Episode Post-Mortem: 8×18 – Through the Rear Entrance

April 20, 2010 11:06 AM
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So I think Charles Logan has singlehandedly managed to save Season 8 from potentially being the worst in the show’s history. Because, for the first time this season, I was absolutely riveted by an episode of 24. Short of bringing Tony Almeida back into the frey, the return of Charles Logan is the best decision the writers could have made.

Although Annie Wersching’s performance as Renee Walker was one of the highlights of this season (I’m sorry to see her go), and her death was more than a little contrived, it’s evident what the writers are up to, and while it seems an obvious choice to have Jack go rogue in the wake of Renee’s death, it’s also the right choice. This entire episode was a pretext for Jack’s break from the chain of command to pursue his own agenda of vengeance (justice?).

Taylor’s decision to ignore the Russians’ involvement with terrorists and assassinations to “serve the greater good” and sign the peace treaty — I’m not sure how it is sitting with me. I get that she can’t exactly go to war with the Russians over this. I get that she can’t bear to abandon the peace treaty that will define her Presidency. Like Jack, however, I am uncomfortable with the idea of the POTUS deliberately covering up elements in Moscow willing to attack the United States and assassinate a world leader. Jack of course has the added Renee factor, and I have a feeling he’s not seeing things entirely clearly. I think Jack has always been a character that has flirted with madness and the fact that he hasn’t yet truly snapped is a miracle (though he’s bent prettty nearly in half a few times). If Renee hadn’t been murdered in front of him (the way Michelle was murdered in front of Tony) I think that no matter how disgusted with the decision he was, he would have ultimately obeyed Taylor’s orders. But Renee’s death was a breaking point, as Michelle’s was for Tony. While I don’t think that Jack is about to orchestrate an elaborate revenge scheme or decide that civilian lives were an acceptable loss to get revenge for Renee’s death, as Tony did with Michelle, he is about to go on a rampage, and this will be a somehow familiar yet elevated version of Jack Bauer that we have never seen. At least, I hope. And I cannot tell you how much my heart yearns for Jack to take that chopper he just hijacked and fly is straight to Washington DC to break Tony out of federal prison so they can take down Logan. Sigh.

When Jack just loses it and starts berating Taylor in earnest … holy fuck.

OK, so speaking of Logan, best line of dialogue all night: “It’s good to be back in the game, even if it’s through the rear entrance.” Oh my Almeida, Charles, you dry, smarmy bastard, you. As many of you know, Season 5 was not my favourite. However, Charles Logan is still one of my favourite characters on the series and I am so glad he’s back for the final episodes. When he was ranting all about how Jack Bauer torpedoed his Presidency, it struck me that he is living on his own plane of reality right now. Things are going to get VERY interesting. Jack is going to expose the people behind Novakovich, Logan is going to be balls deep in it, and Logan is going to try and take down Bauer before Bauer can take him down. The only thing that would make it sweeter is if Tony got to have a little revenge on Logan as well.

I really enjoyed watching the Taylor and Logan characters react to each other, especially in the scene where Logan has to tell Taylor about the Russians’ involvement in Hassan’s assassination. Her rage was just so palpable, so present, so consuming, yet so controlled. Jones has that aspect of this character mastered. Allison Taylor has definitely reached Top Tier Female 24 Character status with me, alongside the likes of Nina Myers, Michelle Dessler, Sherry Palmer and Martha Logan. (I also consider Kim Bauer to be an Elite Female 24 Character, but she’s not QUITE in the same niche). And Logan being a blowhard, trying to tell Taylor how it is and ask her to trust him after all he’s done — phewwwwwwwwwww. Fuck. At last we have some character stuff! Some intrigue!

I really enjoyed Chloe’s role in this episode as well. Jack is probably the most important person in the world to her next to her husband and son, and she knows what he is doing is, if not *wrong* then at least a very very bad idea. MLR did a great job capturing Chloe’s dilemma and her emotion. The final scene on the helipad was one of her finest in the role to date.

I’m pretty excited about the final episodes if this is the path they’re going down. And I still yearn for a last minute Tony Almeida appearance. I would even settle for the final scene of the series being Bauer getting tossed in jail for going rogue and probably killing Logan, and seeing Tony from across the crowded prison yard.

I give this episode a 9.5/10.

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