I have been wanting to discuss the best moments and episodes of 24 for quite some time but this news gave me a reason.
This is the first part of a two part series (check out part two – focused on episodes here) highlighting the top 10 best moments and 10 best episodes of 24 (coming next week). I love this show. It is one of my all time favorite shows. I was sad when it signed off the air but I have 8 years of great memories following the adventures of CTU and Mr. Bauer. I have ordered the moments in descending order from least to most awesome. Over the course of 192 episodes of television these moments stuck out most to me the most. WARNING: This is intended for fans of the series and does contain spoilers.
10) Tony Kidnapped, Jack rescues him and then traps Mandy
Season 4: 4-6 pm
Tony Almeida is kidnapped by Mandy and put into the same situation, his now ex-wife Michelle was in a few years earlier, where he made a decision to commit a treasonous act to secure his wife’s rescue. Michelle and Tony had since seperated and were reunited by that day’s terror attack. They had decided to be together again and before they could, Tony gets apprehended and Michelle is put in the unenviable position of choosing love over national security. Luckily Tony is saved.
There’s so much to like here. Mandy returns, who has been one of the show’s best villians. Her plan and the execution of that plan was great and she almost gets away with it. Also, Jack figuring Mandy’s plan out and rescuing Tony was awesome as well. Finally, how great was it when Curtis punched Mandy in the face?
9) Interrogation of Tony/Deep Sky reveal
Season 7: 10-11 am
Tony Almeida returns from the grave and is now a bad guy? What? That was the reaction of many 24 fans when season 7 revealed its first big baddie in the form of the former CTU director. Jack tracks down Tony and then gets to do what he does best. Interrogation. It is a mix of Jack using skills Tony has seen him use or has used himself a million times, and Jack trying to understand what has pushed his friend, to this. The reactions and back and forth dialogue are great.
What really makes this scene is when Tony says to Jack, “Every moment you spend helping the government, you are spitting on Teri’s grave” and Jack’s face and reaction are great. Bringing up your friend and colleague’s dead wife? Bold move, Tony, bold move, and he pays for it. Jack chokes Almeida nearly to death but also gets close enough to hear the code words, Deep Sky which leads to the revelation that Tony is working with Chloe and Bill Buchanan, to uncover government corruption. He then gets to break Almeida out of FBI custody. This leads to more fun moments like Chloe vs Janis Gold in an analyst showdown, Tony and Jack’s conversation about how Jack almost kills him and the thrilling escape from custody.
8) Assault on Logan’s Motorcade.
Season 8: 1-2pm
The final season costs Jack a lot. The main thing he loses is the new love of his life, Renee Walker. He professes his love for her, sleeps with her and then she is gun down. Jack then proceeds to go on the war path to track down everyone that’s involved with Renee’s death. He traces the events back to one of his least favorite people, former President Charles Logan. He loads up on riot gear and some sweet weapons and attacks Logan’s motorcade. It was such a cool action sequence. The terror on Logan’s face and in his voice was tremendous, “That’s Jack Bauer!” Logan is totally afraid and the suspense of the scene is fantastic.
7) Chloe with the gun
Season 4: 1-2 am
Chloe O’Brien is an analyst not a field agent, but with all of the agents spread thin, Chloe is sent out on what is supposed to be a simple errand to retrieve some data from a woman in the suburbs but things do not go according to plan. Things go awry when Chloe’s backup get killed and she has to secure the witness and usher her to safety. She cannot escape and Jack or any other agents are too far away from her so he talks her through the process of getting the rifle out of the CTU car and putting it to good use on her attacker. It was so cool to see Chloe behind a gun, handling her business like a boss.
6) Catching President Charles Logan.
Season 5: 6-7 am
Finding out that a sitting president was behind the murders of many people including a beloved former President (David Palmer), and terrorist attack of the day was horrifying and something needed to be done about it. He needed to be brought to justice, and Jack Bauer is just the man to do it. After his Jack’s inital kidnapping plan doesn’t seem to work, it seems the President gets away clean. He later shakes down his wife Martha to check for bugs in an intense scene, where he reveals is evil deeds. He emerges from that exchange even cockier but just when you think it is all over and Logan might get away alas, Bauer has been playing us all along. He planted the bug on Logan in his pen during the kidnapping. It was a brilliant move but what made it even more cool was the look on Mike Novick and Martha’s faces when the President was taken into custody. It was probably the same look that a lot of fans had on our faces at that moment.
5) Edgar’s death
Season 5: 6-7 pm
His death was so sad! What made it especially bad was watching his close friend Chloe have to endure it. We see her mouth his name to him. He does not manage to get into one of the containment zones before they are sealed after CTU is attacked. There is nothing they can do and he just falls victim to the Sentox nerve gas. He was definitely deserving of his silent clock.
4) Fake murder of Syed Ali’s children
Season 2: 7-8 pm
Jack was looking for a nuclear bomb set to go off in Los Angeles. He prevented the terrorist responsible, Syed Ali, from taking a cyanide capsule to martyr himself. He also tried to physically coerce him to give up the location. Then he went down a path even President Palmer refused to sanction. He prepared to execute Ali’s family. He arranged for some special ops guys to track down Ali’s family. He started with the first son and killed him right in front of Ali via satelite, and then finally persuaded Ali to give up the information by threatening his next son. It seems despicable that Bauer would have to do something like that for the greater good. Most of us were thinking “oh my God” he really will do whatever it takes to complete his mission, but later on he shows Kate Warner and all of us that he didn’t actually kill the kids and it makes the moment even more amazing.
3) Nuclear bomb going off on American soil/Death of Curtis Manning
Season 6: 9-10 am
Jack Bauer returns to America after almost 2 years of torture and silence in a Chinese prison. America was in turmoil after weeks of terrorist attacks across the nation. Now he had to choose between a friend and colleague in Curtis Manning and a terrorist that possibly had information that can help them stop more terrorist attacks including suitcase nukes. He made the difficult decision to take down Curtis and after getting sick, decides that he is done and can no longer be an agent. Just when you don’t think it can get much worse, there is nuclear explosion in Los Angeles, one of his biggest nightmares. This forces him back to work. Both of these things were so tense and emotional and it was all packed into like 10 minutes. It was a great close to the first chapter in what would ultimately turn out to be a disappointing season.
2) Jack to President Taylor “With All Due Respect Madam President, Ask Around”
Season 7: 3-4pm
After seven seasons we finally got to hear these words. Seven seasons and many more years of people questioning Jack’s motives and not trusting him. It was always amazing that people wouldn’t just take his word and advice after like season 2. If there was ever someone you could trust to secure and return your husband, President Taylor, its Jack Bauer. I like that he just simply uttered this line and left it up to her. Obviously, it was enough because she immediately let him get to his new mission, securing her husband, which he did. No surprise.
1) Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jack Bauer
Season 4: 6-7 am
After stopping yet another terrorist Habib Marwan, Jack should be given a hero’s welcome right? Nope, he was about to be sold out to the Chinese for the actions of one of his agents. He accepts his fate and promises not to divulge any information. The President’s chief of staff doesn’t trust him though and decides to have him bumped off. This sets a plan into motion orchestrated by his friend and former President David Palmer, Tony Almeida, Michelle Dessler, and Chloe O’Brien to fake his death. The whole sequence is fun to watch. Chloe’s comment, “He really looks dead.” was classic. It is followed by a great conversation between Palmer and Bauer and the final moments where our hero puts on his sunglasses, messenger bag and walks over the railroad tracks into the sunrise. It is a beautiful visual.
Are these some of your favorite 24 moments? Reminsce, share your favorites, or argue about my choices in the comments. Thanks for reading!