Alynda Wheat
January 05, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Roger Cross

WHAT’S HIS STORY? Curtis is really the Ginger Rogers to Jack’s Fred Astaire — he dodges the same bullets, but gets almost none of the glory. The quintessential good soldier, Manning is CTU’s director of field operations, working more on instinct than intel and saving Jack’s rear too many times to count. Just last season, Curtis handled a hostage situation at an L.A.-area airport, prevented a hospital attack by tracking down stolen nerve gas, and traded gunfire with some surly terrorists. And where was Jack during all that? Okay, he was pretty busy. Point is, Jack simply couldn’t have saved the day without his unsung wingman.

BEST SCENE Henchmen for season 4 baddie Marwan knocked Curtis out and were taking him off to be executed when — holy switcheroo, Batman! — it became clear that our (No. 2) hero was playing possum. He quickly dispatched all and sundry.

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