One thousand, four hundred and forty-one days have passed since the clock ran out on Fox’s action-thriller series 24. But love him or hate him, Jack Bauer is back, and so — we hope — will be a new set of legendary bad guys.
And legendary they were: Viewers hated lunatic-psycho President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) so much that they cheered when he finally (spoiler alert!) shot himself in the head on Day 8.
The show’s best villains weren’t always the masterminds behind the horrible end game of each season. Some carried on through multiple seasons. Some were good, then evil, then good, then evil, then … you get the idea.
While we don’t know anything about the Big Bad this season, we can tell you he or she has big shoes to fill. Here’s a look back at the 10 worst villains from previous seasons of 24.
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10. Sherry Palmer, Days 1-3:If you are a woman on 24, there is about a 75 percent chance you are going to end up being evil. The wife (and, soon, ex-wife) of President David Palmer created this mold. Played with zeal by Penny Johnson Jerald ( Castle), Sherry covered up a murder committed by her son, got her husband’s speechwriter to seduce him for the pillow talk, committed various acts of treason and blackmail, and accidentally murdered a man just by yelling at him. Don’t worry: She won’t be back. Sherry was killed by the wife of that murdered man on Day 3.
9. Syed Ali, Day 2: After indoctrinating his American fiancée into extreme radicalism, Syed (Francesco Quinn), plans to unleash a nuclear bomb from the sky over Los Angeles. After he is killed by a sniper, his brainwashed fiancée takes over the plot.
8. Dana Walsh, Day 8:A rising CTU analyst, Dana (played with creepy aloofness by Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica) is — surprise! — actually a mole. Turns out she has a murderous past. Soon, she has a murderous present. She’s helping the Russians, who have carried out a political assassination to kill a Middle East peace treaty. After Dana switches allegiance a few times to save her own skin, Jack shoots her dead in retaliation for his girlfriend’s murder.
7. Pavel Tokarev, Day 8:Diplomatic attaché by day, secret assassin by night, Tokarev (Joel Bissonnette) kills Jack’s girlfriend and CTU co-worker Renee Walker with a sniper rifle. He swallows a SIM card containing the secrets of the terror plot of the hour; Jack tortures him and cuts it out of his stomach with a knife. Tokarev doesn’t survive the surgery.
6. Dina Araz, Day 4:The wife of a terror cell leader, Dina (Shohreh Aghdashloo) orders her son to kill his American girlfriend (played by a pre- Gossip Girl Leighton Meester) before the family carries out a nuclear meltdown in L.A. When he wimps out, she’s mad, but she stops her husband from killing him. She is later slain by the terrorist mastermind’s minions.
5. Victor Drazen, Day 1: Played by Dennis Hopper, 24’s first proper villain is a Serbian warlord who was allegedly killed along with his family in a covert U.S. military action. Victor wants payback, in the form of assassinating then-presidential candidate David Palmer, who authorized the attack, and Jack, who led it. In addition to this plot, his bad behavior includes arranging the kidnapping of Jack’s wife, Teri, and daughter, Kim, which leads to Teri’s murder at the hands of CTU mole Nina Myers (more on her later). Victor is really dead — Jack shot him 12 times, just to be sure.
4. Phillip Bauer, Day 6: No wonder Jack’s so angry. His estranged father, Phillip (James Cromwell, Six Feet Under), conspires to get five suitcase nukes into the country. One takes out the entire city of Valencia. Phillip kills his co-conspirator son, Jack’s brother, to keep him from talking, then triple-crosses the American government before trying to flee to China. He’s (allegedly) blown up on an oil rig while waiting for a Chinese sub to pick him up.
3. Stephen Saunders, Day 3: A former MI-6 agent who feels betrayed by America, Saunders (Paul Blackthorne, Arrow) unleashes a vial of deadly Cordilla virus in a hotel, killing a thousand people. But that’s not why he makes the list. Saunders is here because he forces Jack to commit the shocking murder of his red-tape-waving CTU superior, Ryan Chappelle (Paul Schulze). Even though Ryan was a bad boss, he was a good guy. Saunders is later shot and killed by one of his victim’s widows.
2. Nina Myers, Days 1-3:The treacherous CTU agent — and Jack’s former lover — was named No. 9 on The 60 Nastiest TV Villains of All Time list by TV Guide in 2013, even though her character had been gone nearly 10 years. Nina (Sarah Clarke) is a double agent who tells Jack his daughter’s dead (she’s not), kills Jack’s wife (for real), bombs CTU and tries to buy biological weapons. Finally, Jack gives her what she deserves: a bullet to the head.
1. President Charles Logan, Days 4-6, 8: You would think a president would fall into the good-guy category. Not so much. Logan (Itzin) is a smarmy schemer who inherits the presidency. He caves in to terrorist demands, tries to have Jack killed on multiple occasions and acts so condescendingly to his wife that she stabs him with a kitchen knife. He orders murders, torture and censorship to hide his complicity in various conspiracies. When he’s about to be caught, he kills his men and shoots himself in the head. Is he dead? Only time will tell.