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Monday, May 17, 2010

24 Days of "24": The 24 Biggest Moments Part 1

Finding the best moments from eight seasons of television is not an easy task—especially when you’re as close to the subject as I am to “24.”

But after some help from some friends and a few websites, I’ve finally come up with my list of the 24 biggest moments in “24” history, which I will share over the next few days. They’re ranked according to their significance to the show and not by personal preference. You’ll also notice that these are all good moments—no cougars allowed.

#24 Tony gets “blown up” by Mandy (Season 4)/Kim to the rescue (Season 7)

In the big picture of “24,” this moment was a pretty small one, but it’s always been one of my favorites so I had to put it on the list. Our favorite terrorist-for-hire Mandy (Mia Kirshner) returned and ended up taking Tony (Carlos Bernard) hostage. She then tried to use Tony to get his ex-wife Michelle (Reiko Aylesworth), the CTU director, to help her escape. But unlike Tony had done in the exact same situation, Michelle didn’t go along with her. And an angry Mandy appeared to blow Tony up. We knew that wasn’t what happened, but Michelle didn’t. And her anguished cry of “No” as she stumbled toward the monitor was a very powerful moment. This scene led to another powerful/scary moment when it appeared Michelle might take her own life—a scenario the writers apparently discussed.

For six seasons, Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) was known as the damsel in distress. So when she was once again a target in season 7, you couldn’t help but roll your eyes. But this time, Kim got away from the bad guys. And then she ran into a burning car to save an important piece of evidence. It was a real turning point for a despised character.

#23 The nuclear bomb goes off (Season 6)
Since it was only episode four, you never dreamed something like this would happen. After all, this was the threat Jack was going to stop. But instead a broken Jack helplessly watched the bomb go off, driving him to get back to work. As shocking as this moment was it probably deserves to go higher on the list—except that after this moment, the show went completely off the rails and has honestly never really recovered.

#22 President Taylor and Jack emerge from the White House safe room (Season 7)
The story of General Juma (Tony Scott) and his men invading the White House was a little far-fetched, but it produced some very powerful moments. And none was more powerful than when Jack emerged from the safe room with President Taylor (Cherry Jones). After watching Juma threaten her daughter, President Taylor ordered Jack to open the door. It was a moment of total defeat—especially when Juma slapped the president a few moments later. Fortunately, Jack hadn’t opened the door without a plan and with the help (and sacrifice) of Bill was able to save the day.

#21 A commercial plane is blown up by a terrorist (Season 1)

When the cast and crew of “24” was shooting the pilot, they probably thought the story was a little far-fetched. A terrorist blows up a commercial plane by sneaking in bomb parts in everyday items and killing a stewardess. But then 9/11 happened, forcing the episode to be edited and forever linking “24” with real-life events.

#20 President Logan is revealed as the villain (Season 5)

The best season in the show’s history took a very interesting turn as President Logan (Gregory Itzin) was revealed to be behind all of the day’s events, including the assassination of David Palmer. Usually a twist like this comes out of nowhere, and is simply for shock value. But this one actually made sense (At the time. The show has since messed with the story.) Plus, Itzin’s transformation was fantastic and earned him an Emmy nod (He was gipped of the award.).

#19 Slow boat to China (Season 5)/Chloe gets tough (Season 4)
It was bad enough to see Jack’s face beaten to a pulp after he was kidnapped by the Chinese. But the final scene of a boat headed to China with Jack on it was a big shocker. Too bad the writers didn’t know quite what to do with it.

When Chloe was forced to go out in the field to do some computer work, she found herself in a dangerous situation as she was shot at by assassins. With Jack talking her through it, Chloe did what she had to do, picking up the semi-automatic and blowing away the bad guys.

I’ll have my next six moments for you tomorrow…
Photo Credits: Isabella Vosmikova/FOX, Kelsey McNeal/FOX and FOX