The action-packed rollercoaster that is “24: Live Another Day” has come to an end, and not everyone will actually live to see another day. Jack Bauer was able to save the United States from war with China, but at what a cost.
Of all of the people who deserved to be punished for their actions this season, it was the innocent Audrey who paid the ultimate price. The only person Jack had left to love was gunned down in the middle of the episode, giving fans the first silent ticking clock of “Live Another Day,” though not the last.
The unfortunate part of it all is she didn’t get to speak with Jack one last time and the relationship with the two was left unresolved, like most of Bauer’s tragic life.
The moment Jack found out about Audrey, it looked like he actually contemplated suicide. However, he was resolved to kill Cheng once and for all. After dispatching his men and capturing the terrorist long enough to show the Chinese President who was really responsible, Jack grabbed a sword and beheaded the man. Jack Bauer with a sword is an awesome sight, he should have one more often.
With Cheng taken care of and war between China the the United States avoided, Jack still wasn’t out of trouble. The Russians kidnapped Chloe as leverage for him to finally turn himself over to face the punishment they believe he deserves.
That’s where the time jump of the season comes in. During the last few minutes of the episode, time moves forward 12 hours. Jack turns himself over to the Russians the next day, in exchange for Chloe’s freedom and the promise they’ll stay away from what’s left of his family. Jack finally admits that Chloe truly is his best friend, before seemingly saying goodbye to her forever.
That brings the second silent clock of the night and season. It’s one that carries far more implications than Audrey’s. It was really the first time it has been used specifically for Jack. In the past it’s always been to those around him, but this clock was all his.
Does that mean he’s destined to die in Russia? Truthfully, the world will never know unless another season of “24” is produced. Never count a Bauer out, though.