#5 Edgar Stiles
Edgar Stiles wasn’t the longest lasting character in 24, but he was certainly one that I personally found easy to love. What I particularly liked about Edgar was how the characterisation moved from a weak man who was scared to share his ideas and often hid behind the shadows of others, to a stronger being that had the ability to speak up when he felt necessary. His knowledge and dedication to his job at CTU saved the lives of a lot of people.
In case you’ve forgotten, which would make you extremely heartless, Edgar was one of the victims of a poison gas leak in CTU which killed many employees. He was exposed to the gas whilst trying to find a safety zone. Jack, Chloe, Kim and others were in an already sealed zone, which upon opening would expose them to the gas, so they were forced to deny Edgar entry. His final word was “Chloe”. It was never confirmed but I personally took those final words to mean that Edgar had such strong feelings towards Chloe that it must be her that he looked towards in his most extreme time of need.
#4 Michelle Dessler
I personally found the aftermath of Michelle Desslers death far more upsetting and emotional than the characters death itself, as you don’t actually see the character dying, you only hear an explosion. Tony Almeida, the husband of Michelle, is the one who I think suffers the most from the experience of holding his dying wife in his arms. Tony is the victim of a second explosion, which he survives, however when he awakens he thinks Michelle is alive only to be exposed to the news of his wife’s death for a second time. So he suffers heart break at the start. He stages his own death and later emerges as the main villain of Season 7 of 24. Michelle Dessler dies, but her husband is alive and living a life of pure sadness and heartbreak. Her death turned him into the very thing he had worked for years to protect his country from.
#3 George Mason
I won’t shy away from the fact that George Mason was without a doubt the first character in 24 I genuinely truly loved to watch on screen. Others of course were interesting, such as Kim, Tony, Teri, and the obvious one… Jack. But George was presented as such as interesting man to me. At the start he was presented in a similar way to Ryan Chappelle, selfish, arrogant and a man who made no time for the opinion of others. Towards the end he changed in the way he was presented to us. He was amusing, understanding and damn good at his job. Eventually to fans devastation, he was exposed to a heavy amount of radiation which gave him extreme radiation poisoning. As he was dying anyway, he took a nuclear bomb in a plane and suicide bombed into a desert far away from anywhere that would harm anyone. Just when we got to know the real George Mason, he was taken from us, and in such a brave way. He was a true pleasure to have watched.
#2 David Palmer
Since the first episode of the show David Palmer was represented as a man of great strength. He was a symbol of security, a figure of moral conscience, and also a character that had evaded assassinations so many times that he came off as invincible. So when he was suddenly killed by a sniper shot to the head his death sent a message, that even the strongest of characters weren’t invincible, and that even the strongest aren’t capable of evading the arts and acts of evil. Jack Bauer’s suffering is testament to that fact.
What made the death of David Palmer even sadder for me is that for the most part of that series, Jack Bauer was suspected of being the one to kill him. It’s a total disrespect to David and Jack and their friendship as a whole, but its part of a story that turned out to be one of the greatest in 24’s history. I am of course talking about the evil ex-President Charles Logan being behind the organisation of the assassination of David. I think we can all agree that everyone lost something the day that David Palmer died, an extremely instant and unexpected death.
#1 Ryan Chappelle
Some may seriously disagree that the death of Ryan Chappelle was the saddest death in the entire series of 24, but for me it really was the saddest. A terrorist named Stephen Saunders threatened to release a virus that would kill a lot of people unless Ryan Chappelle was killed to show how serious CTU were about co-operating with the terrorists. Until this point, Ryan Chappelle was represented as a no fun butt bag that was quite frankly rude to employee’s and took everything way too seriously. In other words, he’s a character we weren’t supposed to like.
When it came to his death, we saw the real Ryan Chappelle behind the tougher, moodier by the book kind of guy. We saw a scared man, yet for a guy who had just been told he must die for his country he kept it together considerably well. The most emotional part was Jack having to execute him because Ryan couldn’t pull the trigger himself. Jack’s final words before pulling the trigger of the gun which was aimed at Ryan’s head “God Forgive Me”. This was such an emotional moment for me personally, simply because if you imagine yourself in Jack’s position, a man who loves and wants to do well by his country, having to shoot an unwilling innocent man in cold blood must have been horrible.
Bonus: Teri Bauer
The reason I haven’t included Teri Bauer in the main list of saddest deaths is because I personally didn’t find Teri’s death particularly horrific or particularly sad as opposed to the other characters mentioned. My reasoning is because we really didn’t have enough time to feel any kind of connection with the character. What made all of the other deaths sadder is that we had gotten used to those characters and we had to come to the realisation that we wouldn’t see them anymore. The death of Teri Bauer is what shaped Jack into the man he turned into, which in itself is quite sad as he had lived a life of little happiness.
As you know, the death of Teri also brought about the death of Jack’s second child as she was pregnant with the baby at the time. So in my opinion her death in itself wasn’t the saddest death I’ve seen in a TV series, it was more the effects on other characters that was the sad part of her death. If you remember also, Teri’s death introduced the classic silent clock only used to pay respect at the end of the saddest episode endings.