AGENT BAUER SHANGHAIED IN '24' FINALE
May 23, 2006 -- IT LOOKS as if Jack Bauer will be eating Chinese food for the foreseeable future. Or at least until next winter, when "24" returns with a new season.
The edge-of-your seat action show wrapped up its fifth season last night with a cliffhanger in which Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, was kidnapped by the Chinese government and put on a freighter presumably bound for China.
It was an act of revenge on the part of the Chinese who've had it out for Bauer since last season and finally got their chance in the final moments of last night's two-hour season finale.
The surprise ending capped off an extremely unusual season for "24" - and laid to rest rumors that Bauer was going to be killed off.
The show experienced a surge in ratings this season. Typically, by the time a series is 5 years old, the ratings are in decline.
TV industry observers believe the ratings spike was the result of any number of possibilities ranging from Fox running the entire season without repeats or the fact that the villain this year was a corrupt president.
In this case, Bauer brought President Charles Logan to justice by briefly kidnapping him and slipping a tiny microphone into the president's pen.
Moments later, the president was rescued and whisked to a memorial service where he planned to eulogize another president, David Palmer, whom Logan had been responsible for having assassinated in the first episode of the season.
Fortunately, like any great TV villain, Logan couldn't resist spilling the beans and confessed to the whole scheme when he believed that he was alone with the first lady.
It sure will be torture waiting until January 2007 for Day 6! Who's with me?