24 finale: Jack Bauer faces his final countdown
TV review: The 24 finale was a white-knuckle ride proving that the iconic Kiefer Sutherland role has become more than just a TV character.
So, did he go with a bang or a whimper? After eight seasons of single-handedly saving the world from terrorism/nuclear threat/whatever, Jack Bauer finally faced his final countdown. On his knees, out of time, about to be executed by one of his own.
But you don’t get rid of a TV icon that easily. For while the white-knuckle finale of 24 (Sky1) didn’t cop out from giving Jack his customary hard time – he got shot, beaten up and a hamper of cheesy action-man dialogue – it did fight shy of finishing him off. Jack Bauer has become more than just a TV character – he’s a franchise.
And that’s down to Kiefer Sutherland. It’s impossible to picture any other actor supplying the mix of butch and tender that’s made Jack so special.
So I’ll forgive a plot that bottled out at the last minute when it looked like the finger of corruption was aimed squarely at the US president.
While the Russkies were fair game as bad guys, could they really be saying that rottenness could infect the roots of the White House?
Of course not. As Jack dodged the bullet/knife/ligature yet again, the teary president with un-American teeth saw the error of her ways.
Peace was not worth any price, so she urged Jack to hop-skip out of the country.
And so he duly did but not before a weepy farewell scene with Chloe – on pixelated split screen, obviously – in which she practically folded her face in half with unrequited lust.
So where to now for Bauer, the man with more lives than a million cats? Best guess scenario: to a multiplex near you – in 24: The Movie, let’s see Bauer save the universe, not merely the little old world.Because he’s a one-man thriller franchise too good to lose just yet.
Countdown noise: Baku! Baku! Baku! Sorry, no idea how to spell that, but you know how it goes.