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'24': The Top 5 Villains

by Kim Potts, posted May 20th 2010 9:00AM
In our continuing countdown to -- sniff, sniff -- the '24' series finale on May 24 (8M ET, Fox), here's a our list of the all-time most villainous Jack Bauer foes.

Nina Meyers
(Played by Sarah Clarke)
'24' seasons:
Why she's one of the bad guys: She was the first big traitorous villain in the series, betraying her co-workers and friends, committing numerous murders, dealing in biological weaponry and devastating every member of Jack Bauer's family.
Most evil moment: Killing Teri Bauer at the end of season one. True, it was the moment that defined '24' as the show that was going to go beyond the limits of what we were used to expecting from TV dramas. But it was also incredibly cruel. Nina had already betrayed Jack and Tony (both of whom she had also had affairs with), CTU and her country, and after the brutal day Teri had already suffered, it was tragic that she and Jack's unborn baby wouldn't survive it.Charles Logan
(Played by Gregory Itzin)
'24' seasons:
4-6, 8
Why he's one of the bad guys: He was indirectly involved with the murders of David Palmer and Michelle Dessler -- while he was President of the United States! -- and was involved with the people who killed Renee Walker (and thus likely Jack Bauer's last chance at happiness, too) in his days as an ex-President in season eight. Never mind manipulating his fragile wife Martha in season five (though she did turn out to be crazy like a fox and a key in his political demise) and doing the same thing to a peace treaty-obsessed President Taylor in the show's final season. With only the '24' finale left, it remains to be seen whether smarmy, consequence-avoiding Logan will get the comeuppance he's been long due, though watching an exoskeleton-suited Jack scare the beejesus, and the little girl squeals, out of him in the penultimate episode of the series was nothing short of delicious.
Most evil moment: First, giving the okay for Jack to be killed, lest the Chinese capture him and force him (or so Logan foolishly believed was possible) to spill American secrets, at the end of season four. And then once again giving the kill order for the Russian government's goons to murder Jack as season eight winds to a close.

Sherry Palmer
(Played by Penny Johnson Jerald)
'24' seasons:
Why she's one of the bad guys: Frosty, frosty Sherry Palmer. She was such an entertaining ball of badness that you almost loved her -- because she was just so fun to watch. From plotting to keep her son's involvement with the death of his sister's rapist from her hubby, future POTUS David, and trying to set David up with a mistress who would report back to her to risking Kim Bauer's life to keep David's political campaign alive and, after going to murderous lengths (see below) to help thwart a former friend who was trying to blackmail her by-then ex-hubby David, blackmailing David herself, Sherry's rap sheet was packed with one power-hungry misdeed after another.
Most evil moment: So many to choose from, but we're gonna have to go with taking her one-time friend Alan Milliken's nitroglycerin out of his reach just as he was suffering a heart attack. Oh, and did we mention he was sickly and wheelchair-bound? And that Sherry did this in front of his conflicted wife? And that, not only did she snatch the meds away from the dying man, but taunted him as he gasped for his last breaths? Yes, she was committed.

Phillip Bauer
(Played by James Cromwell)
'24' seasons:
Why he's one of the bad guys: Big papa Bauer was tied with his other son, Jack's bro Graem, as the black sheep of the Bauer clan ... until he killed Graem to keep him from being interrogated about the Bauer duo's baddie shenanigans. Yep, Jack was not only the rebellious baby boy of a very wealthy family, but the white sheep of that same brood, as dad Phillip was one of the puppet masters behind former POTUS Charles Logan's machinations in season five, and, in the beginning of season six, was involved in that little nuclear bomb that exploded on U.S. soil. Oh, and later in season six, before his very timely demise aboard an exploding oil rig, he also kidnapped his Jack-lookalike grandson Josh (Graem's son) -- repeatedly -- to use him as leverage against Jack.
Most evil moment: Yeah, that would be offing his offspring.

Alan Wilson
(Played by Will Patton)
'24' seasons:
Why he's one of the bad guys: Another architect of the Charles Logan mess in season five, Wilson was even higher in the evil food chain than the bad Bauers. As the founder of Starkwood, it was Wilson's plan to develop the Prion variant lethal bioweapon and use it against his own country, in the name of getting a bigger chunk of defense contractor change. Oh, and as leader of the pack in season five, that means he was the one who ordered the assassination of David Palmer and the murder of Michelle Dessler, which was the spark that sent the once heroic Tony Almeida on a downward spiral to a whole bunch of evildoing of his own.
Most evil moment: Murdering the innocent -- and pregnant with Tony's son -- Michelle, or killing one of the country's most beloved leaders in David Palmer ... Michelle, Palmer ... Palmer, Michelle ... feels like a toss-up. Suffice it to say that, despite a relatively paltry amount of screen time, Wilson was one bad motherfella.

Who was your favorite '24' villain?

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I agree; Habib Marwan and Christopher Henderson should be on this list

June 11 2011 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

all of those you mentioned are really bad. I thought the Charles Logan was one of the best villains. He started a lot of mess, but the toughest villain was Abu Fayed. He managed to torture Jack...and he used a screw drill on Morris. Ouch.

January 21 2011 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eric morrison


June 03 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about Habib Marwan? This guy deserves to be on the list, if not number one. He was part of the best season of 24, and the best, most realistic, villain Jack has faced.

May 25 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You miss Christopher Henderson, a man almost as smart as Jack Bauer. He was really something.

May 23 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got to go with Nina. She really set the tone for the whole series when she killed Teri. It showed that it wasn't going to be one of those series where the good guys always win and don't lose anything in the process. She was just badass through and through.

May 20 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For me it's a toss up between Nina and Logan. The last moments of season 1 really made the show what it was. Nina had a huge emotional impact on the characters and viewers. Logan on the other hand is possibly the slimiest, most deceiving, evil presidents ever portrayed. Both of them belong in the villain HoF.

May 20 2010 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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