24 ended its gloriously ridiculous, wildly entertaining, f*cking badass run with a two-hour series finale last night, and though it had some pitfalls, it's hard to deny that it was a pretty great finale. It felt more like a great season finale, sure, but to their credit they're trying to get a movie made, here. If the movie happens, this will go down as an excellent series finale, and one that's justified. If it doesn't, well... let's not think about that. Let's just review the best and worst elements of the finale as it stood last night.
Best: Everything Jack and Jason Pillar
From taking Pillar hostage in his own car, to making him cry and beg for his life, to Mike Tysoning his ear off for groping Chloe, Jack took care of that weasel Jason Pillar in the finale almost as satisfactorily as Charles Logan did.
Worst: Jack Goes on the Run -- Again.
The resolution of the series finale was disappointing for two reasons: One, it was just a setup for a movie that might not even happen, which made me feel cheated as a devoted viewer of the television show, and two, it was a rehash of Season Four's ending, with Jack on the run and everything uncertain. Though I must say that the fact that Kim is probably going to have to do some shitty clerical job in the Midwest somewhere for the rest of her life once she enters witness protection did soften the blow a bit.
Worst: Speaking of Kim...
How's Chloe going to protect Kim from both the Russian and United States military and law enforcement agencies, exactly? With CTU resources? Good luck. Great idea, Jack.
Best: Logan's Meltdown
Though it is disappointing that Logan will likely live, watching him murder his Number 2 (and self righteously defend his actions to the guy's unconscious body while he did it) and then try to get out of taking responsibility for his crimes by attempting suicide was a brilliantly pitiful character moment for one of the most pathetically evil 24 villains ever. Charles Logan can't even shoot himself in the face effectively, which... sounds about right. You know Martha was somewhere in a straitjacket just laughing her ass off to Fox News later that night.
Worst: Taylor's Redemption
Her moral compass completely crumbled throughout one day, and then spontaneously rebuilt itself entirely in, literally, the final hour. In Hour 23 she was threatening Dahlia Hassan with nuclear war lest she sign a treaty with her husband's murderers, and in Hour 24 she's flailing around the U.N. disgusted with herself, refusing to sign said treaty, confessing her crimes, and saving Jack Bauer from the hitmen she'd, again, very literally just hired. She started out so strong in Season 7, but honestly, after the events of this season I'm sorry to say -- what a ridiculous goddamn character, even for this show. (Her final scene with Jack was indeed a powerful one, but I think that's more a credit to Cherry Jones than the character or the writing.)
Best: Jack and Chloe
The finale's biggest strength was that it remained focused on the most emotionally resonant part of the show: the friendship between Jack and Chloe. Mary Lynn Rajskub did some beautiful work in the show's final two hours, from the scene in which she talked Jack down from starting World War III from the drain pipe he chained her to, to finding the courage to shoot him to keep him from being killed by CTU's task force, to the series' final scene, which showed her tearing up as he thanked her for everything she's done for him since she joined
the show CTU. I may not have loved that Jack's on the run again, but there's no way not to love that final scene as a 24 fan. I cried, I'll admit it.
Goodbye (for now?), Jack Bauer. I'll miss the hell out of you, you crazy animal bastard.
See our list of 24's most shocking deaths ever.
Watch TWoP's editors discuss this season's best and worst finales in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:
Your favorite moments of the finale? Parting words for 24? Leave them all below.
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