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Saturday, May 08, 2010

24 Days of "24": A Preview of the Finale

Am I a tease or what? I promised you words from Howard Gordon, “24” executive producer and showrunner, and then I didn’t give them to you…

So please accept my apology and enjoy today’s doubleshot of “24” posts. Yesterday, Gordon talked to the media via conference call about the finale, this season, the show’s legacy and a possible movie.

In this post, we’ll focus on the series finale…

Was anything special done to turn the season finale into a series finale? Gordon says no. “To me the show was always going to end how it was always going to end. There is a final moment that is very specific to the series finale. It’s not so much a plot moment. It’s a punctuation mark that I think is unique to the series finale.”

So was there a discussion of giving Jack a happy ending? “Where we wanted to leave Jack, we tried a few different endings on for size and the one we chose just felt right. We knew it when we saw it. One we tried and it didn’t work was a happily ever after for Jack. What he’s done in these last six episodes, it leaves him once again in a very compromised place morally, ethically and emotionally. This show’s a tragedy and to give Jack a happy ending just didn’t feel authentic.

The good part of Jack’s character is that we’ve never pressed reset and you feel the accumulated scars of his experience and the weight of his actions in eight years. And he’s never been able to snap back. Even when he’s happy. Even with Audrey in season four.

I don’t think that Jack is ever going to recover from what’s gone on. It just adds to the weight and complexity and the darkness of his character. And the character’s never gone happily ever after. That’s just not in his wheelhouse. And the show’s ultimately a tragedy. You have to honor that.”

So where are we headed? “The things that we’re aligning which is Chloe vs. Jack vs. President Taylor. We’re taking those characters to a place we’ve never seen them before and we knew it constituted a risk and was very challenging to write and among the actors pretty challenging to play. But it was one we think was worth taking and I think it pays off really well in the end. It’s certainly not playing it safe. But it’s very emotionally climatic and we’re pretty excited about it. It’s a color we’ve seen before but we’re kind of pressing our bet and as you’ll see in the next couple of episode we’re certainly going to be—we’re all in.

We really switched things around [with Jack, Chloe and Taylor]. But there is a resolution and I think it’s really well-earned. We’ve justified those change-ups in their characters.”

Addressing the Chloe-Jack story specifically, Gordon said, “It’s honoring this character. She’s a woman. She’s an adult. She’s a mother. She’s a wife. And now she’s a boss who’s opposed to this loyal friend that she cares about. But she also has a job to do. I think it’s resolved pretty well.”

How serious was the talk of continuing the show? “It was something I was willing to entertain as a loyal FOX employee. We always kept the door open. We did have some real conversations but when we sat down and considered it, it never really caught fire. I really believe that FOX didn’t entirely share the same concerns that we had that we’ve really come to the creative end of the story and we want to end as close to the top as we possibly can.”

When someone asked Gordon about the moments from this season that he’s most proud of, he answered, “The moment I’m most proud of is the very last one which obviously you haven’t seen yet. It was something I’m really really happy with.”

If you’re looking for a spoiler, the closest Gordon got to spilling one was this. He told us that one of the props he kept from the show is a very special pen that was used to sign the peace treaty.

Next up, we’ll hear from Gordon about the possible “24” movie…

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX