Thursday, 25 February 2010

Top 10 Most 'Jack Bauer' Jack Bauer Moments

24 Season 8 is currently in full swing and the rumours of a big screen instalment seem to be gathering pace with each passing week.

After a moment in a recent episode that actually had me laughing out loud I got to thinking about some of the most ‘Jack Bauer’ moments this adrenalin soaked show has given us. A ‘Jack Bauer’ moment has become the definition of any sort of superhuman TV feat of action hero proportions that requires you to suspend your disbelief and just revel in the preposterous shit you’re being asked to swallow.

So this seemed like an opportune time therefore to count down some of Jack’s most extreme moments in the show’s 8 1/3 years, to see just how high the bar has been set for Kiefer Sutherland and the 24 crew to come up with something even more shocking for the impending big screen adventure and what could be the last season of what has become one of the most culturally significant shows of the last decade.

Over the course of eight seasons (and a TV movie) Jack Bauer has rightly become a cult hero and the benchmark for badassery – a sort of bastard love child of Chuck Norris and Mr. T if you will - but just what are his own Top Ten most ‘Jack Bauer’ moments on 24 thus far…?

Read on to find out.

10. Animal Cruelty
(Season 2)

No one is safe from Jack Bauer. Not even man’s best friend.

Maybe he was just venting some of that anger over his wife’s murder at the end of the previous season or maybe he’s just more of a cat person, but panic room dwelling domestic terrorist Joe Wald’s trusty pooch picked the wrong disgruntled former CTU agent to mess with.

Armed with a shot gun Jack’s attempts to get his hands on Wald for some vital information were thoughtlessly interrupted by a nasty little canine who was promptly dispatched Bauer style – with a shotgun.

Jack Bauer doesn’t have time for lacing steaks with sleeping pills…

9. The Towel
(Season 1)

Season 1’s Jack Bauer is practically Zen compared to the Bauer of later seasons, even relying more on graphic threats rather than actual violence at certain points of the day.

The most infamous of which has to be his attempt to break shady businessman Ted Cofell in the back of his limo. What grisly torturous technique did Jack have in mind for poor Theodore…?

Water-boarding? Electrocution? Making him listen to Bjork?

No, Jack threatened him with… a towel. Don’t think a towel can be scary? Listen to this…

“You probably don't think that I can force this towel down your throat. But trust me, I can. All the way. Except I'd hold onto this one little bit at the end. When your stomach starts to digest it, I pull it out. Taking your stomach lining with it. For most people it would take about a week to die. It's very painful”.

Sheesh, no wonder Jack had his own CTU bathroom.

8. ‘Bustin’ a Cap’
(Season 4)

Has their ever been a non-main character competent CTU director?

With new CTU boss lady Erin Driscoll more preoccupied with her schizophrenic daughter, it was down to the man she had previously fired – Jack, to step in and get results when a new terror threat emerged.

Jack as we know gets results in his own diverse style – which on this occasion involved knee-capping a suspect.

Yes, he actually fucking knee-capped some poor bastard!

Turkish terrorist Tomas Sherek learned the hard way that you don’t give Jack Bauer the silent treatment. While inept CTU agent Ronnie Lobell did things by the book and got nowhere, it took Jack approximately 30 seconds to extract the information he needed from Sherek, isn’t it amazing what a well placed bullet can accomplish?

“What is your primary objective…!?”

A walking stick.

7. DIY Torture
(Season 4)

Jack Bauer is a very resourceful man.

When it emerged later on Day 4 that Jack’s lady love Audrey’s ex Paul may have a connection to the day’s events, Jack naturally took it upon himself to find out what Paul knew.

What Paul thought was originally going to be a meeting with his ex wife soon became an all together more unpleasant experience and all thoughts of a romantic tryst were quickly erased as Jack set about torturing him with a lamp – I told you he was resourceful.

As it turns out Paul wasn’t involved, although he had unknowingly leased a building to terrorists, the schmuck.

Later in the day after Paul had taken a bullet saving Jack’s life, no less, Jack ordered the surgeon working on Paul, at gun point, to instead keep alive a terror suspect who was in possession of some of that all important vital information, you don’t say no to Jack Bauer, so Paul was subsequently abandoned mid-surgery and promptly died.

That’s Bauer gratitude for you.

6. Russian Roulette
(Season 3)

Day 3 was definitely Jack’s most extreme day, but to be fair you’d probably be a little wound up if you were battling a heroin addiction.

During his unsanctioned efforts to break Mexican drug lord Ramon Salazar out of prison, Jack caused a prison riot as a diversion, as you do.

Disguised as guards, Jack and Ramon were soon captured by prisoners who assumed they were actually guards. The prisoners decided to have a little fun with their hostages, unfortunately they didn’t have a game of Guitar Hero in mind and instead made Jack and a rather nervous young guard play Russian Roulette.

Sadly for the red shirt guard he got the loaded chamber, after being talked into playing by Jack (way to go Bauer). Amused by their antics, the prisoners set up round 2, this time pitting Jack against Ramon.

Both Jack and Ramon survived one pull of the trigger each before Jack turned the gun on his captors and as luck would have it he found the loaded chamber – he’s like some sort of gun-toting Nostradamus.

5. That’ll come in ‘Handy’
(Season 3)

James Badge Dale who played Chase Edmunds during 24’s third season will soon be seen in the big budget HBO World War II mini-series The Pacific – The Battle of Iwo Jima will no doubt seem like a walk in the park compared to spending 24 hours with Jack Bauer.

Chase was working with Jack at CTU Field Ops and also seeing his daughter Kim, something Jack discovered during the course of the day’s events and actually took surprisingly well, or so we thought…

In the season 3 finale, Jack and Chase had tracked down the last batch of the deadly Cordilla virus that had been causing them so much grief throughout the day, to a school.

While Jack went about gleefully pointing his gun at innocent kids, Chase got into a scrap with the bad guy in possession of the virus and in the heat of the battle clamped the virus vial to his own arm – what a fool.

Jack soon arrived and despatched the bad guy, only to discover that the clamp wasn’t coming off Chase’s arm and he only had a few minutes before the deadly virus would be released. Jack’s efforts to cut the wires to remove the clamp were unsuccessful (allegedly), so his eyes soon wandered to a nearby axe…

I’m sure you can guess the rest.

No one sleeps with Jack Bauer’s daughter and gets away with it…

4. Executes his Boss
(Season 3)

I’m sure at one time or another everyone has day-dreamed about telling their boss what for, well trust Jack Bauer to take it to the extreme.

During the course of the extremely bloody third season, CTU regional director Ryan Chappelle, who had proved himself to be a huge douche during the first two seasons, was ordered to be executed by villain of the day Stephen Saunders, or else.

Unable to locate Saunders in time, Jack took Chappelle to a train yard, made him get on his knees, and after some last minute redemption, when Chappelle was too much of a pussy to take his own life, Jack executed him in one of the show’s most shocking and, to be completely serious for a minute, sickening moments.

Just to prove that killing his co-workers was no big thing, at the beginning of season 6, Jack also killed Curtis Manning who he’d been partnered with in the previous two seasons.

Why did he shoot Curtis in the neck at point blank range? To spare the life of a former terrorist who himself was also dead a few hours later.

Imagine what Jack would do if you asked to swap shifts with him…

3. Going for the Jugular
(Season 6)

After being held captive by the Chinese for some 20 months, Jack Bauer was finally brought back to the US at the beginning of Day 6, only to be handed over to terrorist Abu Fayed who planned to torture Bauer and then kill him in revenge for what Bauer had done to his brother.

What had Jack done to Fayed’s brother? Yep, you guessed it, tortured him to death.

Dumb ass Fayed must’ve been to the Dr. Evil school of villainy though, as before he had his wicked way with Jack he proceeded to reveal his entire plan to him and then leave Jack alone in a room with just one of his henchmen, which was never going to end well for the henchman.

Although Jack was handcuffed that didn’t stop him from offing the hapless henchman in a rather grisly way, namely by ripping out the guy’s jugular with his teeth and then nonchalantly wiping the dead man’s blood from his mouth.

Kiefer Sutherland was obviously nostalgic for his Lost Boys role that day…

2. Removes Knife from own Abdomen
and throws it into a Russian’s Trachea
(Season 8)

I couldn’t think up a pithy title for this moment that would do justice to just how ridiculous it really was.

In the latest season of 24, Jack and emotionally damaged former FBI agent Renee Walker were undercover with Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan (played by the brilliant Callum Keith Rennie) who had previously raped Renee.

After Vlad got a bit too rough with Renee one time too many, she took a page out of Jack’s book and shivved him through the eye with a bread knife. As Renee repeatedly stabbed Vlad’s lifeless corpse, Jack dashed into the room to stop her only to take the aforementioned knife to the stomach.

As Renee looked on horrified, Jack crumpled over looking extremely worse for wear, like a flash though he made a superhuman recovery as Vladimir’s useless right hand man Lugo barged into the room. In the blink of an eye Jack pulled the knife out of his own side and flung it across the room into Lugo’s throat.

In a show that has been crammed full of ludicrous moments this was by far the most ludicrous, but if proof was ever needed that Jack Bauer was still TV’s foremost bad ass then this was it.

1. “I’m Gonna Need a Hacksaw”
(Season 2)

Even removing a knife stuck in his own torso and using it to kill a man cannot compete with a moment so awesome it will probably never be topped, even though this is Jack Bauer we’re talking about.

Weirdy-beardy season 2 Jack Bauer was called back into CTU to help with a new terror threat in the first episode; to re-establish his cover with a domestic terror group Jack needed key witness against the group Marshall Goren bringing in to CTU.

We soon found out why Jack wouldn’t explain what he wanted with Goren as, after some brief exposition about Goren being into child porn so you didn’t feel bad for the guy, Jack shot him through the heart.

If anyone had any doubts about 24 being able to sustain viewer interest beyond the unparalleled first season then the immortal line delivered by Jack after he shoots Goren wiped away any lingering doubts – all together now:

“I’m gonna need a hacksaw…”

Anyone not familiar with the show, or who has read this list and come straight to number one may think that a hacksaw is a reasonable request and wonder why this is the most bad ass Jack Bauer moment – maybe Jack wanted to do a spot of DIY? Well the above still of Goren’s decapitated head in a bowling bag should give you a pretty accurate picture of what Jack actually had in mind for that hacksaw and it sure as shit wasn’t building a bird table for the Bauer garden.

Honourable Mention - Junk Bauer
(Season 3)

Although not actually seen on screen, (he doesn’t shoot up during the course of Day 3) Jack’s dedication to his undercover work really is something to behold.

If his recent performance in season 8 as a German arms dealer is anything to go by, I’d say Jack’s heart isn’t in undercover work anymore; but back in season 3 he was so devoted to his cause that he shot up heroin with Mexican drug lords the Salazars to maintain his cover, eventually becoming addicted and being very cranky from withdrawals for most of day 3.

You wouldn’t catch MacGyver doing that shit…

Out of context these moments probably sound ridiculous, actually, in context they were all pretty ridiculous, but for the best part of a decade now 24 and in particular the character of Jack Bauer have delivered us some of the most inexplicably awesome TV moments of all time.

Speaking of 24…

24 Day 8 Death Counter:

Hour 8 –

Dimitri – (JBK) the unfortunate recipient of the patented Jack Bauer leg grapevine neck snap, after he made the huge mistake of turning his back on Jack during an impromptu torturing session.

Bazhaev’s Henchman – (JBK) jumped and stabbed in the heart by Jack as he went to check the fuse box.

Bazhaev’s Henchmen x2 – (JBK) shot by Jack

Bazhaev’s Henchmen x2 – Shot in the head by Josef Bazhaev in the back of the truck transporting the fuel rods.

(all in all not a good episode to be a Bazhaev henchman)

Episode Death Total = 6

Cumulative Season Death Total = 28

Jack Bauer Kills (JBK) Total = 9

TV Moment of the Week:

- Locke’s ‘funeral’ on the sublime sixth season of Lost.

Mainly for two great lines – the first coming from Ben at the end of his eulogy about what a great man poor Locke was:

“…and I’m very sorry I murdered him.”

The second coming from the criminally underused Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) after Ben’s aforementioned eulogy:

“This is the weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to…”

With just a simple furrow of the eyebrows Frank delivered another brilliant one liner – since his introduction, Frank has gradually become the on screen voice of the viewer able to sum up our feelings and thoughts with just one line or even a look. Hopefully they’ll give the series everyman, struggling in a sea of weirdness and eccentricity, something juicy to sink his teeth into before the end of the season and the series.

Check in next week for an in depth look at one of my favourite shows of the last five years – the incendiary Rescue Me.


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