'24': Kiefer will have three more very bad days

155616__kiefer_l_1So Jack Bauer’s guaranteed to have three more of the worst days of his life. And the actor who plays him, Kiefer Sutherland, is locked in for one of the best deals of anyone’s life: three years, $40 million, or so the reports are saying.

But what does that mean for John and Jane 24 Fan? Does it bother us that we know our hero will survive for three more seasons? I’ll admit to feeling weirdly let down. Now, I’m not a complete moron. I know Jack isn’t going to die — not until the ratings plunge, anyway. But the prospect of three more seasons, three more bad days, three more grim, sweaty sprints to save America from ludicrously convoluted terrorist plots, it sort of makes me wish Jack would just pack it in and move to Ontario.

Now it’s no secret — indeed, it’s kind of a goofy thrill — that 24 becomes a little less suspenseful and a little more preposterous with each passing year. After all, we started out in Season 1 with a family man, ex-military, caught up in a web of events set in motion by actions he took years befpre, under orders, for the good of his country. Without fully realizing it, he’s been asked to choose between family and duty. And without fully realizing it — until he holds his dead wife in his arms — he’s chosen the latter. "My name is Jack Bauer," he said in the first season’s opening voiceover, "And this is going to be the worst day of my life." Apologies to TNT, but THAT, my friends, is drama.

Nowadays, Jack’s a more-or-less infallible superagent whose face-offs against terrorists and domestic traitor-conspirators have grown increasingly Rube Goldberg-ian. (This show tortures logic even more relentlessly than terror suspects.) The fact that Agent Bauer is having yet another Incredibly Bad Day fazes no one — not Jack, not the supporting cast, not us — because we all long ago departed from the realm of actual suspense and entered the TV writer’s version  of a crash-test lab: You know the car is going to hit the test wall, but you stay to see exactly how it will absorb the impact, whether the bumper will fall off, whether the dummy will lose an arm or a head, etc. We’re here for the carnage now, not the drama, not the suspense.

And now, as a special treat for reading all the way to the bottom, I give you the minutes from the BEST day of Jack Bauer’s life, culled from CTU files:

6 a.m.: Wake up, calisthenics, Wheaties. Pitch day-old terrorists into compost, strangle a fresh terrorist for breakfast.

7 a.m.: Today show. Ask dog, "Where’s the newspaper, boy?" Dog does not answer. Torture dog. Obtain paper. Tearfully apologize to dog.

8 a.m.: Solve Sunday crossword in eight tense minutes with phone-help from groggy, annoyed Chloe.

What happens next? Choose your own adventure and post below.

addCredit(“Kiefer Sutherland: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com”)

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  • Kate

    9 a.m. Goes grocery shopping and buys 11 things. Pulls gun on cashier who reminds him the express line is for 10 items or less.

  • Brittany

    10 a.m. Goes to bank to make a deposit and sees his regular teller. Soon gives shock treatment to teller for asking him his passcode.

  • Sammy

    I wouldn’t put it beyond the writers of 24 to make this announcement just so people will be surprised when they kill jack at the end of this season.

  • Fred

    The following takes place between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00am—
    After solving crossword, Bauer chews on pencil which has been poisoned and spends the next three years in a coma while the NEW star of 24 (Keifer’s look-a-like cousin) solves the mystery of who poisoned him.

  • Tim L

    9 AM: Proceed to CTU, dart head around like a cat looking for everything and anything.
    10 AM: Ensure new CTU employees are all tortured, re-instated, then fired
    11 AM: Meet Sherry Palmer in back alleyway and embrace.
    Gotta keep the twists coming people!

  • Kurt

    I was thinking the same thing, Sammy.

  • Jaime

    I have two options the writers should take into consideration that would be great!!!
    1. Have him not save the day soon….(that would be great)
    2. Have 2 days back to back…. (2 seasons one day after the next not years apart)

  • Doug W

    Thrilled to hear I have three more years of television’s best series to look forward to. My favorite seasons in order of preference: four, two, one, five and three.
    Doug W

  • Aramis

    How many AWESOMELY bad days can this dude have?
    I mean, shoot, I’m an American where the “case of the Mondays” is deinitely more than just a stupid punchline from one of our greatest motion picture anthems. But the people who write this show seem to think this guy is the unluckliest guy in the country.
    And they also seem to think that he can save the world in ONE day. I like PopWatcher Jaime’s opinion that of those next three seasons, they should probably connect two of them in a day after next sort of deal…so watchers can see Jack in the light that’s less unrealistic superhero, and more human who has REALLY crappy days who can’t solve them in 24 hours.

  • Dap

    8:09 am Checks obituary page in paper to see which other colleagues died. Yells “DAMMIT” for each one.

  • David Bishop

    How about a 24 set on Christmas Day? 8 a. m. Open presents. Kim gives me socks again. Dammit! etc

  • Dap

    Next season, Jack could investigate what happened to the Bluths…C’MON it could happen…right???

  • Mariane

    I think as the series continues, Jack will move into CTU as one of the suits and make way for some younger, different superheroes to do the field work. Kiefer Sutherland is going to get tired eventually and want an easier shooting schedule. It will also set up new Jacks to keep the series going for years.

  • t3hdow

    I like Jamie’s second idea. That would be interesting to watch. The only concern is how the writers can pull off such a plot without getting repetitive fast, especially since the writers more or less make up everything while the show is airing for every season. We all witnessed how bad that could be from season two’s horrible conclusion (which I thought was very anticlimatic) and this season’s syntox gas episode (while enjoyable, it had a high improbability factor).

  • joel

    April 14th – at the last minute Jack tries to overnight his taxes – but he’s too late – fed-ex is shut down – DAMNIT! he heads to the fedex managers house and threatens to shoot his wife in the head…surprisingly the fed ex guy dsays go ahead.

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