Time is running out for Kiefer Sutherland on 24.  With the end nearing, will Jack Bauer save the world, his daughter and find true love?

   Halfway though the second day…uh…season…real-time terrorist drama
24 is exceeding the high hopes of its fanatical viewers.  Ruthless plot twists and better pacing this time around have led to sharper thrills and more satisfying shockers – like the identity of the shows latest terrorist – a beautiful, angelic blonde named Marie.  Laura Harris, who gets to play the juicy role, was initially hired as the whiny fiancée of a suspected terrorist.  Then she got a script that revealed that she was, in fact a cold-blooded murderer and possibly responsible for planting the nuclear bomb in Los Angeles.  “I read the script and I rolled it up and I threw it across the room,” laughs the 26 year old, a Vancouver native.  “I was so energized.  I couldn’t believe it.”
Nothing, however, surprises
24 star Kiefer Sutherland.  In fact, he sees these unpredictable twists and turns as the key to she show’s success.  Fans will remember watching in dismay as last season concluded with the murder of Jack’s wife, Teri.  This season is maintaining that same shock factor.
   “It was clear to all of us that  that was out bread and butter” says Sutherland a.k.a Federal Agent Jack Bauer, in a noisy Sunset Strip bar.  “If there is a convention, we will try to break it.  If you are expecting someone to be safe, we will make sure they’re not.  This show is effective as long as you think I could potentially die, that any major character could potentially go.”
And although viewers can be pretty sure Jack is safe – killing him would be detrimental to the drama as whacking Tony Soprano – the same cannot be said for his CTU boss, George Mason.  In one of this season’s most brutal plot twists, Mason was exposed to radiation gas, ensuring a painful descent into madness and death that will last all season – Mason’s demise is the only guaranteed storyline on the unpredictable show.  With
24 scripts among the most highly guarded on television, the actors often only find out any major plot twists a week  in a advance, when the receive their scripts.
   Harris, however, refuses to be drawn into any speculation about what might happen next, but assumes one thing – fans can  look forward to one heck of a slap-down now that Marie and her sister Kate have been reunited.  “I have not fought with her yet.  I would love to…We’ve become like sisters.”
Cat fights aside,
24 faces bigger problems preparing for a possible Season 3.*  For one, how do you keep the show’s unique concept from going stale? And, how do you top the suspense of a nuclear threat in one of the world’s largest cities? “Obviously I can’t say too much about what they have [told] me about a third season,” says Sutherland, “but it may become much more personal.  It may be a more dramatic season, the way this one is more actions-oriented than last season was.”
So, is there a chance Season 3 could just follow Jack Bauer, former CTU agent, through a really gruelling 24 hours of his everyday life? “I would love it,” says Sutherland enthusiastically.  “It would be really boring, but I would love it.  We’re certainly going to try and do a blend of something like that.”
So, nothing’s set in stone so far? “Well, the producers know,” he scowls.  “Bastards.  Of course they know but they won’t tell me.  Because I’ll screw up and I’ll tell you.”
* In the Updates section of this TV guide it states that
24 has been renewed for a third season

Article by Kevin Dickson, p 12-14
Time Flies
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