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DHS- Reiko Aylesworth on 24

Michelle Dessler on Season 2

Michelle Dessler was one of the supporting protagonists on the second, third, fourth and fifth seasons of "24" as well as 24: The Game. She was played by actress Reiko Aylesworth in all appearances.

Character Summary[]

Michelle was a high ranking federal agent who worked for CTU and Division. She helped save American lives during the national crises of Days 2, 3 and 4. She was married to Tony Almeida and later divorced him; however, they reconciled during the events of Day 4. The couple decided to move away from CTU and start a new life, which they successfully had managed by Day 5, by which point Michelle was pregnant.

However, she was killed during the first hour of Day 5 by hitman Conrad Haas, who had been hired by Christopher Henderson and Graem Bauer due to her knowledge of Jack Bauer's faked death. This was also part of an attempt to lure out Jack and frame him for the murder of David Palmer. Also complicit in her death were President Charles Logan and Alan Wilson, whom Tony tried to target during Day 7 to avenge her death.

Before Day 2[]

At some point before Day 2 Michelle worked at Washington DC and successfully helped to stop an anthrax outbreak there.

Before the events of Day 2, Michelle began to work as an intelligence agent at CTU Los Angeles. She was the third highest-ranking agent at CTU, below George Mason and Tony Almeida.

Day 2[]

Michelle helped gather intelligence and follow leads throughout Day 2. She was not severely harmed in the attack upon the building by Eddie Grant and his group. When former colleague Carrie Turner came to work at CTU, the two had some issues, escalated by the fact that Michelle's brother Danny (who left his wife and children for Carrie who subsequently left him) turned up at the government building. Frightened from the recent nuclear explosion, Danny showed up at the CTU to see Michelle, only to discover that Carrie was working there. He attacked her, as he was angry that she did not return his calls. This led to security detaining him and Michelle becoming emotional. Tony comforted her and the two shared an intimate moment.

When Jack later found evidence proving that the Cyprus recording that was going to launch the US into war was forged, Michelle helped Jack in proving its illegitimacy. However, Tony (whom Michelle was close with) initially did not approve of her and Jack averting their orders. Initially, he, along with Carrie, tried to stop her from proving its illegitimacy but eventually began to help her. At the end of the day the two acknowledged their love for one another.

After Day 2[]

At some point between Days 2 and 3, Michelle and Tony were married. Tony became the Special Agent in Charge of CTU, promoting Michelle to CTU Chief of Staff.

The Game[]

DHS- Reiko Aylesworth in 24 The Game

During the events of The Game, Michelle worked at CTU Los Angeles as CTU Chief of Staff where she assisted Jack Bauer with the threat. Throughout the day, Michelle helped give logistical information to field agents as well as help to re-boot the CTU computer after the attack.

When CTU was attacked by Peter Madsen and his men, Dessler and Kim Bauer were in Tech 1. They were two of a few CTU agents not captured or killed during the attack. Michelle helped get Kim to the safe room M3 although she herself was captured. Sean Walker was killed during the attack, an intern of Michelle's.

Day 3[]

Bauer and Michelle Dessler 600px-24S3Glock19v2

Michelle once again assisted with the threats that CTU faced, this time dealing with an attack of a virus. The virus was released at Chandler Plaza Hotel whilst Michelle was present, but she soon found out that she was in fact immune to the virus, unlike her unfortunate colleague, Gael Ortega who died.

Later, Michelle was captured and used as bait by Stephen Saunders to coerce Tony into allowing him to walk free. Tony went through with the deal but also managed to capture Saunders in the process. Tony and Michelle were reunited, but before long Tony was taken away to prison.

After Day 3[]

Both President Palmer and Jack Bauer testified on behalf of Tony during his trial, but he was still sentenced to a maximum security prison. After Tony served seven months, he was released under a Presidential pardon. Tony lost his position at CTU and he remained unemployed. Due to the stress he suffered while in prison and his unemployment situation, Tony turned to alcohol and this ultimately caused him to push Michelle away. Michelle filed for divorce and Tony began to live with a female bartender, Jen Slater.

Michelle was temporarily posted at the CTU Seattle branch of the Counter Terrorist Unit. There she met Bill Buchanan and they became close. Both of them shared feelings for each other and started a relationship. However, Bill realized that Michelle was still in love with Tony and they decided to end it before it got too serious. Michelle then earned a position as the Associate Special Agent in Charge of Division in Los Angeles. Bill was also transferred there as the Regional Director, the former position of Ryan Chappelle.

Day 4[]

After Maya Driscoll committed suicide at CTU Los Angeles, Erin Driscoll wasn't able to focus on her work and Secretary of Defense James Heller advised her to step down. Tony Almeida, who was reinstated several hours earlier, held the position of Special Agent in Charge until the replacement from Division arrived. Tony was shocked when he learned that Michelle was the replacement.

The two managed to work together, but Tony found things difficult for a while when he found out about her and Buchanan's relationship. They later rekindled their love for one another in a situation that arose from an Mandy. They both assisted in faking Jack's death to ensure that he would not be killed by a US operative to prevent him from being imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese consul.

After Day 4[]

After Michelle helped David Palmer, Chloe O'Brian, and Tony Almeida stage the death of Jack Bauer, she left CTU Los Angeles and Division with Tony. Eventually the two re-married and they started their own private security technology company. Michelle was pregnant with the couple's first child at the onset of Day 5.

Day 5[]

Tony and Michelle were preparing for an anticipated business meeting with Rick Rosen, when they learned that David Palmer was assassinated in his brother's apartment. Since the assassination took place in Los Angeles, Michelle knew that CTU LA would lead the investigation. She tried to convince Tony to go back to CTU to help, but Tony argued that they weren't working there anymore and that CTU could handle it. However, Michelle insisted, saying they had more experience and had previously worked during two assassination attempts on Palmer.

Although Tony tried to stop her, Michelle decided to leave. As she went to her car and opened it, there was an explosion. After Tony heard the explosion, he ran outside and grabbed her, but another explosion went off engulfing them both. Though Tony managed to survive the blast and was transported to CTU medical for surgery, Michelle died from her injuries.

She had massive contusions to the chest and face, with third degree burns over 93 percent of her body.

After Tony awoke, Bill Buchanan told Tony that Michelle didn't die, as Doctor Marc Besson felt that any emotional trauma would endanger Tony's heart health. Eventually Tony learned the truth and that Christopher Henderson ordered her murder. This led to Tony's apparent death as Tony tried to kill him, relented, but was himself attacked by Henderson and almost died.

Graem Bauer played a pivotal role in the assassinations, having paid the killers and set the timetable to lure Jack out of hiding; additionally, the original mastermind of the conspiracy was private military executive Alan Wilson. President Charles Logan was complicit in the murder of Michelle as well as Palmer and the attempts on Almeida and O'Brian. The heartbreak caused by her murder — as well as the unborn son she was carrying — spurred Tony to seek revenge at any cost on Wilson in Day 7.

In Solitary, Tony mentions to the head of the prison that every night he wakes up in a cold sweat re-living the moment Michelle was killed in the car bomb blast. He mentions that his wife would never have approved of the actions he took to get to Alan Wilson, and if he could save even one life he would feel worthy of her love again. However, the meeting to be released to general prison population was just a play to get schematics to an escape route from Vanessa Diaz. It is unknown if Tony feels any regret of his actions or if he even cares what his wife would think anymore.

Background information and notes[]

  • Reiko Aylesworth, Michelle's actress, is the only performer besides Gregory Itzin (Charles Logan) to have been credited in 3 of the 5 billings available. In Season 2 she was credited as guest star, in Season 3 she was credited as a main cast member, and in Seasons 4 and 5 she was credited as a special guest star.
  • Michelle is the eighth longest running character on the series, and appears in all episodes of seasons 2 and 3.
  • Michelle holds the fourth place for most appearances (62 in total) for a deceased character. David Palmer is in first place at 80 episodes and Bill Buchanan and Audrey Raines are second at 64.
  • Michelle and Tony have the most appearances as a married couple, appearing in 25 episodes together.