Jack Bauer: 500 Miles Away From Home

For ex-federal agent and national hero everything that could go wrong did in New York City four years ago.  Jack lost everything and became a man without a country.

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Instead of the sanctioned hunter, he became the hunted.  He became an outcast, branded and exiled from his daughter and granddaughter.

Like the old song 500 Miles, Jack is on a train of no return. His decisions and actions have placed him in the metaphorical 500 Miles away from home.

As all who watched the series know, Jack was not perfect. Like us he had his flaws and weaknesses, joys and sorrows, high and low moments, loves and good-byes.

He did what he thought best regardless of the consequences.  Because of this the character continues to endure.  He’s not suave and debonair like James Bond, John Drake, Napoleon Solo, John Steed or Simon Templar.  He is more like us—an ordinary man but with specialized training.   He hurts, he cries and he bleeds. The physical wounds have healed, but the emotional scars are as tender as sunburned skin.


In May he returns to Fox to live another day in London.  Once again he heeds the call to save the day as he has so many times before.


With his old boss, James Heller, now the USA President, Jack will reencounter one of his lost loves—Audrey Raines.  Audrey lost Jack when he was kidnapped by the Chinese, held prisoner and tortured.  In her search for him in Asia she returned home a despondent, tortured woman.  This is how we remember her when Jack said his final good-bye at James Heller’s ocean-front house.


Will they reunite?  The words of James Heller are poignant and perhaps a portent of what is to come:

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

Many are hoping that Jack is not cursed.  Heroes, human heroes, are in short supply today.

Can Jack ever find love?  Can he ever return home to be with his family?  Can he be given sanctuary from his many foes?  Will this be the final chapter of the life and times of Jack Bauer?

Thomas Wolfe wrote

Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way.”

In the previews, Jack says sadly, “There’s no going home for me.”  Jack has read Thomas Wolfe’s You Can’t Go Home Again.

Wolfe says, “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, …away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time—back home to the escapes of Time and Memory”—which fits Jack perfectly.


Perhaps, a fitting end would be for this hero to sail into the sunset, but this is Jack Bauer.  He does not have a sailboat.  Perhaps he will live another day after this coming one to save the country and perhaps the world once again.

Regardless of the outcome of this new day, Jack is back in May!

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G. D. Williams ©2014


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24: Jack and Renee: A Field of Broken Dreams BLOG POST

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.


24: Tony and Michelle BLOG POST

As Season 5 began President David Palmer was murdered. Michelle Dessler was killed in a car explosion.  Tony Almeida was “killed” by Jack’s mentor at CTU.

Season 5 brought an end to the great love and passion of Tony and Michelle. Tragic it was for the fans of these two characters.

However, the tragedy was not over.  For in Season 7 Tony rose from the “dead”.  This was not the Tony of Seasons 1-5.  He was darker and very sinister.  It appeared every ounce of goodness had been drained from him.

His one focused mission was to bring those to justice who were behind Michelle’s murder.  Anyone, including Jack, was expendable if they got in his way.

In the season final episode Tony revealed that Michelle was carrying his son when she was killed.  This had been his driving force. Revenge can change an individual.

The transformation in Tony was a good example of this metamorphosis. Losing the one that you truly loved and the son that you never knew provided a platform to explore this rage of grief.

Injustice is rarely dealt with on this planet traversing the cosmos.  Usually those in power, through the maneuvers of their position, survive and thrive while their victims suffer the tragic consequences.


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