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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Clock running out on "24"

The clock is almost at 0 for "24" fans.

Tick tock, tick tock.

In its most basic sense, "24" is an action/drama starring Kiefer Sutherland as special agent Jack Bauer, presented in the semblance of real time, with each 24-episode season covering 24 hours in the life of Bauer. First broadcast on November 6, 2001, the show has run for 192 episodes and eight seasons, with the series finale due Monday night.

For the better part of this century, we have watched Bauer deal with terrorists, good and bad presidents, a murdered wife, a daughter who has been in and out of trouble more times than we can count, and killed many men and women.

It all ends Monday night at 10 p.m. But how does it end?

Jack will finally get some peace - dead or alive - and so will we as fans. We will miss "24" and all of its absurdities, but it seems like this is the best time for time to run out. Will Jack get his vengeance for the death of Renee Walker? Will Chloe O'Brian talk her friend down or simply take him down? What is the future for President Allison Taylor and former President Charles Logan? Neither of which, by the way, hold a candle to President David Palmer in the early bad days.

Ooh, the suspense.

Look up "24" on the Web, and you get some relatively simple explanations such as:

A typical plot has Jack Bauer racing against the clock as he attempts to prevent multiple terrorist plots, including Presidential assassination attempts, nuclear, biological and chemical threats, cyber attacks, as well as conspiracies dealing with government and corporate corruption.

The truth is, we are addicted to the trials and tribulations of a fictional character and his VERY BAD days because we care. We care if he lives or dies, is imprisoned or pardoned, or anything in between. We know it's not real and we know it might not be a logical or plausible conclusion, but at least it is a bit of closure for the former CTU agent with an array of MacGyver-like tricks up his sleeve.

On Monday, the body count is sure to rise, and yet, we still care.

On Monday, the last crisis will be resolved. We all care.

Who lives, who dies, who is right and who is wrong?

Jack Bauer will forever be remembered as a slice of American TV history. NO show ever made you contracted emotionally to see every episode. Miss one and miss an hour in the day of the life of Jack. Not easy to make that up, is it?

The end is near, but welcomed in a way. How many more bad days and horrible dilemmas can one man get into and out of?

We will miss his barking, his scowls, his wit, his way of having the answer and the way out of any and all situations. Jack Bauer is a hero, even if he is a fictional character constantly stretching the bounds of possibility.

Can he stay alive long enough Monday to hunt down the Russian president for his role in this final day's drama? Is there a happy ending waiting for Bauer or is it just simply the end? Any way all "24" fans can be satisfied with a two-hour wrap-up and bow put on top? Probably not.

Ah, who cares?

We do. And that's what has made the show so popular and so addicting for eight seasons.

Happy trails, Jack. And a bad day will never be the same.

- Bill Tilton


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