24: Jack and Renee— A Field of Broken Dreams

Over the years viewers saw Jack Bauer of 24 face superhuman odds and loss.  In the first season he lost his wife, Teri, when she was murdered by one of his closest colleagues at CTU Los Angeles, Nina Meyers, who was Jack’s lover at one time.

Jack would find love and loss again.  Each one was a heart rending experience for a man who devoted himself to his country and family.

Kate Warner of Season 2 was a woman Jack saved from a terrorist and became lovers with after Season 2.  Their relationship ended by the beginning of Season 3.

Claudia Hernandez of Season 3 was a brave woman trapped by intimidation by the Salazar Family, since her family were the pawns.  She and Jack were lovers when he was undercover.  Sadly, she died in a gun battle.

Audrey Rains of Season 4, 5 and 6 was perhaps one of the most tragic relationships of the entire series.  In the end Audrey, after suffering severe torture by Chinese agents, had buried herself deep within her subconscious hiding place from which Jack could not save her.

Marilyn Bauer, Jack sister-in-law, from Season 6, had a history with Jack before Teri. Jack said his final good-byes to Marilyn and his nephew who may have been Jack’s son.

However, it would be in Season 7 and 8 that Renee Walker, the fearless FBI agent and Jack’s admirer, would touch Jack’s life with someone who was his equal and whom he could love without fear of his past.  Unfortunately, as we all know, the Russian President decided to have Jack taken out of the picture late in Season 8, but the marksman shot Renee instead.

The aftermath was that Jack Bauer became the most lethal weapon known in counterespionage and went on a hunt-and-destroy mission which left an array of dead Russians.  This was a bloodbath.

As the series ends Jack is wounded physically, mentally and emotionally. Renee’s death brought forcefully back the words of Secretary James Heller, Audrey’s father,

You’re cursed, Jack. Everything you touch, one way or another ends up dead.”

This is a barren field of broken dreams for this national hero in an alternate world where the fine line between justice and vengeance intersect so often. Love and loss fill every glass.  Jack Bauer walks away to an uncertain future without love and hope; hunted by both his country and Russia.

However, as Secretary Heller stated eloquently,

Simply getting your life back, Jack, isn’t going to change who you are. And you can’t walk away from it, you know that. You’ve tried it. Sooner or later you’re going to get back into the game, and my daughter is going to pay the price, like your wife did.

24: The Movie may grant Jack Bauer a final peace and a hope for a happy life.  How much more must this man suffer for his country? Does not Jack Bauer deserve love and happiness? And peace?

We shall see if the gods will be kind or if Jack Bauer is truly a Greek hero destined to suffer before he is allowed into the Elysian Fields…

G. D. Williams       © 2012

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Broken (Lifehouse)