Recapping the two-hour season finale, also known as Day Six: 4:00 AM - 6:00 PM...
Ricky takes Josh by chopper to a nice spot on the beach, as directed by Jack's father. Ricky assures Josh he won't let anything happen to him. Then appears to staple a tracking device into Josh's arm. Don't worry, we do this to every person we're about to trade to some sociopath for a piece of circuitry.
Meanwhile, Jack is in custody, being transported back to CTU. He gets on the phone and warns Karen that Jack's father has no intention of giving up the sub-circuit board (SCB) for Josh, and that she must stop the exchange. Karen tells Tom about the call, saying of Jack, "He's been more right than we have today." Now that you mention it! Tom says he will "look the other way" if Karen decides to do something. She calls Bill.
"What do you want me to do?" Bill asks.
"Whatever it takes," Karen replies. This dialogue was written by Mrs. Cooper's second grade class at Beverly Hills Elementary School. They won a contest. Actually, scratch that. I don't want to insult the second graders.
At la Casa Blanca, Daniels calls the Russian President to apologize. Hey, Yuri, you know that little we-already-destroyed-the-sub-circuit-board hoax we tried to pull over on you? April Fools! So whattya say we just let cold wars be bygones? Suvarov says he will continue towards military action unless the SCB is destroyed.
At CTU, Chloe continually looks like she's about to pass out. Nadia gets a call from Karen telling her she needs to be able to track the vehicle carrying Jack. A short while later, an oncoming car forces the SUV carrying Jack off the road. It's Bill! Jack and Bill subdue the two CTU agents and take off for the beach in Bill's truck.
At the beach, two men approach in a speedboat. One of them is Walid! Oh wait. Nevermind. It was hard to tell in the wetsuit. They come ashore. Ricky asks to see the SCB. When he opens the box, it explodes, knocking him down and bloodying his face. Jack and Bill arrive as the men take Josh onto the boat.
At some point, a man wanders into CTU. It turns out to be Milo's brother, Stuart, come to get Milo's body. Stuart tells Nadia that Milo talked about her a lot, then asks how he died. Nadia tells him Milo died a hero, saving her life. Then Stuart disappears, never to be heard from again. And THIS is a perfect microcosm of the entire season.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program of saving
Back at la Casa Blanca, Karen gets an "access denied" message on her computer. She knows she's been caught and calls Bill to thank him for his help. Then two men come to take her away.
Jack calls CTU to get help for Ricky. He tells Nadia he wants the location of every oil rig within a ten mile radius. Meanwhile, Chloe finally passes out, right in front of Morris' workstation.
End hour one...
Out at Decommissioned Oil Rig 417-B, Josh arrives. Cheng tells Jack's father a submarine will be there in thirty minutes to take them to China.
At CTU, Chloe is in Medical undergoing tests. Nadia finds a decommissioned oil platform owned by Jack's father's company six miles off the coast of Los Angeles.
When la Casa Blanca learns of the new information, one of Daniels' advisers recommends an air strike on the oil rig. Daniels orders in the F-18's. They will hit the rig in 30 mintues.
On the beach, Ricky is loaded into an ambulance. Jack tells Nadia the trauma team said Ricky will be blind in one eye, if not both. Nadia informs Jack of the air strike and orders him and Bill to return to CTU.
Jack eyes the chopper. Bill tells him to not even think about it.
Bill: "Look I realize he's your nephew-"
Jack: "I'm not gonna do something because he's my nephew. I'm gonna do something because he's an innocent kid who's been written off as some sort of acceptable loss. It's wrong."
Bill: "I'll fly." Apparently, being able to fly a helicopter is a prerequisite for working at CTU.
From the chopper, Jack calls CTU to ask for their satellite uplink. Nadia is hesitant, but Bill massages her verbally with, "This is the right thing to do."
At Rig 417-B, Cheng tells Jack's father a helicopter is approaching. De plane! De plane! Jack's father takes Josh and heads for the boat.
While the chopper hovers, Jack takes out of a couple of men on the rig, allowing Bill to land. Jack is also blowing up barrels left and right. Cheng gets knocked down by one of the exploding barrels. Bill apprehends Cheng and leads him to the chopper. Jack goes to look for Josh.
Down below, as Jack's father is untying the boat from the... thingy, Josh hits him over the head with an over-sized wrench, then grabs his gun and points it at him. Jack's father tells Josh to give him the gun. Josh explains, "As long as you're alive, me and my Mom will never be safe." Then, Josh shoots him!
Jack's father is wounded but not dead yet. Jack appears at the top of the stairs and orders Josh to lower his weapon, offering this nugget of wisdom: "You do not want to live with the pain of taking another person's life." Umm, Jack? Eh, nevermind.
With four minutes to go until the F-18's arrive, Jack orders Josh to go to the chopper. Jack holds a gun on his father, telling him he's going to pay for everything he's done today. Jack's father says Jack doesn't have time to carry
him to the chopper before the F-18's arrive.
With only two minutes until the airstrike, Jack heads upstairs, leaving his father to die on the rig. Even though there's a boat like five feet away. Bill takes off without Jack, with Josh yelling, "You can't leave my uncle!"
Bill swings by and Jack jumps from the rig, grabbing onto the rope hanging from the chopper just as the F-18's strike, sending the oil rig up in flames. It's only 5:36? The "Josh, I am your father" line has GOT to be coming!
As they fly towards shore, Jack lets go of the rope and drops in to the ocean below!
Relax, I'm only kidding. Although actually, that would have been a more suspenseful ending than what we had.
The last half hour is spent tying up a few of the many loose ends. When word comes in that the SCB was destroyed, Suvarov orders the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops. Tom convinces Daniels to let Karen go and resign with her reputation intact. He then gives Daniels the blackmail recording he was holding of Daniels and Lisa. I wondered what was going to happen with that. Oh right, nothing!
At CTU, Chloe tells Morris she's pregnant. Maybe they should rename the show A Baby Story and switch to TLC. Bill and Josh arrive with Cheng, who says, "My people will not abandon me like you abandoned Jack Bauer." Josh is reunited with his mother. Nadia asks about Jack. Bill tells her to let him go.
Cut to the Heller beach house. William Devane is just getting off the phone when Jack walks in. Jack says he wants his life back, including Audrey. Heller says Audrey will always be in danger if she's with Jack.
Jack demands to see Audrey. Heller leads him to her room. Audrey is lying in bed, apparently asleep. Jack tells her the best way for him to protect her is to let her go. Audrey never opens her eyes or says a word. Jack kisses her forehead then leaves.
The episode ends with Jack standing at the edge of a cliff, looking down at the swirling waters far below.
Jack and Bill teaming up and raiding the oil rig. It was nice to have them in the chopper. A little old school 24, if only for a few moments.
Josh shooting his grandfather. That was pretty cool.
The anti-climatic last half hour. Snooze. It was almost as if the writers weren't sure if this were a season-finale or a series-finale, so they tied up a bunch of things quickly and clumsily, just in case.
The threat of a Russian military strike against a US base in Central Asia never
Very little classic Chloe, both tonight and all season. Helping Jack techno-geek Chloe: good. Pregant fainting Chloe: bad.
No cliffhangers for next year. (Yes, I'm aware I griped about the cliffhanger last season.) But really, what are we supposed to be looking forward to? Will Ricky be blind? Is Morris Chloe's baby daddy? Will Jack decide to plunge to his death, never knowing Josh was his son?
"The component was fake. It blew." Oh, it blew alright. Wait, was he talking about the component, this episode, or the entire season?
Did you know...
April Fools Day was originally observed on March 31st.
Overall, this season was a disappointment, even for the most avid 24 fans. There was far less action, less suspense, and fewer shockers than previous years. It's almost like they blew their wad in the first four hours.
There were too many broken storylines. And the practice of bringing back old characters for an episode or two for seemingly no reason whatsoever just added to the mediocrity of this season.
So we leave season six with President Palmer and Lisa unconscious, Ricky possibly blind, and having not heard in weeks from Sandra Palmer, Walid, Aaron Pierce, Martha Logan, Charles Logan, and on and on.
24 became one of the best on television by keeping viewers on the edge of their seats for sixty minutes each and every week. And while this season had its moments, it fell far short of that standard that had been set by the previous five.
"I can see a new horizon underneath the blazing sky. I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher..."