Jack Bauer has defeated a terrorist, a traitor and a rogue hacker in the first 11 hours of Day 9. In the final episode of 24: Live Another Day, he and CIA Agent Kate Morgan will have to hunt down his old foe who wants to start a war between the United States and China for the benefit of Russian expansion into Eastern Europe.
Only a Jack Bauer-style interrogation could get the cast and crew to spill secrets on the finale. Here are the few clues that are available on the last hour(s) of Bauer’s latest adventure and watch the finale preview video above. Read the recap of tonight’s finale here.
1. The Time Jump Happens Tonight
By process of elimination, the time jump teased by executive producers will happen tonight. The first 11 episode have followed the traditional 24 style, each episode covering one hour. The title for episode 12 is “10:00 p.m.-11:00 a.m.” which would cover the final 13 hours for a total of 24.
Executive producer Howard Gordon confirmed the time jump, but wouldn’t give specifics on how the series would account for all 24 hours.
2. Cheng Zhi Returns to Torture Jack and Audrey
Jack Bauer faces off with former foe Cheng Zhi, who the intelligence community believed died three years ago in prison. Cheng was last seen in 24‘s season six holding Audrey Raines-Boudreau hostage after undergoing pharmaceutical torture. He now has Audrey back in his sights and Jack needs to find him before he can use the override device to inflict any more damage — to the world and Audrey.
I think they really wanted to keep it a surprise. It’s really difficult to keep a secret and I think they know that, so they said, ‘Y’know what? Let’s contact him at the latest possible date!’
According to Ma, the original concept for Cheng when he joined the cast in season four was to be seen as the Jack Bauer of China. Now, he’s a rogue agent working for his own interests.
Back in the day – in Days 4, 5 and 6 – he was a dutiful servant of the government. Now he’s gone rogue – his whole attitude and demeanour and motivation has changed. What drives him is completely different from what he was. Back then, he had to answer to all of these people. Now he answers to no-one but himself – so that makes him a lot more dangerous!
Watch the video below to look back at Jack and Audrey’s strained love affair:
3. World War III Looms
Because Cheng used the override device for an American nuclear submarine to attack a Chinese aircraft carrier, the Chinese government is now preparing military action against the United States. Jack needs to find Cheng to prove the U.S. did not have any knowledge of the attack on the Chinese.
In the penultimate episode, Jack explained to Kate why the Russians are behind this entire scheme:
This might not be official policy. This could be an off-book intelligence op, either way the U.S. goes to war with China, Russia has a freer hand to expand into Eastern Europe.
Watch the video above to see how Jack almost caught up to Cheng in the last episode.
While trying to locate Cheng, Jack will receive a call from Chloe O’Brien to pick her up after she jumped from Cheng’s truck. The question will be whether Jack can trust his former go-to girl after she hooked up with Adrian Cross who created the override device.
4. The World Won’t be Destroyed
I don’t want to give anything away. All I’ll say is that the world does not get destroyed!
So Jack manages to do it again, but will he escape with his life is the next question. Yvonne Strahovski told St. Louis Fox 2 that Jack and others may not be breathing as the final seconds tick off.
It’s obviously going to be action-packed… There’s some twist and turns that people are not expecting. Perhaps not everyone makes it out alive. It’s going to be quite the fireworky episode.
— Cammien Ray (@CammienRay) July 13, 2014
5. Fox Hasn’t Announced If 24 Will Return Again
Last year, Fox decided to reboot the action series that made Jack Bauer a household name after it had cancelled the original 24 in 2010. Whether the network will do it again remains undetermined, but executive producer Many Coto told fans in a Reddit AMA that “there are no plans to continue the show next year”:
We remain open to the possibility. We had a great time doing it this year and would love to take another crack at it. Personally, I think 24 should return to Los Angeles for at least one more season.
The format itself is very sturdy and with the right story it can be compelling. So if a [Jack-free] story presented itself to us, we would be open to it.
24 ran for eight seasons and 194 episodes before Sutherland came to a joint decision with Gordon, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Imagine Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company to bring the show to an end. Sutherland said in a statement at the time that ending the series was “bittersweet” but playing Jack Bauer had been “a role of a lifetime.”
Wait to see if the clock continues to tick for Jack Bauer and co after Monday night.