Jack Bauer

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Jack Bauer
24 character
Jack Bauer.jpg
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
Portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland
Appearances 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Other Appearances 24: The Game
24: Redemption
24: Live Another Day

Jack Bauer is a fictional character and the lead protagonist of the Fox television series 24. His character has worked in various capacities on the show, often as a member of the fictional Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) based in Los Angeles, and working with the FBI in Washington, D.C. during season 7. Within the 24 storyline, Bauer is a key member of CTU and is often portrayed as their most capable agent. Bauer's job usually involves helping prevent major terrorist attacks on the United States, saving both civilian lives and government administrations. On many occasions Jack does so at great personal expense, as those he thwarts subsequently target him and his loved ones. He is not a crooked agent; however, Bauer's frequent use of torture to gather information has generated much controversy and discussion.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland portrays Jack Bauer in the television show[1] and video game. The television series was originally set to end on May 24, 2010 after eight successful seasons but was renewed for a ninth season, which is set to premiere on May 5, 2014.[2] A feature film was set to be released, however discussions ended over a contract dispute with Fox.

TV Guide ranked him #49 on their list of "TV's Top 50 Heroes" and Sky 1 listed Jack as #1 on their list of "TV's toughest men". Entertainment Weekly named Jack Bauer one of The 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture.[3] In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly also named him one of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.[4]

Concept and creation[edit]

24 co-creator Joel Surnow commented that they did not have any actors in mind for the part; "We didn't really know who it was. We were casting a lot of people and then we heard Kiefer Sutherland's name and thought, that's Jack Bauer."[5] In 2000, Sutherland was contacted by his friend, director Stephen Hopkins, who was working on the pilot for the experimental real-time TV show and offered him the lead.[6] Initially Sutherland had reservations about playing Bauer, stating, "I thought, 'This is really clever and different, so there's no way they're going to pick it up. But I could use the money, and no one will ever see it'."[7]

Sutherland must produce around 24 hours of film each season, "which is like making 12 movies, so there are going to be mistakes along the way, but I am incredibly surprised by how many things work well as a result of working at that pace."[7] In 2006, Sutherland signed a contract to play the role of Bauer for three seasons following season five. The contract was reported to be worth $40 million.[5] Sutherland is also an executive producer of 24.[8]


Jack Bauer was born in Santa Monica, California,[9] on February 18, 1966,[10] to Phillip Bauer, who placed his livelihood in his company, BXJ Technologies. The name of Jack's mother is unknown. Jack had one brother, Graem Bauer. Phillip originally planned to give the company to Jack,[11] but as Jack said in Day 6, "I just had to go my own way."[12]

Jack has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Science degree in Criminology and Law from the University of California, Berkeley.[13] He enlisted in the U.S. Army and later graduated from Officer Candidate School. His MOS was infantry and he was a member of the Special Forces. Among his awards and decorations are the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Legion of Merit. He received Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger training. He left the Army with the rank of Captain after fifteen years of service.

After leaving the U.S. Army, he married Teri Bauer and had one child, Kim Bauer. Following his military career, Jack worked for both the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics unit and for the Central Intelligence Agency as a case officer in the clandestine service. He was recruited into the Counter Terrorist Unit by Christopher Henderson.[14]

He has demonstrated being at the peak of physical and mental condition. He has also shown a high proficiency with firearms (typically used a SIG P228 as his weapon of choice for the first and second season, but switched to a USP Compact as his weapon of choice for the rest of the franchise), explosives, electronic devices, resistance to torture (after being kidnapped by Chinese agents and tortured for almost two years, it is revealed he didn't speak a single word for the whole time). He is fluent in German (Season 8) and has demonstrated some ability to either speak or understand Spanish (Seasons 1 and 3), Russian (Season 6), Arabic (Season 8), and Serbian (Season 1). He is also shown to be capable of flying planes (Season 2) and helicopters (Seasons 3, 5 and 8). Jack Bauer is an experienced field agent with a military background. He possesses a multitude of useful skills, such as clue analysis, stealth, piloting and electronic communication and is an expert at interrogation and persuasion techniques performed under great stress, a skill that is fueled by great strength of personality. Jack is an adequate and formidable hand-to-hand combatant from his years in the United States Army and Special Forces. He appears to be a daring and seemingly indestructible agent.

Jack Bauer wants to have a normal life and to be happy, but his commitment to his country often brings him into conflict with that goal. He is required to serve a sometimes-hypocritical bureaucracy that acknowledges his service, but will not hesitate to hold him responsible for the more extreme actions that they themselves may directly or indirectly authorize.

Jack has lost his wife Teri, murdered by a traitor who had infiltrated CTU. His relationship with his daughter Kim is at times tumultuous (Season 2, Season 5) while at other times accepting of who he is and what he must do (Season 7, Season 8). In his goal to find peace he gets involved with Audrey Raines, the daughter of Secretary of Defense Heller, whom Jack works for. The relation with the Secretary's daughter is all but severed when Jack makes the decision to save material witness over Audrey's ex-husband. He lost his best friend Tony Almeida and former boss Michelle to a car bomb. He lost his friend, former President Palmer, to the same assassin who killed his friend. His girlfriend Renee Walker was killed by an assassin's bullet. His own government that he has sworn to protect has turned on him (former President Logan, President Taylor), and at the beginning of Season 7 he is on trial for his interrogation tactics. Finally, the friend he thought was dead (Tony Almeida) betrays him when he turns to terrorism only to seek revenge for the person who killed his wife, Michelle.

Jack's final dialogue with Renee Walker in Season 7[15] offers insight into his perspective on torture and its ramifications:

I see fifteen people held hostage on a bus, and everything else goes out the window. I will do whatever it takes to save them, and I mean whatever it takes. ... Laws were written by much smarter men than me. And in the end, these laws have to be more important than the 15 people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind, I know that's right. I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with it.


As the protagonist and central figure of 24, Jack Bauer is the only character to have appeared in all episodes of the series.

24 Season 1[edit]

During season 1, Bauer's wife Teri and his daughter Kim are kidnapped by Victor Drazen, a man Bauer believes he killed in a covert mission called Operation Nightfall in Kosovo two years earlier. Jack must try to rescue them, while simultaneously preventing an assassination attempt on presidential-candidate Senator David Palmer. Erroneously believing that Kim is murdered by Drazen, Jack single-handedly kills Drazen and his associates in a fit of rage. As Bauer is returning to CTU, Nina Myers, whom he knows to be a traitor, attempts to escape but is soon captured and arrested. Teri, who was shot by Nina Myers after overhearing an incriminating phone conversation, is found dead by Bauer. The first season ends dramatically with Bauer holding his wife's dead body in his arms.

24 Season 2[edit]

18 months after the events of Day 1 and the loss of his wife Teri, Jack is asked to be brought back into action by George Mason (the head of CTU at the time) and CTU at the request of the NSA. Jack, who is still seemingly overwhelmed by his wife's death and the fact that his daughter Kim disowns him, refuses as he holds CTU responsible for what happened to Teri. However, at the request of now-President Palmer (Jack's close friend), he goes to CTU, where he learns that there are terrorists in Los Angeles who plan to detonate a nuclear bomb in the city, sometime within the course of that day. A few hours later, CTU is infiltrated and bombed by anti-government American terrorists. Although the blasts destroyed much of the building, killed 30 and wounded 17 others, CTU were still able to operate from it for the remainder of the day. Thanks to Jack's work, the nuclear bomb is detonated in the Mojave Desert, with only the loss of George Mason, who was already dying of radiation poisoning. Jack then spends the remainder of the day working with CTU to find out who was really behind the nuclear bomb in order to prevent war in the Middle East.

24 Season 3[edit]

Three years later, Jack returns from an undercover sting operation of Ramon Salazar, a Mexican drug lord. While the operation is a success and results in the arrest of Salazar, it comes at a heavy price. Bauer ends up with a heroin addiction which resulted in his use of it in order to maintain his cover with the Salazars, and attempts to fight it by going "cold turkey". After Jack breaks Ramon out of prison to locate Ramon's brother, Hector, Ramon betrays him and he is taken along with Ramon to Mexico. Hector insists that Bauer be kept alive to buy the Cordilla virus and resell them to underground organizations worldwide for a one billion dollar profit. Eventually Bauer wins the trust of Ramon Salazar but learns that another buyer is in play, headed by Nina Myers. Nina won the virus and Jack has to prove to her that he hates CTU. Nina even makes Jack kiss her. The sale of the virus goes bad, but Nina Myers is taken into custody and is eventually executed by Bauer after he deems her useless. Kim was about to shoot Nina when Jack shoots her instead. He then learns that the man behind the distribution of the virus and the attacks is Stephen Saunders, one of Jack's former team members presumed dead from Operation: Nightfall in Kosovo. At one point Saunders threatens to use the virus if the President doesn't have CTU Regional Director, Ryan Chappelle killed. Chappelle is getting close to discovering Saunders has a daughter. The President reluctantly puts this on Jack. Jack utters the words "God forgive me" and carries out the execution per the President's orders. Eventually Jack and Chase Edmunds capture Saunders and retrieve the vials of virus. On their last retrieval, Jack is forced to make a decision to cut off Chase's hand using an axe to gain access to the final vial; Chase had fastened the device to his hand with a titanium clamp to prevent the escape of the suspect carrying it. After leaving the hospital following Chase's decision, Jack takes a moment in his parked SUV. For the last remaining minutes in the 24 hours since the day began, Jack sits alone in his car and cries over all the events he's had to endure, such as killing Chappelle. The events in the last episode and what happens later also suggest that Jack cried because he regretted that he couldn't put work beside his family. The main indicators are Jack's anger when Tony says that he cannot sacrifice his wife the way Bauer did, placing of the scene immediately after Jack talks to his daughter about Chase's decision, and his statements made to Audrey in season 4 where he says he wanted something different from working in the field, to be able to connect with someone wholly.

24 Season 4[edit]

Eighteen months later, Jack is fired by Erin Driscoll due to his heroin addiction acquired prior to Season 3. He finds employment with the Department of Defense and becomes involved in a relationship with Audrey Raines, the daughter of Secretary of Defense James Heller. Eighteen months after Day 3 Jack is called back in CTU to help them stop a terrorist mastermind named Habib Marwan. Audrey witnesses Jack interrogate her estranged husband Paul Raines, which makes her question whether or not she can be in a relationship with him. Jack is unable to stop Air Force One from being shot out of the sky with a stolen Stealth Fighter jet, leading Vice President Charles Logan to assume office. Later in the day, Jack is told by former President David Palmer, whom Logan brought in as an advisor, to invade the Chinese consulate and extract a man named Lee Jong who has key information. However, the Chinese consul was accidentally killed by the Chinese guards shooting at Bauer. Lee Jong was also injured during the raid, leading Jack to force doctors at CTU who had been operating on Paul Raines to sacrifice him in order to save Lee, much to Audrey's dismay. Jack and CTU are soon able to beat the clock and intercept the nuclear warhead that Marwan had targeted Los Angeles with. But the Chinese soon learn that Jack was behind the attack, forcing Jack to fake his own death and go into hiding in order to avoid being taken into Chinese custody.[16]

24 Season 5[edit]

After Michelle Dessler and David Palmer are killed, and Tony Almeida is presumed dead by assassins, Jack is forced out of hiding. He discovers that the assassin's plot was to frame him for the murders. Chloe O'Brian is saved by Jack as assassins attempt to kill her as well. Jack interrogates the assassin and retrieves information that they were setting him up. Terrorists take over an airport terminal, but CTU learns that the hostage situation was a decoy to obtain military-grade Sentox nerve gas. Jack follows a series of leads which takes him to Christopher Henderson, a man Jack used to work under at CTU. Jack goes undercover when the terrorists try to release a canister at the Sunrise Hills shopping mall, and he stops the attempt against the orders of the President. Jack and CTU then are able to thwart the terrorists next attack by blowing up a natural gas facility the terrorists had used to circulate the nerve gas throughout the city. Jack eventually learns that it is President Charles Logan who is behind the day's events. Jack works and goes to great lengths to recover a recording implicating the President, going as far as to hijack an airplane that was carrying the person whom the recording had been passed off to. Eventually, Jack is able to directly confront the President. Though he is unable to get Logan to confess to his crimes, he places a micro transmitter in the President's pen, which leads to his downfall. At the end of the season Jack is captured and imprisoned by the Chinese for his actions from Day 4. It is speculated that the Chinese learned that Jack was still alive by President Logan, looking to cover his tracks and trying to prevent Jack from exposing him.

24 Season 6[edit]

Over the last 11 weeks, the United States has been a target of non-stop terrorist attacks and bombings, in public buildings and transportation. Jack is released from China 20 months after his capture at the end of Day 5. It is revealed that he is being released only to be handed over to Abu Fayed who wants revenge on Jack who had killed his brother years earlier.[17] However, Jack manages to escape by biting out a man's jugular vein and tries to warn President Wayne Palmer of Hamri Al-Assad's innocence, a man whom Fayed convinced the US was behind the attacks. Jack saves Assad from an air strike, and the two are able to thwart a bombing attempt on a subway and rescue a civilian family held hostage. As the events unfold, painful memories of his murdered U.S. Army Green Berets team leads Curtis Manning to attempt to kill Assad, leaving Jack no choice but to shoot Curtis in order to get more of the information they need from Assad, sending Jack into an emotional state of overwhelming grief. Jack attempts to quit from CTU, but a nuclear bomb explodes, destroying Valencia, California. He realizes he cannot stop what he's doing until he stops Fayed once and for all. New leads point to an involvement with a company run by his father Phillip Bauer and brother Graem. Jack interrogates Graem for information, but before he can get a lead Phillip Bauer sees his son as too much of a risk to reveal his involvement and kills Graem himself (giving the impression Graem had a heart attack from the drugs). Jack discovers his father's involvement and trails him to a hotel, where he is holding his grandson (Jack's nephew) Josh Bauer hostage. Phillip agrees to trade Josh's life for Jack's. As Phillip is about to execute his son, Jack makes a last sentiment, claiming that he became what he did for his own reasons, and not to spite his father. Phillip leaves before shooting Jack, and leaves him a PDA with instructions to call a phone number belonging to Charles Logan. It is eventually revealed that a Russian general is involved with Fayed's plot, and Jack takes a Russian official hostage inside the Russian consulate, risking imprisonment for the same action he committed at the Chinese consulate years earlier. The official is found out to be in league with the terrorists, and Jack is not penalized for his actions by Russia. Eventually Jack manages to thwart Fayed's nuclear plans, killing him before any more bombs could detonate.

Jack is told that Audrey Raines died looking for him in China, but later discovers that she has actually been kidnapped by the Chinese. He completes an exchange with the Chinese and manages to save Audrey, as well as his nephew who gets mixed up in the events when Phillip Bauer returns. Audrey has lost her memory and does not remember Jack. Jack tearfully bids goodbye to Audrey after being told by her father, James Heller, that he cannot give her good enough care. The season ends with Jack staring out into the horizon, uncertain of his future.[18]

24: Redemption[edit]

Looking for a place where he can 'be at peace', Jack finds himself traveling the world and eventually winds up in the fictional African nation of Sangala. Here, he stays with his old friend and former special forces colleague Carl Benton, who runs a school for rescued war orphans. During his stay in Sangala, Bauer is found and subsequently subpoenaed by a state department official to appear before a senate hearing to answer questions concerning his activities with CTU, for which he has been trying to avoid for more than a year.

When a sudden military coup takes place in the country, Jack helps Benton bring the orphans to the U.S. embassy so that they can leave the country and escape rebels who plan to turn them into child soldiers. After Benton is killed, Jack turns himself in to a subpoena executed by U.S. Marines and allows himself to be arrested at the embassy in order to let the children be removed from the war zone.

24 Season 7[edit]

At 8 AM, 65 days after the events of Redemption, Jack begins his day at a Senate Subcommittee hearing; Senator Blaine Meyer is conducting an investigation into the actions of CTU, and it is clear that he intends to make an example of Jack. Bauer is rescued by FBI agent Renee Walker, who needs his assistance to prevent a developing terrorist threat: an extremist group is attempting to take over American infrastructure, including power, water and air traffic control. Jack is needed because Tony Almeida (believed dead since season 5) is in fact alive and is assisting this group. Jack and Renee succeed in apprehending Tony, who reveals that he is helping Bill Buchanan and Chloe O'Brian to reveal a conspiracy embedded deep within the American government. This conspiracy is controlled by the dictator of Sangala, Gen. Benjamin Juma, who first sends a subordinate, Col. Ike Dubaku, to capture former Sengalan Prime Minister Ule Matobo, whom Juma deposed, and then stages an attack on the White House in the hopes of humiliating and eliminating President of the United States Allison Taylor. Jack, Tony, Bill and Renee, with support from Chloe and FBI agents Larry Moss and Janis Gold, are able to foil these efforts.

However, it becomes clear that Juma was not working alone: he had support from within America, in the form of a private military company (PMC) called Starkwood. Juma and Starkwood CEO Jonas Hodges had collaborated to develop a bioweapon, a fast-acting strain of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which Hodges attempts to use to force President Taylor to include him and Starkwood in the highest circles of American government. Fortunately, the bioagent is destroyed before deployment via Tony's efforts, with only one known victim: Jack himself, who was exposed to the prion while attempting to escape with it. FBI physicians predict death within two days; while an experimental treatment involving the stem cells of a family member does exist, it has a low probability of success. As Hodges is arrested, it becomes clear that he is but one link in a larger chain: the leaders of many American PMCs have been assisting his efforts, and had planned to use his bioweapon for similar purposes. Tony is revealed to be an agent of this inner circle when he escapes with the only remaining canister of bioweapon. Though his attempts to deploy it are foiled, he manages to escape custody when his allies capture Kim Bauer, who had flown to DC to watch the Senate hearings, and threaten her with death unless Jack breaks Tony out of FBI custody. Tony thereafter reveals that his actions ever since resurrection have revolved around Alan Wilson, leader of the PMC conspirators and the man who ordered the assassinations (as seen in the opening moments of season 5) of former president David Palmer, Chloe O'Brian, Tony himself and his wife Michelle Dessler, who, Tony reveals, was carrying their unborn child. Tony and Wilson are both remanded to federal custody, while Jack makes peace with his impending death, unaware that Kim has volunteered to provide stem cells for the experimental treatment.

Jack's emotional state is more central to the story than it has been in previous seasons. Though he and Senator Mayer begin the day with attitudes of mutual antagonism, Jack later visits him at his home for information on Starkwood (Mayer had been investigating Starkwood as well as CTU), and the two come to an understanding: both of them want to live in a world where Jack's methods are unnecessary, even though they have somewhat different means of bringing that world to fruition. He wins the respect of a Muslim imam, Muhtadi Gohar, while attempting to apprehend a terror suspect (whom Tony had framed), and in fact turns to Gohar for spiritual guidance at the end of his life. He is able to make peace with Kim, despite the many years and pains between them. However, his most notable emotional relationship is with Renee Walker, who quickly establishes her willingness to abide by the law when she allows Jack to torture a suspect who may be protecting Almeida. Renee is possessed of the same hatred of injustice as Jack, but is very hesitant to employ the methods he uses; the two characters personify the debate that has raged on the show (and about it) for many years: whether the ends justify the means. The final important revelation offered this season was that Jack by no means believes the law to be unnecessary or weak, stating that he "know[s] that these laws have to be more important" than the often few people he is trying to save (one must assume that 24 only reveals rare exceptions, and that in the "regular/workday" life of CTU, the targets are much smaller); however, despite this belief, he contends that his "heart couldn't live with" sacrificing innocent persons, however few (the example he cites is "fifteen people on a bus"), for the sake of maintaining some abstract law or legal fiction.

24 Season 8[edit]

As season 8 started Jack Bauer was sitting with his granddaughter and watching TV. His daughter Kim asked if he wanted to come back to Los Angeles with her; he said yes.

On learning of an assassination attempt on Kamistani President Omar Hassan prior to peace talks with Russia, Jack contacts Chloe O'Brian at CTU. They learn that someone very close to Hassan is the suspected assassin. When Chloe asks for Jack's help, he says that he is done, but his daughter persuades him to help CTU foil the assassination attempt. The bomber is identified as one of the security personnel and Jack saves Hassan by killing the bomber.

Farhad Hassan (brother and Chief of Staff to Omar Hassan) is closely involved in the assassination as well as with smuggling nuclear fuel rods. This latter subplot involves Jack and Renee Walker going undercover to try and identify the location of the rods. Samir Mehran has the rods and wants to use them as leverage (as dirty bombs) to capture President Hassan. President Taylor asked Jack to protect President Hassan, but Hassan surrenders himself to Mehran to protect innocent lives being lost. Hassan is executed, leaving Jack to apologise to President Taylor for his failure.

Jack and Walker return to his apartment and after a passionate moment together finds the two looking to their future, she is shot by a sniper (hired by the Russian foreign minister, Mikhail Novakovich). Renee dies shortly after in the hospital with a distraught Jack looking on. With revenge his only concern, Bauer attempts to interrogate Dana Walsh (a CTU mole), but President Taylor intercedes and orders that Jack be transferred to McGuire Air Force Base. In transit, he hijacks a helicopter and immediately tracks down an old friend, Jim Ricker, to supply him with weapons.

As he tracks Walsh, Jack is crossed by Chloe, nevertheless he finds Walsh and discovers the Russian involvement in the conspiracy behind President Hassan's death. Jack kills Walsh in cold blood after her failed attempt to escape with the information. This also leads him to Pavel Tokarev, the sniper who killed Renee. After brutally torturing Tokarev, Jack realises that the information he needs to discover the full extent of the conspiracy is on a phone SIM card, swallowed by Tokarev. Tokarev dies as Jack evicerates him and retrieves the card from his stomach. Tokarev's last contact was with former President Charles Logan. Jack captures Logan, who leads him to Novakovitch, but unknown to Logan, Jack had placed a bug on him (ironically, Bauer did exactly the same thing to Logan in Season 5, but once again Logan didn't notice). After tracking down and eliminating Novakovich and his bodyguards, Jack then, via the bug, discovers that Logan is conspiring directly with Russian President Yuri Suvarov.

In the final hour of the series, Jack sets up an operation to take down Suvarov by having Logan ask Suvarov to come to his residence. Jack sits across in the next building with a sniper rifle aimed straight at Logan's room. However, before he has a chance to pull the trigger, Chloe intervenes, saying that they can use the recording Jack made of Logan and Suvarov's conversation as evidence. Jack initially refuses until Chloe hits him with the realization that killing a government figure like Suvarov would lead to Russia declaring war on the United States and that he would be going against everything Renee believed in. Faced with the reality of being the instigator of the deaths of thousands of innocent people, Jack ultimately agrees and gives her the recording. He then forces her to shoot him to avoid suspicion. As Jack is being transported to CTU, Logan (under the indirect authorization of President Taylor) arranges for his ambulance to be ambushed. In the final scene of the show, Jack is taken to a construction site to be killed. However, the agent charged with killing Jack receives a phone call from President Taylor, who had found them through a CTU drone via Chloe and Arlo. Taylor orders the agents to stand down and release Jack.

In the final moments, Jack contacts Chloe at CTU. Still watching him on the drone, Chloe tells Jack that she and Taylor are buying time for him to flee the country, as he will now be pursued by both Russian and American agents for the events of the past hours and the revelation of the Russian conspiracy. Jack looks towards Chloe (via the drone), and asks her to protect Kim and her family because anyone that comes after him will try to use her to lure him out of hiding. Chloe promises to keep them safe and before running off, Jack tells Chloe that when she first came to CTU, he never once thought it was going to be she who had his back all these years. He thanks her and then begins running away (which leaves the story open for the feature film), as Chloe tells Arlo to shut down the drone. The camera focuses and fades out on Jack's face one last time before the final clock, the only clock in all eight seasons to count down from 3 seconds to 0.

24: Live Another Day[edit]

On Monday, May 13, 2013, Fox Entertainment Division announced that Jack Bauer will return to television in May 2014, with a 12-hour "24" event series called 24: Live Another Day. The plot is set four years after Day 8. On Sunday, February 2, 2014 Fox released a preview showing Jack helping Chloe walk through a chaotic London street and firing his pistol (per Super Bowl teaser trailers his sidearm of choice has changed to a Heckler & Koch P30) at an unnamed target while screaming with anger.[19]

Other appearances[edit]

As the principal character in 24, Jack plays a prominent role in the television series as well as the video game. Jack is the main protagonist of the 24 series and the books, and has appeared in every episode to date. Kiefer Sutherland has portrayed Jack Bauer in these episodes, including the prequels and the webisodes. Additionally, he voiced the same character in 24: The Game, 24: Day Zero and 24: DVD Board Game.

24 Prequels[edit]

Jack Bauer is also featured in all four prequels, that can be found on the 24 DVD releases and various websites. These prequels are designed to bridge the gap between seasons. They provide backstory into story arcs for upcoming seasons, namely insight into what Jack's actions have been leading up to the next season. Prequels have been made for Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7.

24 Webisodes[edit]

24: Day 6 Debrief takes place 35 hours after the nuclear device exploded in Valencia, California. The series consists of 5 segments, no longer than three minutes in length each. Two agents, Agent Ramirez and Agent Moss, track Jack down to a hotel room and ask him to come to District for debriefing about the recovery of the tactical nukes. The Debrief consists of Agent Ramirez and other agents attempting to discover more about the supposed-death of an undercover agent, Marcus Holt, who disappeared shortly after Jack's imprisonment in China at the hands of Cheng Zhi. Since Holt was involved with the Chinese government, it is believed that Jack leaked information that led to his identity being discovered and execution. At the end of the series, the agents announce that they have no conclusive evidence about his involvement, but Ramirez promises to keep a close eye on him until he is certain. Jack tells Ramirez that if he ever sees him again, he better say "The Lord's Prayer", because it will mean he's come to kill him.

With that, Bauer is released from custody and the interrogation ends.

24: The Game[edit]

Bauer in 24: The Game, which takes place six months after Day 2.

24: The Game takes place between Day 2 and 3. Jack begins waiting outside a ship where terrorists are going to release a ricin bomb in the water supply. A CTU Team triggers an alarm causing Jack and his team to storm the ship. Jack and his team find the whole ship's crew dead in a cargo hold. He runs into Peter Madsen, an enemy from his past. It is unclear what the story is between them, but it is stated that he framed Jack's family for a vile crime, this is hinted with Jack saying to him: "Eight years ago, my family was not involved". Madsen also states that he no longer takes orders from Jack. It's hinted that Madsen was under Jack's command either in the army or in a SWAT team, and Madsen betrayed Jack. Madsen kidnaps Jack's daughter Kim, and later Kate Warner. Jack finally kills Madsen near the end of the game when he tries to escape by shooting up his speedboat with a Zastava M80 assault rifle, causing it to explode. He also kills Max, who was holding Kate hostage, saving her life. However Max managed to shoot Jack once before dying, the second of two times he was shot in the final hour of the game, the first time by Madsen. As a result, Chase Edmunds takes Jack to the hospital via helicopter.

24 Toys[edit]

Diamond Select Toys released 1/6 scale figures based on Jack Bauer:

  • 2008- Jack Bauer 8:00 AM
  • 2009- Jack Bauer 3:00 PM Season 1
  • 2009- Jack Bauer 9:00 PM Season 1

Diamond Select Toys released 1/24 scale Minimates based on 24:

  • 2007- Season 1 Box Set (Jack Bauer, Nina Myers, David Palmer, Kim Bauer)
  • 2007- End of Day 1 Two-Pack, PX Exclusive (Jack Bauer, Andre Drazen)
  • 2007- Season 2 Box Set (Season 2 Jack Bauer, Tony Almeda, Michelle Dessler, George Mason)
  • 2007- End of Day 2 Two-Pack, Suncoast/FYE Exclusive (Stretcher Jack Bauer, Prisoner Nina Myers)
  • Canceled- Season 3 Box Set (Undercover Jack Bauer, Sherry Palmer, Chloe O'Brien, Chase Edmunds)
  • Canceled- End of Day 3 Two-Pack (Jack Bauer, Stephen Saunders)

Enterbay released 1/6 scale figures based on 24:

  • 2009- Jack Bauer
  • 2009- President David Palmer

McFarlane Toys released 1/12 scale figures based on Jack Bauer:

  • 2007- Jack Bauer Boxed Set 1
  • 2007- Jack Bauer Boxed Set 2

Medicom Toy (Japan) released 1/6 scale figures based on Jack Bauer in their Real Action Heroes line:

  • 2005- Jack Bauer (Suit) Season 4 7:00 am – 8:00 am
  • 2005- Jack Bauer (Tac) Season 4 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • 2007- Jack Bauer Season 5

24 comic books[edit]

IDW has released a series of comic books based on the adventures of Jack Bauer and other members of the 24 Cast. 24's Comic License is published by IDW Publishing

  • 24: Nightfall — A tale shedding more light on the background and characters of Day 1, including Victor Drazen. Written by J. C. Vaughn and Mark L. Haynes
  • 24: Cold Warriors — An original tale of intrigue featuring Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brian, set in Alaska. Written by Beau Smith and Steve Bryant

The Simpsons[edit]

Jack Bauer appeared in the season 18 episode 24 Minutes of The Simpsons. In the episode, he is accidentally called by Bart in the middle of a shooting, who then plays a prank call on him. Enraged, he reappears at the end of the episode, having called all agents of his organization and abandoning his mission to hunt Bart down and arrest him. A nuclear bomb then goes off in the distance, but everyone sighs with relief after Bauer reassures them that the nuclear bomb went off in Shelbyville.

World of Warcraft[edit]

The MMORPG "World of warcraft" in its Cataclysm expansion alluded to Jack Bauer with a quest character named "Jack Bauden". In the game, he is an undercover agent that you must help escape from capture and thwart enemy plans. Bauer's line from the Season 1 intro is used by the character Bauden upon completing a quest: "This is the longest day of my life."

Critical reception[edit]

Having won an Emmy Award (with 5 other nominations), a Golden Globe (with 4 other nominations), two SAG Awards (with 3 other nominations) and two Satellite Awards, Kiefer Sutherland's performance as Jack Bauer became (award-wise) the third most acclaimed Male Lead Dramatic TV performance of the 2000s behind James Gandolfini (with 3 Emmys, 1 Golden Globe and 3 SAG Awards) and Bryan Cranston (with 3 Emmys, 1 Golden Globe, 2 SAG Awards, and 4 Satellite Awards). He is also one of only two Male Lead Drama TV Actors ever to have won all 4 awards, the other being Bryan Cranston for his role as Walter White on Breaking Bad (with 3 Emmys, 1 Golden Globe, 2 SAG Awards, and 4 Satellite Awards).

Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "When Kiefer Sutherland's 24 superagent barks "Dammit, Chloe—we're running out of time!" America's ass is about to be saved in some new, heart-stopping way."[20]

American politicians and lawyers have taken to using Jack Bauer and his actions to frame the debate on American interrogation techniques (in this case, "torture"), which have become an object of intense controversy.[21][22]

For example, at a legal conference in Ottawa, Canada, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took offense at a Canadian judge's remark that Canada did not consider what Jack Bauer would do when setting policy. Scalia shot back: "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles.... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives... Are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so."[23]


  1. ^ Ken Tucker, “24: Mondays, 9 p.m., premiering Sunday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m.,” Entertainment Weekly 1o30 (January 16, 2009): 56.
  2. ^ Ausiello, Michael (January 13, 2014). "Fox Announces Spring Premiere Dates for 24: Live Another Day, Surviving Jack and More". TVLine. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Entertainment Weekly's 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  4. ^ Adam B. Vary (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Stephen M. Silverman (2004-10-06). "Kiefer Sutherland: $40 Million Man". Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  6. ^ Hedegaard, Erik (2006-04-20). "Kiefer Sutherland: Heart of Darkness". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  7. ^ a b Joel Schumacher (2004-02-01). "Kiefer Sutherland: he's been around Hollywood for more than 20 years, but these days, this bold talent has them counting the minutes". Interview. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  8. ^ Jenna Fryer (2004-01-01). "24 SEASON 3 Q&A with JOEL SURNOW, ROBERT COCHRAN and HOWARD GORDON". Phase 9 Movies. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  9. ^ Cerasini, Marc (2003). 24: The House Special Subcommittee's Findings atCTU (First ed.). Harper Collins. p. 7. ISBN 0-06-053550-4. 
  10. ^ Writer: Howard Gordon, director: Brad Turner (2007-05-28). "Debrief #2: 09:42:22". 24. Season 6 Debrief.
  11. ^ Writer: Howard Gordon, director: Jon Cassar (2007-02-05). "12:00 pm - 1:00 pm". 24. Season 6. Episode 127.
  12. ^ Writer: Howard Gordon, director: Brad Turner (2007-02-19). "3:00 pm - 4:00 pm". 24. Season 6. Episode 130.
  13. ^ "FOX Broadcasting Company: 24". Archived from the original on 2008-04-04. 
  14. ^ Writer: Joel Surnow, director: Tim Iacofano (2006-02-27). "4:00 pm - 5:00 pm". 24. Season 5. Episode 106.
  15. ^ Writer: Manny Coto & Brannon Braga, director: Jon Cassar (2009-05-18). "7:00 am - 8:00 am". 24. Season 7. Episode 168.
  16. ^ Writers: Robert Cochran and Howard Gordon, director: Jon Cassar (2005-05-23). "6:00am-7:00am". 24. Season 4. Episode 96.
  17. ^ Writer: Howard Gordon, director: Jon Cassar (2007-01-14). "6:00am-7:00am". 24. Season 6. Episode 121.
  18. ^ Writers: Robert Cochran, Manny Coto and David Fury, director: Brad Turner (2007-05-21). "5:00am-6:00am". 24. Season 6. Episode 144.
  19. ^ "Street Chaos 24: Live Another Day". Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Also, in the web series Key of Awesome, the main character has a man crush on Jack Bauer, but is not gay. Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  21. ^ Froomkin, Dan (2008-04-21). "Duped About Torture". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  22. ^ Sands, Phillip (2008-04-19). "Stress, hooding, noise, nudity, dogs". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  23. ^ Lattman, Peter (June 20, 2007). "Justice Scalia Hearts Jack Bauer". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 

External links[edit]