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Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "24," "Lost," "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Monday, May 18, 2009

"24" Season Finale: Making a Believer Out of Me Once Again

Usually in the hour leading up to the “24”finale I am a bundle of nerves. I can’t sit still, I pace around the room…

Tonight, however, I was perfectly calm. I was more worked up about “How I Met Your Mother” than I was about “24.”

But by the 75 minute mark, I was clutching my throw pillow in anticipation of what was going to happen next…

I didn’t expect to get so emotionally involved in the episode, because I didn’t think I cared that much. I thought I had become ambivalent because of the whole Tony thing. I thought that tonight I would watch Tony die—again—and I would continue to be ambivalent about the show until next season.

But something happened that made me care and also made me believe in my beloved “24” once again…

Warning: If you have not yet seen the season finale of “24,” stop reading now…

All along I have said that the only way to come anywhere close to justifying Tony’s actions was to show that he was doing all of this to flush out Charles Logan so he could kill him to avenge Michelle’s death. Well, I turned out to be right, but it wasn’t Logan he was flushing out. It was the mysterious Alan Wilson that Cara had been working with over the last few weeks. Apparently, he was the head cheese in the death of David Palmer and therefore responsible for Michelle’s death.

Now, I have to admit that I don’t really like the addition of another person to muddle up the storyline from the best season of “24” ever, but I’m actually willing to forgive it. Because it led to one of the most amazing moments of the season and the best performance I’ve ever seen Carlos Bernard (Tony) give.

Because Tony wasn’t just avenging Michelle. He was also avenging the death of his unborn son. Even after everything Tony did this season—murdering Larry, trying to kill Jack—when he yelled, “You killed my son!” I nearly burst into tears. And then, as Tony crawled across the floor after being shot by Renee, trying to get his gun, I clutched my pillow even harder and waited for the moment to come—the moment when Jack would take Tony’s life.

But it never happened. Instead, Jack only shot Tony in the hand to keep him from picking up his gun. As they took Tony into custody, Tony railed at his former friend, telling him he had become “one of them” and playing that cruel Teri card one more time.

It was a good way to end the story. And yes, it does allow Tony to come back…

The B storyline also had me engrossed as everyone’s favorite Secret Service agent, Aaron, with the help of former Chief of Staff Ethan, managed to bring down the First Daughter, Olivia, for hiring someone to kill Jonas Hodges.

And President Taylor showed that she is truly honorable by turning her daughter in, even though it will most likely cost her her marriage—although I have a sneaking suspicion that Ethan could be there to pick up the pieces if necessary.

That huge whoop of hooray that you heard across the country tonight was “24” fans celebrating Kim finally showing she’s a true Bauer by outsmarting the enemy operatives and risking her life to get the necessary information to find her father.

And speaking of her father, I was sure that we would see a big kiss between Jack and Renee—and you know how I feel about Jack and women—but instead we got a moment much more intimate than that as Renee looked for Jack’s advice about what to do with Alan Wilson. In one of the most enlightening passages of dialogue ever heard on “24,” Jack told her “Make decisions you can live with” as he wiped the tears from her face. The last we saw of Renee, she had laid down her badge and headed into the interrogation room to talk with Wilson. That moment almost made me wish Jack had kissed her.

And that haunting Sean Callery score throughout the episode was amazing. It made me want to take back all of the criticism I gave him all season long...

So, with everything else out of the way, the focus fell on Jack, who was coming ever closer to death. As the minutes ticked away, I wasn’t sure how they were going to get him out of this one. And technically they didn’t, as the show ended with Kim vowing to do the stem cell treatment and save her father’s life. As ambiguous as the ending may have been, you have to give credit to the writers for not saving Jack in a speedy quantum leap ending and instead giving us the possibility that maybe things won’t work out after all.

But of course we know that things will work out and Jack will be back next season. My biggest concern is how he will be back. With Jack finding God and asking for forgiveness for all of the things he’s done, you have to wonder how he’ll emerge from all of this. If the show decided to be realistic, then Jack would probably emerge as a different person.

However, I think I speak for “24” fans everywhere when I say we don’t want Jack to be a different person. We love him just the way he is.

And we can’t wait to see him back next year…

The seventh season of “24” will be available on DVD beginning tomorrow…