24’s First 8 Seasons: What You May Have Missed
Live Another Day
Jack Bauer, a name that is as synonymous with the actor Kiefer Sutherland as it is synonymous with the word bad-ass. However, there are many cameos and sequences that have been criminally under-appreciated from the series. We have labored for you to accumulate a synopsis for each day in Jack Bauer’s life as well as the small tidbits you may have missed that have given this series a life of its own.
What You Know: Welcome to the Counter Terrorism Unit or CTU in LA. One of Jack’s past assignments in Kosovo comes back to haunt him stateside as the Drazen family aims to take revenge against Senator David Palmer and Jack’s family. By day one’s end, Jack is betrayed by one of his own people Nina Myers as she kills his wife, Teri.
What You Didn’t Know: All the actors had to get their hair trimmed every 5 days to make sure it aligned with the timeline.
What You Know: On this day, Jack has to deal with his first imminent threat of a nuclear bomb as, now President, David Palmer has to address dissent within his cabinet. Deception, scapegoating, and corporate greed were at the center of this day as American Businessmen fabricated evidence against middle eastern countries in order to wage war, thus benefiting from rocketing oil prices. After Jack locates, disarms the bomb and exposes the masterminds of this plot, we, the viewers, are left with a cliffhanger as President Palmer Collapse in public after a conspicuous handshake with a mysterious woman.
Sub-Plot: We are introduced to both Tony & Michelle and their budding relationship.
What You Didn’t Know: DEA Agent Hank (actor Dean Norris) takes a break from chasing Walter White to counsel the president.
What You Know: Drug addiction and a biological threat are the focus this season as Jack deals with a heroin addiction after being undercover with a drug cartel in Mexico. We are introduced to Chloe O-Brian, the wise cracking genius analyst. Stephen Saunders, a presumed-dead Operation Nightfall operative, developed this plan as revenge for his country leaving him out to dry. He employs Nina Myers as an agent which allows Jack to finally get his revenge for the death of Teri.
Sub-Plot: Tony & Michelle, now married, face the strains of their work environment and its impact on their relationship. At one point, Michelle is captured and Tony sacrifices the mission to save his wife. At day’s end, he is sent to prison.
What You Didn’t Know: CTU needs all the help it can get so it recruited the ultra-intelligent vulcan Spock (actor Zachary Quinto).
What You Know: Jack, now trying to recover from the horrors of field operations, opens working for the DOJ where we are first introduced to his longest, and most impactful, love interest Audrey Raines, daughter of Secretary of Defense James Heller. As opposed to previous seasons, this season focused on one main enemy, a Turkish terrorist, Habib Marwan. Jack eliminates the threat but in the process, has to sacrifice Audrey’s ex-husband. Audrey is too scared of the man who Jack has become and leaves him.
Sub-Plot: After divorcing in the aftermath of Day 3, Michelle and Tony meet after many months of no communication and decide to leave the world of CTU behind forever.
Sub-Plot: Jack is forced to fake his death after a botched raid of the Chinese embassy ties back to him and both the Chinese and Vice President Logan want him dead.
What You Didn’t Know: Chloe’s most bad-ass scene takes place on this day as she shoots down a baddie with an automatic rifle. In addition to this, we get a cameo from Hodgins from Bones (actor T.J Thyne) as he runs around the desert with the football.
What You Know: In what is the most exciting season of 24 (IMO), we are faced with the assassination of Former President David Palmer, Michelle Dessler and the attempted assassinations of Tony and Chloe within the FIRST 15 MINUTES. Jack is forced out of hiding to find the assassin as well as why they were targeted. Layers are peeled back to expose an intricate system of conspirators leading up to the president himself, Charles Logan. With the assistance of Wayne Palmer, First Lady Martha Logan and Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce. Audrey learns that Jack is still alive and as we begin to believe that they may actually develop a long-lasting relationship once again, Chinese agents kidnap Jack for revenge in the LAST 5 MINUTES.
What You Didn’t Know: Continuing with the trend of cameos, Desmond from LOST (actor Henry Ian Cusick) time travels to LA to help Jack. Zoe Barnes (actress Kate Mara) takes a break from digging up dirt in DC to work in CTU. Lastly, and most significantly, the most bad-ass speech of the series was not delivered by Jack Bauer, but none-other than Agent Aaron Pierce to President-turned-Traitor Charles Logan.
What You Know: Jack has spent the past twenty months in a Chinese prison undergoing torture without uttering a single word. A deal is brokered by president Wayne Palmer to hand Jack over to a terrorist, Abu Fayed, in an attempt to stop a series of devastating attacks. After learning of Abu Fayed’s real intentions, Jack survives and vows to retrieve the nuclear weapons. This day had a complex nuclear attack plan succeed as one canister was set off in the suburb of LA. After eliminating the day’s threat and believing that Audrey had been killed trying to search for him in China, Jack receives a call from the same Chinese agent who tortured him notifying him of Audrey’s survival. He saves, Audrey, a broken woman who does not recognize him, and gets revenge against the Chinese agent.
Sub-Plot: We are introduced to Jacks father & brother and learn they are not only part of today’s attacks, but were also involved in David Palmer’s assassination. They both do not live past this day.
What You Didn’t Know: Comedians Kal Penn and Stephen Merchant make quick cameos as a terrorist and CTU analyst, respectively. The Walterisms continue as Dr. Walter Bishop (actor John Noble) makes an appearance at the Russian embassy.
What You Know: In a resemblance to the discussions we had in real life, Jack is seen on trial for his supposed past crimes of torture. It’s as if the writers were asking the audience, “Do the ends justify the means?” Since CTU’s dissolution, Jack is summoned by the FBI to assist on a case involving his former friend Tony, who we all believed was dead. In a day that keeps you guessing everyone’s’ allegiances, we see Bill Buchanon, former director of CTU, and Chloe working with Tony underground to root out all of the traitors to the president, Allison Taylor, the first female president. It is discovered in the end, that Tony went through all of this to kill the man responsible for Michelle’s death but Jack arrests both of them instead.
Sub-Plot: Renee Walker, a skilled FBI agent, is pulled into the world of Jack Bauer and learns the toll one’s psyche undertakes when they live by the mantra “Do whatever it takes”.
What You Didn’t Know: Forman, just as bad as he was on That 70’s Shows, is trying to wring Jack Bauer’s neck in court.
What You Know: This New York-based day begins with Jack, finally a retired man, enjoying some time with his daughter and granddaughter. He is quickly pulled back into the fold of CTU when he learns of an assassination attempt on President Omar Hassan, a Middle Eastern president on the verge of signing a peace treaty with the west. On the verge of a new budding romance with Renee Walker, Russian agents, under orders of President Suvarov who is the mastermind of the day’s events, murder Renee. This prompts Jack to go rogue, defying Chloe and President Taylor to avenge Renee. President Taylor works to cover-up these deaths in an effort to keep the peace treaty alive and we are left with the last shot as Jack looks up at a drone as if looking directly at Chloe and then disappears.
What You Didn’t Know: Freddie Prinze Jr plays a major role this season as agent Cole Ortiz but a surprising and hilarious cameo is Stephen Root AKA Milton from Office Space.