Over the years, 24 has collected a rather extensive stable of characters who have come and gone with the sort of frequency truly not seen on any other television show out there. Some faces are fleeting (Kal Penn as a terrorist baddie) and some forgettable (pretty much all the guest stars on season six). Others, however, have made an indelible mark on the 24 canon and truly deserve one last appearance before Jack Bauer’s day finally comes to a close in just a few scant hours.
Of course, I’m not sure how the producers would be able to fit in all these characters. Maybe a last minute birthday party in the situation room could be reason enough to gather a bunch of randoms from CTU’s storied past. And let’s not even talk about what we could do with a dream sequence. Heck, we could get Nina and Sherry Palmer in on the action then. Note to producers: DEFINITELY have a dream sequence.
But assuming there are no resurrections, here is my list of the faces I’d like to see one last time.
Last time we saw Audrey, she was lying in a bed, staring into space and gurgling like a coffeepot. In other words, she was a vegetable. Well, not really a vegetable. Just severely traumatized, thanks to some unpleasant baddies. The prognosis for her was not good: she had an irreversible ticket to crazytown. It was a rather tragic end for her character as she had proven to be the first worthwhile love interest for Jack, well, ever. Granted, her first season she was a bit silly, but by season five, she was pretty damn awesome. Audrey actually had a brain, and sadly now it was locked away. But hey, that was like five years ago in 24 time. She can recover, right? If Jack could go from shellshocked mountain man to chatty superhero in three hours, then Audrey certainly has it in her to return to normal. I would like nothing better than to see Audrey appear at Jack’s side at the end of this season. Just when he thought all hope was gone. There she is: AUDREY! Probably won’t happen though.
Kate Warner (with a Marie Warner option)
I’ve always had a fondness for the Warner sisters. One was a campy, diabolical mess. The other was a total idiot who spent an entire season saying “Jack, I don’t understand!” To which Jack would reply, “Just trust me.” To which Kate would reply, “Okay, Jack. I trust you.” It was a peculiar relationship, and it never failed to make me chuckle. I say bring Kate back just for the pure comic value. Also, if there’s a spot for Marie Warner’s character to make a comeback — even if it’s just a passing reference (“Turns out the Russians have been behind everything! They’re the ones who recruited Dana Walsh. They’re the ones who murdered Hassan. THEY’RE THE ONES WHO INDOCTRINATED MARIE WARNER YEARS AGO”). I would love that.
Mandy is an enigma. She was the lethal lesbian who blew up a plane in the very first episode of 24. It’s hard to top that. But oh she did. In season two, she randomly appeared in the final minute of the “day” and managed to nearly kill President Palmer with some crafty hand poison. She didn’t quite succeed, and that entire assassination attempt was oddly brushed aside the next season. Finally, in Day Four, CTU nabbed her in an arrest that sealed Curtis’s reputation for being awesome (he punched her right in the face). Since then we’ve neither seen nor heard from Mandy. We know she’s out there. Surely she should be brought back into the fold. She’s one of the most effective assassins in the show’s history. In fact, there’s really never been a hit man (or woman) who has survived more than two or three episodes. Mandy has bridged four seasons. Clearly she’s at the top of her game. Bring her back IF ONLY TO KILL HER (but please don’t kill her).
*Update: according to the 24 Wiki, Mandy was going to be Tony Almeida’s accomplice last season, but instead, the writers opted for a new, different character. Major fail on that front. A surprise return with Mandy would have been UH-MAZING.
Similar to Mandy, I would like to see Olivia brought back, but only so we can see her killed off. Sure, that’s heartless — President Taylor has already seen the death of one child, buuuuut…. who cares? Olivia sucks, and yet she’s managed to survive when better characters (Curtis! Renee! EDGAR!) have come to untimely deaths. Not fair.
Poor Lynne Kresge. I’ll always hold a candle for her. We don’t know what happened to this poor, principled woman. She got pushed down a staircase and was last seen being carted off in an ambulance. That was all the way back in season two. Expecting her return is a Hail Mary for sure, but stranger things have happened (ie. the return of Dr. Sunny Macer last season). An actress like Michelle Forbes is too talented to let go. Bring her back (ideally, she would have played President Taylor, or rather President KRESGE, instead of Cherry Jones).
Agent Aaron Pierce
This is more of a sentimental pick because Agent Aaron Pierce has been the only character aside from Jack Bauer to appear in every season of the show. Clearly the producers have to find some stupid way to get him involved, even for a brief second.
It’s funny how the majority of these picks have been women. I think that’s because most of the guys on this show have been more or less devoid of personality. And/or they’re dead (ie. Curtis and Edgar, once again). Nevertheless, Erin Driscoll remains one of the most underrated CTU bureaucrats of all time. She was a stickler to the rules (like the many bureaucrats before her) but also moody and conflicted. Plus she had a batshit crazy daughter who eventually committed suicide and ruined EVERYTHING. Oh well. I don’t know how Erin could be brought back into the fold, but again, I’d be down to see her pop up in an office birthday party in the final hour (same goes for other CTU workerbees Alberta Green, Carrie Turner, and Adam Kaufman. Let it be known that Chase would NOT be invited because he is entirely too dour and annoying).
Janis was sort of like the poor man’s Chloe — all ornery and nagging — but by the end of season seven, she had become a fairly hilarious worry-wort pest. Her arguments with Chloe were divine, and the two became almost a comic team with their petty squabbles over who knows what. She’s certainly not at the top of my list of people I’d like to see again, but it wouldn’t hurt if she did a pop-in for some reason. I’d certainly take her over Morris any day (another fine example of a stupid male character).
How could 24 end without at least a perfunctory appearance by one of the most beloved, enduring, and perplexing characters of all: Tony Almeida. Granted, not much about him makes sense. He’s good then he’s bad then he’s good then he’s bad, and oh my goodness enough with the mourning over Michelle. Still, despite his penchant for always being the opposite of what he appears (ie. alive when he seems dead as a doorknob), we still love Tony. I mean, it’s TONY ALMEIDA. Cameo = not even a debate.
Only one woman could compete with Sherry Palmer as the finest First Lady of 24. That honor goes to Martha Logan, who as played impeccably by Jean Smart, made for amazingly wonderful TV. Finding a perfect balance between camp and melodrama (although, some would argue they are one and the same), Martha was a nut job. Or was she? Maybe she was just a woman scorned. With constant, vague threats of “Vermont” lingering over her head, it’s no wonder she was driven to near lunacy. But she found love and stability in Agent Aaron Pierce (for the most part, that is. Last we heard she wasn’t doing so well, and prior to that, she had stabbed her ex in the leg… so perhaps she wasn’t totally rid of the crazies). Anyway, Martha is one of the best best best 24 characters ever, and the fact that she’s still alive is a miracle. As long as her husband is back, why not get her too?
Last but certainly not least is Behrooz. The puffy-haired son-of-a-terrorist has always been a fan favorite, mostly because it’s fun to wail his name, “BEHHRROOOOOOOZ!!!” When last we saw him, he was being whisked away to oblivion by some nefarious terrorists, his fate uncertain. Chances are he probably bit it like his girlfriend (played by Leighton Meester!!), but who knows? For a few years now, I’ve been quietly hoping that he might return as a disgruntled terrorist, angry that the country that pledged to protect him instead failed him. It’s not too late. Bring back Behrooz as some IRK nationalist. Do it, FOX. Do it!!
What do you think? Who would you like to see make a cameo appearance before the doors of CTU close forever?