Jack and Audrey: A Look Back

Kim Raver reflects on the history between the two star-crossed lovers in this recap video from FOX.

“The beginning when we first saw Audrey and Jack in season 4, they are that kind of soul mate couple and then these events started to happen.”

Source FOX Broadcasting


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Jack & Audrey’s Relationship:

Jack approaches middle-age and his daughter is all grown up. She’s in a relationship with Jack’s old partner and doesn’t need Jack as much anymore. Jack’s been fired from CTU, he’s gone to rehab, he’s got his pal Tony out of prison but doesn’t know how to help Tony through his issues, and he’s too young to retire. So he goes to D.C.. and gets a job working for Audrey’s dad. He’s lonely. He’s really lonely and he is working a desk job, no field work, and pretending like that makes him happy and is the kind of man he can be.

Audrey’s separated from her husband. They got married too young and he’s not exciting enough for her– or so she thinks. Jack’s a little dangerous– he’s got this past on paper that turns her on like it’s a sordid little romance novel. All that drugs and danger gets her going. She and Jack start a secret thing– discreet because let’s not forget that Jack is now de-evolving into following the Chase Edmunds Path To Romantic Bliss here. (That worked out really well for Chase.) Audrey’s dad is the kind of man that Jack always wished was his dad and Audrey’s relationship with him is (at least Jack thinks it is) the kind of relationship he wants with Kim. Like Kim, Audrey lost her mom young and worked with her father and they represent this like golden dream of what Jack could have had, if his daughter wasn’t following in the footsteps of her own mother (crushing her career dreams to raise a child while she’s barely an adult herself, committing to a man in Chase who is similar to Jack himself.)

Audrey pushes Jack into saying he loves her and Jack nervously mentions that he didn’t think he could do this until Audrey. Not since Teri had died. This is the first time Jack has really given himself permission since Teri to actively *try* to have a relationship with someone that lasts– his previous attempts were more about just getting beyond Teri’s murder. Only, Jack spends all of Day 4 realizing that Audrey Raines has no clue whatsoever as to who he really is. It takes a day in the field and some chats with Tony to clue Audrey into the fact that the reality of Jack is much different than the Jack on paper.

Then, Paul shows up even more and it turns out he is *awesome*. He’s so unbelievably awesome that everyone feels terrible for being such a dick to him all day. Audrey’s going to stick with him. It turns out, all she needed was a day of hell to show her that maybe she should have given Paul more of a chance. Then, Paul dies because of an impossible call Jack had to make and Audrey gets the true ramifications of just how dangerous life with Jack Bauer really is.

Jack has to fake his death. No one tells Audrey in order to protect her. With Paul and Jack dead, Audrey is lonely. She sleeps with a creeptastic traitor who is also the White House Chief of Staff (her favorite position, double entendre intended.) She is so eager to get back with Jack after he shows back up from the dead that she makes him nervous and he’s not so sure, initially. Audrey’s alone and if she doesn’t stick with Jack Bauer, then all of this will have been for nothing. Jack’s not so sure. He’s more into whether or not Tony’s going to make it, who killed David Palmer, and why his daughter hates him and is sleeping with her psychiatrist. Compared to these things, Audrey takes a bit of a backseat.

But, by the end of the day, Tony is (faux) dead, Kim has left, David Palmer is still very dead, the President is evil, and Jack has nothing left in the world. Nothing left… except Audrey. Instead of manning up and facing the consequences for what he’s done that day and during Day 4, Jack decides to be a coward and make a run for it. He and Audrey are going to run away together. But then, karma shows up and it’s the opportunity to reconnect with Kim that Jack thought he was going to have (but was faked) that has Jack get kidnapped by the Chinese. If you fail to man up on 24, your past comes back to haunt you even more.

Audrey is so alone that she tries to find Jack because now her husband is dead, she’s slept with a traitor, she was accused of being a traitor, she’s been kidnapped and shot and is one ovarian cyst away from out-Teri-ing Teri Bauer here. So, naturally, she gets kidnapped by the Chinese and tortured for info about Jack. She’s subjected to psychoactive drugs. She has over a hundred injection marks in her body, including her groin, when she returns on Day 6, and is catatonic. Because this is what happens when you ride Jack’s magical cock, people. This is the price you pay in the 24 world.

So, like any normal, reasonable person, she clearly is still in love with him. Her entire life destroyed? No big deal. Not when she’s “finding her voice” because he’s returned. Not when she’s hurting some other guy she married because he was nice to her and took care of her and *didn’t* try to destroy her world and she decided to reward him for that with a pretty much loveless marriage. Yes, folks, Jack/Audrey is the ship to beat! They could not possibly be more unhealthy if they tried. It’s by far Jack’s most entertaining romantic relationship because it is the biggest trainwreck of one that the show has ever created. I can’t wait for more of this crazy.

Mary, I think you’ve put more thought into Jack and Audrey than Kiefer, Kim Raver and the writers combined. :D

Nah, it’s just a recap from a writer studying psychology, baby ;)

Dammit, Mary!!!!! That was wonderful.

xx. And before someone says anything, I’m not a Jack/Renee shipper, so yeah.

kiki vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 7:24 am
Love this! I love the relationship because it’s played with such relish and massive angst by both Sutherland and Raver. it’s not easy to deliver this story with all the turns and twists you have highlighted so well and still end up with something compelling and interesting to watch. Maybe the story jumps the tracks or hugs the rails –it’s a great ride.

Thanks for reminding us that of all the reasons we love 24 and are so invested it’s realistic take on –well anything– is not one of them.

Oh, they play it really well, I agree. The actors on 24 can sell *anything*. They’re the best actors in the world for delivering real emotion that supports an epic amount of crazy. 24’s leaps when it comes to realistic stuff has never really bothered me, usually because it’s led to some of my favorite plotlines, but I do find it amazing when it comes to Jack’s love life the fact that every. single. one. of Jack’s love interests highlights whatever issues he’s got going on at the time and are not supposed to be “the one” for him, if you go with stuff like that. Audrey is my favorite of those because she is rooted in so much Kim projecting and paralleling that it’s massively uncomfortable, which makes it very entertaining, IMHO :)

May 28, 2014 at 8:19 am
I hope that the final seconds of 24: Live Another Day will be Jack Bauer and Audrey embracing and officially becoming a couple again for real. Audrey has been Jack’s only true love from Season 4 onwards.

Shh… she’s already written that novel under her pseudonym, Tawdry Paines. It’s called ‘The Traitor’s First Lady’, available soon from Harlequin’s new Sassy Ladies imprint.

Jack and Audrey were meant for each other just not meant to be together

I think that’s how Audrey sees it, too. That’s what makes it all so tragic.

Kiki Vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm
Yes and what I find true for me is that it’s not so much about who you personally think Jack should be with its more about the “buy in” to support his vision of who he thinks is The One. I’m ambivalent about whether Audrey is as Jack-worthy as other choices but I will say the trip to China demonstrated (finally) her steadfast support of him and Jack certainly feels that way so for his sake I hope he finds peace, closure , or my choice — a private room to pull her into (the season 4 prequel is still one of the hottest two minutes of film I’ve seen)

You are so right about whether or not you buy into whoever Jack thinks is the right one in whatever moment of the show you are watching. You care about Jack, so you want him to get what he needs out of life, but very often what he needs and who he thinks he needs to provide that are two different things. Then, his love interests are usually so well drawn that you get behind them and you want the same things for them but it’s not always the idea that the two should be together.

You want Jack to rescue Teri but you’re pretty sure these two got back together out of a combination of staying together for the sake of Kim until she went to college and old habits die hard. You think Kate Warner is a good person and a brave woman but she’s clearly reflecting back parts of Jack he feels he’s lost. She’s too good for him. (So she got to live lol.) Claudia? Claudia’s life was so terrible that she thought Smack!Jack’s undercover identity was the best man she’d ever met. Nope, that’s not going to work… Audrey likes the idea of Jack more than the reality of Jack and she represents some of the biggest consequences his actions have had, so she keeps turning up again to remind him of that. Renee was a broken, mentally ill doppelganger of Jack’s dead wife, to the point that he talked about said dead wife right before they had sex, in one of the most hilariously awkward scenes in 24 history. The fact that neither of them could look in Jack’s enormous looking glass that was tilted *away from* his bed was perhaps the best summing up of this relationship. Renee was all Jack had left by the time Day 8 rolled around because he had been delaying going home forever since he couldn’t go home a hero. He had no opportunity to finish out his career in a way that would work for him. Allison Taylor was going to sign a peace treaty– it’s was going to be a wonderful thing but a wonderful thing that would render Jack unnecessary and underline the fact that most of his days were behind him now. He’s now a grandpa who left a trail of wreckage in his wake and was too depressed to do anything about it. He doesn’t even try for the first half of Day 8– he wants to leave Ortiz’s men behind in the field, he bitches out Rob Weiss for saving Manhattan because he’s really upset that he failed to do it himself and just blindly followed the orders of a President losing her mind. When Renee shows up, it’s like a gift from the heavens: someone to save! Someone as broken and even more completely crackers than he is! Someone he can take home to Kim and Little Teri who looks just like how Teri used to look like because that’s not enormously creepy at all!

I think Jack’s end game is to get home to his family. There’s not going to be a woman at the end of this for Jack romantically, IMO. There’s his daughter, his granddaughter, and Kate Morgan to pick up the torch when he retires. Jack’s going to have to have gone on this epic journey to ultimately wind up back with Teri and Kim, just a different Teri and a grown-up Kim.

Kiki Vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm
Mary– so so funny and true about Claudia’s attraction to SmackJack (still one of the more surprising and unnecessary detours in the writers’ quest to heap burden upon burden on poor Jack).

You do wonder how Teri hung in for so long– God bless her– I can only conclude Jack spent most of his marriage overseas in the field as it were.

Annie Wersching is the cat’s meow I can only imagine how much fun they had on set with her in the mix. However, Renee was bat shit crazy from the start. I love when Larry Moss says “I’ve known her for years and never seen her like this” trying to blame Jack for her actions in Day 7 and I thought buddy you so did not know her at all. She had grit, style and the biggest balls on the team but she was not ever going to be a restful companion and I guess as long as they were moving at warp speed it would have all worked out but jeez– can you imagine trying to be their couples therapist?!

I do love thinking about how the conversation must have gone in the writers room for Day 8 trying to decide exactly how long the encounter should have lasted — less than 20 minutes and all of our collective fantasies go poof, more than half an hour and we are wasting valuable story line time.

I’m not sure how this will end in the meantime, I am just so thankful we have it back for a little while longer.

Kiki Vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm
Also– Mary you are so right about Audrey– she is very enamored of the idea of Jack but the reality of Jack is overwhelming and in Season 4 she simply was not equal to the task. It took her awhile to understand that he was worth it and decide to take a risk on him (and boy did she pay the price for it). Her strength is a quiet reliance and she has grace and dignity. She is as emotionally contained and reserved as he is but that should not be mistaken for an absence of feeling– in fact it masks a deep well of it which is why we get tears when she sees him and vice versa.

I agree with all of this about Audrey. I think my problem with her character is not that I think she’s cold or weak because she is neither of those things. I agree that she is tougher than she looks and she represses her emotions until they sort of burst over but I think my issue with her for Jack is that I don’t feel it’s fundamentally *Jack* whom she wants. It started on Day 4, as we’ve said, without her really understanding him. She’s read his file and Jack’s told her a few things, so he’s fooled himself into think that she gets him, but then the whole day proves that this isn’t really true. The idea more than the reality, as we’ve said. I love Audrey on Day 4. It’s Day 5 Audrey that I have more of an issue with because she then decides Jack is really who she wants. It’s fine that she didn’t know this on Day 4– I mean, Paul had just died, she’d been through hell, it’s totally understandable that she’s all sorts of conflicted by the end of Day 4 over everything. But to then pursue him on Day 5, now knowing who he is, actually weakens Audrey’s character, IMO, because it comes off more as she just doesn’t want to be alone. She wants to justify their past relationship by going back to it more than she does actually want Jack for Jack. And it’s especially awkward when put up against Jack and what he learned on Day 4. Jack comes out of Day 4 knowing who he is better than he ever has and while he cares for Audrey, he’s aware that there is so much chaos there, it’s not even funny, and being who he is gets people hurt. He spends all of Day 5 seeing the people he love get hurt, one after the other, until Audrey is the only one left, so he tries to run off with her. Even when Jack can see on Day 6 that he can’t offer Audrey anything and that she’s not going to get better if she’s on the run with him, he puts a gun to her father’s head and tries to kidnap her. I mean, Jack’s been through hell and having his say to Heller is understandable but I guess what I’m saying is that Jack and Audrey’s relationship has always seemed to me to be about filling voids, not really about one another. I think they both deserve better than that.

kiki vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm
I don’t buy that. I think Day 4 we agree on. My response to Day 5 is that Audrey really had done a lot of soul searching (and yes slept with a creeptastic traitor) and became more realistic. Yes she had her blinders on when we start Day 4 but in the 18 months between 4 and 5 she came to accept that the world Jack lived in was more complex than the one she knew in Washington D.C. (as Jack tells Sen Mayer in S7) and she came to understand in hindsight the choices and the consequences. I buy the genuineness of their connection. I’m not convinced she has what it takes for the long haul with Jack but again it’s his heart’s desire so good enough for me.

I don’t see how she became more realistic. She had time to consider everything that happened for sure, time to grieve and take a look at everything that had happened to her, and she decided that… Jack was the healthiest choice for her? How does that give Audrey any agency, really? It’s not even about being from different worlds and accepting that, IMO. It’s about knowing her own world and what she wants in it. Audrey’s entire self is defined by other people. She’s never had a job that isn’t working for her father, for one thing. She goes back and forth between wanting a man that is more her speed– a nice, gentler soul with a political/business mind that worships her in the Paul and Mark vein– with a man like Jack, who is more the dashing hero type, more action-oriented. More… let’s face it… like her father is and was. I would be more into Audrey if she started showing Jack consequences for his actions. If Day 5 had resulted in Jack having to earn Audrey’s love back instead of her throwing herself at him, I would have gotten behind the relationship. I think she’s a little pathetic for how she’s always just there, waiting for Jack, attributing characteristics and ideals to him that might not really be true, just because she needs a white knight. I wish she had more fire to her because I don’t know how Jack fundamentally respects someone without fire. Since Day 4, it’s honestly felt like Jack is just so guilty that he can’t let go. He’s so alone and she’s so *there*. He feels like he has to take care of her and look after her because of all the hell she went through because of him. That’s not a great foundation to a relationship, IMO.

kiki vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm
I don’t see being realistic is anywhere near the same neighborhood as being rational and you seem to be equating the two. It’s not a healthy choice she is k knowingly making anything but a healthy choice. It’s making the decision to open your heart to so someone with major flaws and accept that life isn’t a primrose path. Jack is no Prince Charming and by Day5 Audrey is right there ready to accept him on his terms– in the helicopter on the way out to recover the football he says “I never thought you could love if you knew….” and he was right it freaked her out. By S5 she is able to love him knowing all of it. It remains to be seen if they have a future. I do agree she is tugged between what her head is telling her she should want and what her heart wants.

Oh, life for sure is not a primrose path and opening your heart is a wonderful thing. For sure, no one is perfect. Audrey accepting that about Jack is lovely, except for how it will get her hurt. Except for how she disregards her own well-being to open up her heart, which is why I think she’s sad more than inspiring. There’s nothing worse than a woman who is so eager to be hurt that she keeps going back to something that is an unhealthy choice for her. That’s what Audrey does. It’s hard to respect a woman who doesn’t take care of herself in that way.

If you mean that Claudia was unnecessary, I could get behind that, though I didn’t mind the Mexico arc as much as some others and had more of an issue with Hector than Claudia. If you meant Jack’s heroin addiction, though, I’ve got to disagree. I looooove that element of his character and wish they’d play with it more. That is one of my favorite surprises is in the whole series.

I think Teri Bauer was awesome and yeah how she hung in for so long, like you say… Jack wasn’t around all that much. I did the math once and realized that Teri had Kim when she was, like, 18 years old, and Jack wasn’t much older– he would have been 22. I can see why they were attracted to each other as kids but I don’t think they would have stayed together if it weren’t for Kim. The longer their marriage went on, the more they realized that neither of them ever really got to be young adults without also being parents and that probably weighed down their marriage a lot. On top of Jack always being somewhere else and the nature of his work, etc..

Agreed that Larry didn’t really know Renee– he didn’t see what was hinted at throughout the day. He didn’t realize Renee had it in her to torture that sniper and stuff like that. But Renee didn’t want him to see that side of her, either, I don’t think, and that was her true side. I think the thing I found most interesting about how the show contrasted Renee and Jack is that Renee had a side that was truly sadistic. Chopping off someone’s thumb does not a Jack Bauer make. Jack doesn’t get off on causing pain, he doesn’t revel in the darkness the way Renee did. And it wasn’t just Laitanan. Nobody could blame Renee for wanting to kill that guy but stabbing someone seventeen times, including through the eye, and being so out of it with rage that she then accidentally stabbed Jack… that’s a *problem*. And it was a consistent problem– it happened with the sniper on Day 7, it happened with Alan Wilson. Renee Zadan wasn’t an undercover identity so much as who Renee really was and Renee Walker was, in a sense, this identity that she projected to other people. She was secretly crazy and Jack? Is not crazy. Or at least not that kind of crazy. I felt like Jack felt he could ‘fix’ Renee and Renee was so alone that she would have followed the first puppy home who promised her supper. A lot of Renee for Jack was residual guilt for previous people– he wasn’t there when Audrey lost herself, for instance, but he could be for Renee. He projected Teri’s rape all over what happened with Renee and Laitanan. Even how Renee dies, the way Jack picks her up and how she’s leaning back the whole time in the car? That’s all Teri Bauer. Jack cracks up, in part, because he keeps living the same nightmare over and over and by Day 8, he just can’t take it all anymore. That’s my opinion, anyway….

Like you say, imagine being their couple’s counselor? I can’t even imagine them getting to that point. Renee was leaving to go back to CTU (because she wanted to reference Michelle a bit there– ha) and Jack didn’t want anything to do with that place. Jack was only with her in the first place because he didn’t have a purpose and Renee followed because she didn’t either but when Renee hears the siren call of the greater good again and gets offered a shot at redemption from the President, it’s all that was a fun lay, Jack, gotta run! If she hadn’t been shot, this still wouldn’t have worked. My friend showed me some Jack/Renee fanfic and I couldn’t stop laughing at Jack and Renee doing ‘picking out curtains’ types of things. Also, no, seriously… they knew each other for less than a day and a half, on two of the most difficult days of Jack’s life, and when he was slowly losing his mind for hours on the first one. That’s a really stellar first couple of dates! *giggles*

LOLOL on the sex-in-real-time. Can we also point out that Jack had been *stabbed in the side*? He’d been strung up and tortured. Renee had been raped a few hours earlier. (Stay classy, Jack…) And they’re like okay, maybe two commercial breaks? Just splitscreen it back to Renee on top because she’s a Modern Woman and then we’ll cut to this awkward moment where Jack is all polite smile and then bolting for his clothes and an excuse to get out of bed. And then we’ll kill her before he even gets to have a sip of water because sucks to be Jack Bauer! *giggles*

kiki vanderway
May 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm
Teri started out strong and Leslie Hope was fantastic as a Mama Bear but by E23 as much as I love the scene where she tells him she is preggers and as much as it just makes everything so darn sad at the end, she was getting on my nerves. Sorry.

On the Day 8 time table for Jack and Renee …. sheesh it’s so bad….it’s bad. Keep it classy, indeed

Yeah, Teri Bauer was never going to last. She was the sacrifice the story demanded. But I think she’s underrated for how much she protected Kim and how strong she really was when you consider that she was a civilian who was never a part of Jack’s world in that way.

Let’s not forget what happened in the Season Six finale. Jack bid adieu to Audrey who was sleeping in her bed and it was time for him to move on and start a new life without her and in the final moment of Season Six, Jack was in a emotional state not knowing of where he’s going or what he’s going to do next and in an alternative ending which you will see in the Season Six DVD, he took apart his gun, threw it into the ocean and he’s going to be disillusioned by the Government. It felt really bad for Jack in Season Eight where Renee Walker who’s now an ex-FBI agent got killed by a Russian operative named Pavel and all of a sudden, Jack goes all Dark Knight on him to go on a revenge spree for the people responsible for Renee’s death. If it wasn’t for Pavel he’s becoming the biggest liar I’ve ever seen on 24 and he paid the price for getting “torture to death” by Jack Bauer.