The first half hour kicked off the two main storylines that mostly made up the finale...one involving Jack, Tony, Kim and the FBI, and the other storyline involving Olivia, Aaron, Ethan, and the White House. Jack is now trying to help Tony escape in order to save Kim, who Tony and Cara's "operatives" have. As expected, Jack had to overpower the people in the van: Renee, another FBI guy, and the driver. Of course he did this without explanation, as he had been instructed via Cara through the earpiece. However, he then went ahead and explained what was going on to Renee. This didn't make any sense to me...wasn't he told not to tell anyone? Why would he risk Kim getting killed/harmed? And more importantly, why didn't Cara or Tony care? It made sense to have Jack help Tony get away without explaining what was going on and then Tony would have ended up free. Instead, now Renee knows the Kim situation and is able to contact and warn her...why would they want that? Regardless, Jack is able to get to Cara and they proceed to their hideout with Tony. Somehow Jack encounters no symptoms the whole time he's taking over the van and freeing Tony. In the meantime, Ethan arrives at the WHite House and Aaron knows they have a small window to get the recording while Olivia is being questioned. Ethan takes forever to understand the situation and actually retrieve the recording, and I saw he hadn't quite closed the picture frame fully when trying to act inconspicous when Olivia returned. Of course as soon as Olivia figured out what had happened she detained Ethan. But his confidence when she was questioning him made it apparent that Aaron had the real card at that point.
Olivia then proceeded to "destroy" the card by cracking it in half. This was totally ridiculous as that would not prevent data from being read off it...she should have erased the card or melted it or something. And sure enough, Ethan talks to Aaron and gets the real card...and how convenient, he can play it in his car! Of course there's no security on such confidential information and he can play it in any old MP3 player such as the convenient *cough*product plug*cough* Hyundai Genesis with Auxiliary input*cough*. Seriously, that couldn't have been a more blatant ad! It was also great how there should have been months of data, but he was able to fast forward to exactly the right part on the first try. Back to Jack and Kim, Jack is finally showing signs of illness as he gets dragged in to check if he has the pathogen and it can be used to reconstitute the bioweapon. Doesn't Tony know there's only an hour left? I liked how the syringe to knock out Jack seemed to take effect so fast, he was getting knocked out as they inserted it. Tony has a conversation with Cara about wanting to get promoted to a full-blown member of SuperMegaEvilMilitaryConglomerate, Inc. She, in turn, calls Alan...the head of said organization. Of course she convinces him to come vet Tony in person. This was completely ridiculous. Why would he risk exposing himself when they were in the middle of all this activity and the FBI were after them? They seemed to try to write that off by his saying he would supervise Bauer's transfer, but couldn't they keep Jack unconscious as they were already? But wait! Jack's awake and a tray full of scalpels has been conveniently pushed within his reach. Three neck wounds later, Jack has escaped. Tony and Cara split up to find him. Really? They're doing work for this mega-organization that controlled the likes of Starkwood and have seemingly infinite resources, and Tony and Cara have to look for Jack on their own? Where are all the hired goons?
Tony ends up finding Jack in a garage where Jack is trying to light himself on fire so the pathogen will be destroyed for good. He is able to prevent Jack from doing so, and he recaptures Jack. He then explains what's going on to Jack...he's done all this to get to and kill Alan Wilson! (Lame name, by the way) He has been avenging Michelle's death all along, and he claims that was his plan. Jack tries to convince him that it's wrong, but he doesn't care and he wires Jack with an explosive belt to kill Alan. He then heads off to meet Alan who is just arriving, and it seems like Jack could easily have taken the tape off his mouth (he's only handcuffed) and said something to Cara. Tony and Cara go to meet Alan and it's overly dramatic. I loved that Tony had his phone in plain sight as if he were about to set off a bomb. Alan's thugs go to get Jack, and it made no sense that they wouldn't have patted him down or otherwise noticed the large explosives he had on under his clothing. But before that could happen, surprise! The super-slow FBI finally figured out where they were and arrive in a helicopter (seriously, they still can't bring in more people at once?!?) Suddenly Renee is taking down bad guys left and right, and oh, she knows how to disarm Jack's bomb too. Jack didn't know how and she did? B.S. Also, how did Tony (and to a lesser extent Alan) get so blindsided? Tony and Cara should have been checking in with the airport guy and would have figured out something had gone wrong, but instead somehow nobody knows about what happened or that the FBI were after them. Tony shoots Cara and beats up Alan a bit, explaining everything to him. But before he can kill him, Jack shoots Tony in the shoulder, and then the hand/arm despite the fact that he can't stop shaking. Back to Olivia, she can't believe Etahn is back and tells Aaron to take him away, to which Aaron gets to say, "No, maam." Boom! Aaron ignoring orders is awesome. However, once she heard the recording, I couldn't believe Aaron just left her and Ethan alone. She's a lunatic...who's to say she wouldn't attack Ethan? I was really disappointed with Ethan leaving the decision of what to do with the recording up to President Taylor. Mostly because I knew this would lead to a big "conflicted decision" for her and they'd go on and on about it.
Sure enough, they did just that. However, I didn't expect to see Henry there, on top of which he was being completely ridiculous with wanting the recording to get covered up to "save" their family and protect their daughter. Ultimately Allison decided she couldn't cover it up because it would be hypocritical. She explained all of this to Ethan and about how she had lost everyone close to her, to which Ethan responded, "not everyone," and he got his job back (though the way it was said, it sounded like he wanted to have an affair). He also claimed Henry would eventually come around, but the look on Henry's face made it obvious he wouldn't. Meanwhile, Jack was taken to the hospital and he's got a visitor...obviously this is Kim, returning to save her dad. But wait! It's actually that guy from the mosque again, and this time he and Jack have a discussion about doing bad things and forgiveness. And finally Kim does arrive, and Jack is conveniently in a coma so he can't prevent her from trying to save him. Meanwhile, Renee thinks she's the new Jack Bauer, handcuffing Janis so she can interrogate Alan on her own terms.
For some reason they didn't create much of a cliffhanger for next season, and there wasn't any preview to indicate what direction they might be going either. At any rate, thanks to everyone that's been reading these reviews and I'll post any new information about next season as I come across it. Also, for this season they're making the DVD available the day after the season ends, which is kind of cool...it's probably available by the time you're reading this!
This was a review of Season 7, Episodes 23 and 24 (6:00am-7:00am and 7:00am-8:00am). Here's my previous 24 reviews. And here's the character countdown.