Jack Bauer officially calls it quits on 24


It’s official. The terrorists have won. After all, how are we supposed to protect ourselves from enemies, both foreign and domestic, without the unique persuasive techniques of Jack Bauer? But in a recent interview with the BBC, Kiefer Sutherland, the long time star of the real time action show 24, announced that it was “definitely over for me now.”

One could hardly fault Sutherland for wanting to expand his horizons after eight and a half seasons playing the remarkable counter terrorist agent with a seemingly limitless pain tolerance, and the uncanny ability to uncover villainous master plans, even when everyone else disagreed with him.

“It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given as an actor,” Sutherland added, “but it’s moving on without me, I want to do other things.”

Premiering just months after the September 11th attacks, 24 came at almost the perfect time, acting as the lightning rod for discussions around public safety versus government overreach. It asked the question, do the ends justify the means?  Is it okay for Jack to torture a civilian, if it helps him thwart a nuclear attack?  But more than simply being controversial, the show spun an amazing story over the first few seasons, zipping along from episode to episode as its telltale timer counted down the seconds towards the end of each hour.

Although 24 certainly saw its ups and downs over its run (Kim and the cougar, anyone?), the show was among the most talked about during its heyday, both for its unique real-time storytelling device, and its frequent depiction of torture and extreme violence. And ultimately, the show remains an important part of television history as a show that captured the zeitgeist of fear, post 9/11, and our desire to have our country protect us.  Jack Bauer was that protector. Though I will miss Chloe dearly as well…

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