24: Live Another Day Review by John Keegan

24: Live Another Day 9.12: Day 9: 10PM-11AM

24: Live Another Day 9.12: Day 9: 10PM-11AM

Written By:
Manny Coto and Evan Katz
Directed By:
Jon Cassar

Despite all of my misgivings and suspicions about Live Another Day, especially when they seemed to stumble with Chloe’s characterization, I’ve been incredibly pleased with the arc of this revival of 24.  It had its moments of cliché, but those moments were fleeting.  Not only that, but creative minds that allowed the latter seasons of 24 to descend into mediocrity, only to allow an even bigger mess to bring down Homeland, managed to deliver a tight and meaningful season.



 

The biggest problem for me was the possibility that Jack’s actions in the eighth season would be glossed over, justified, or simply ignored.  Not only is that not the case, but the questions about Jack’s sense of responsibility and redemption were front and center, right up to the finale itself.  Jack is placed in a position where he has to put his own desires against those of the nation and the world, and then against the fate of his dearest friend.  He passes both tests in classic Jack Bauer fashion, and in the process, restores the honor and dignity of a character that had been forced off his true path.

 

Audrey’s fate was surprising; I was under the distinct impression that the writers were pushing for Jack and Audrey to be together at the end.  It seems fitting, however, that she should be killed, just as Jack has his final confrontation with Cheng.  If Jack were ready to allow his rage to rule the day again, he could kill Cheng without hesitation; the cost would be a war that could bring the world to its knees.  Instead, Jack waits long enough to get the evidence necessary to allow President Heller to defuse the situation.



 
 

It’s not ended there.  The Russians have another gambit up their sleeve to get Jack in their clutches, regardless of all the efforts that might be made by Heller and Jack’s other allies in the administration.  The cost would be Chloe, who was herself behind a great deal of the damage done over the course of the season.  Her decisions led to the creation of the override device, after all.

 

If Jack were falling back into his downward spiral, he could have let Chloe pay for her role in Audrey’s death.  Instead, Jack recognized that this was not how Chloe should make her amends, and that he also had to accept the consequences of his actions.  Regardless of the rest of the characters and how their journeys ended (mostly as they should have), it was Jack’s decisions in the face of loss and crisis that meant the most.  The sins of the eighth season have been redeemed.






The big questions is whether or not this will be the end of 24, once and for all.  Live Another Day didn’t come close to the ratings of the original series, but that’s not the best measure of success; it’s more a question of how it fared against programming in the same time period in May-July.  Thankfully, the writers handled the end well.  If this is the end, Jack has chosen to pay for the crimes he committed in defense of the nation; it’s not a bad way to go.  However, it also doesn’t have to be the end at all, as Jack has come back from far worse situations.  Only time will tell.


Our Grade:
A
The Good:
  • A fitting finale to the season
  • Jack’s choices are pitch perfect
The Bad:
  • The fate of the franchise is still uncertain

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

24: Live Another Day by - 7/16/2014 6:07 PM319 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A
Definitely one of the better 24 season finales, at least in recent seasons. Even if the series does end on that note and if that final silent clock is because Jack isn't coming back from Russia, I think it's a fitting end to the series unlike Season 8. Oh, and that final speech by Heller was fantastic and heartbreaking. I do hope the show manages to come back, and maybe they'll keep waiting a while between seasons, but they did a good job on this season and good job with your reviews as well!

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