Xander Berkeley discusses George Mason’s death in 24 Season 2

Xander Berkeley at FOX TCA's 2002
Xander Berkeley at FOX TCA’s 2002

You went out in such a blaze of glory on 24. Was that a satisfying ending for you?
BERKELEY: It’s interesting, Joel [Surnow] had written the character as a guest star in the pilot. I met my wife on the show and was happy to be written into more episodes. It worked out because he enjoyed writing for the character and what I brought to it. I was doing other things that year, as well. And then, he offered me a series regular role, and I had always been scared of commitment. I love doing movies, and I was a little bit cagey about committing to a series.

So, he said, “What if we agreed to kill you.” I said, “That sounds exciting.” He said, “Become a series regular for one season. We’ll get you inhaling airborne plutonium in the first episode or two, and you’ll have 24 hours to live.” They didn’t know when it was going to result in my demise, but it was inevitable. And they were getting very tired of the bomb storyline, so it was two birds with one stone. It happened a little bit sooner, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to exit the show.

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RIP George Mason :-(

George’s exit was very sad, such a shame he was killed of. No idea why Xander didn’t just leave and he could have returned in later seasons but as Xander pointed out that he didn’t want to commit to a tv series, at least he got a good and sad exit :(

The George Mason storyline in season 2 was one of the best the show ever produced, so I’m pretty happy with it. Not a shame at all.

George’s exit goes down as one of the best in the entire series. It was a wonderful end for a great, if not always likable, character.

Mason was naturally a funny dude who never outstayed his welcome, unlike… well you know who.

You hit the bullseye on that – I thought Mason’s dry sense of humor and sarcastic, quick-witted comments were hilarious and ultimately what morphed his character from being a stiffnecked, annoying bureaucrat in S1 to the warm-hearted, sensible leader in S2. His ending was tragic and sad but so well-written.

So, he said, “What if we agreed to kill you.” I said, “That sounds exciting.”


I’ve never loved a character more than Mason.

The ‘George Mason sacrifice’ episode is arguably the best episode ever of ’24’. It is definitely the most heart-felt episode. I got choked up when Jack was saying his goodbyes to Kim and told her how proud he is of her. And then, George had such a great speech to Jack that the way to be a hero is for him to put the past behind him and live a good life. It was ’24’ at its best. The 7 or 8 episodes leading up to the Mason sacrifice episode (episode #15) were the best stretch of episodes that ’24’ has ever had.