A 24 Community
FOX (ended 2010)

24: Live Another Day is almost here! To get hyped for Jack Bauer's return, we thought it'd be fun to look back at the show's storied past. We recently celebrated the show's 12 best villains, and today, we're surveying something else 24 was famous for: unbelievably crazy moments. There were so many to choose from, from the "gut-wrenching" kind of crazy to the "absolutely stupid" kind of crazy. Here are our picks for the 12 most outrageous ones—share your own in the comments!


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Teri has temporary amnesia (Season 1); Jack shoots a guy in the heart during an interrogation to reestablish his cover (Season 2); Air Force One gets shot down (Season 4); Edgar dies in the CTU HQ (Season 5); Curtis randomly loses his mind (Season 6); Juma and company infiltrate the White House; basically every mole reveal ever


12. Tony's alive! (Season 7)


This one was ruined by the year-long delay in the production brought forth by the WGA strike, but it was still pretty nutty. Tony (Carlos Bernard) was, for all intents and purposes, murdered in Season 5 by the miserable Christopher Henderson (Peter Weller). Dude was D-E-A-D. But after a terrible sixth season severely lacking in characters the audience could invest in, the show took a big leap to bring back one of CTU's finest. Of course Tony had "turned evil" since the last time we had seen him, but in the 24 universe, all decisions made with revenge in mind are at least somewhat justifiable. 


11. Jack loses his mind, goes on a torturing and killing spree (Season 8)


Speaking of revenge-fueled tirades... The final season of 24 was nearly universally terrible from start to finish (Remember Freddie Prinze Jr. as Cole Ortiz? There was talk of doing a spin-off with him!), but Fox's cancellation of the show meant that Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) could be completely unhinged in the final few hours. Renee Walker's (Annie Wersching) death caused Jack to snap, resulting in an extended and gruesome torture sequence involving a blow torch. Later, Jack ripped through an entire squad of Russian thugs with absolutely no remorse. Disturbing stuff.


10. Jack bites a dude, vampire-style (Season 6)


Jack did quite a bit of damage during interrogations over the years, but in the Season 6 premiere, he found himself on the other side of the poking and prodding. NBD though, because Jack maneuvered his way out of the sticky situation by luring his torturer close enough to take a bite out of the dude's neck, vampire-style. The moment was meant to illustrate that Jack had really been changed by his captivity in China. Uh, mission accomplished? 


9. Jack cuts off Chase's (James Badge Dale) hand (Season 3)


Hey listen, sometimes you have to strap a detonating device full of the deadly Cordilla virus to your hand to stop a bastard from releasing it in a school. And sometimes you also can't get that device off your hand in time, so your soon-to-be father-in-law is forced to grab an axe and dismember you at the wrist in order to contain the device in a refrigerator right before it explodes. It's just all in a days work. 


8. President Palmer and Michelle are murdered (Season 5) 


24's fifth season is probably its most beloved (it's the one that took home the Emmy for Best Drama Series), and boy did it start off with a couple of punches to the gut. Two long-running and popular characters, President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) and Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth), were taken out in the first 15 minutes of the season by a sniper and a car bomb respectively, signaling that Season 5 would be the day when no one was truly safe. 


7. Jack is captured by the Chinese (Season 5)


From the beginning of day five to the end: After what was arguably the show's most devastating series of deaths and tragedies, 24's fifth season seemed to close on something of a happy note. Jack and Audrey (Kim Raver) shared a tender moment for the first time in a while, only for Jack to be suddenly captured by Cheng Zhi (Tzi Ma) and the Chinese, who were out to get him for events dating back to Season 4. It was always nice when the show proved it had a long memory, especially with its screwy timeline, and no moment embodied that better than this one.


6. Jack kicks heroin in a day (Season 3)


I have a massive soft spot in my heart for Season 3 because it produced the stretch of episodes that pushed 24 into more outrageous territory. One of the most ridiculous parts of this season was when Jack made the journey from drug addict to recovering drug addict in the span of 24 hours (and really less, since it wasn't always mentioned in the last few hours). Early in the day, Jack shot up heroin as part of his undercover operation in Mexico. By the end of the day, he was preventing yet another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. He had a nice cry in his car though, so everything's good. Just let the tears wash away the drugs, Jack! 


5. It was President Logan all along! (Season 5) 


Wait, the weasely, neurotic, and borderline incompetent president was actually involved in the conspiracy against his own country? Up until this point in the show's run, the presidential figures were mostly decent people stuck in awful circumstances, but the tail-end of Season 5 changed all that. The slow reveal that President Logan (Gregory Itzin) was on the other end of Christopher Henderson's phone call was one of the better shockers in a season full of them. Of course, the series grew to rely far too much on Logan and more nefarious politicians in its later years, probably because this story worked so well. But that doesn't take anything away from the near perfection of this twist.  


4. The cougar (Season 2)


Oh, the cougar. I'm really happy that Elisha Cuthbert was so awesome on Happy Endings, because for a while it looked like this might go down in history as her most notable piece of acting. Cuthbert's Kim found herself lost in a national forest, only to be caught in a trap while a cougar closed in on her location. This is a thing that happened on a show about terrorist attacks and presidential assassinations. When I was compiling this list, I thought that maybe the cougar scene had simply taken on a life of its own thanks to the internet, but then I watched it again. It's possible we've actually undersold the cougar scene. You know what the best part is? Kim being saved from the cougar by Johnny Drama.


3. Jack is forced to kill Ryan Chappelle (Season 3)


Good shows can make the deaths of even the most annoying characters mean something, and that's what 24 did with its treatment of Division head-douche Ryan Chappelle (Paul Schulze). The character badgered and bothered Jack throughout a few different seasons, always getting in the way of whatever crusade Jack was on at the time, but when Stephen Saunders forced President Palmer's hand and Jack was ordered to execute Chappelle, it was truly devastating. This moment underscored the kind of terrible choices 24's heroes were forced to make on a regular basis. 


2. A nuclear bomb is detonated on U.S. soil (Season 6) 


I've always been a little bummed that "nuking Valencia" didn't replace "jumping the shark" in our pop-culture lexicon. After a go-for-broke fifth season, it was pretty clear from jumpstreet  that 24 didn't know what to do in Season 6. Unfortunately, the show's big solution to topping all the character deaths in Season 5 was simply to set off a nuclear bomb in California. Why kill a few characters the audience cares about when you can just melt an entire affluent neighborhood? And perhaps worst of all, 24 didn't do much in the aftermath of—and I repeat—setting off a nuclear bomb in California. People died, and there were some family members trapped in the zone, but it was ultimately done for shock value above all else. No bueno.


1. Jack finds Teri's body (Season 1)


I mean, what can you do? The last seven seasons of 24 consistently pulled out ridiculous, unbelievable moments that resulted in countless deaths. Yet, not one of them was as remotely shocking or powerful as the final moments of the first season, when Jack discovered that Nina (Sarah Clarke), his former coworker and lover, had killed his wife Teri (Leslie Hope). This scene set a CRAZY MOMENT precedent that the show could never quite top, at least as far as good crazy moments go, but it was sort of the perfect way to end the (first) worst day of Jack's life. 


Which 24 moments would YOU call the "craziest"?


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For me, it was when Jack shot Curtis in the throat! Curtis was such a big teddy bear. It was sad and so uncalled for. That scene still haunts me to this day.

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"The final season of 24 was nearly universally terrible from start to finish"

Wait is that a joke? And you praise season 3 in the same article? Well Bauer is not the only one doing crazy things then. I fought season 8 was among the good seasons of the show. To be fair I only see two really bad seasons in 24: season 3 and season 6. The rest is at least decent.
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The way I saw it was that Season 8 started off terrible and just grew throughout the entire thing. I mean towards the end I didn't even recognize it in the lineup.
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Edgar's death wasn't a crazy moment. It was a long overdue welcome moment. No one I know remotely liked that guy. And judging from the complete absence of lines to get the actor's autograph at C2E2 this year, most people didn't care for him either.
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What's worse is that Jack ultimately killed Chappelle for nothing. I didn't like Chappelle either but that really did not have to happen. It's the ultimate SMH moment of 24 for me.
Also don't forget that after shooting a guy in the heart in season 2 he cut the guys head off.
#11 is a favorite because it reminds me of the moment Brian finally decides to go to the bank to get the money that he owes Stewie.
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Gosh, I love this show. Also, I thought season 8 was better than 6 or 7 so it was the best later season IMO.

Can you post a Best Season of 24 poll or something real quick? (;
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Cutting Chase's arm off was insane! Season 3 was the best season imho! But love 24 all around!
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It wasn't my favourite (that's probably be S5), but I did enjoy the whole poison in the hotel hours.
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i think hacking off an innocent mans head just to provide cover takes is not justifiable no matter the situation.
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If you're referring to season 2, wasn't the guy a confirmed bad-guy who turned on his crew and was in witness protection? While I thought that was a terrible place for the show to go, he wasn't an "innocent" guy per se, which didn't make the act any better although I thought the show tried to say was conflicted about doing it, but thought it was his only way. 24's "the ends justify the means" mentality really started to wear on me.
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^Meant to say "Jack was conflicted about doing it" above. Is there a way to edit posts?
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The most ridiculous thing 24 ever done in my opinion is curing Jack in Season 7 with Stem Cells.

1,3,5,7,8 - Those twists were great, especailly #5
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Staff
LOL THAT
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#8: Nitpicking, but I'm pretty sure the image you used there was taken from the end of season 2, when Mandy had made an assassination attempt on Palmer. It's definitely not the image of when Palmer was shot by the sniper at the start of season 5.
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Nearly naked Mandy! Loved her, especially when she reappeared after long stretches only to randomly show up and kill people
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Probably one of my fave characters on the show and she's only been in like 7 episode, wah!!!
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Mandy was fantastic (not to mention sexy). She needs to come back.
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I feel like it has to be the right moment. Full of surprise and make complete sense instead of tying her into every season. I want her back but I don't want to ruin a brilliantly mysterious character.
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Agreed I hope they bring her back for Live Another Day ack I miss her sooo much LOL.
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The show is about a one man fighting whole terrorist organizations after all.

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This show is like the perfect example of Hollywood mentality: if you have a great concept, the writting can be totally bonkers... And nobody cares as long as it happens in the span of one brain eating hour. And because everything is happening so fast and everything you do is for the survival of the country, no storyline can be disregarded. (Jack walks into a store, he has to kill everyone in it, but he falls in love with one of the hostages, but eventually has to kill her too, her and then himself out of "the" sorrow, but only to be revived in the next season, saved by Charles Logan) Impossible? I think not... Its for the "land of the free" got damn it!

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Jack hacksawing off some thugs head and dropping off in a duffelbag. (seriously. I didn't imagine that.) I believe it was the beginning of seaon 2.
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The assassination of President Hassan and President Taylor regaining a modicum of sanity and refusing to sign the peace treaty are not "crazy" as such, but they go great with "Jack loses his mind, goes on a killing and torturing spree". I mean not only were the IRK and Russians 2 for 3, but Jack actually helped them derail the peace treaty!

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For me, the most disturbing stuff was Renee getting subjected to suicidal depression, rape, nervous breakdown, scapegoating, sent to hero's bed for sex hours after the rape, getting grissly murdered, and deposed being wrapped in bedsheet stained with sperm all in the same season. That left such a sour taste in my mouth which has not passed for four years.

And no, I don't give a damn about Jacks rampage (it was a cliche, predictable, brainless violence porn after all). I have never watched this show to see the most miserable psycho of the world butchering people, too bad there was nothing else to watch in the end.

Jack should have gone rampage against the writers instead. Now, that would be entertaining.
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Shit, I can't believe I didn't think of this one before: Teri offering herself to Kim's would-be rapist and not only making an incredible sacrifice for her daughter, but also stealing the guy's phone and getting them rescued! Mother of the fucking year or what?
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Outrageous moment: Nadia is tortured by Mike and hours later starts to fall for him right before Milo (who's in love with her) is killed. Not long before this Milo is involved in a love triangle between Chloe and Morris. The audience really doesn't care and feels no attatchment to any of these relationships.

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Tony was never for sure dead to begin with. Remember, he never got a silent clock? That was on purpose. And his resurrection made perfect sense; he was resurrected in the same way Jack was.

Christopher Henderson didn't murder him; he purposely faked his death in order to get him out of CTU and recruit him to help him (b/c Tony was a perfect candidate for anti gov't revenge). He planned to use Emerson's (Tony's boss) crew as backup.

It made complete sense. It also served to give a worn out character some rest for awhile.

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Yeah I always wondered about that cause when it happened right after Edgar's death I was like well why would they give Edgar a silent clock and not Tony (he's been there since the beginning?!) Then when he came back in Season 7 and they explained I thought it made perfect sense.
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President Logan's incompetence was such a brilliant cover up for his evil behavior. It all made sense once that was revealed. He was never incompetent at all. His stupidity never made much sense to begin with and explained his actions in season 4.
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The Valencia nuclear bomb might have been best placed at the end of the season.
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Definitely. Could have worked had it not happened in hour 4, or had it not been almost immediately forgotten.
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The final season wasn't entirely terrible...just the first half. The second half was amazing! Can't believe you didn't see that. It makes perfect sense for Jack to finally lose track completely of what's right and wrong...he had always pushed that line (and producers considered him to not always be good and often anti hero-ish). 24 went out on a fantastic blaze of glory!

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Can't believe you made an entire list of outrageous moments and didn't list DANA! Her character's scenes rivals Kim vs. the cougar for most stupid.
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Yeah, like when she killed her parole officer and stuffed him somewhere in CTU.
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No one ever found him. What a waste of the brilliant Stephen Root!
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Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this Stephen Root guy.
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What about the time Jack used a cell phone to... detonate a bomb? land a plane? I'm forgetting if he did one or the other, or both.
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To tell the truth, I wonder how they would pull these episodes out: "07:00 - Jack has Breakfast," "12:00 - Jack' Has Lunch," "20:00 - Jack Has Dinner," and "01:00 - Jack Has a Bad Burrito And Has to Stay in the Bathroom for Half an Hour," and "02:00 - Jack Takes a Nap." I mean, the show was in REAL TIME, right? Oh, real life is so full of such mundane moments...
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Jack doesn't eat, shit or sleep silly.
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...or, like us, he merely eats and "goes" during the commercials. :)
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That's EXACTLY what I said in another comment, and here I'm showing why it woukd be ridiculous, though not doing the basic things humans do, tthat's ridiculous in itself.
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He doesn't charge his cell phones either.
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The producers admitted that one time they almost shot a scene with Jack revealing a giant (above average) cell phone battery that was hiding in his backpack. But they backed out of it.
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I guess Jack Bauer recharged his cell phone by connecting it to the USB port on his neck like in the Swedish show Real Humans, (which I greatly recommend).
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Perhaps he's been over the top from the beginning, but for me, the point where he lost all relatability and became a cartoon of himself was in Season 5, or the season where they invented a deadly nerve gas so poisonous it could acidically eat through door sealant. CTU was bombed with the nerve agent and all the main characters were now huddled inside the meeting room, seemingly to await their doom as the gas slowly ate away at the door. It was one of the tensest scenes in the entire show because I had no idea how they'd get out.

Then Jack spoke up: "I can crawl out of the booth through a hole and ventilate the facilities. The gas will not affect me because I can hold my breath a really really long time." Indeed, he held it for longer than five minutes, against a nerve gas that should have burned his skin off before then. As for the hole he had to cut to get there, he sealed it back up with duct tape. It worked. Everyone else lived.

This crazy solution ruined the scene for me and Jack never seemed human again, more like an indestructible tank.
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There's a moment in season 5 that sticks out for me that doesn't involve any unlikely physical feats, explosions or wild plot twists. After Jack and CTU resolve the hostage crisis at the airport, Jack says something pretty close to "One of the terrorists was posing as a hostage...average height, average weight, wearing a grey suit and a bright yellow tie". This was Badger from Firefly, possibly the most average looking man in the world and the perfect man to blend into a crowd, and THAT's the tie he decided to wear that day?
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The time when he killed a guy by throwing a screwdriver through a bulletproof vest.

The absurd product placement scene where the terrorist hacker tries to take control over CTU. The dialogue went roughly like this (from memory, and paraphrased):
Chloe: Someone just tried to hack us.
Bill: Are we safe?
Chloe: Of course! The Cisco system defends itself.
Terrorist boss: You told me you could hack them!
Terrorist hacker: I could. They must have installed a new security system this week.
Terrorist boss: OK, we'll try plan C instead.

Tony getting shot. In the neck. At close range. A few hours later he woke up after surgery that repaired a major artery in his neck (and, I assume, muscles and shit). 7 minutes later he walked into the CTU offices, wearing his suit again.

Jack captured some arab terrorist in LA, and then realized that torture isn't going to work. So he called CTU and told them his new plan. Ten minutes later, on the way back to CTU, they get attacked by fake arab terorrists sent by CTU to bust the guy out, and pretend to be sent by the terrorist boss.

There's another hacking scene that's so terrible that it's painful to watch it. It's one of the scenes with Lucas Haas.
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I suppose it wasn't an outrageous scene - neither stupid crazy nor gut-wrenching crazy - but the one that's always stuck with me was Teri offering herself when Kim was about to raped in season one.
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I've always had a problem with Jack holding his breath to avoid the sentox in season 5. Him popping a panel back into the wall to seal the room always felt stupid no matter how many times I see it.
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In 24 hours Jack...
- doesn't sleep.
- doesn't eat.
- doesn’t go to the bathroom.
- doesn’t take a sip of water.

JACK IS A ROBOT!
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HA! Jack eats in Season 1 after Teri and Kim are rescued.
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A single meal can go a long way, I suppose.
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Jack never celebrated his birthday or Christmas. (Would be cool to have a 24 Christmas...)
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So Santa would be a terrorist?
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Since the story always happens in a single day, that's understandable. I imagine one season of 24 which takes place in a national holiday and everything is closed and the city is deserted.

Or a Walking Dead Christmas specials in which humans and walkers exchange gifts in a temporary truce. All that Carl's feverish dream, of course.
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Cylon lol
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Every time CTU was attacked. BTW, I think Edgar's death deserves more than an honorable mention. But Jack's reaction to it as he was watching Edgar die was kind of rediculous since I don't think they ever said 2 words to each other.
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People give "Jack" so much crap about #11 but I thought he was badass! Look at how many times he has saved the world;-) Vengeance!

I don't get sappy about most fiction however 24 literally made me tear up several time: George Mason's redemption/death, Ryan Chappelle's death, Jack's grief about Renee, Jack's expression in the camera to Chloe at the end of the series, and so many more!
This series made me way more emotional (actual cheers and tears) than any other show (even great shows like GoT & The Good Wife: the red wedding on GoT didn't phase me and I just felt a moment of sadness at the death of Will in TGW)
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I agree completely. End of season 8 was truly 'nothing left to lose' Jack at his best and I enjoyed season 8 overall.

Was totally gutted when they killed Hassan :(
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agree!
I also was upset that Hamri Al-Assad was blamed for the explosion that hurt Wayne Palmer and he was just trying to make peace.
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gut-wrenching crazy: George Mason crashing the plane with the nuke (total redemption); Season 2
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Yes! They made George felt an unlikeable suit but as soon as he gets radiation poisoning, he was very likeable.
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Loved the stuff with George interacting with his son.
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Surely the most outrageous moment is Jack going whole days without a bathroom break. That man's got a TARDIS for a bladder.

As for his imminent return: Can. Not. Wait.
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I believe the producers/writers gave a response to this that I like:

"During the commercial breaks, Jack is peeing on a street corner."
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He doesn't need a bathroom break because he never drinks anything! (LOL)
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At the end of day 5 he was brought back to life with a shot of epinephrine.

That's how Jack Bauer takes his drinks: Strong, no ice, injected straight into his heart! Sipping is for wimps. :-)
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Ha, good one. I remember when he was going to make Renee some coffee, and I thought, "OK, NOW he's gonna get some sort of meal," but then she got shot and he had to rush her to the hospital...
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Well, he had a good "meal" with Renee, if you know what I mean.
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I feel like Jack in Season 3 I need my fix!!!!!! Now! Tomorrow can not come soon enough! I just finished my massive binge on all 8 seasons. Cinco de Bauer!!!! Any guesses if someone comes back from the dead? Like Tony?
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For someone who clearly despises season 6, both of your '24' lists so far ahead of the 'Live Another Day' premiere have included many season 6 moments/villains. HMMMMM
Also The fact that the cougar scene is in this list yet Edgar's death is only an 'honorable mention' proves you're a buffoon.
IMO season 8 is much better than season 6 and better than the very over-rated season 7. Tony was the highlight of that season and to make him the main villain in the end (although it was all for revenge) ruined it.
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S6 gave us a lot to talk about, but it's still horrendous.
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I wouldn't go as far as horrendous. Dexter's final season was horrendous. Heroes season 2-4 were horrendous. Out of all of the 8 seasons, it was undeniably the worst. But it had it's great moments (the first 4 episodes, the episode were morris gets tortured, the episode fayed dies, the siege on CTU resulting in the death of Milo Pressman, a season 1 alum) those where all great moments.
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I would call it horrendous too. They really dropped the ball on the potential of Jack finding out his brother was behind not only Palmer's assassination but also Jack's imprisonment in China.

Also, as awesome as it was to see Jack shoot Curtis, that entire scene was just stupid given what we knew of Curtis prior to it.

On the whole 6 was the most epic of fails you could possibly have had.
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Dropped the ball on jack finding out about Graem's involvement? he nearly killed him because of it... it was so bad ass IMO ("FOUR CC'S!!!!"), the acting was perfect between Kiefer and Paul.
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Great post. I've seen all series and just had to go by the scenes I still remember best. And your number 1, 2 and 3 were also on my top three list. Maybe in another order, but still.
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Great topic Cory - thank you.

I'd have to say that Jack when has a federal witness brought into CTU, whose case against Joseph Wald can put Wald away for life. Jack kills him and cuts his head off before leaving to meet Joseph Wald's gang.

That was always #1 for me.

The cougars were always the biggest of Kim Bauer jokes so it shouldn't have been near this list unless you were looking for campy. Too many awesome outrageous moments to waste it on that.
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What about Jack killing Curtis in Day 6. That was one of the better scenes of that season and it resonated for a while.
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In the honorable mentions! (generally)
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I always thought killing Cutis in S6 came out of nowhere. S6 was still decent but since it followed the best season they would ever have. A BIG letdown.Don't forget about bomb(nuke?) n the desert in S2..
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