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Last Night’s <i>24</i>: Not Meant to Be Taken Seriously, Surprisingly If you thought last night's White House break-in on 24 was completely ridiculous, don't worry -- it wasn't supposed to not be! That's basically what executive producer Howard Gordon said on a media call, anyway. (But honestly -- it's 24! They've always been crazy animals over there! Just go with it!) Read on for why you shouldn't look at the episode as a serious documentary on how to tunnel a hole into the White House, the potential ultimate fate of Jack Bauer, and whether or not we can expect a show-ruining Jack and Renee hookup in the near future.

On the likelihood of an eighth season:
Howard Gordon: The likelihood of an eighth season is extremely high. We're gearing up for a May start date. I'm with the writers now just putting our heads together and coming up with an idea. So it's highly likely, unless we fail to come up with an idea that's satisfactory, I think you'll see an eighth season.

On the possibility of Renee and Jack getting together romantically:
HG: This season they establish the emotional framework for a relationship that I think we're going to see manifested in the eighth season. It's definitely part of our plan for the eighth season, but it's not a romance in the traditional sense of the word. It's a lot more broken and jagged than what you might imagine. She's done a great job and we're extremely proud of her and I think she's really connected with the audience. It's a hard part to have. She's not a kid and she's a new face and I think she's done a spectacular job.

On embracing the ludicrous nature of the White House siege:
HG: One thing about the two-hour was that obviously the White House and attacking it credibly was something that we had some big internal debates about and we feared -- could it be done credibly. I do think we pulled it off, but I know it was a big concern on the part of a lot of the crew and the cast. The writers were the forward-bearers on that and I hope it worked credibly.

I tell people just to go along for the ride. By making it real and making it, how do I describe it, making it realistic and making it feel real and I guess by that I mean obviously it's not a lesson nor a... I think we have to take what our expectations and understanding of the real world are and then meet it somewhere in this sort of fictionalized and heightened reality of 24 so there's always that line that we try to reach. If it's too easy to get into the White House or if it doesn't feel like it squares -- in this case it required a couple days of extra shooting because it felt highly under-populated, is the best way to describe -- we all know there's a fairly hardened environment and a very hard target to hit, and so yes, obviously you have to suspend all [reality]. For one thing, obviously these guys are in scuba gear, like breaking through the subterranean rock. Obviously it's more like a James Bond film than it is a documentary on how one would try to breach the White House.

And where were the White House-stationed Marines during this siege?
HG: I don't know. We actually, we had them, part of the thing obviously is that the government's been compromised and we're in this transition period right now so there are Marines if you look closely.

And in case you were in need of more reinforcement, the show still insists it has no political agenda.
HG: I feel it's a shame when people tend to politicize and put the metric of realism or politics, frankly, on our storytelling. We're just really trying to tell the best story possible.

And finally, will they ever kill Jack? Possibly in a movie?
HG: It's certainly a possibility and it's one we've considered, but it's not the plan right now. He could die in the series as well. We may decide ultimately there's not a movie worth telling. Jack may see his last day on television; I think that's possible, too.

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