24 put Kiefer Sutherland back on top in 2001, but before he landed the role of Jack Bauer, it had been a decade since the '80s heartthrob had a hit.
We’re nearing the end of Jack Bauer’s tenure on network television. Only three Mondays left for him to get in every item on his to-do list: eyeball removal, ear slicing, piano wire garroting, blowing up a city of 200,000 people to nail one bad terrorist. It’s a packed agenda. And now “24” executive producer Howard Gordon says Bauer’s final hours will likely prove his unhappiest. From the Hollywood Reporter:
…When the action program finishes its run this month, an unhappy ending will greet Jack Bauer.
"(It) leaves him in a compromised place morally, ethically and emotionally," Gordon said. "This show is a tragedy, and to give Jack a happy ending didn't feel authentic."
But Gordon remained mum on the specifics of how Bauer meets his unhappy fate.
We know Bauer’s character likely won’t die, given that a “24” movie is ready to go once the TV show ends its run. But I say… Why NOT kill the guy? After all, you can set a “24” movie any time during Bauer’s lifespan. Isn’t death really the most appropriate ending for Bauer? When is this guy NOT in a compromised place morally, ethically and emotionally? That’s pretty much his constant state of being.
I agree with Gordon that giving Bauer an unhappy ending would be dumb, and the reason why is because this guy doesn’t WANT one. No one is more passionate about being angry and miserable than Jack Bauer. In his years as an agent, he’s been tortured, seen his daughter kidnapped and chased by jungle cats, had untold numbers of loved ones and beloved colleagues turn on him, turn back, and then turn on him again, and so on and so on. You couldn’t faze Jack Bauer is you killed his puppy in front of him (which I’m told happens in the film).
So I say… kill the man. That’s really the only game changer left for this character. “24” has been a worthy experiment in seeing how much emotional damage and gaping plot holes one man can endure. Eventually, there’s only so much even a man like Jack Bauer can take.
Besides, he can always come back from the dead in the flick. Writers are clever like that.