24 has always trafficked in dimensions totaling one, and if you were in the unenviable position of drafting after the top two spots, you were left to fill your team with uneven scrubs -- Audrey Raines could hardly compete with top-rated Jack, much less Chloe "1A" O'Brian. Be it Audrey, Curtis, or Buchanan, they all swung wildly from pole to pole, from put-upon victim to take-charge go-getters. (Similarly, the notion of character depth is simulated in 24 when a character, suspected of being a mole, acts suspiciously until s/he turns out to be a triple agent. Now that's moral complexity, bouncing from one extreme to the other!)
Anyway, with so many 24 characters who occupy the do-or-die variety -- because in the extremist world of CTU, that's the only way to roll -- this handy guide will you tell you how to navigate the fantasy world of 24!
Jack Bauer - Although some people worried about Jack's off-season workout regimen in China, the early word is that he'll be back in the States by the time the new season starts. If you're worried about rust, you only need to see that bad motherin' beard.
Chloe O'Brian - Most pre-season rankings put Chloe just a notch below Jack since she's chained to the desk and doesn't rack up the body count. However, the difference is smaller than you'd think. Although she may have peaked already, Chloe has shown no signs of slowing down, even in a league that doesn't think twice about forcefully ending the careers of fan favorites. Chloe is a credible number 1 overall fantasy player to rival Jack, especially if you're in a league that includes withering scowls and opening sockets as stat categories.
Wayne Palmer - Even though he's now occupying the tumultuous President position (also called the "1"), and trying to fill the shoes of his brother, no less, scouts have been impressed with his RFK-like determination and scrappiness. A low first rounder, at the worst.
Bill Buchanan - A steady, dependable horse, coming off a year where he even got it on (probably) with Karen Hayes.
Hamri Al-Assad (Alexander Siddig) - Allegedly the leader of this year's Team Evil, and we all know how those guys end up, but though he's high-risk, he's high-reward too. (We'll ignore for now the rumors of performance-enhancement back on the Star Trek days.)
Curtis Manning - See 2006's scouting report on Superfly: Jack's unsung wingman hopes to finally have a breakout year.
Karen Hayes - That Helen Mirren-like hot older lady thing she's almost got going makes Karen Hayes a nice long-term pickup.
Milo Pressman - Left 24 -- alive, no less -- after its inaugural season to pursue other interests (e.g. Claire Fisher), but now he's returned to CTU to have Chloe make sour faces at him. No word yet if he's bringing the face-bling.
People of LA - Odds say that five straight seasons of being held hostage has got to end sometime, amirite?
Ahmed Amar (Kal Penn) - Apparently his hunger wasn't sated by White Castle, so now, in a classic 24 twist, he's taking vengeance on the US.
Thomas Lennox (Peter MacNicol) - He takes over for his season 5 predecessor/doppelganger Miles Papazian, who whimpered his way through a quarter-season and an unceremonious fade into obscurity. Reports say that he and Jack are already feuding, so exercise extreme caution with Lennox, since experience has shown that those who oppose Jack often don't survive the experience.
Sandra Palmer (Regina King) - Yes, she's part of that Palmer family, so you know she's from good stock. Unfortunately, questions remain because Sandra might not find the same success that her brothers found in 24, since the whole "black" and "female" combination hasn't worked in seasons past .
Vice President Noah Daniels ("Super" Powers Booth)
Charles Logan - Avoid at all costs.
Kim Bauer - <hilarious cougar joke>
Indie rating: The Wrens - "Everyone Chooses Sides"