Damn it, Chloe!
Most heroes, after saving the town/country/world, get to ride off into the sunset for one last time, and Kiefer Sutherland’s iconic CTU agent Jack Bauer got that exact same fate. But that was at the end of 24’s sixth season, and the multiple-Emmy Award winning drama then stuck around for another two seasons on TV after that. Four years and a botched feature film later and 2014’s 12-episode limited-series, 24: Live Another Day was supposed to be his last big hurrah, but in the end [SPOILER ALERT] Jack was taken into custody by the Russian government probably to be tossed in a deep dark hole somewhere in Siberia for all the trouble he caused them previously.
So yeah, Jack Bauer, arguably the greatest TV hero of the modern age, never really got the story book heroic final send-off some of his fans may have been hoping for, and it looks like he may never will. Deadline reports that during a Fox executive session at TCA yesterday, the network revealed that they’re developing a pitch for more 24, but which won’t necessarily revolve around Sutherland’s Bauer. The proposed new installment’s direction isn’t set yet, and could theoretically have a moment at some point in its run “at which Jack Bauer could come in and fit organically into the story, or they are prepared to do… one installment without him.”
Now Sutherland has stated publicly in the past that he’s done with the role that he’s played since 2001, so this doesn’t look like Fox just trying random ideas again, but rather more like the network granting their star his wish, while still looking at ways to capitalize on a hot property. And 24 is indeed still hot, as Live Another Day, despite being the first time the characters had been on-screen in nearly half a decade, brought in critical acclaim alongside its finale topping the ratings of the show’s last regular season capper in 2010.
So who would a Jack Bauer-less 24 even star? Well, Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden says that we should “look at everyone that surrounded Kiefer in [Live Another Day]“. That immediately brings to mind Yvonne Strahovski’s redeemed CIA Agent Kate Morgan, who fans warmly welcomed. Another possibility is the series’ perennial black sheep Tony Almedia (Carlos Bernard). In 24: Solitary, the short film found on Live Another Day’s Blu Ray release, we find that [SPOILER ALERT] the one-time head of CTU has been sentenced to life in solitary confinement for all the really bad stuff he got up to in season 7. During a hearing for allowing him back into the prison’s general population in return for him snitching on his terrorist compatriots, he explains that he switched from good to bad all because he lost his way after his wife Michelle died. However he’s denied his gen-pop request by a Department of Justice representative who then gets violently strangled by Tony for her troubles, before being rescued by some prison guards.
However, at the film’s conclusion it’s revealed that it was all just a ploy and the mysterious “DOJ rep” has slipped Tony some very detailed plans on how to escape solitary at a very specific time. Could it be that Fox is perhaps setting up this next installment to see Tony getting some redemption by teaming up with Kate to rescue Jack from whatever Russian gulag he is inevitably being tortured in? A third act addition of a broken, beaten down Jack Bauer would certainly be a good way to bring Sutherland back into the fray.
Whatever happens to bring Bauer back, or even if he doesn’t come back at all in this installment, Walden makes pains to point out that it’s merely “this installment” that would be without Sutherland. They could still bring him back full-time if another installment should happen after this one.
Personally, as much I’ve loved the show and the character over the years, I think it’s time for Jack Bauer to finally hang it up once and for all. Have Tony and Kate rescue him and then give him his proper ride into the sunset of have him go down in a heroic death – which actually seems far likelier and fitting when you look at what the character has been through.
What do you guys think? Is it time for Bauer to be put out to pasture, or do you want him opening sockets and whisper-shouting at people over the phone forever?
Last Updated: January 20, 2015