Monday, June 07, 2010

The end of 24

After musing the other day about the endings of stories, a few thought about the ending of 24 from last night (the ending not just of this series, but of 24 as a whole).

24 has suffered somewhat in recent series from the diminishing returns produced by simply escalating the threats – after all, where can you go once a nuclear bomb has been detonated on US soil? - but I actually felt that these last episodes benefited from a smaller-scale threat, viz. That a peace treaty wouldn't end up being signed. It also benefited from wonderfully pitched performance from Gregory Itzin as Wormtongue, seducing the President on to the dark side.

Best of all, though, was the resolution for Jack's own character. I felt that he had crossed a line earlier in the season, when he had carried out an execution, and there was a great moment when he hovered above the abyss before returning to his own moral centre – a moral centre which proved to be the crucial factor for the President's own momentous decision. Things are nicely set up for possible movies – the 24 episode, 'real time' format is surely now played out to exhaustion for these characters.

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