Just a short blog entry tonight because I’m tired and emotional after watching the final ever episodes of 24. Combined with the tear-jerking goodbyes to Lost and Ashes To Ashes, TV fans have really been put through the ringer over the last few days.
While Jack’s final hours didn’t feature the badass action moments of the previous few episodes, the character drama was upped and more than made up for it. It was a bravely bleak conclusion too, which felt true to the show’s history.
It was appropriate that 24 was the last of the big finales. I’ve been watching the show since early 2002, starting only a few weeks after I met my wife, when BBC2 ran a catch-up of the first 4 episodes after they knew they had something special on their hands. I was hooked from the word go – it was such a cinematic show, so unlike anything else on television. It’s quite a thing to think that we’ve been sitting down to watch it every week it’s been on since then – all 192 episodes, and the thing with Begbie too – and that we’ll never have that opportunity in quite the same way again. Not under those circumstances. Sure, there are the boxsets, and the passage of time has dulled my memory of the early seasons so I would enjoy going through them again. But it won’t be the same. Jack Bauer has been an ever-present throughout my relationship, and so it seems very strange to say goodbye. Maybe that’s why I’m so sad that it’s over, beyond the programme’s obvious quality.
Thankfully the second half of season 8 proved to be a worthy send-off, though – arguably the only time throughout the entire run of the show that the final 12 episodes of a season were better than the first 12. And so in a way 24 has come full circle, finishing as strongly as it started. Goodbye, Jack. We’ll miss you. We really, really will.