
When she discovers the DVR, she tries to stop him discover her nefarious conversation with the dude who set up the kill. But Kinan outsmarts her by giving her a blank disc and handing off the real one to Pierce. Psych! During the second hour, he tells her he knows about her involvement with the murder hit. She confesses to her mom, hoping she would just cover it up since the entire sordid affair would threaten her presidency.
But President Taylor is incredibly ethical. She puts away her daughter although Olivia’s motives (Hodges killed their son!) were defensible. Taylor’s husband is not pleased. Cherry Jones plays this scene with real emotion realizing her entire family has been sacrificed in the name of the presidency. She will be back next season when the show switches to New York.
I enjoyed the change of venue from the “24″ terrorism capital of the world Los Angeles to Washington D.C. Pluses: the addition of Cherry Jones as prez. The entire Tony Almeida plotline. And Jack facing his mortality, even if we know he won’t die.
Negatives: losing Bill Buchanan. Rest in peace, man. We loved you! And Janeane Garofalo’s Janis Gold was a lame version of Chloe. Their catty little arguments were mildly amusing at best and they even made up at the end.
-The fall Fox lineup includes that new show about a glee club called “Glee” that debuts tomorrow after “Idol.”
-There’s also that spinoff of “The Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show.” It will air on Sundays.
-“Brothers” features Michael Strahan (”NFL Fox Sunday”) playing a former NFL hotshot who comes home to get his life back in order. It will air on Fridays.
-“The Wanda Sykes Show” will be a new talk show on Saturday nights, replacing “MADtv.”
“So You Think You Can Dance” is going to be added to the fall lineup, as noted earlier.
Fox shows coming back next season: “24,” “Fringe,” “American Dad,” “American Idol,” “Bones,” “Dollhouse,” “Family Guy,” “House,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Lie to Me,” “The Simpsons,” “Til Death.” “America’s Most Wanted,” “Cops.” “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Fox shows canned: “Sit Down, Shut Up.” “Prison Break.” “King of the Hill” “Sarah Connor.”
-Steve Adamson, a weekend meteorologist for WXIA-TV, has left the station to pursue his career in aviation, according to Bob Walker, general manager. He wouldn’t say whether Adamson left voluntarily though insiders say his contract was not renewed. Gannett, which owns WXIA, is budget cutting across the board and has required furloughs for its employees this quarter.
- “Real Housewives of Atlanta” pseudo-housewife Kim Zolciak’s phone was stolen. She sent out a note today asking people to send her their numbers again. The note went like this:
Hey there please email your cell and or work number somone stole my phone…YUCK….”Don’t worry about the people in your past, There’s a reason why they didn’t make it into your future”