- Tony Almeida: Watched his wife die in a car-bombing, lapsed into a coma, woke up long enough to attempt to murder his wife's killer, then killed himself after losing his nerve.
- Edgar Stiles: Again failed to get out of the Friend Zone with Chloe, then died during a nerve gas attack on CTU headquarters.
- Bill Buchanan: Oversaw effort to arrest Jack Bauer for assassinating David Palmer, then quickly shifted into support of Jack as he foiled an airport hostage crisis, a gas attack on a mall, and at least one other early crisis I'm forgetting about. Relieved of duty at least once (by Karen Hayes), if not twice (by Lynn McGil); it's been a long season, so apologies if I get it wrong. Anyway, definitely sent home by Karen, then brought in for questioning in the pursuit of fugitive Chloe, then returned to defacto charge of CTU, finally asking out Karen.
- Chloe O'Brien: Woke up after an unfortunate dipping your pen in the company ink moment with a guy who would turn out to be a mole for the president's office, eluded assassination attempt by running through a pedestrian mall, helped Jack foil the airport crisis with the help of the world's most bad-ass PDA, watched Edgar die, helped Jack figure out a way out of the nerve gas crisis, subverted the Homeland Security people until she was placed under arrest, escaped the allegedly high-security CTU headquarters, helped Jack hijack a plane, tasered a drunken asshole in a bar, let Miles destroy the crucial recording, helped Jack retake a hijacked submarine and bring down the President of the United States. Oh, and potentially reunited with her charming British hacker husband.
- Jack Bauer: Ah, hell with it. Too much to list, but he started the season pretending to be a construction worker named Frank and ended it a prisoner of the Chinese government. Oh, and in between, he took down POTUS.
- Audrey Raines: Thought Jack was dead, found out he was alive, got pissed that he wasn't dead, fell back in love with him, suffered a potentially fatal stabbing from Christopher Henderson but turned out to be okay, thought her dad was dead, found out he wasn't, thought she and Jack would be together forevuh, found out he was missing. Nothing to see here.
- Curtis Manning: Deferred to Jack on a whole lot of stuff, and briefly took over CTU when Lynn had his Captain Queeg moment. Miraculously survived being Jack's season-long sidekick.
- Martha Logan: Was crazy, then she wasn't, then was crazy again, went on and off a lot of pills, flirted a lot with Aaron, seduced her husband to delay him long enough for Jack's plan to go into effect, secured the confession that brought down a presidency.
- Charles Logan: Was a craven coward, then wasn't, then a traitor, then part of some nebulous, unexplained, illogical conspiracy, got a quickie with his wife, then ran his mouth off and went to jail.
Anyway, onto the specifics of the finale. A really strong opening with the retaking of the sub (this show never goes wrong when it does straight action) and Jack executing Henderson, then a lull with occasional highlights (Martha asking not what she can do for her country), then a cool ending with Logan in custody and Jack taking the slow boat to Shanghai. After all this talk about season six taking place in a foreign city, who ever would have thought that that city might be in China, and that Jack might have to work as an agent of a foreign government to get out of what he did at the end of last season?
I look forward to Jack spending 10-15 episodes in the middle of the season flying back to LA so he can get back to hanging with Chloe and friends. Or maybe not. That last scene at CTU sure felt like we were saying goodbye to some of these characters for a while, if not forever. I know with 24, anything can happen because the writers make it up as they go along, but if Jack begins the season in a foreign country, he's going to have to spend most of the day there, away from his entire support staff. Could be cool, could get awkward in a hurry, and I'm sure I'll be there come January to see which.
Now that the season's over and I know the latest cliffhanger won't get resolved for a long time, it's time to re-evaluate Logan's heel turn. Does it make any more sense now than it did when they revealed it? Not really. I was hoping that Logan would suffer the Fallacy of the Talking Killer with either Jack or the First Lady, just long enough to explain why the hell he would do everything he did, who was pulling his strings, how long he'd been in place, etc., etc., etc. Maybe the writers will attempt to revisit this next year, with Paul McCrane (who, sadly, did not get drowned in toxic waste) coming back as the bad guy, but the big twist, while providing lots of story fodder for the second half of the season, was one of the cheaper things this show has done since the cougar.
Glad to see Jack's plan didn't really hinge on his ability to get a confession out of the Prez, because while he may be the greatest killing machine in TV history, dude cannot interrogate at all. Once he yells a few times, all he has left is a willingness to maim, which wasn't going to work here. If this were "Homicide," Jack wouldn't even be allowed in The Box. Even Sipowicz had more moves beyond slapping and threatening.
And if the Logan twist was completely illogical, it at least featured two great scenery-chewing performances by Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart. The look on Smart's face as Martha prepared to have sex with the most villainous man in the Western Hemisphere is the stuff supporting actress awards are made of.
What did everybody else think? Where do you think Day 5 stacks up in the show's run? (I watched only parts of 3 & 4, so I can't make a vote on this one.) Which bit of forgotten business from early in the season were you most annoyed they never got back to? Did you buy President Evil? Whose death saddened you most? Whose made you cheer the loudest? Fire away.