Victor Drazen, Season 1: Died Between 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Stupid Drazen. You don't provoke Jack Bauer on purpose and live to tell about it—especially not when you run out of bullets. Duh.
Marshall Goren, Season 2: Died Between 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
CTU was going to give federal witness Marshall Goren a pass for his crimes in exchange for testimony. But damnit, Jack needed a severed head for an undercover mission, and Goren just so happened to be a child pornography enthusiast. Win-win! Bonus: This scene features the quote of the season: "I'm gonna need a hacksaw."
Nina Meyers, Season 3: Died Between 2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.
Audiences had to wait more than a year to see the traitorous Nina, who killed Jack's wife in the final hour of Season 1, finally get hers. Jack should have emptied the clip.
Ryan Chappelle, Season 3: Died Between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 am
This is what you call over-relying on Jack, who was ordered to kill head of CTU Ryan Chappelle by President David Palmer in order to prevent a terrorist threat. (The President! Ordering a murder!) Chappelle asked for the dignity of being able to shoot himself, but chickened out, forcing Jack to shoot him in the back of the head.
Vladimir Bierko, Season 5: Died Between 5:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.
Ah yes, the first use of the Bauer thighs to kill. Terrorists, if you're going to immobilize Bauer, tie all of him up. You don't want him to have to use his legs.
Christopher Henderson, Season 5: Died between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Christopher Henderson recruited Jack into CTU, mentored him on how to torture (take out the knees first!). Traitor or not, you'd think he'd be a little smarter. You kill three of Jack's friends, you're going to die.
Unnamed Fayed Terrorist Friend, Season 6: Died Between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
No hands? No feet? No problem. The powerful Bauer jaws are equally deadly. So long jugular.
Abu Fayed, Season 6: Died Between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
It's not all about bullets and brute strength. Jack may not be one for fireworks, but he can be creative when he wants. Witness the death of uber-terrorist Abu Fayed, whose neck gets swaddled in chains and hung by hydraulics.
John Quinn, Season 7: Died Between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
A ninja-like assassin, John put up quite a fight. It took Jack, a tractor-trailer, and one well-positioned screwdriver to take him out.
Dana Walsh, Season 8: Died Between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Renee Walker's death is the beginning of the end for Jack—and unfortunately for this season's CTU mole, Dana Walsh, he's fresh out of humanity. Assassinated minutes after she and Jack made sweet, sweet love, Renee was the third of his lovers to become a casualty of his job. Dana, though only loosely involved with Renee's death, paid the price.
Bob Cochran, who helped give Jack Bauer life, picks 24 best moments for TheWrap as series ends
By Eric Estrin
Published: May 23, 2010
The Big Four networks have set their lineups for the 2010-11 TV season in primetime. TheWrap has a look at the new shows, in the order in which they'll appear on the week's schedule, starting with Monday. For the complete fall schedule, click here.
When Bob Cochran and Joel Surnow developed their ambitious pitch for a real-time TV series set in the world of counter-terrorism, they could have had no idea that eight weeks before the first episode was set to air, the nation would be plunged into exactly the kind of horrific turmoil the show would be exploring for the next eight years.
But that’s what happened when “24” premiered on Nov. 6, 2001.
Somehow, viewers put aside their anger and confusion over world events long enough to embrace the show’s gritty escapism, making “24,” which wraps its eight-season run Monday night with a special, two-hour finale, a cultural phenomenon and a major hit for Fox.
Cochran, who left the series during Season 6, and executive producer Howard Gordon, who ran it since early in the first season, sat down with The Wrap to choose the 24 greatest moments in the “24” pantheon, presented here in chronological order.
So you’d better start reading; we’re on the clock --
The first episode begins with words on a screen and the low-key voice of Special Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland): “The following takes place between midnight and 1 a.m. on the day of the California presidential primary. Events occur in real time.”
Those last four simple words signified a historic experiment in TV storytelling. Never before or since has a series taken place without cutting ahead or flashing back in time.
2. Mile-high terror
SEASON 1 | Episode 1 | Date: Nov. 6, 2001
A man and woman flirt on an international flight. We’ve been told there will be an attempt on the President’s life, and this guy looks suspicious. But it’s the seemingly airhead woman who’s the terrorist, which we find out when she steals his press card during sex in the bathroom, jabs a flight attendant in the neck with a hypodermic needle, sets off a time-bomb and ditches via parachute just before the plane blows to bits.
The scene was chosen not for its gripping suspense and cool special effects, but because it establishes a pattern of misdirection frequently seen on the show. Nothing is ever as it seems.
3. Trust no one
SEASON 1 | Episode 6 | Date: Dec. 18, 2001
Jack’s daughter Kim and her friend Janet York have been kidnapped. Janet’s father Alan has been running all over town with Jack’s wife Teri looking for them. When he finally finds the girl and gets some time alone with her, he kills her. We later learn he wasn’t really her father, a misconception we’d been laboring under for five episodes.
Cochran: “This was one of those early scenes that established a pattern right from the beginning that this show’s not going where you think.”
4. Nina, the mole
SEASON 1 | Episode23 | Date: May 14, 2002
We’ve been puzzling all season long over the identity of a traitor within CTU, the fictional Counter Terrorism Unit where Jack Bauer works.
When we see villain Andre Drazen talking with his inside source on the phone, we know the next face we see will be that of the mole. On the other end of the call, speaking to Drazen in Serbian, is Jack’s second in command and former lover, Nina Myers.
Gordon: “We always tried to think of what was the last thing the audience could possibly expect to happen, and then we’d try to make that happen. We’d have to go back and retrofit to set up clues to how the surprises were possible. But we’d always satisfy the requirements -- or at least it seemed that way in our frantic moments of desperation.”
5. A Split in the White House
SEASON 1 | Episode 24 | Date: May21, 2002
First Lady Sherry Palmer (Penny Johnson Jerald) became one of the great characters in the show’s history, not only because her Shakespearean ambitions blinded her to everything else, but also because of the effect she had on her husband. When David catches her trying to destroy evidence in the scandal surrounding their son, the two have it out. Her behavior here ultimately leads to their divorce.
Gordon: “When they fight, we we can see her point of view -- that he’d have gotten nowhere without her and has been sort of off-loading the dirty work onto his wife. The façade between them falls away, and the vulnerability and anger was really chilling. It was an interesting moment of revelation on both parts.”
6. Death hits home
SEASON 1 | Episode24 | Date: May21, 2002
In one of the show’s signature moments, Nina kills the person who discovers she is the mole: Jack’s wife Teri Bauer. This scene was picked for two reasons: 1) it signified that any character, no matter how beloved or vital to the story, is fair game, and 2) it set Jack on a downward emotional spiral that lasted well into the next season.
7. How far will Jack go? Nope, farther than that
SEASON 2 | Episode 25 | Date: Oct. 29, 2002
The season opens with the still-grief-stricken Jack being summoned back to CTU to stop a terror group from detonating a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Deciding to infiltrate the group, he orders one of its sleazeball rivals brought in, and he murders him right in front of the shocked head of CTU. He then moves forward with a plan to deliver the corpse’s head to the suspected nuclear terror group.
This scene was chosen as an early example of Jack going to extremes, then immediately topping himself, which he does by eyeing the dead sleazeball’s neck and announcing, “I’m gonna need a hacksaw.” The line quickly becomes part of the Jack Bauer lexicon.
SEASON 2 | Episode 35 | Date: Feb. 4, 2003
Kate Warner, with whom Jack develops a romantic relationship, is concerned that her sister Marie’s fiancé Reza is a terrorist. In fact, it’s Marie who is the terrorist, which we find out when she suddenly kills Reza.
Her last words to him before the fatal shots: “I’m sorry, you really are sweet.” The producers liked this one as another example of the series’ legendary misdirection.
SEASON 2 | Episode 39 | Date: Mar. 4, 2003
In our years of TV viewing, we’ve seen many heroes disarm many bombs, preventing many massive explosions in the nick of time. So that’s what audiences are expecting when, in the season’s 15th hour, the clock ticks down on an impending nuclear disaster. Wrong.
The producers chose this scene to illustrate the show’s willingness to break unwritten rules. They also liked the drama of Jack, saying goodbye to his daughter and volunteering to sacrifice his life by flying the bomb into a relatively safe spot in the desert. He learns in mid-flight that George Mason, the head of CTU who had previously been exposed to deadly nuclear radiation, has stowed away on the plane. Mason takes over the controls on the fatal flight, sacrificing himself so Jack can escape unharmed.
10. Palmer removed from office
SEASON 2 | Episode 45 | Date: Apr. 29, 2003
How closely did the show’s story lines hew to real events? The hounding of President David Palmer by political enemies and special interests seemed an obvious extension of Bill Clinton’s old troubles. The revelation that these same forces were pushing the U.S. into a retaliatory war on trumped-up evidence predated widespread awareness of similar events from the George W. Bush administration.
The producers picked the scene in which Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) is forced from office because in clinging to his principals under such extreme conditions, he wins a level of audience affection enjoyed by no other character, with the possible exceptions of Jack and Chloe.
11. Jack home-schools Kim
SEASON 2 | Episode 46 | Date: May 6, 2003
Kim temporarily knocks out Gary Matheson, the murderous father of the child she’s been caring for. Hysterical, she calls her father for help. As Matheson revives, Jack demands that she shoot him, forcefully talking her through the ordeal. Matheson is still breathing, so Jack makes her shoot him again.
The intensity of the two actors -- Elisha Cuthbert’s barely controlled hysteria playing against Sutherland’s forced emotional restraint -- earned this scene’s place on the list. Gordon: “The show lived in these hyper-suspenseful, emotional moments. Where others would have cut away, we’d always try to let them play out.
12. Michelle takes a stand
SEASON 3 | Episode 64 | Date: Mar. 30, 2004
A terrorist unleashes a deadly virus, using a hotel as a crucible to prove his murderous intent. CTU agent Michelle Dessler (Reyko Aylesworth) tries to maintain order, but the situation gives rise to extreme behavior as people are beginning to die. Michelle has put the hotel under quarantine and is forced to shoot an otherwise innocent guest who tries to escape. The scene hammers home the “24” theme that individuals must sometimes be sacrificed for the common good and proves that point on the back of a sympathetic agent under duress.
13. Execution of Ryan Chappelle
SEASON 3 | Episode 66 | Date: Apr. 18, 2004
His hand forced by terrorists, President Palmer orders Jack to kill CTU director Ryan Chappelle. We can’t conceive they’ll actually go through with this, but it’s exactly what happens. Jack takes Chappelle out to the train yard, and when the doomed Chappelle is unable to pull the trigger himself, he gets down on his knees and allows Jack to plug him in the back of the head.
According to Gordon, Sutherland often mentions this scene as one of the toughest moments he ever had to play on the show.
14. Air Force One shot down
SEASON 4 | Episode 88 | Date: Apr. 4, 2005
Terrorist mastermind Habib Marwan has hired a mercenary pilot to steal a stealth fighter and shoot down Air Force One carrying President Keeler toward Los Angeles from Mexico. Jack gets the pilot on the radio but can’t force him to abort the mission. The presidential jet goes down over the Mojave Desert, gravely injuring Keeler and forcing his removal from office.
With all of Jack Bauer’s heroics, producers needed to give him some epic failures to keep things real, and this was among the biggest.
15. Chloe gets her hands dirty
SEASON 4 | Episode 91 | Apr. 25, 2005
CTU’s resident IT superstar Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is ordered into the field to retrieve some intel from a suspect’s computer. Almost immediately, the agents protecting her are murdered, and Chloe finds herself under siege. She escapes through the house, out a window and into a car with bulletproof glass, but she doesn’t have the keys. As her assailant prepares to ram the car, Chloe jumps out with a rifle and fires repeatedly, killing him.
Chloe began life on the series as a brilliant, maladjusted techno-nerd, but through her added layers of depth and loyalty to Jack, she gradually became the one of the show’s most beloved characters. This scene helps establish her street-cred, putting her in position to eventually take over as acting head of CTU in Season 8.
16. Death of Paul Raines
SEASON 4 | Episode 92 | Date: May 2, 2005
Jack’s relationship with Audrey Raines takes a big hit when he feels he has to torture her ex-husband Paul, who turns out to be innocent. Paul forgives him and in fact, later takes a bullet for him, saving Jack’s life. So how is he rewarded? With Audrey looking on, Jack forces a surgeon at gunpoint to abandon Paul and operate instead on a criminal informant. Paul dies minutes later.
The producers continually search for new ways to torture Jack emotionally as penance for the physical torture he dishes out. By making him cause the death of the hero and rival who saved his life, they hit a new high.
17. Assassination of David Palmer
SEASON 5 | Episode 97 | Date: Jan. 15, 2006
Minutes into the season’s first episode, former President David Palmer is writing his memoirs in his brother’s L.A. apartment, when he’s killed by a sniper’s bullet. His death becomes the lynchpin to the entire season, forcing Jack back to work for CTU after he had gone underground with a new identity.
It sets off a rapid-fire chain of events, including a record three moments that make this list.
18. Michelle killed by car bomb
SEASON 5 | Episode 97 | Date: Jan. 15, 2006
Jack faked his death at the end of the previous season, and only four people know he’s still alive: Palmer, Chloe, Michelle and Tony. But someone else knows too -- someone who wants to frame Jack for the murder of all four. The first domino to fall after Palmer is Michelle, blown up outside her home in an explosion meant to kill Tony too. This moment changes Tony forever, driving him to desperate measures in his search for revenge.
19. Martha Logan gets ready for her close-up
SEASON 5 | Episode 97 | Date: Jan. 15, 2006
“24” may be known for suspense, gritty violence and political intrigue, but producers also took pride in drawing unique, multi-dimensional characters.
One of the best was First Lady Martha Logan (Jean Smart), a cross between the Nixon era’s Martha Mitchell and Blanche DuBois. She’s introduced here, having her makeup and hair done, looking at herself in a mirror and announcing to her aide’s dismay, ” I look like a wedding cake,” before dunking her head in the sink and asking to start over.
Gordon chose this scene because it quickly establishes Martha as bold, likable and emotionally volatile -- traits that later come into play as she becomes an unreliable whistle-blower against her husband’s conspiracy.
20. Collateral damage
SEASON 5 | Episode 107 | Date: Mar. 6, 2006
Jack goes to the home of his old mentor-turned-bad, Christopher Henderson to search for proof that Henderson sold nerve gas to terrorists. In an attempt to make Henderson talk, Jack shoots and injures his innocent wife Miriam, an old friend who had cared for Jack’s daughter Kim when Jack was presumed dead.
This scene highlights how far Jack is willing to go to track down those responsible for David Palmer’s murder. In fact, he does have limits, which we see here when he backs off his threat to cripple Miriam with the next shot, even though Henderson still refuses to talk.
21. Death of Edgar Stiles
SEASON 5 | Episode 108 | Date: Mar. 6, 2006
Edgar (Louis Lombardi), Chloe’s misfit male CTU counterpart, is unable to make it into one of the sealed-off safe rooms when CTU is attacked with poison nerve gas. Chloe and others watch in agony through the windows, unable to help, as Edgar falls to the ground, dying. In Edgar’s honor, the producers took the unusual step of silencing the episode’s final ticking clock. Gordon says he didn’t realize how affecting that scene would be, and it was made all the more powerful by Chloe’s devastation.
Episode 124 ends with the detonation of a suitcase nuke in Valencia. Ramping up the stakes from the Season 2 nuke in the desert, this one’s in a populated area, and casualties are high. Jack, seemingly defeated, tells his boss to apologize to the President; he can’t take any more and he’s quitting.
Still stunned by the carnage when the next episode begins, Jack spots a helicopter precariously perched on a rooftop with someone trapped inside and moves into action as if by rote.
He saves the man moments before the chopper falls to the ground and explodes.
Gordon chose this two-part scene because it says something about Jack and about the human condition: “The magnitude of the event overwhelmed him and he was adamant about quitting. It took that one micro-event of saving the man’s life to get him back.”
23. The new Tony
SEASON 7 | Episode 145 | Date: Jan. 11, 2009
We last saw CTU agent Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) being killed in Season 5 as he sought revenge for the death of his wife, Michelle. Now he turns up alive -- and he’s turned bad. Gordon said the creative team was aware that some might deem this bit of retro-engineering Tony’s survival a jump-the-shark moment for the show, but the dramatic impact of his return was well worth the potential backlash. In fact, producers first conceived the character as someone else -- Gary Oldman was discussed for the role -- but they decided bringing back Tony would have more emotional resonance.
SEASON 8 | Episode 192
Despite the fact that a script has reportedly been written for an upcoming “24” movie and that Sutherland has been talking it up in the press, Gordon refused to confirm for the record that Bauer survives the show’s final two hours. He does promise that the creators give the character a fittingly dark but satisfying sendoff that deserves a spot on this list. Only time will tell if we agree.
Let's be honest: Jack Bauer is a man of action, and because of that, sometimes few words are necessary. Or, if Jack has you in the midst of one of his special brands of Jack torture, even possible. But occasionally, even the man of action, and those around him, know that it's important to use words, so, from eight seasons of '24,' here's 24 of the best quotes:
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), introducing the action in season 1: "I'm Federal Agent Jack Bauer, and today is the longest day of my life." Day 1, '12:00AM-1:00AM' Jack on why he blew the whistle on some of his fellow federal agents: "You can look the other way once, and it's no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that's all you're doing; compromising, because that's the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren't, they weren't bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised. Once." Day 1, '12:00AM-1:00AM'
Jack, uttering his favorite phrase of frustration, which he's used so frequently that it sparked a drinking game: "Damn it!" Day 1, '3:00AM-4:00AM' (the first time Jack says it)
Jack, describing in vivid detail, how he'll carry out a torture session: "You probably don't think that I can force this towel down your throat. But trust me, I can. All the way. Except I'd hold onto this one little bit at the end. When your stomach starts to digest it, I pull it out. Taking your stomach lining with it. For most people it would take about a week to die. It's very painful." Day 1, '10:00AM-11:00AM'
Jack on, ahem, dismantling a guy he'd just killed: "I'm gonna need a hacksaw." Day 2, '8:00AM-9:00AM'
Jack, telling the evil Nina Meyers (Sarah Clarke) about his wife, Teri (Leslie Hope), who Nina had murdered: "The Sunday before you killed my wife, Teri and I went to the boardwalk in Venice, just watching all the rollerbladers and musicians, laughing at the crazy people, spending time together. And Teri sees this sno-cone stand. She giggles like a kid. She takes off running, she wants to get in line, she wants one. I remember I was watching her, I was just ... I couldn't help myself. When I look up at her, she's talking to this old lady in line behind her, and the two of them are laughing, and I'm thinking to myself, 'How the hell does she do that? How does she strike up a conversation with an absolute stranger?' And they just start laughing. Like they'd been friends forever. That's a gift. I remember thinking, 'God, I wish I could do that.' But I can't. That was Teri. My wife. That's what you took from this world, Nina. That's what you took from me and my daughter. I just wanted you to know that." Day 2, '3:00PM-4:00PM'
Jack and Nina, discussing Teri's murder:
Nina: "It didn't have to be like this, Jack. I never meant for this to be personal."
Jack: "It felt pretty personal when you killed my wife." Day 2, '5:00PM-6:00PM'
George Mason (Xander Berkeley), trying to talk Jack out of a suicide mission aboard an airplane with a nuclear weapon inside: "Come on, Jack, you've had a death wish ever since Teri died. The way things have been going for you the past year and a half, this probably doesn't look like such a bad idea. You get to go out in a blaze of glory, one of the greatest heroes of all time, leave your troubles behind. You still have a life, Jack. You wanna be a real hero, here's what you do: you get back down there, and you put the pieces together. You find a way to forgive yourself for what happened to your wife. You make things right with your daughter, and you go on serving your country. That'd take some real guts." Day 2, '10:00PM-11:00PM'
Jack: "You have no idea how far I'm willing to go to acquire your cooperation." Day 3, '7:00AM-8:00AM'
Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), while dealing with a difficult Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub): "Chloe, I'm getting real tired of your personality." Day 3, '8:00AM-9:00AM'
Mexican drug lord Ramon Salazar (Joaquim de Almeida), on Jack's resilience: "That man has more lives than a cat." Day 3, '9:00PM-10:00PM'
CTU honcho Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) to CTU tech whiz Chloe: "We're in an active code, Chloe. We don't have time for your personality disorder." Day 4, '3:00AM-4:00AM'
James Heller (William Devane) to his son, Richard (Logan Marshall-Green), on Richard's anti-war beliefs: "Spare me your sixth-grade Michael Moore logic!" Day 4, '7:00AM-8:00AM'
Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce (Glenn Morshower), showing his disgust with President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) by addressing him by his first name: "There is nothing you have said or done that is acceptable to me in the least. You're a traitor to this country and a disgrace to your office. And it's my duty to see that you're brought to justice for what you've done. Is there anything else, Charles?" Day 5, '4:00AM-5:00AM'
Jack to weaselly President Logan: "Mr. Logan, I'm not going to torture you. But you're going to tell me what I want to know, or so help me, God ... I will kill you. A year and a half ago, I was warned that my life was in danger, by someone within the government. I was told the only way I could stay alive was to create the illusion that I was dead. I was forced to deceive people that I loved. My only daughter will never forgive me. As I see the depth of your corruption unfold, I have no doubt that you are that source of danger. David Palmer was a great man, and he was a great president! But he was also my friend. He tried to warn me about you, and now he is dead. Other people tried to help me, and they are dead, too. So Mr. Logan, I hope you understand ... I have absolutely nothing to lose. You are going to be held accountable for your part of everything that happened today. You are not going to be able to hide behind the presidency ... right here, right now, you are going to face justice! And make no mistake about this, this is personal. And if you think for a second that I am scared to put a bullet in your brain, you don't know me. I am going to ask you one last time. Who are your co-conspirators? You have until the count of three, or I will kill you." Day 5, '6:00AM-7:00AM'
Martha Logan (Jean Smart) on her overdone look, before dropping her just styled face and hair into a sink full of water: "I look like a wedding cake!" Day 5, '7:00AM-8:00AM'
Jack: "The only reason you're still conscious is because I don't want to carry you." Day 5, '8:00AM-9:00AM'
Jack: "You're going to tell me what I want to know. It's just a question of how much you want it to hurt." Day 5, '8:00AM-9:00AM'
Chloe, apologizing. Sorta. Or maybe not: Chloe: "I was unfairly harsh to you a few minutes ago, I didn't mean anything." Spencer: "Alright. Apology accepted." Chloe: "It wasn't really an apology, it was more of an observation." Day 5, '11:00AM-12:00PM'
Jack to Bill Buchanan, after Jack had to shoot co-worker Curtis Manning (Roger Cross): "Tell the president I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore." Day 6, '9:00AM-10:00AM'
Jack, advising Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) on how to decide whether to follow your conscience or the rules: "You took an oath. You made a promise to uphold the law. When you cross that line, it always starts off with a small step. Before you know it, you're running as fast as you can in the wrong direction just to justify why you started in the first place. These laws were written by much smarter men than me. And in the end, I know that these laws have to be more important than the 15 people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind, I know that's right. I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with that. I guess the only advice I can give you is... try to make choices that you can live with." Day 7, '7:00AM-8:00AM'
Jack, in a Senate hearing about possible human rights violations by CTU: "I am more than willing to be judged by the people you claim to represent. I will let them decide what price I should pay. But please do not sit there with that smug look on your face and expect me to regret the decisions I have made. Because, sir, the truth is ... I don't." Day 7, '8:00AM-9:00AM'
Jack, to baddie Pavel. Before gutting him: Pavel: "Go to Hell." Jack: "You first." Day 8, '12:00AM-1:00AM'
MINOR SPOILER ALERT: This is uttered by Jack in the May 24 series finale, 8PM ET, on Fox:
"I would have accepted justice by law. But that was taken from me. I am judge and jury."
"2. Most Apropos Send-Off: In the end, 24's series finale contains all the show's hallmark plot elements: the exposure of a cover-up, a trusted ally and implausible surveillance equipment. After President Taylor admits her role in the Russians' wrongdoings, she offers Jack a head-start to leave the country. Jack, whose image is on giant, Truman Show-like monitors at CTU's makeshift HQ, has a teary, almost romantic goodbye, with Chloe, after which she switches off the monitor and the clock counts backward down to zero. Now about that movie..."
The final two hours of the series start off a little slow, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The politics of the day are summed up pretty quickly with Logan’s (Gregory Itzin) call to the President. Jack is out for blood, and is working his way up the food chain. The conspiracy to derail the peace process and all the collateral damage it has caused is a direct result of President Suvarov’s (Nick Jameson) orders.
One of the more telling scenes in the first hour comes when Jack decides to kidnap Jason Pillar, (Reed Diamond) and use him to gain access to a U.N. building. I have to say that Pillar’s transition from a tough as nails field commander to a shivering coward was pretty convincing. The look on his face when Jack (Keifer Sutherland) reminds him that torture is not out of the question is priceless. What was hilarious to me was how Jack produces a suture kit, and forces Pillar to “suture me up” while pointing a gun at his head. You could imagine the man wetting himself at any moment.
In the previous episode, Meredith’s call to Hassan’s daughter stirs up trouble.
Presented with the possibility that the Russians may be involved with her husband’s murder, Dalia Hassan (Necar Zadegan) confronts President Taylor (Cherry Jones) with the rumor. The President is forced to make her first hard decision without consulting with Ethan, or Logan. She fights back tears summoning the strength to use blackmail as a last ditch effort to save the treaty. Mid sentence, she finds her composure and issues her ultimatum: sign the treaty, or we will wipe you off the face of the planet. This season has boasted some pretty powerful dialogue for the women on the show, which isn’t a surprise for 24 in particular, but atypical for an action series aimed at men. Allison Taylor has been my favorite president since David Palmer (Dennis Haybert). She plays the role legitimately, and there’s not a moment you don’t believe she is the president.
After Cole and Chloe discover Jack is inside their perimeter and likely getting set up to kill the President Suvarov, Chloe decides to go after Jack alone. I did like the way Chloe searches the building like someone with no experience holding a gun, much less sneaking up on a trained operative.
But when she tries to convince Jack that what he is doing is wrong, we see the side of Chloe we’ve come to expect—she’s direct, argumentative, and won’t take no for an answer. We change gears here, as Chloe is successful in talking Jack down. They come up with a plan to get the evidence out in the open that doesn’t involve Jack killing President Suvarov. I, for one, would have liked to see Jack carry out his assassination, then
somehow escape capture once again.
The emotional weight of the day’s events begins to take hold when President Taylor watches Jack’s would-be suicide video. She can no longer silence her conscience, and is forced to expose the truth at the expense of the peace treaty, and her government.
With the bombshell dropped, Logan senses the end game is near. In a final act of cowardice, he kills his right hand man Pillar, before turning the gun on himself. He assumes that without Pillar, no one other than Presidents Taylor and Subarov would know enough to put the dagger in his legacy. Gregory Itzin was a brilliant casting choice for this season, and he did not disappoint.
The final scene sets the stage for the much-anticipated movie. President Taylor gets a chance to apologize and make peace with Jack, and Chloe gets to say goodbye. I’m glad the series finished up strong, with great writing and excellent performances. I don’t know how they’re going to modify the format of the show to fit within the confines of a two-hour movie, but I’m sure they’ll come up with something.
Kiefer Sutherland has said he will be "indebted" to hit TV show 24 for the rest of his life.
The star said playing agent Jack Bauer in the series - which is coming to an end next month - was "the greatest education I've ever had as an actor".
Kiefer Sutherland said 24 has been a great experience
He said: "I don't know why, but somewhere in the early 80s the adage of less was more really took hold with regards to actors and how they would map out their careers. It took something like 24 to get me out of the mindset that less was more, and the reality of working 14 hours a day, five days a week, 10 months of the year for nine years straight, it gave me everything."
Kiefer, who will reprise the role in a 24 movie, went on: "It allowed me to break down a script in a way that I certainly wasn't capable of doing before.
"It allowed me to see pitfalls and traps that I could not identify as clearly as before and then most importantly, it gave me a sense of confidence that I will be indebted to the experience that is 24 for the rest of my life."
Fresh off his wicked-cool 24 comeback, Gregory Itzin has booked a multi-episode arc on the new USA Network drama Covert Affairs as — get this — a good guy!
Sources confirm to me exclusively that Itzin has been cast as Henry Wilcox, the distinguished former Director of Clandestine Services and the father of Sendhil Ramamurthy’s character, Jai.
Additionally, Affairs has recruited ER vet Eriq La Salle — who’s also coming off a brief 24 stint — to guest star as a former East Africa operative who quit the agency after suffering a nervous breakdown.
Despite numerous attempts on the CIA’s part to bring him back into the fold, La Salle’s ex-spy has resisted each one.
Affairs, which stars Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham, premieres on July 13.
It would be nice to say, of "24," that nothing in its life became it like the leaving it, to borrow a tribute from "Macbeth." The trouble is, that would be far from true. Whole seasons like the incomparable fourth, a spellbinder about an Islamic terrorist group in California brimming with superbly conceived characters, argue otherwise. Who can forget, say, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Dina, a member of a suburban sleeper-network plotting a nuclear meltdown designed to wipe out millions of Americans, or Arnold Vosloo as Marwan, the chief plotter?
Still, there were reasons for the distinct sense of satisfaction which "24" managed to stir up in viewers in its final hours. It could easily have gone otherwise, but no one with any memory of great series that have departed badly, or at least strangely—try Tony and Carmela Soprano and children, gathered in that restaurant when the screen goes suddenly, shockingly, to black—has to be told that. Among its achievements, the "24" finale delivered—the first time in its long run—the show's first persuasive rendering of the bonds of love.
Both the writers and Kiefer Sutherland, skillful in so much, were at their weakest when attempting the portrayal of a love-sick Bauer, a Bauer happily married, a Bauer in the throes of a last great passion—this for FBI agent Renee Walker, who ends up murdered by Russian agents. The plain fact was that Agent Bauer—viewers of "24" surely understood by the end, if not well before—didn't do romance. When scripts required him to do so they waited it out till Jack got back to doing what he was supposed to do—pursue the plotters, extort the intelligence, save the nation.
All the more right, and wonderful, that the one and only love scene in "24" to come flaming to life on-screen was that between Jack and his staunch friend and ally of many years, Chloe O'Brian (played inimitably, as Mary Lynn Rajskub has always played her)—and that it should have been ignited by a hellish, bloody encounter. One, furthermore, in which Chloe is forced to shoot Jack, at his command. Forget why—nobody cared.
Like most of the series' action scenes and accompanying mad stretches of reason, it worked. It would lead to that farewell scene, one without standard romantic overtones, but passionate nonetheless in its picture of love between comrades-in-arms: Jack, clutching the ubiquitous cellphone in his blood-stained hands; the tearful Chloe, monosyllabic as ever, even now.
Characters like hers, sustained with such sterling consistency over eight seasons, don't yield for anything as trifling as heartbreak.
There were few such cases of enduring loyalty and love in this series so flavorfully saturated with plotters, would-be mass murderers, opportunists and enablers. One of the most distinguished of these creations, the indefatigable former President Charles Logan—a character now and forever owned by Gregory Itzin—bolstered the last few episodes of "24" with his return. He was, as ever, a delectable presence—it was hard to get enough of those eyes, at once piercing and dead, and that loopy but never less than ominous neck thrust. Not many actors have been able to say so much with a neck as Mr. Itzin can. Logan was there, of course, in a last-ditch quest for political power—with his way in to be that other unforgettable character, President Allison Taylor.
Critics who found a political slant in the series—some suggested that Jack Bauer's triumphs encouraged torture of terror suspects, and that the show inflamed anti-Muslim sentiments—weren't much appeased when the producers responded, midway through the series, by avoiding plots about Islamic terror operations and focused instead on lethal threats from the Chinese, from Mexicans drug lords and, everywhere, Russians. All, to be sure, with some greed-crazed American operator at the heart of each threat, to even things out racially and ethnically. Still, the show never quite reformed enough to satisfy those critics.
Their minds couldn't have been much changed by the introduction of President Taylor (Cherry Jones), a wonderful caricature of virtue run amok, lurching dreamily around the White House, planning for world peace and harmony. By this last season of "24," the warm-hearted, caring president is making determined plans for a deal with terrorists that would sacrifice the lives of millions of New Yorkers—a move, she explained, that would secure peace in the wider world. Not much later, President Taylor was aglow over a treaty that would bring peace to a certain region of the world where it had never before existed. Don't ask.
In the interests of ensuring that the signing of this treaty will go forward, the president was willing to jail journalists, to overlook criminal conspiracies and even for a time, countenance murder—because, as she kept explaining (and Ms. Jones was impeccable in her grasp of this character), all that was in the interest of a higher good. Peace at any price, she meant.
Seldom has television offered so lethal a picture of delusion in high places, of idealism that knows no bounds and recognizes no realities, and painted it with such zest. Not a bad way for this extraordinary series to leave the field.
The series finale of 24 airs on Fox tonight at 8 pm et/pt. Kiefer Sutherland, whose career was resurrected out of the straight to DVD ashes thanks to the series, explains why this was the perfect time to end 24, a franchise that is now being developed into a feature length film.
There are many reasons of why the show has been a success for all these years put Sutherland made a point to us that its the writers that made 24 the success that it was. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR BELOW TO HEAR KIEFER SUTHRLAND)
AddictedTo24 Comment: If this is accurate about 24 and the Emmys this year, WHAT A TRAVESTY!!
May 25, 2010 | 8:51am
The series finale of "24" delivered the show's trademark mix of action and drama as it wrapped up another eventful day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). This year, the rogue spy battled both friends and foes before ending the day facing exile.
Manycritics have hailed the creative resurgence of this onetime perennial Emmy Awards contender. However, neither of our two Emmy experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awards Heaven) -- foresee an awards comeback for
For its fifth season in 2006, "24" finally won best drama series and Sutherland reigned as best actor. In 2007, Season 6 was deemed a disappointment, and the show failed to contend for the drama series Emmy for the first time in its run. Although "24" had made the top 10 -- as determined by a popular vote of TV academy members -- the sample episodes failed to impress the judging panel enough for the show to make it through to the final round of nominees. Then-reigning champ Sutherland did contend again in the best actor race, for the sixth year in a row, but lost to James Spader ("Boston Legal").
After being benched in 2008 because of the writers strike, the former Emmy powerhouse made a lackluster return to the race in 2009, failing to score bids for either series or TV movie ("24: Redemption"). Sutherland, who was a fixture in the best actor in a drama series category, was snubbed for the first time in the show's seven years. He had to make do with a nod in the TV movie actor race for "24: Redemption" and lost to Brendan Gleeson ("Into the Storm").
Boomer and Rob agree that reigning champ "Mad Men" will contend again this year, as will "Breaking Bad," "Damages" and "Dexter." Boomer believes freshman hit "The Good Wife" and the departing "Lost" will also make the ballot, while Rob thinks "House, M.D." and "Big Love" will round out the roster. Rob thinks Sutherland has an outside chance of making the top six in the crowded lead actor race this year, while Boomer ranks reigning champ Cherry Jones -- who portrayed America's first female president -- in the sixth slot in the supporting actress category.
Maria Elena Fernandez delivers a must-read wrap-up of the series, including interviews with exec producer Howard Gordon and fan favorites Mary Lynn Rajskub (the stalwart Chloe) and Gregory Itzin (the slippery ex-president).
Photo: Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in the finale of "24." Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox
Spoiler alert: Do not read if you have not seen the series finale of "24."
The following took place between Nov. 6, 2001, and May 24, 2010.
HBO’s exclusive reign over complex, meaningful series that had the Big Screen’s production values ceased the moment Jack Bauer and his ticking clock were introduced to TV viewers.
An undercover government agent who fought terrorism at a time when that term had gained painful meaning in the United States, Jack Bauer easily became the action hero of the decade — in large part because of Kiefer Sutherland’s alternately vulnerable and ferocious performance.
That Sutherland even wanted to be on TV at the time was big news, but what he did with the role, transforming a federal agent into a TV icon while giving his own career a complete makeover, also inspired ambitious, serialized storytelling across the TV dial.
For that, I thank you very much, Jack/Kiefer Sutherland. But enough with the show-biz blah blah blah.
No more Jack Bauer to look forward to in January, but somehow I still feel protected. Jack is out there, running, sweating, bleeding, and taking care of us. I know this because Jack looked back at me through the giant CTU computer screen and telepathically said, “I have to run, but everything’s going to be OK.”
“That’s exactly right,” executive producer Howard Gordon told me last week, when I said I was sad “24” was over but that I felt oddly optimistic. “You don’t have to be too sad.”
For one thing, we all know there’s a “24” movie in the works. But franchise afterlife aside, all season long Jack seemed to be hurling himself toward a horribly tragic ending. I never thought we’d see him die. But with all of his horrific acts — killing an unarmed woman, dissecting a live man’s abdomen to retrieve a SIM card — it all seemed to point toward a truly depressing ending for him, perhaps in solitary confinement or commitment to a psychiatric ward.
Instead, Jack is on the run. And yes, we’ve seen him on the run before, but this time his status as a hero is seriously diminished, and his sense of self-worth is completely in the toilet. Even worse: There will be no Grandpa Jack. President Taylor (the unstoppable Cherry Jones) has given him a head start to flee, but that comes with the price of solitude. So this is not a happy ending.
But it sort of is for the fans — because we still have him. Right?
“I’ve often said, like with Tony Soprano: He could either get whacked, get arrested or live another day,” Gordon said. The possibilities of things that can happen to these main characters is really finite. So I think you have to look at it on a more emotional level — what do you want the audience to feel in the last couple of moments about your character? And I think in the case of 'The Sopranos,' it was a little bit more complex and up for grabs and abstract. Here, Jack still lives in your mind, whether you ever see him again or not, you know he’s out there somewhere. I liked the idea of the medium of this big screen mirroring our experience, our looking in at Jack, I felt it was a very conscious artistic flourish. This is it! And we’re turning off the screen. That was the idea.”
Once Fox announced this would be the series’ last season, the writers began working toward the final moment and considered giving Jack a pardon and reunion with his daughter and granddaughter in Los Angeles.
“Our first instinct as writers was that we’d gone to such a dark place and taken Jack to such a dark place, it was going to be too hard to bear, and Jack needed some kind of happy ending,” Gordon said. “And we tried on for size this idea of Jack returning to the bosom of his family and being pardoned by the president as a last act. It was just too facile and too unreal, and the president wouldn’t have the authority to do that. It just didn’t feel right, so we decided not to do that. So we went to this darker, more complex place — this grayer ending. Jack’s gonna live to fight another day but arguably on the run and outside the welcome and appreciative embrace of society.”
One person who will always love Jack is Chloe O’Brien, who in a surprising twist this season became the head of CTU and had one of the finale’s best lines: “Whatever happened here didn’t happen.” Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub broke my heart with her portrayal of Chloe’s utter sadness as she said goodbye (again!) to her friend Jack.
“Things aren’t good for Jack,” Rajskub said. “But it’s the kind of stuff where you look forward to the possibilities of what could happen. And him trying to get himself out of the mess and be redeemed. It’s a good setup, and it’s satisfying.”
The final scene was filmed exactly as the viewer saw it, with the image of Jack longingly looking back at her, after thanking her for her loyalty and support through the years. The phone conversation too was filmed as a full two-way conversation between Chloe and Jack — not one side first and then the other.
“There’s so much acting that I’ve done on that show that I’m looking at a screen or on the phone and those parts hadn’t been shot yet,” Rajskub said. “But for the ending, it was really important to have it all in place so that I was definitely reacting as it was happening. That single image of him looking up like that made it more stark. It was very interesting to be reacting as my character, and underneath that, it was affecting me too. And then also the crew, because it was the series ending, and all of that factored in. The whole week was very heavy, which was fitting because it was a major experience in all of our lives.”
Jack’s increasingly violent rogue streak gave Chloe a huge action moment: the scene in which she shot her dear friend to make it look like they were on opposing sides. Rajskub, who recently joked that if Chloe’s in the movie, she’d like her to be muscular, tanned and sporting hair extensions, said the intense scene between her and Sutherland made her appreciate why actors were drawn to action roles.
“It was very emotional, but there was a moment after the first take, where you get an adrenaline rush, and I was like, ‘Oh, I get it now,’ ” Rajskub said. “I’m assuming it’s the same rush you feel when you watch it, that ‘what is happening?’ It’s a rush to live on the edge like that and execute that.”
No one knows about Jack Bauer’s edge more than Gregory Itzin, the actor who plays slimy former President Charles Logan. This season, Jack, in full Robocop gear, ambushed Logan, kidnapped him and had his special way with him to extract information from the beleaguered ex- president.
“It’s very, very intense, the doing of the scenes, and it’s very, very intense, the results of doing the scene,” said Itzin who is now rehearsing for “King Lear.” "We entered another zone in the filming of this. When Kiefer is on Jack Bauer’s verb like that, he’s on it intensely, and so you hopefully feel fear for your life.”
Though Sutherland is soft-spoken off camera, watch out when Jack Bauer’s in the house, Itzin added.
“When Kiefer’s playing Jack Bauer, he’s Jack Bauer,” he said. “That’s what makes the show what it is. On a lot of shows, people stand and talk and get a little silly outside of the cameras and turn it back on when they say ‘places’ and ‘action.’ But on ’24,’ you keep your character close to you. You’re sort of ready all the time. That’s what I loved about the show, that necessity to be there, play your game, shut up, and do the job right now.”
For Gordon and the writers, the “trick” of the finale was the show’s last image.
“It kind of plagued me: What’s the last few seconds?” said Gordon, who wrote the last hour of the finale. “That to me was maybe more important than on other finales because of the real-time aspect of the show. When we came to the idea of Jack being watched by Chloe on the big screen and Jack looking at Chloe, that was an image that I knew instantly would be our last image, so I wrote to that image.
"And I do think that the idea of Jack’s last moment is a very fine last moment for this year," he added. "But I think, because we all know now that it’s the end, it’s even more poignant than it would be if there were another season coming.”
Photos, from top: Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in the finale. Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox. Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe and Kiefer Sutherland as Jack. Credit: Kelsey McNeal / Fox. Gregory Itzin as former President Logan. Credit: Kelsey McNeal / Fox