Key plot points

Jack: law-breaker or hero?

  • This is the most interesting moral debate the show throws up
  • I think this is the best character development season for Jack, as he goes from a bullish pride over his past to having to forgive himself for mistakes made during his career/life
  • Through Jack vs. most everyone else (primarily Larry, Janis and the President) with Renee as the character in the middle the season is utterly fascinating in exploring the way “Do whatever it takes” can impact upon someone
  • I really like that the show doesn’t go for the “is torture effective?” route, because barbarism has clearly been effective in every other season (see: Jack not pushing Assad’s man far enough) and it’d be silly to retcon that
  • Instead looking at the impact of it on the torturer is far more watchable

Jack’s illness

  • I think this would’ve been a really good way to end the show
  • Perhaps the only thing which falls short is how understated Jack being infected is to begin with – I love the scene in which he finds out the results, but then it’s a bit like “well yeah he’s dying, what did you expect?”
  • Jack and Kim’s scene is GOLD
  • Really sad to see Jack struggle so much throughout the final few episodes
  • Jack and Renee’s “15 people on a bus” scene is PLATINUM
  • Really love the interaction between Jack and Imam Gohar

The evolution of Renee Walker

  • Things get off to a shaky start with her – the “Do whatever it takes” at Schector’s is great, but then backing down on it the following episode is not
  • Development after this is superb: she’s dragged into Jack’s world but not fully his mindset
  • Interesting to see she doesn’t hesitate to interrogate Tanner
  • Threatening Vossler’s wife and child clearly bothers her – love her “Tomorrow” though
  • Marika’s death is the indication of their differences
  • Larry’s death breaks her and as a result, her torture of Alan Wilson feels like the inevitable final step for the season

Season 7 overall

  • This would rival season 5 if not for the final six episodes
  • They’re just so bland, so stereotypical villain plot with Tony as the villain no one believes can actually be a villain, in a villain story that isn’t engaging
  • Everything before that is magnificent
  • It feels different to the first six seasons but familiar enough; it’s energetic again 
  • Not to harp on about season 6, but season 6 felt like it was going through the motions of existence, where season 7 from start to Tony always felt like you needed to sit up and take notice