Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Since its first season, "24" has been notorious for killing off its guest stars. Richard Burgi, Karina Arroyave, Michael O'Neill, Zeljko Ivanek, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dennis Hopper, Phillip Rhys, Tracy Middendorf, Michelle Forbes, Sara Gilbert, Jesse Borrego, Gina Torres, Paul Blackthorne, Shohreh Aghadashloo, Nestor Serrano, James Frain, Aisha Tyler, and Arnold Vosloo. Each of them bit the bullet (many of them quite literally, since gunshots are a popular way to die on this show) sometime during the show's first four seasons. And let's not forget all of the nameless extras and lesser-known actors who died to serve the plot.

The series has also never been shy about axing the main cast. Leslie Hope, Penny Johnson, Sarah Clarke, and Xander Berkeley each received a pink slip. Three bullets and an explosion, all used to great dramatic effect.

So how is Season Five different? Well two main characters (Reiko "Michelle" Aylesworth and Dennis "Palmer" Haysbert) died in the first ten minutes of the season premiere. I saw Palmer's death coming a mile away (new mid-season replacement series, anyone?), but was horrified by Michelle's explosive demise. Tony and Michelle are one of the few TV couples that I ADORE, and I am not a 'shipper by nature.

Nine episodes into the new season. How do our guest stars stack up? John Allen Nelson ("Sheena"), dead. Mark Sheppard ("Firefly"), dead. Patrick Bauchau ("The Pretender"), dead. Timothy Omundson ("Judging Amy"), dead. Geraint Wyn Davies ("Forever Knight"), dead.

Watch your step, Julian Sands. You're next on the list.

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