'24' finale instant reaction: What did you think of the end of the final day?

Spoiler alert! Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen tonight’s two-hour 24 series finale! I’m warning you — try to imagine me speaking to you in a patented Jack Bauer hoarse growl — stay away until you’ve watched. Numerous spoilers ahead.

Unlike the massive tapestry unfurled by Lost last night, the 24 finale was presented with what I thought was fitting modesty: Two regular hours of the show, broadcast back-to-back. Just by doing that,  a good signal was sent that this wasn’t going to be a big-event, game-changing series-ender, and bravo to the producers for that decision. If 24 had broken with any trace of its formula in its final hours, it would have been a massive cheat for the fans.

So we got Jack still on his revenge-rampage, but not so blood-lusty that he wasn’t crafty. Tapping into conversations between Presidents Taylor and Logan enabled Jack to deduce their complicity in the multiple layers of cover-up. He also confirmed that the order to kill his beloved Renee Walker went all the way up to the Russian president. Now, setting up Bauer to assassinate the president of another country — that was a big move, morally speaking, a big risk for the credibility of our hero’s character.

Which raises a significant point: Did the public knowledge that there’s a 24 feature film being planned remove the suspense around what could have been a very logical conclusion to the series — Jack shot dead, by CTU orders, for his numerous, heinous killings this season? Was this a case of a business decision trumping a creative one?

You and I can kick around the season’s central political football — President Taylor’s insistence on signing that peace treaty no matter what. Taylor said she’d tender her resignation, and, to Jack: “Unfortunately, you will have to do the same.” This could be another way to leave things open for a jumping-off point to the planned 24 movie.

But for 24, the entire TV series narrowed to a more emotional drama: bringing Jack’s out-of-control behavior down to a confrontation with Chloe’s tightly-controlled behavior. How about that final conversation, in which Jack told Chloe she was the only one who, in the end, really “covered my back”? Given the scores of characters who’ve passed through Jack Bauer’s life, was it satisfying for so much of the emotional resonance to settle, in the end, on Chloe?

I’ll be back early tomorrow with a complete review. Please feel free to start your own debates and conversations about how 24 ended, below.

Comments (427 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 21
  • 24fan

    Wonderful ride throughout the years but glad it’s over. Just didn’t care for this season and how it evolved after about the 6th episode.

    • JaySin420

      I agree, I loved the show but this season was bad and I thought the finale was miserable.

      I understand not making the finale a big deal like Lost but they couldn’t at least bring back an old character or two?

      I figured we’d get to see someone like Audrey or Tony, hell I would have taken Agent Pierce but I guess they saved everything for the movie, which is lame and cheap.

      • Jackie Venice

        An old character or two? Who’s still alive? Audrey is probably still in her mental state; Tony is off-grid and Agent Pierce had no reason to be there.

      • GeorgeMason

        Not saving it for the movie it just didnt fit in the script and I’m glad they didn’t force it. It was a great ending, a great series and the movie (series) will be even better. With events not occurring in real time they can flash from year to year or day to day and use any character (unfortunately not Victor Drazen, RIP Dennis Hopper) from any season. Can’t wait to see David Palmer again> Maybe we’ll get to see what happened in “Operation Nightfall” a mission that was referenced in the first 2 or 3 seasons and again late this year when Michael Madsen joined the cast.

      • Bob

        While I criticized the season, I actually thought the finale was awesome, it was somewhat back to its origins, just Jack doing what he did, and it was about characters. I loved it

      • mofun

        Forgive me for not agreeing with any of the people that thinks this season was weak. I have seen all the seasons( some in a weekend),and by no way was this a bad season.
        Jack is bad. He will be back one more time somewhere. Everyone got what they deserved, especially Logan. Wish we had A jack in the real world.

      • Boston

        Hey, I would have settled for Madsen tracking and eliminating the black-ops agents at the very last second and whisking jack off rather than a last minute call to the operatives from Taylor. CTU could still have had their drone floating over head recording the final events and giving viewers the final Jack “face-shot” before transmission was terminated. Hell, President Taylor could have ordered the termination of contact as one of her final duties setting up the movie quite nicely.

      • My Thoughts

        We got a lot of past characters last season. Bill Buchanan (RIP), Aaron Pierce, Tony. I’m happy with how they ended this season. Well, except I thought Ricker would pull up in his van, driving Jack off into the sunset. Having Aaron drive up would have been even better though. :)

      • AJ

        Maybe they could have had a trial and brought back everyone? Like Seinfeld? No thanks. Great ending to a great show. I’ll miss 24. Wish Jack had been killed though. That would be the perfect ending because the only way to stop Jack Bauer is to kill him. I don’t feel a need for a movie. The show’s premise is 24 hours in 24 hours. A movie can’t do that unless it’s a really long movie!!

      • berberlulu

        not having guest appearnaces is cheap and lame? It would have been lame if they did try and do some guest appearance stunts. Jack rules

      • tjc@nei.org

        I would have to disagree with you guys, I have been a fan for the entire 8 seasons and the way the writers play things out was beyond words. I know they did a wonderful job and the actors were amazing! Can’t wait for the moive and I was and hope the back in back in the near future. There’s nothing else on TV that can hold a fire to Jack and his crew, minus President Taylor.

      • JCA

        I am as much of a fan as anyone here, but the last few minutes of the finale sucked. The cheese factor was thru the roof and reeked of laziness too.

        When he said “you know Chloe when you first started 8 years ago” or whatever I almost vomited a little. Seriously? We need a nice pretty recap on their relationship now when we’ve never gotten one before. Lame. I don’t care if they’ll never see each other again. They have thought in the past that they wouldn’t see each other again but the producers didn’t bust out the cheesy tear jerker stuff. Why now? I don’t have a problem with him showing emotion but the execution here was flawed.

        He looks up into the sky at the faint glimmer coming from the predator drone. Give me a break. What, did Jack expect to see Chloe’s face floating in the sky? Was he so grateful for all her help that he just wanted Chloe to have one last glimpse at his face? The director/producers just wanted a cheesy full frame headshot for some kind of highlight reel I imagine.

        The clock ticking down to zero instead of to the correct time of day? Its less offensive than everything else but still retarded.

        I thought it was a decent season overall and thought the finale storyline was great but those last few minutes were horrible. It was so nauseatingly predictable. Not that 24 has never been like that in the past but that whole ending was a serious departure from the norm and it didn’t sit well with me….obviously :)

      • Carvega

        I have to completely disagree… this has been the best season since season 5, easily! Season 6 was pretty garbage… and even though season 7 started off strong imo, it didn’t end as strong as the 1st 5 seasons did. This was a pretty solid return to form, even if the plot twists weren’t as big as the series had been known for.

    • JBL

      Shut it down!

    • TMB

      Like most 24 fans, I’m sad to see the TV series end but also realized it was time (speaking of ‘time’, had to like the final on-screen clock count down to 00:00.00 instead of 4:00.00). Kiefer’s pre-show thanks to the fans was a nice touch, too.

      • AJ

        I liked Kiefer’s thanks too. Great simple way to end it unlike Lost’s 2 hour congratulatory show, plus post show on JKL! The clock countdown made me sad!

    • RK

      Thought it was a great season with a stellar finale. It brought tears to my eyes when Jack thanked Chloe, (as he bloody well should have!) She’s been in his corner eery minute. I love how she always protects him. I couldn’t understand President Taylor losing her moral compass, or that she would listen to that weasel Logan, but it was a great season, far as I’m concerned. I will greatly miss 24 but can’t wait for the movie. So long 24. Thank you for a wonderful ride. Thank you for a superb ending.

  • showless in va

    That’s how you do a finale!!!! Thank you Fox and thank you Jack & Chloe.

    • LincolnX\

      I was hoping one of the last scenes of 24 would be someone (maybe Arlo) noticing the panel of the conference room slightly amiss, walking up to kick it back into place, and then the bounty hunter falling out.

      I’ll miss 24, but will look forward to what a larger budget and compression into a 2 hour movie might bring. Jack still has a grandbaby out there waiting on her pappy.

      • S.C.

        What happens after the finale (a few days later).

        Chloe: Arlo? Send out a memo telling everyone not to eat in the conference room. Someone spilled something and it’s starting to smell.

      • ChuckeeO

        I know that it doesn’t follow with the real-time element but I would’ve loved to have seen a “here’s what happened” in the clean up. Knowing what happened to Allison Taylor. When/How they finally found that parole officer’s body…definitely, the clean up wasn’t going to be an easy. I loved it. CHLOE O’BRIAN ROCKS!!!

      • Dylan

        Or something…I can’t get past knowing he’s still in there! What a bizarre season.

    • nikkido

      Excellent finale…. can’t wait for the movie.

      • Liily

        Me neither. Jack Bauer rocks! And Chloe rocks also. What a great pair. Loved that it ended with them, as it should have. They have a beautiful friendship. I will so miss this show. I love 24. Loved every terrifying hour of it.

    • Ajay C.

      Forget FOX… they did not give 24 a proper send off.

      Thank you Kiefer, Howard & Mary Lynn

      • Devon

        Agree Aljay C. 24 deserved a much more royal send-off as it has been a sensational show. I will miss it so much and am happy there will be a movie (or 2?!) Chloe and Jack rock! Love them. xo

    • nlsas

      Totally agree. Much more satisfying finale than LOST. Glad Jack realized how awesome Chloe has been for him.

    • Kat

      Agree showless! What a wonderful finale. Bravo. And for it to end with Jack and Chloe – heartwrenching. Chloe, who ALWAYS had Jack’s back. Chloe, the Sancho Panza to Jack’s Don Quixote, while he goes off and tilts at bad guys. Just great. So happy President Taylor remembered herself and became the good moral person I always had counted on her as being. So happy that President Logan and Pillar bought it – it made my night. Yay. Excellent villains. And the ending has beautifully set up the movie: The Russians are after Jack and possibly the USA too until he’s vindicated. I will miss this wonderful, nail biting, edge of my seat hour every week. It’s been such a pleasure. Bravo to everyone. Standing O! So sad you’re gone.

    • Esther

      We loved the show, Jack and Chloe were excellent, I should say the whole cast were perfect in their roles. The episodes were always cliff hangers. Like a lot of people, we will miss this Monday night program. One of the highlights of our weekly viewing. We were happy with the ending, in hopes of continuing somewhat in the movie. And, are we looking forward to the movie?…You bet!!!

  • thegeneral

    great ending, Jack youre the man, teared up when u talked to chloe at the end

    • Sue

      Jack, don’t go!! I am so sad to know that the show isn’t coming back. DirectV pick up the series like you did Friday Night Lights!! I love this show!!

  • Glenn

    This was not one of 24’s better seasons, but it didn’t embarass itself on the way out….which I thought was going to happen right about when Stephen Root was being shoved into a heating duct.

    • ssfs

      Speaking of which, does anyone ever find that guy?

  • Adam

    You forgot to mention that President Taylor also said she’d give him time to leave the country, thus leaving on a cliff-hanger saying “yeah it could end here…. oh wait no we can’t”. This means we have to have a more definate sense of ending by Jack running and President Taylor getting what’s coming. We also may see Russia come for Jack? Well I enjoyed this season, it’s crafty ending, and wait for more info on a 24 movie.

  • Ben

    I am a little pissed that EW went ahead and made that top 20 series finales without waiting for 24 to have its ending because that was a very fitting end for televisions best drama, as big a Lost fan that I am, I am on the side of 24 being the better series finale.

    If Kiefer isn’t nominated this year for an emmy it would be a travesty.

    Further more I have said it countless times how little love EW showed to 24 in its series finale. But at least we can all look forward to the movie and what lies in store next for televisions greatest hero, Jack Bauer

    • baesdad

      Preach it Ben. I’m a huge Lost fan, but 24 deserved equal, if not more coverage, than Lost. It was a total game changer in TV land and pop culture in general. Future movie or not, it deserved more from you EW. Jack Bauer is that man!! That being said, I’m a little sad with my state of TV. All my shows are ending such as Lost and 24 this year and Battlestar and Shield last year, Friday Night Lights next year….gonna be damn hard to replace those shows.

      • Mandy

        My husband and I were just discussing how reality tv is going to take over tv land since the major long lasting dramas have ended. I am not looking foward to the future of tv.. At least I still have House and NCIS, at least for the time being!!!!

      • Ben

        I have been preaching it for the last three weeks all over boards and countless emails. EW.com has failer us all with the unjust lack of love given to 24.

      • Dan

        Mandy, I sympathize with your negativity towards the future of good television, but I firmly believe that TV gets better all the time. Even with the rise of garbage like Jersey Shore et. al., we just witnessed two powerful dramas come to an end, Lost and 24. With every door that closes a window opens, and TV writers will forever use these two programs as inspiration for future projects. Alas, with Lost and 24 gone, I’m on the prowl for a new show. V is really good. I’m waiting, and I know I’ll find, something as great as Lost and 24.

      • Lulu

        I am so glad that I connected with 24 when it first started. At first all the blood and gore put me off until I realized there was a well wriiten thriller on TV. This season may not have ranked with the others but it still kept me glued to the what’s next…….and though the ending is diffinitely a lead in to the movie – I felt it was right up there with Lost. They didn’t let us down and am looking forward to more suspense in the life of Jack Bauer. I will be anxious to see what becomes of Jack on the big screen. Dang it!! All the suspenseful shows are ending. What’s left but realty TV and soap opera style shows??
        I hope we will soon have replacement TV show because we have lost some good shows this season.

    • Mc Prophet

      Amen to that. I’m so OVER anything Lost-related, and even though I love me some EW, their coverage of Lost and Twilight is beyond excessive. Even though many consider Lost a great show (not me, but I digress), I feel that 24 was completely overshadowed by the coverage related to a show that was so insular and esoteric compared to the bad ass-ness that was Jack Bauer. Good riddance Lost, and Damn it Chloe! Can’t wait for the movie!

      • Billiam

        I’ve never understood this mentality: I’m not a fan of Twilight, but I’ve never gotten angry over its extensive coverage. And while I stayed with 24 to the end, many people haven’t. As a fan of both, I was generally looking forward to the finale of 24, but intensively excited for the end of Lost.

      • t3hdow

        Me neither, but maybe that’s because I simply skipped over the 6-8 page articles without complaining. I can kind of understand issues that use up 60% of its material like the issue a couple of weeks back (as well as the American Idol and Sex & The City issues before it). But besides those cases, why the rage? Is it that hard skipping a few pages or avoiding a specific sub-section?

      • LOL

        I don’t see “Lost” fans raggin’ on “24.” What the hell is wrong with you?

      • Matt

        It’s envy and jealousy, plain and simple. Lost is a big pay off mystery show with a ton of “What-ifs”. 24 is what it is. Jack running around in albeit different situations, with the same consequences in general. He has to save the day, or save his day.

        I am a fan of both shows, and it blows my mind when people try to compare 24 to Lost. The complexities of the show are entirely different. 24 is Keifer Sutherland, and his relationship with CTU, and the president, or his love interest. Lost is an ensemble with 24 (pun intended) storylines.

        For me, it’s like someone complaining about being served a 7 course fancy meal and getting all gruff and bellowing out WHAT? I don’t need no courses.. just give me this HAMBURGER AND FRIES! That’s THE BEST! I don’t need no duck a’lorange! HARDEES BURGER MMMMMMMM


      • Matt

        You know, and that’s not me trying to be condescending.. your preferences are your preferences.. but don’t sit there and say that fine dining can’t compare to a #2 McDonalds value meal, and anyone who disagrees is an idiot. It might not be your taste, but it’s flabbergasting to suggest that a $300 meal prepared for you by a world class chef is significantly worse than the frozen patty you ate for two bucks.

    • t3hdow

      While I do think 24’s last season got overshadowed by Lost (mainly because no one knew season 8 would be the final season until Fox’s cancellation halfway through), I don’t like how some fans make it seem like EW is anti-24 all of a sudden. Remember the numerous 24 articles the mag has produced over the years (which includes two cover stories)? The five season recap booklet prior to season 6’s launch? Stephen King’s passionate articles to the show? EW may not have given 24 as much attention as Lost, but compared to many other TV shows (including some that are arguably better, like The Wire and Breaking Bad), 24 eclipsed most of them.
      And to be honest, 24’s ending, like most of season 8, felt above average. Whereas Lost’s finale swept me away, 24 could be characterized by Kurt Vonegut’s famous phrase (though more unenthusiastically): so it goes.

      • Livia

        Agreed! Besides, the Lost finale this season was truly the end of the story, whereas the finale of 24 was just a waystation serving as the platform for its jump to a new medium–the big screen. Jack Bauer’s journey will continue to unfold before our eyes. Jack Shephard’s will not. Final goodbyes are always more poignant and attention-getting.

      • Andy

        You really thought the finale of lost “swept you away”? Oh, we’re all going to heaven (or wherever). Please. That ending to me was such a cop out. After Juliet set off the bomb the suggestion of an alternate reality of the characters was huge, that is until the very last episode. Both these shows always finished their episodes on fantastic cliffhangers and like most I too was expecting Jack to die. “It couldn’t possibly be the last ever episode of 24 without him being dead” was the thought running through my head. I’m in 2 minds about a movie, especially after Redemtion. It just didn’t work and seemed like one long episode, however I just HAVE to know what happens. I’m truly gutted to have both this and Lost finish this year as I have been glued to both for years, I just hope Heroes can stay alive a while until something else as innovative comes along!

  • Polly

    Once again, Jack is an international outcast. Too bad – and how unoriginal. Why not do something truly innovative in this show and actually give it a happy ending?

    • baesdad

      You know, I kid around all the time about hard luck Jack and actually get upset because Jack seems to get no breaks….but in the end that’s what makes the character great and as much as I hate to admit it or think about it, Jack Bauer is one of those charcters who are destined to suffer when it’s all said and done.

  • Sawyer

    I miss the early seasons with the great villains, and their awesomeness was reinforced by this list of the Top 10 Bad Guys on “24” and their next villainous TV roles. http://tvtango.com/news/detail/id/208/ew

  • Matthew

    A thrilling conclusion to a thrilling show. Did the planned 24 movie dampen any suspense? I’m not sure, but what a way to go. Jack Bauer on the run once more. Despite trudging thru early on, this season really ended on a high note.

  • miss k

    Poor Jack!!! All he’s done on 24 and it ends with him fleeing the country! I love and will miss you forever Jack Bauer!

  • Max

    WOW! I’ve been there from the beginning and I’ll have to say that this was a fitting end to a series that has represented what a true AMERICAN can be! Loyal! Dedicated! Not to mention all the great losses he had to endure along the way. Fiction aside, There’s alot to be learned about who and what we are and what we really stand for. I love the show and I can’t wait for the Movie!

    • ger

      Yes, I agree, at times the show really did depict what a “true” American is (to the rest of us in the world(. What that is, exactly, I’ll leave up to your interpretation. I’d hate to be rude.

      • Truth

        But, you are.

  • Lili

    Watching Dalia Hassan and President Taylor go head to head was great TV. I am so glad that the writers stayed true to the show and that they acknowledged the importance of Jack and Chloe’s partnership/friendship. All in all a very satisfying series finale.

    • Mandy

      I hated and loved the Dalia/President Taylor scene.. I hate to see President Taylor be so mean and vindictive, but Im glad that she did the right thing in the end.. Any time you get into bed with Logan, theres going to be trouble.. And the wimp couldnt even kill himself correctly!!!!!!

      • Lulu

        I really am ashamed to say how much I hated Logan and was so hoping that he died instead of hanging on. Some very powerful moments of true dedication for one’s country Jack has given us over theses seasons. Knowing that Logan is still alive makes me wonder if his character will be in the movie!!!! The true friendship between Jack and Chloe at the end was just as powerful and more believing than the fantastic ending of Lost. Both were great shows! What is there to watch now???

    • Truth

      That scene, along with the closing dialog between Chloe and Jack, were the best scenes in the finale. Dahlis deserves an emmy for that scene alone. Emotional and riveting.

    • Deebo

      Lilly- I agree…The President and Hassan’s wife going back and forth was amazing acting…I must admit I am really digging Hassan’s Wife beauty and acting wise she is very impressive and hope to see more of her in the future

  • Manny

    Boo!!! This finale did not live up to the last 8 years of 24’s reputation. Where was the justice that should have been served to Logan by Jack’s hand instead of his own? The previous episode was far better and left me wanting more. Unfortunately, it does look like the writers copped out on their creativity for a disappointing business move. Too bad Jack Bauer wasn’t given the same justification as Jack Shepard.

    • Mandy

      I feel like it was a fitting end.. Jack walks away from the city, serving his country in a way that only Jack Bauer could.. I think to have it end any other way would have been unbelieveable for the true fans of 24.. We know that for Jack, nothing ever ends the way it should..

      • Manny

        True 24 fans, like myself, should be disappointed. They sold out for the sake of an upcoming movie. 24 was a ground breaking show and you don’t end it trying to sell box office tickets. Shameful.

      • ssfs

        ^ I REALLY hate it whenever someone uses the word “true fans”.

      • CTU Chief

        Attention ABC. THIS is how you do a finale for a long running show. It went out with a bang. I can’t believe that this show was canceled while tripe like the Bachelorette and Wife Swap are left on the air.

    • Fidel1980

      Well I’m a true 24 fan and I was not disappointed. It was a great ending. Jack got the justice he wanted without using a gun. The kind of life he leads it will be very hard, if not impossible for him to have a happy life. And Logan found out what it’s like when you really have no power and you’re on your own. He’s always been a coward.

      • patricia

        24 was one of the best seaeies i have seem. at the end when he asked that his daughter and grand child be watched. i think its leaving things open ,just in case it comes back..just think if we had a lot of men like jack in the war.so sorry it ended…………

    • Danny

      I so agree!!! I been watching 24 since season 1 and just somthing about this season was a bit off. Was ok but wasn’t great although I’m glad it didn’t end with Jack dieing letting us know that he will be back, since he always does! It just didn’t feel alot like “24”

  • Dave

    “Two regular hours of the show, broadcast back-to-back. Just by doing that, a good signal was sent that this wasn’t going to be a big-event, game-changing series-ender, and bravo to the producers for that decision. If 24 had broken with any trace of its formula in its final hours, it would have been a massive cheat for the fans.”
    Didn’t the show get canceled after they made these episodes? The way it’s being left open for a possible movie was the way it was to left open for a 9th season if it was renewed. Maybe if they knew it was going to end now, they would have made it a big event, game-changing ending. I could be wrong though. Maybe they in fact were given enough notice and chose to end it in this way.

    • WhoMe

      They did know it was going to end, producers tweeted hints for it before it was officially announced, plus they weren’t done filming at that point.

      • Dave

        Oh, my bad then. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Phil

    I thought this was a great season, and it looks like the movie plot is already revealed. The Russians are going to kidnap Kim to draw Jack out

    • dom

      And maybe spring Tony Almeda to help catch him. I can’t wait until the movie!

      • helen

        oh God 24 is my no.one and u Jack ur so special im alwys missing and missing u so much

    • Ajay C.

      That might sound like a decent plot, but the EPs keeps on saying that the movie will be a stand alone from the series.

    • Bake

      Please no Kim in the movie! Kidnapped again, and maybe chased by a cougar? Maybe it would be called The Naked Gun- “24”. I loved 24, its one of my all time favortie shows but it became a parody of itself by the end. I was laughing and rolling my eyes in the finale. The Jack and Chloe exchange at the end was nice though I will admit. But this season sucked and I wouldn’t have come back next year if it hadn’t been cancelled.

Page: 1 2 3 21
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in TV

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP