As always, SPOILERS ABOUND:
- Oh no! The script is running 1 minute short! What’ll we do? I know, let’s have that poor gal Zhou be pointlessly alive for another few seconds so we can waste time and see once again how ruthless Cheng is! Brilliant! OK, not only did Cheng know exactly where Audrey was going to be, but he also knows that the Russian Mustache died 2 minutes ago and so he’s able to send Jack the live sniper-cam feed. WHAAAT? And by the way – Live Sniper-Cam! How is this NOT its own Fox series?! Kate volunteers to be on Team Save Audrey, saying, “Jack, you’re under direct orders from the President to get Cheng and the override device.” Yeah, that’s a good point. Because if Jack DID defy the President, he’d become a pariah and an international nomad and... oh wait.
- The President and his entire team of 40 people suddenly file into CIA London HQ. Good call -- it’ll offer added protection against a Chinese nuclear strike, since as we saw from the first episode, it’s a whopping 10 feet below street level.
- A battered Chloe is found by two Brits driving by. Their Britishness is a key point: Had this scene taken place in America, she would’ve been mistaken for a zombie and shot dead.
- Chloe calls Jack (because she always knows how to, no matter how many new phones he gets) and pleads with him to let her help him: “Jack, I know you don’t trust me. But I know you’ve always liked me, so PLEASE, hold me tight.” “WHAT did you say, Chloe?!” “I said, But Adrian lied to me so PLEASE, let me make this right.” “Oh.”
- Kate arrives at Sniper Park. Fortunately, no one in England jogs, so no nighttime runners have stumbled across the dead bodies. She secretly calls Audrey and says, “I’m going to need you to draw the sniper’s fire. If this works, I’ll get a fix on his location. If it doesn’t, then Jack is mine. ALL MINE.”
- Convenient Serbian Dude meets Jack and Chloe at the docks – and he’s brought more Big Guns! Cut to the Hart Household, where Judy asks, “Who is paying Convenient Serbian Dude?” Me: “Jack, of course! With loyalty.” P.S. I love that my wife called him “Convenient Serbian Dude.”
- Uh oh, Cheng’s Sweaty Strike Force catches on to Chloe’s snooping! Chloe calls Kate: “Kate, you need to get Audrey out of there now! And keep your blonde mitts off my Jackipoo!” Kate’s elaborate plan turns into a crazy hail of bullets. Again, though, no British authorities pop up anywhere. What is this, “The Purge”?
- Over at CIA-London-US-Command-Central, the Line of Death is about to be crossed between the U.S. and Chinese forces!
- (On a side note, who would’ve believed that the most politically prescient movie of the past 25 years would be “Robocop”?)
- Kate calls up Jack. “Audrey is safe.” “Thank God.” WHOOPS, there’s a second shooter! Holy JFK, Batman! Audrey is killed! Huzzah...uh, I mean, awwww. Kate hits redial. “So, um, Jack...”
- There’s a terrific sequence after Kate breaks the grim news to Jack. He slumps to the floor, the quintessential portrait of a man who has lost everything. He lowers his rifle and pulls out his handgun... then he hears the Sweaty Strike Force closing in, and Jack snaps out his suicidal reverie and goes Full Death Wish in a way we haven’t seen since his crazy attack near the end of Day 1. Great stuff from Kiefer.
- Finally, Cheng vs. Jack, mano a mano! That, at least, does not disappoint. Jack wins, and gets Cheng on TV just long enough for the facial recognition to kick in, and then – off with his head! Jack was lucky to find a Japanese katana hanging up on the wall of a Russian freighter carrying Chinese terrorists. I mean, what are the odds?
- But where is Chloe? Oh ho, a mystery caller! I wonder who it is. It must be a big surprise. It can’t possibly be the Russians, who’ve been targeting Jack all day, right?
- For the first time in “24” history – a time jump! We leap ahead 12 hours, so in a way, we do get our 24 hours! Angryglare is under arrest and about to be shipped to the Oz penitentiary, Kate leaves behind her gun and her badge – SHE-JACK! – and even Prime Minister Stephen Fry reappears as we watch Audrey’s coffin loaded onto Air Force One.
- A stellar moment for William Devane here as the majestic, sad “24” finale music plays and he gives what is the most terrifying description of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease I’ve ever heard. Wow.
- It ends with – yep, Russians. Jack trades himself for Chloe, and he hops in a helicopter for transport to Moscow. Very anticlimactic.
- You know, unlike the series finale in the disappointing Day 8, this would have been the perfect, most suitable time to kill off Jack. What did you think? Will Chloe indeed check in on Jack’s family and say hello to the cougar cubs?
Thanks again for coming on the “24” ride this season! If there is another series of Bauer exploits, these recaps will return. Until then, I’m planning to shift the commentary over to BBC America’s excellent “Orphan Black,” which is every bit as deliciously nutty and warped as “24.” It just finished its second season, though, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up before the third season begins next spring. Really, check it out. So long.