We knew it would have to happen one day. This year marked the final season of Keifer Sutherland’s run as CTU superagent Jack Bauer on Fox’s real time action show, 24.
Debuting in November 2001, 24 has presented eight seasons of worldwide threats that have been prevented by Sutherland’s now iconic Jack Bauer character, along with the assistance from his CTU buddies. The real time presentation of the events, having each sixty minute episode cover the sixty minutes of events in the hour, was the novelty of the show. With split screen shots and that constant ticking clock gave it a unique slant from the typical action show.
Each episode would be designed with the knowledge that with each new hour a new crisis would begin and by the time that hour was up and that catastrophe was averted a new one would be looming it’s head next week.
It was and is a fun show. You can’t take too much of it seriously. Through it’s run 24 has done some of the most outrageous storytelling stunts imaginable. Even hardcore fans might found it hard to swallow some of them. Nuclear blasts, amnesia attacks, poison gas leaks, severed limbs, kidnapped children, hungry cougars, assassinations, countless torture scenes and silly secondary storylines have all been bumps in the road of a simply an entertaining espionage show.
The main reason why fans continued to return (or at least why I would) was Sutherland’s high intensity performance. Watching him run around, barking orders, defusing bombs, gunning down bad guys is still as thrilling as ever.
Ten years ago the idea of casting Sutherland in this heroic/action role would have just left me confused. “Keifer Sutherland as a secret agent??? I mean, the guy is a pretty good actor, he can play a good bad guy and he did some gun shooting in Young Guns, but come on!” Now it seems like such an easy casting decision and has made audiences look at him in an entirely different way.
This last season has been a pretty good one. Sutherland is good and intense doing his trademark yelling with lines like “TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!”. The supporting characters have always been a mixed bag. Some I have welcomed seeing them return, while others I couldn’t wait for Jack to take them out!
There’s a possibility of a big-screen addition of 24. I would be all for that. The finale ended with a ‘Fugitive-style’ setup for Jack that could be a very promising beginning to another story. I think watching Jack save the world in two hours one last time would be a fun send off to the character. I mean, who else do we have looking out for us?