'GOOD' AGENT GOES BAD IN SERIES SHOCKER'

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'GOOD' AGENT GOES BAD IN SERIES SHOCKER'

LAST night’s shocking murder of FBI agent Larry Moss on “24″ had to shake even the show’s most hardcore fan.

It wasn’t so much that Moss (Jeffrey Nordling) was gunned down in a hail of bad-guy bullets, since characters die frequently on “24″ (Jack Bauer, played by series star Kiefer Sutherland, is bulletproof).

But that supposed good guy Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) delivered the final death blow by smothering Moss as he lay dying — well, who saw that coming?

MORE: ‘24′ Family Reunion

“I had no idea it would happen,” Nordling says of Moss’s death. “We were shooting out at Camarillo Airport [in LA] and [series creator] Howard Gordon called me and prefaced the conversation by saying, ‘These calls are always hard to make.’

“I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’ and he said, ‘Yep.’

As viewers learned last night, it seems that Tony has been working with the rogue company Starkwood — instead of being an undercover operative working with Jack Bauer to save the country from Starkwood’s planned bio terrorism attack.

In the pivotal scene, Tony puts his hand over Moss’s mouth with a curt, “I’m sorry, Larry.”

Moss’s demise is the second big death to rock the “24″ universe this season, following on the heels of former CTU chief (and fan favorite) Bill Buchanan (James Morrison).

PHOTOS: ’24’s’ Most Shocking Deaths

And while Nordling had no idea Moss would meet his maker, he was given free reign, he says, to shape the character to his own specifications until the bitter end.

“They don’t know what they want you to do — they don’t know where the story is going,” Nordling says of the show’s writers.

“They take care of the general story arcs and the technical aspects, and really leave the character up to the actor.

“It probably wasn’t until about a month into shooting that I started to figure Moss out.”

Nordling says he didn’t need any coaching to play Moss’s death scene.

“It was just instinct. OK, I’m being smothered to death. Go for it,” he says. “I did add some extra stuff [in post-production], because Moss had three armor-piercing rounds in his side and was probably drowning [in his own blood], as well.”

And, he says, he doesn’t know what course “24″ will take, now that Moss is out of the picture.

“I was going to have them send me the scripts but then I thought, ‘I’ll watch with everybody else.’

“But now at least we know who the bad guy is.”

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