Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

The resurgence of 24 is rapidly approaching. May 5th 2014, the clock starts ticking again. Although, whether the clock will still be an intricate thematic device with the new shortened format, is yet to be seen . What is known is that Jack is back. As always, Jack will be accompanied by a plethora of bullets, explosions, chases, double-crosses, triple-crosses and of course the fan favorite exclamation: “Dammit!”

Only one thing about the outcome of the show is certain right now. That is, when it is all said and done, some fans will be angry. It is inevitable. Fans will cry outrage and fire up their laptops or Ipads to vent on their message board of choice. This is not unique to 24. All shows have their outspoken advocates. When a show ends, no matter how the writers choose to wrap up, there will be calls for public execution (think Lost, or more recently How I Met Your Mother). The only show that got away mostly unscathed was Breaking Bad. It got a pass, as it left viewers with a satisfying ending that made sense.

How can 24: Live Another Day, avoid this backlash? It probably can’t. Below are 5 things Jack should do, and 5 he should avoid. If accomplished the writers may get the slightest of reprieve, when the clock hits its final mark.

Jack Should Not…
5. Fall In Love / Have Sex

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

It is just not a good idea Jack.

For one reason, we don’t need to see it. It is not why we watch. It has much more impact to the viewer to see him pine over his long dead wife and know that the real, ruthless Jack Bauer was born when she died.

Speaking of dead wives, lets take at look at his track record: First wife murdered (but not before he had an affair with the woman that would later kill her). Had a fling with the wife of Mexican drug cartel Kingpin, only to have her wind up dead in the back of a pickup truck. Fell in love with a woman who was brave enough to risk her life, crossing the globe to rescue him from a Chinese prison. Only to be mentally tortured to the point that her only relief was falling into a seemingly permanent catatonic state. And what happens when Jack finally has sex? Sniper takes her out right after.

How has Chole survived so long? She kept things strictly platonic, that’s how.

Stay away from the ladies Jack….It doesn’t end well…for them.

4. Assume That The Guy You Got is THE Guy

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Because it never is.

There is a hierarchy to villains in 24. Jack has to work his way up the ladder of baddies before he can confront the big bad. Whether that big bad is the original, Victor Drazen, or the calculating Stephen Saunders or the evilest man on the planet, Charles Logan, Jack will inevitably have to go through a few red herrings to bring them down.

The formula is followed year after year. So why is it when they catch the guy they were originally after they assume the threat is over? How come when the nuke is disarmed and the day is only half over they assume the coast is clear.

It is never entirely clear to Jack or the viewer who the real threat is, but you can be damn sure it isn’t the first or even the second fish caught. Jack needs to keep shaking trees until the big fish falls out. As seen in the past, it could be anyone, remember dear old daddy Phillip Bauer?

Speaking of Dad…

3. Contact Any Family

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Not Aunt Carol, not Josh Bauer, and please not Kim.

For everyone’ s sake, Jack’s family should stay out of it. Sometimes it is beyond Jack’s control when they get involved. Regardless of who brings them in, if there is a Bauer on screen they’re irrevocably a target.

As a viewer it just is not interesting. Kim Bauer was involved in possibly the most ludicrous story line in the history of television as she was stalked by a cougar and held captive in Kevin Dillion’s basement. What did this have to do with the rest of the story? Nothing, so leave it out.

We only have Jack for half the time in this incarnation of the show. We need to maximize his time on the screen and we don’t want it bogged down with pointless melodrama from the rest of the Bauer clan.

2. Trust Michael Wincott

Courtesy of Miramax Films

Courtesy of Miramax Films

Jack should shoot him on first site. He is always a bad guy (although probably not THE bad guy). Wincott is probably most famous for playing the twisted, sister-loving, sword wielding villian Top Dollar in The Crow. Or as the slimy cousin to the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He just looks evil.

Wincott is cast as a character named Adrian Cross. Nothing is known of him at this point, but he is an exciting name that jumps of the cast list as a potential threat to Bauer. Expect him to challenge Bauer more on an intellectual level than a physical one.

If he starts out the show on the “good side”, watch for the turn. It will come.

1. Kill / Cripple His Partners

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Let’s face it. Jack Bauer will not be around forever, in fact this could be the last time we seem him. However, the series doesn’t have die. It could carry on in some medium with the right successor.

The new Jack will need a lot of help to get over with fans. The best way to do that is have the character have an established relationship with the old Jack. They need to try something like they did with Indiana Jones and Shia Labeouf. Except avoid using Shia Labeouf. With the right actor, the concept of using the established star to get over the next generation is a good one. The problem in 24 land is Jack really likes being on top, as demonstrated by his bad habit of maiming or killing the people he works with.

Chase seemed like he was being groomed as a replacement. He was smart, efficient and could take a beating. He also had the quality that makes us love Jack the most, his willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Of course any chance Chase had of being an expert field ops leader was lost along with the hand Jack took off with an ax.

Then there was Curtis Manning. He was another agent that seemed to have all the right moves. At first he looked like just another suit, but as soon as he stepped into the field, the ass-kicking began. Curtis even managed to make it a couple seasons. As his character progressed so did his chances of claiming the throne. Of course that was until Jack put a bullet in his neck. Curtis died never realizing his full potential.

If Jack could let someone stick around long enough to learn a few things, 24 could have life beyond 2014.

Jack Should…

5. Eat

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

This might sound silly, irrelevant or something we should be expected to accept due to the suspension of belief we agree to when we turn on the TV. However, it has been something consistently mentioned by fans since season 1. In most shows this is not an issue, but when you are following the same character for 24 hours, you think you would see him grab a snack. Granted, Jack does not appear every scene, so he could be munching away off camera. You would think though that the amount of time we do spend with Jack, seeing him indulge in a granola bar wouldn’t be too much to ask.

In eight seasons (that is 192 hours) we have seen Jack eat three times. In the first episode we see a much more carefree Jack enjoy a pudding cup while playfully arguing with Teri about how to deal with their daughter’s lack of respect. Again in season 1, when Jack is in custody back at CTU we see him finishing up a TV dinner. Finally, Jack gets breakfast in the beginning of season 5 with his new girlfriend and her son. That’s it! Now, it should be noted that Jack by season 8 is a very different guy and it would be hard to picture him with a pudding cup, a protein bar might still be acceptable.

This could be regarded as a non-issue, as it is quite possible for a person to go 24 hours without eating. Is it a good idea, probably not. For an average person it would be uncomfortable. For a guy who spends the entire day running, shooting, fighting and yelling at people it would be near impossible.

Just have a snack Jack.

4. Be Pardoned By The President Of The United States

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

When we last saw Jack he was back on the run. He is wanted for a number of crimes, and rather than be taken and face the hypocrisy he wants worked for, he chose to disappear. If Jack doesn’t want to be found, he is not going to be.

Jack will undoubtedly be working with the authorities again. With Jack in London this time around will it be the British police or MI6 enlisting Jack’s help? Maybe the price of Jack’s help is the British government keeping the Americans off his back.

His crimes are justified by most, but some would still have him brought up on charges, similarly to the beginning of season 7.

It is not a secret that Jack’s old “friend” James Heller will be the President in the upcoming season. Once like father and son, there last meeting saw Jack contemplating shooting him. After what happened to Audrey the two former friends will never be up for a round of golf, but the office Heller now holds owes something to the man that saved the United States from utter disaster on 8 separate days.

Heller pardoning Jack and publicly recognizing Jack’s heroics would not only be a well deserved honor for Jack, it would be a fitting tribute to the deceased President David Palmer. It would be what the always honorable President Palmer would have wanted, to see Jack get what he could never give him.

3. Keep Chloe Alive

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Jack always loses some comrades along the way. People are going to die, and Jack will not be able to save everyone. One person he definitely needs to keep alive is Chloe.

Chloe looks pretty beat up in the trailer and it seems that Jack is pretty  much dragging her along. Hopefully safety isn’t too far off.

We have lost a lot of beloved characters along the way: Michelle, Edgar, Milo, Palmer and every other character that earned the legendary silent clock. Chloe should not be one of them.

Jack needs Chloe, her expert hacker skills aside, she give Jack humanity. At times she is his much needed conscience, other times his only true defender. Chloe has had Jack’s back since season 3. She has put in her time and deserves to see this through to the end.

2. Find Peace

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

Season 3 ends in a whimper. It is subtle, perfect and completely summarizes the character of Jack Bauer. After saving the day again, we find Jack in his car in a rare moment of solitude. He finally has a moment to reflect on everything and comes to terms with what he has done. What does Jack do when he is faced with himself? He cries. Jack shows his humanity, and everyone can emphasize with him. However, his moment of self reflection is short lived. As Jack is breaking down a call comes over the radio. After a few seconds of hesitation, he answers the call, because that is what he does.

Anyone would be hard-pressed to find another character in television who has given more and suffered more. Each season it was harder and harder to watch Jack go through the physical, mental and psychological torture. The viewer was left asking the question, what else can they do to him?

Over the years he has become a shell of his former self, as his actions have become more mechanical and reflex oriented. It would be nice to see some new life be breathed into Jack. We need to see more moments like we saw in the car at the end of season 3. We need to see a more vulnerable Jack processing the journey he has been on. He needs to accept who he is and more importantly he has to forgive himself.

1. Die

Yes, Jack Bauer should die.

The subtitle ‘Live Another Day’ is less than subtle. We need Jack one more time. We need him to answer that call and save the day again. Then maybe we can finally let him die.

He obviously doesn’t fear death. He has died once, if only for a few minutes. Jack has welcomed death on multiple occasions, always ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

As he looks over the cliff at the rocks below at the end of season 6 the viewer knows what he is thinking. What saves him from going over that cliff is the same thing he said at the beginning of the season : “I didn’t want to die for nothing.”

He will gladly give his life for the right reason, for a purpose. In the upcoming 24 swan song, Jack needs to be given that purpose and be given a reason to die that is worthy enough of the life he led.

24 needs to end with one final silent clock mourning the death of Jack Bauer.

And we as the viewer need to let him go.

Other things you do or don’t want to see in the upcoming season of 24? Share in comments.

Thanks for reading,


Follow – @FredThePeacock