In episode 20 we get to see Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) basically stopping at nothing. The NYPD tries to stop him, but that lasts only a few seconds. Soon he has a gun aimed at one officer's head and threatens to shoot him. The officer's partner hesitates to put down his gun, and Jack asks him, "Do you know who I am?" The guy is like thinking, "Uh, you're friggin' Jack Bauer" and quickly puts down his weapon. To thank him Jack shoots him in the foot for good measure. You gotta love the way Jack gives a guy a hot foot.
At this point in season eight as we wind down to the series finale, some things are becoming very apparent. First of all, our gal Chloe O'Brian has gotten in way over her head. Yes, Chloe deserves recognition for all her great work, but she is playing in the big leagues now as acting head of CTU, and Jack knew she was setting him up and let her think that he didn't know about it until it was too late. If you have followed me so far, this basically means that Chloe is a novice and Jack is an ace, so she is struggling and then suddenly has to take orders from Chucky (Your Friend to the End) Logan's aide, Pillar.
What amazes me is how short-lived the 24 writers' memories are. President Taylor has basically given carte blanche to Chucky, but her character is tougher than this. She resisted all sorts of entreaties from her husband and daughter in season seven, so much so that she had her daughter sent to jail for treason and her husband left her. Is this a woman who would allow a disgraced former president to get into a position to wield power? It just doesn't make sense.
Getting back to our hero, Jack is in full Bauer mode now. Chucky says nothing will stop Bauer, and at least he has got that right. Jack rescues Dana Walsh from Team Chucky, which waterboards her and then plans to kill her after she reveals information. Jack takes out Blesdoe as he's holding Dana with a gun to her head. He tells Jack he won't risk taking the shot, but apparently he doesn't know who Jack is like the cop, and soon he has a bullet lodged between his eyes.
Dana's ex-boyfriend Cole is now working with Jack, and Dana bats her eyelashes and tries to sucker Cole once again. Cole is a nice guy, but too nice for Dana and Jack tries to warn him that she is messing with his head. Cole knows it but he lets his guard down when they go into the bank to get into Dana's safe deposit box. Dana stashed a disk with all the info needed to implicate the Russians, but she also has cash and a pistol in there. Cole reaches to get the pistol, a flash goes off, and Dana knocks out Cole. The banker comes into the room and Dana shoots him, then she takes the money and the disk and calls 911. This is how the cops come to stop Jack in the first place.
Meanwhile, Chucky is talking with the Russian snake Novakovich and his henchman Pavel, the guy who killed Jack's squeeze Renee Walker. Chucky has played this chess game before, but this time he thinks he has his bishop and rook aligned in order to take out the Queen (President Taylor) and her knight (Jack Bauer). With Pillar now in place at CTU, Chucky will funnel the information to Novakovich who will send Pavel to finish Jack off.
President Taylor is suffering in this episode. She has to listen to President Hassan's widow during a press conference, and the woman is praising Taylor's integrity and strength as a leader. We can see the wheels turning in Taylor's head, knowing she has made a deal with the devil. Hey, Jack Bauer is only a phone call away, but she is now weighted down by Chucky in such a way that could bring down her presidency.
The episode ends with Jack chasing Dana into yet another abandoned warehouse/construction site/factory. When the series is over, I should go back over every episode to see how many times Jack has been in this situation. Dana is a crafty opponent, but let's not forget she's dealing with Jack Bauer. They have a gunfight, she runs out of bullets, and Jack corners her with his gun drawn.
Dana pleads for mercy, but we remember what Jack did to Nina Myers, and it's clear you just don't mess with people Jack cares about. He demands the evidence, but Dana's still looking for a deal. "No deal, sweetheart," I can almost hear Humphrey Bogart saying. Jack takes the disk and then pumps Dana full of lead. She lays there staring up at the ceiling (ending one of the most bizarre story lines in 24 history), and Jack takes off because he has bigger fish to fry.
Episode 20 of season 8 is a great episode, one of the best of this or any season, and is really very reminiscent of early Jack Bauer when he gets his mojo rolling and is a force that cannot be stopped. We have four episodes left, and we have to wonder how far Jack is willing to go to get revenge. Judging from this episode, he might be going all the way to the UN to satisfy his need for justice. Honestly, with Jack operating on all cylinders, watching 24 is truly a pleasure once again.