Last night's episode pointed to a possible cure for Jack's ailment via stem cell research. Basically, all Jack needs is an immediate family member to participate in a stem cell experiment which could either cure or slow down the progress of the pathogen. I'm guessing on the latter. If you've read anything at all about this season, then you know Kim Bauer will be back and according to some online spoiler sites, she will have a child with her. Jack already stated last night that he didn't want Kim called as he put it, "I'm the one who's dying", but I'm going to guess that Kim is called in by the FBI to save Jack without his knowledge. To me, there are four theories as to how Jack could be saved or have the progress of the pathogen slowed.
1. Kim (or the child) donates stem cells to save Jack
2. Kim (or the child) donates the stem cells which slows down the pathogen to the pont where Dammit Jack can get back out in the field and do what he does best.
3. An Explosion (which apparently takes place in the next episode) at Starkwood which would force Jonas Hodges to give up the antidote to save his own people who are needed for the rest of the mission. The question here is whether or not he'd bother to save his own people.
4. Hodges fires the missles filled with the pathogen and then tries to sell President Taylor the cure in exchange for immunity.
Regardless, I feel that Jack somehow gets cured and I don't buy the fact that Season 8 begins the day after Season 7 since Kiefer Sutherland has said in interviews that Season 8 will take place exactly 6 weeks after end of Season 7, and he's been pretty honest in the past. I predict that Season 7 will end with the brutal death of Jonas Hodges (there's no way he's being taken alive) and Tony will make it out of Starkwood before President Taylor reconsiders the air strike on Starkwood. I predict that Ethan will be back as the chief of staff after Aaron Pierce outs Olivia for the lying snake that she is.
Before I get into Season 8, here's who is already on board cast wise for Season 8.
Kiefer Sutherland, Carlos Bernard (Tony), Annie Wersching (Rene), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe), and Cherry Jones (President Taylor). Anil Kapoor will play a Middle Eastern Peacekeeper as well in Season 8.
My best guess for Season 8 of 24 is that we'll see the continual decline of Jack's health (unless he's magically cured) as he tries to stop yet another terrorist of Middle Eastern descent. If Season 8 is in fact six weeks after the end of season 7, I'd guess that Jack will have finally found love with Renee Walker, but oh fate how you tempt him, it will be a short term relationship due to Jack's impending death (if he's not cured). I'd guess that Season 8 will take place in Washington again, but I'd love to see it take place in the newly reformed CTU in Los Angeles since this is supposedly the last hoorah for 24. Whether Jack is still infected or not, my best guess is that regardless, we'll see a silent clock at the end of Season 8 of 24, and that silent clock will be for Jack Bauer.