Over the course of eight seasons, Jack Bauer suffered a lot of loss. 24 was a bit like a forerunner to Game of Thrones, unafraid to kill major characters at any point in the season. Here’s a look back at the 24 saddest deaths from the series. Also, check out 24 guest stars who went on to become popular TV Stars in other shows.
#24 Janet York
The first big twist of the series that helped to establish its tone came when Kim Bauer’s friend was murdered by a man pretending to be her father early in season 1. Janet already had a very bad night (being drugged, kidnapped and hit by a car), so killing her was just the sad icing on the cake.
#23 Maya Driscoll
In season 4, CTU Director Erin Driscoll had to deal with multiple terrorist attacks, and her unstable bipolar daughter added to the complications. At one point Erin was focused on her work and had to ignore her daughter. After a triumph in stopping an attack, Erin went to see her daughter, only to discover Maya had killed herself. The combination of success and tragedy added to the sadness.
#22 Jamey Farrell
Over eight seasons, CTU had more than its share of moles, employees secretly working with the bad guys. Jamey was the first, and when she was captured, it looked like she killed herself due to her treachery. In reality she was murdered, but that fact didn’t come out until much later.
#21 Graem Bauer
Graem’s death was overly sad because he was a bad guy who tried to kill his brother Jack on several occasions. But to be killed by your own father made it a bit more painful.
#20 Larry Moss
Like most authority figures on 24, Larry didn’t approve of Jack’s methods at the start of season 7, but learned to trust in the power of Bauer after a few hours. Unfortunately for him, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed by Tony Almeida as a part of Tony’s dark attempt to seek vengeance on the man who orchestrated his wife’s murder.
#19 Reza Naiyeer
Poor Reza was an obvious red herring in season 2, and it turned out that the real terrorist was his white Muslim extremist bride-to-be. His fiancee, Marie Warner, killed him, but not without one last comment to make it extra sad: “You really are very sweet.”
#18 Sherry Palmer and Julia Milliken
All of Sherry’s lies finally caught up to her at the end of season 3 in a scene fit for a Shakespearean tragedy. Julia, angry that she was going to jail for the murder of her husband that Sherry caused, came to Sherry’s house and shot her before turning the gun on herself. The president’s brother, Wayne Palmer, witnessed this tragic tableau.
#17 Senator Blaine Mayer
At the start of season 7, this U.S. senator was hellbent on demonizing Jack for his use of torture. However, the two eventually began to work together against a common enemy, but their unlikely union was short-lived as the senator was shot and killed for helping Jack.
#16 Paul Raines
The estranged husband of Jack’s girlfriend in season 4, he literally took a bullet for Jack, the man who had tortured him a few hours earlier. If that’s not bad enough, Jack then forced a doctor at gunpoint to let Paul die to save the life of a man conspiring with the terrorists. No wonder Audrey dumped him.
#15 Yusuf Auda
When fear of Muslim terrorists swept the country in season 2, Yusuf was a hero who was willing to help Jack prove that his country wasn’t behind the attacks. For his troubles, Yusuf was beaten to death by a group of ordinary citizens expressing their rage over a nuclear bomb being detonated on U.S. soil.
#14 Paula Schaeffer
Paula was a CTU analyst at the start of season 2 and seemed like a new main character and possible mole. But she died fairly quickly after a bomb was set off at CTU, leaving her to die as CTU Director George Mason desperately got her to help with one final task.
#13 Curtis Manning
Curtis was a great CTU agent, not unlike Jack Bauer, for several seasons. But at the start of season 6 he let his personal vendetta get in the way when he wanted to kill a former terrorist who was now working with Jack. Jack begged Curtis not to do it, but Curtis refused and in an act of operatic tragedy, Jack killed his colleague to protect the asset.
#12 Milo Pressman
Milo was a CTU analyst early in season 1 who disappeared for a long time, not returning until season 6. He was a sweet guy who fell in love with a fellow employee, but was suddenly and shockingly killed when a Chinese squad invaded CTU. His final act was to save the girl he loved by claiming he was in charge when it was really her.
#11 Michelle Dessler
Tony’s wife was a tough agent who managed to survive countless situations. But at the start of season 5, a car bomb exploded and she tragically died in her husband’s arms, all in order to cover up the real reason for President David Palmer’s assassination.
#10 Lynn McGill
Lynn was the very definition of a man with a Napoleon complex, a guy who’d been dismissed and pushed around by his superiors his entire life. It was hard to like him, but he died a hero, sacrificing himself to save everyone else in CTU when a lethal gas was released into the building in season 5.
#9 Gael Ortega
In season 3, a deadly virus was released into a hotel and CTU agent Gael was patient zero. His quick deterioration was painful to watch, as was his refusal to stop the pain by killing himself. In the end, he died a violent, horrible and truly sad death.
#8 Renee Walker
The last of six characters to get a Silent Clock for her death, Renee had finished a long, painful day with Jack and went back to his place. They slept together, offering a brief glimpse of hope for the future, when a sniper shot her. Like Jack’s wife, Renee died in his arms and led to his final revenge rampage that made him public enemy number one for the federal government.
#7 George Mason
George was a bureaucratic coward for most of the first two seasons. But when he was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation early in season 2, it led him down a fantastic story arc of redemption culminating in him sacrificing himself by crashing a plane carrying a nuclear bomb.
#6 Bill Buchanan
When African terrorists stormed the White House and took the president hostage in season 7, Bill made the ultimate sacrifice to stop them and save President Allison Taylor. In the process he got a Silent Clock and is one of the few characters to die a true hero’s death.
#5 President Omar Hassan
This Middle Eastern president tried to form a lasting peace with President Allison Taylor in season 8, but was taken by dissenters in his own country and executed on a live Internet feed. The saddest part is that Jack was minutes away from saving him, but the execution was unknowingly pre-recorded. It was a real defeat for the good guys and worthy of a Silent Clock.
#4 Edgar Stiles
For two seasons Edgar was a loveable CTU analyst, but in season 5, when nerve gas was released in the building, he didn’t get to one of the secured areas in time. Jack, Chloe and others looked on as Edgar ran out, looked at them, lisped his final word (“Chloe”) and then fell. He was such a nice guy and truly deserving of the Silent Clock (which was only given to six character deaths across the entire series).
#3 David Palmer
David Palmer was the moral conscience of 24 in the early years, an inspirational figure, the President of the United States and Jack’s friend. So it was shocking and tragic when the ex-president was assassinated at the start of season 5, but at least his death kicked off the show’s best season.
#2 Ryan Chappelle
Stephen Saunders threatened to release a deadly virus if Jack Bauer didn’t kill the Division boss in season 3. They tried everything to prevent it, but in the end, Jack took Ryan to a train yard in one of the saddest scenes the show ever did, mostly because Ryan’s unlikeability made it even sadder. Jack’s final words, “God forgive me,” echoed, as did the train whistle, when he pulled the trigger on an innocent man. It marked the first time since Jack’s wife died that a death received a Silent Clock.
#1 Teri Bauer
Back in season 1, fans hadn’t yet learned all of the tricks to the show. Surely the hero’s pregnant wife would be safe, right? Wrong. In the final seconds of the first season, Jack cradled his wife who had been shot and killed by the treacherous mole, Nina Myers. It was a sad death that forever changed the series and Jack Bauer himself. It also established the Silent Clock, with the last seconds ticking down in a moment of silence for the fallen woman.