The 10 Most Tragic Deaths in the 24 Series: A Heartbreaking Journey


You realize that by even looking at his picture, you’ll probably be killed by the end of the day right?

Jack Bauer’s statement that he only hurts those closest to him is not an exaggeration; it’s a cold, hard truth. The majority of people Jack has befriended, talked to, investigated, or married have met their demise. He may have saved the world seven times, but at what cost? Here are the ten most tragic instances where Jack’s friends and associates have been blown up, gassed, or shot.

10) Michelle Dessler (2002-2006)

Michelle’s death by car bomb in the first hour of season five still resonates today. Her husband, Tony Almeida, cheated death twice in that attack and once more in season five. Her death, ordered by the corrupt government, pushed Tony towards the dark side.

9) Milo Pressman (2001, 2007)

Milo’s brief appearance in season one may have gone unnoticed, but his significant role in season six at CTU is unforgettable. After the building was taken over, Milo stepped up for his girl, Nadia, claiming he was running the place. He was promptly shot in the face.

8) Lynn McGill (2006-2006)

Lynn McGill may have been a guest star, but the by-the-book government supervisor gave his life to save most of CTU, even though the nerve gas attack was carried out using his stolen key card.

7) Edgar Styles (2005-2006)

Edgar, the lovable speech-impeded CTU analyst, met a tragic end, gasping for breath from poison right in front of his best friend Chloe.

6) Curtis Manning (2005-2007)

Curtis may have been acting foolishly, but it was still painful to watch Jack shoot his friend. Curtis had been a staple on the show for a while, but there’s no cooler death than being shot by Jack Bauer himself. Except maybe throwing yourself into a volcano or something.

5) Nina Myers (2001-2004)

Nina Myers is the only evil character on this list, and her death was tragic because it was so uninspired. Nina was one of 24‘s most vicious villains, lasting more than one season. Her death at the hands of Jack, hidden by obscured security cameras, was odd, and she deserved a more epic demise.

4) George Mason (2001-2003)

Mason’s character underwent one of 24‘s first major redemptions. Initially a typical dickish administrative peon, always questioning Jack’s motives, he stepped up to the plate and saved Jack’s life by kamikaze-ing a nuclear bomb into the desert so Jack wouldn’t have to after being exposed to plutonium and facing certain doom.

3) Teri Bauer (2001-2002)

Throughout the day, Jack was told he had to assassinate David Palmer or his family would die. He scrapped the mission and killed the terrorists instead. Except for one little spy, Nina Myers. The Nina Myers reveal was one of 24′s first great twists, but what came next made the show what it is today.

The fact that Nina ended up killing Teri anyway convinced me that 24 wasn’t just another ordinary show. You don’t spend 24 episodes trying to save someone only to see them pregnant and dead at the end of it all. That moment elevated 24 from merely good to great.

2) Ryan Chappelle (2002-2004)

It’s not that Ryan Chappelle was a particularly likable character; it’s the circumstances surrounding his death. Stephen Saunders was holding the nation hostage with the threat of a biological virus attack. He discovered Chappelle was unraveling his plans, so he called the president and demanded he be killed, or he would release the virus. The president called Jack to do it.

It was the ultimate philosophical question: do you trade the life of one innocent man for the possibility of saving 10,000 others? According to Jack “Socrates” Bauer, the answer is yes. He shot Ryan point-blank in the back of the head right before one of the most memorable silent clocks in 24 history.

1) David Palmer (2001-2006)

At the start of season five, we were all promised something big, but no one knew quite how big. When David Palmer first appeared on the screen, fans everywhere rejoiced that he would be back for another season. And then he was shot in the neck.

It was perhaps one of the most jarring moments in the show’s four seasons, and in my dorm where I was watching, you could literally hear cries of “Nooo!” echoing down the halls from every other doorway. The assassination of David Palmer kicked off a rather good season, which involved a conspiracy that went as high up as you could go in politics.

I still miss him every time I see an Allstate commercial.

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