George Mason on Day 2
|Portrayed by||Xander Berkeley|
|First appearance||Day 1: 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM|
|Last appearance||Day 2: 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM|
George Mason was the District Director during Day 1 and later the Special Agent in Charge during Day 2. Early on Day 2, he was exposed to high levels of plutonium when searching for the nuclear bomb. He was told he had as little as a day to live. When the nuclear bomb had to be flown out of the city to be detonated, he piloted the plane and the bomb was successfully detonated safely and he died.
Before working in the intelligence field, George Mason received a bachelor's degree in Criminal Science from the University of Southern California. After that, he was the Associate Special Agent in Charge at the Phoenix CTU Domestic Unit. Before becoming District Director at CTU: Los Angeles, George Mason was a Senior Section Leader in CTU's Washington Headquarters. After Jack Bauer resigns as Special Agent in Charge at the Los Angeles CTU Domestic Unit, George Mason takes over.
 Day 1
During Day 1, George Mason is at odds with Jack Bauer because Jack blew the whistle on three CTU officials who took bribes. One of these people is Christopher Henderson. A mole is suspected inside of CTU. To receive information from George, and to clear him of being the mole, Jack knocks him out with a tranquillizer gun in his office and blackmails George with the knowledge that he is laundering money. George leaves CTU soon after this incident.
George gets called back into CTU when a lockdown is requested by Tony Almeida due to Jack's behavior. He questions both Nina Myers and Jamey Farrell as to where Jack is. They neither give up his location.
After an undercover operation with Jack posing as Alexis Drazen, he and Jack follow a lead that leads them to the prison facility. Jack stays to follow through, while Mason returns back to CTU. When the Drazen's capture Jack, Mason agrees to an exchange between Jack and Alexis Drazen and heads up the exchange.
When the Drazen's had to believe that the assassination attempt on Senator Palmer was successful, Palmer tells George he can get him a promotion if he helps Jack against the Drazen family. Mason helps as much as possible while expecting his promotion. At the end of Day 1, Mason convinces Jack not to shoot Nina Myers, when she is revealed to be the mole.
 Day 2
In Day 2, George Mason still has not received his promotion. He went a step down on the ladder by taking Jack Bauer's job as Special Agent in Charge of CTU. After the government gets wind of a possible nuclear attack in the Los Angeles area, President David Palmer asks George Mason to try and bring Jack out of retirement. Eventually President Palmer would have to contact Jack directly to ask him to come back to CTU, Jack takes the offer and comes to CTU.
When Mason finds out that there's a 90% chance that the nuclear bomb would detonate in LA, he leaves CTU to follow up on a lead outside the blast radius. Tony Almeida tells George that he is a coward for leaving and reminds him that everyone at CTU is at risk because of the nuclear bomb. On his way out of town, George gets a cell phone call about a possible location terrorists were utilizing. George goes to check it out and ends up coming in close contact with large amounts of plutonium. The doctor tells him that he is suffering from radiation poisoning and does not have long to live.
George Mason returns to CTU and runs it as best as he can during the last few hours of his life. He leads CTU admirably after they are bombed even though his condition is worsening. Mason summons his son and tells him goodbye. Eventually, his condition becomes too bad to continue functioning. He leaves CTU and puts Tony Almeida in charge.
Eventually, Jack Bauer finds the nuclear bomb. The bomb is set to detonate no matter what. This means that the plane must be flown into a remote area of the desert. Jack volunteers for the suicide mission. Mason insist that he be the one to fly the plane because he is going to die anyway. Jack is afraid that someone in his condition will miss the target and refuses to let Mason fly the plane.
Jack takes off not knowing George is in the back. Before Jack is about to bring the plane down to the intended location, George appears in front of Jack with a parachute. He tells him to jump out of the plane and live his life and that he needs to stop feeling sorry for the death of his wife, Teri. He says the heroic thing to do will be to put the pieces of his life back together and try to do the best he can. He finally convinces Jack to evacuate the plane. George Mason flies the plane into the intended location and dies saving millions of people.
Xander Berkeley was a recurring guest star during Season 1. He was promoted to a series regular in Season 2, and appeared in the first 15 episodes of that season. He appeared in 27 episodes total, his guest appearances include:
- Season 1: 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM; 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM; 4:00 AM – 5:00 AM; 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM through 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM
- George Mason was the second main character to be killed in the series.
- His character is honored with the silent clock after he leaves CTU for the last time.
- Xander Berkeley and Sarah Clarke (Nina Myers) met during the filming of Season 1. After a year, they eventually got married in September 2002. Clarke gave birth to their first child in September 2006.