America is about to lose a hero, writes Claudia Rosett. That would be Jack Bauer, the Kiefer Sutherland character whose 24 wraps up this season. Yeah, it's only TV, but Bauer "summed up something important about the American spirit: a will to defend his country, against all attackers, no matter what the odds," writes Rosett at Forbes. "I'll miss Jack."
Critics carped about his propensity to torture bad guys, but the country needed someone like Bauer, who first showed up in November 2001. The show "has allowed us to forget the endless absurdities of real-world politics and watch a guy whose mission in life is to protect us, no matter what obstacles the bureaucrats and politicians—not to mention the terrorists—throw in his way. That might just be the definition of a modern hero."