I’ve been a fan of 24 since the very first season. Season seven, the final season, is currently just a few episodes from being done. After watching all seven seasons, I can tell you it really should have been called 12.
The sheer number of completely improbable events used on the show to stretch it to a full 24-episode season is mind boggling. The thing is, they are all the same improbable events, season after season. I give you my list of things guaranteed to happen in a season of 24.
A traitor will be inside CTU. Honestly, who is in charge of hiring and background checks for CTU? For a counter terrorism unit, they aren’t very good at finding out about people’s pasts.
A CTU employee will have an unstable family member who will choose exactly this day to wreak havoc for the employee. Never fails. If you have a crazy family member or a skeleton in your closet, it will all blow up on the same day Jack Bauer is trying to save the world.
There will also be a traitor in the President’s inner circle who will work against him/her for the entire season. And the bad part is it will be immediately apparent who the traitor is. They are always the slimiest of slimy.
All secondary characters on 24 will at some point during the season have a gun pointed at them and in about half the cases, be tortured. Knowing Jack Bauer is just not the safest line of work.
A vital witness will die at a very inopportune moment. Just as a witness is about to confess to Jack, a shot will ring out and the witness will take a hit. With their dying breath they will confess one small strand of information that will send Jack the next leg of his 24-hour marathon. Not only will this happen in every season, it will happen multiple times per season.
The CTU crew will work against each other and behind each other’s backs all day. CTU is in serious need of some team building exercises. I guess they never tried that thing where you fall backwards and trust others to catch you.
Jack Bauer will be captured and tortured, occasionally to the point of death. But, it’s also guaranteed he will manage to escape and kill every bad guy in the room. It’s just how it works.
The season-long body count will exceed the population of a small town. And that’s just counting the ones Jack takes out himself.
Jack will go “off the reservation.” At some point in every season, Jack will be forced to completely ignore the orders he’s been given and fight to save the world on his own. The improbability of one man having to single handedly save the country is pretty high. But seven times?
I applaud the writers of 24 for producing seven seasons that have some of the most amazing moments on television. I just wish they’d cut out half of it and made it the most action-packed and awesome show ever created.