24: Bringing Down the House

by | March 2, 2009 at 4:04 PM | TV News


In the world of “24,” CTU is the least safe place to be. Despite being home to the indestructible Jack Bauer, it’s constantly under attack and infiltrated by moles! (Indeed, this year it doesn’t exist at all.)

Now in the seventh season, the producers have upped the ante: In tonight’s riveting two-hour episode—the White House is under siege!

The President’s palace is invaded by General Juma’s crew and President Allison Taylor is forced to make the hardest choice of her life during a hostage crisis: her country or her family.

Executive producer Howard Gordon says there was a lot of internal debate about how they would depict an attack on the White House credibly but thinks “we pulled it off.”

Though he does admit, “It’s more like a James Bond film than a documentary on how one would try to breach the White House.”

The action-packed event also introduces the arc for second half of the season—and Jon Voight as the big baddie.

“24″ has a long line of vicious villains, so I asked Voight where his ranks among the lot: “I’m the worst,” he laughs, “Jonas Hodge is a very insidious force, a real bad guy.”

Is Voight ready to take on TV’s greatest action hero, knowing Jack Bauer usually wins in the end? “I always win too, so it comes to a very interesting conclusion!”

But there’s an even bigger showdown coming and it’s one I’ve been waiting for: Chloe vs. Janis!

Janeane Garofalo’s frumpy FBI agent is no match for Jack’s grumpy sidekick Chloe…or is she? Gordon teases, “They definitely go toe-to-toe.”

And you might not like the outcome for Chloe: “She gets in big trouble–she’ll need to repair her legacy,” warns Gordon.

Mary-Lynn Rajskub was pregnant during shooting, so the storyline was worked around that, but she’ll resurface later in the season. Because as we all know, no one is ever gone for good (just ask Tony Almeida).

The big question on everyone’s mind: How much time is left on that clock? Gordon assures us Jack will be back for another inevitably bad day, as the gang is already gearing up for the eighth season.

What about all that “24” movie talk? Gordon says a big-screen Jack is likely, but it would come down to having a great storyline: “We may decide ultimately if there’s not a movie worth telling, then Jack could see his last day on television.”

Relax “24” fans. We all know Jack Bauer is unstoppable, and besides Kiefer Sutherland isn’t done thrilling us yet.

Kiefer himself tells me, “The audience will probably tire of it before I do. I’m a competitive guy and my ultimate goal is to make the perfect season. I don’t know if we’ve done that yet…but this season is the best we’ve done so far.”