I’ve been a fan of 24 since it launched. It’s never failed to deliver a season of 24 hours (minus commercials) of riveting television that leaves you breathless. So you know where my butt will be for the next 10 Monday nights: on the couch in front of my TV set for the half-season. I wonder: should we now call it 12?
Writers and TV producers like formulas that work. Even 24 follows a formula: only Jack Bauer can save the world, but he has to defeat not only the bad guys, but the authorities, too. Even though he has saved the world eight times in a row, even after proving he's a good guy each time, even after showing the doubters that they were wrong eight freakin' times, the authorities just want to lock him away.
There are other pattens I have noticed, too, after watching eight seasons of Jack Bauer saving America and the world. Based only on the experience and my gut feelings, I boldly make some predictions about the coming season.
Who will turn out to be a traitor:
Steve Navarro, the man in charge of the CIA branch in London, played by Benjamin Bratt. What tipped me off: when he orders super-agent Kate Morgan to leave the field facility immediately, instead of waiting out the term of her job, and says “I really am trying to help you.” Help you stay alive when this place blows, he means.
Mark Boudreau, President Heller’s Chief of Staff, because he’s in the most potentially damaging position for a traitor to be. Plus, he’s married to Jack’s long-time love, Audrey, TV’s most annoying returning character. Can she not close her lips?
Who will turn on Jack:
Chloe, of course. Who has more reason to?
Who will turn out to be the indispensable, unforeseen hero:
Chris Tanner, the drone pilot. He won’t be just a victim, because he has too many skills, he’s too smart and he’s determined to set things right.
Who will die:
Erik Ritter, the guy who wants Kate Morgan’s job and taunted the handcuffed Jack Bauer. He thinks he’s better than he is, and he’s determined to prove himself. He’s just going to get in front of a bullet, but not before causing a lot of damage to his own side.
Jordan Reed: Chloe’s boy Chloe. He’s too nice.
President Heller: He’s dealing with incipient Alzheimer’s, his health isn’t perfect, he takes a bunch of pills and he’s heroic. He’ll do something that gets him killed around episode 9.
Mark Boudreau: Because we all hate him.
I didn’t catch his name and cannot find it online, but he’s Jack’s driver and assistant gunman in London. He has Friend of Jack Bauer Syndrome. It’s fatal.
Half of Chloe’s goth hacker group. Because Jack was once in the same room with them, thus infecting them with the same ailment that will kill the Jack's driver.
About three dozen British and American police officers and soldiers. Because that’s just what happens when Jack Bauer’s in town.
Those are my predictions. Now let’s see how accurate I was in 10 weeks.