|Affiliation:||Prion variant cabal|
|Died:||Day 7: 7:20am|
Shot by Tony Almeida
|Played by:||Amy Price-Francis|
|First episode:||"Day 7: 2:00am-3:00am"|
|Last episode:||"Day 7: 7:00am-8:00am"|
Cara Bowden was the primary intermediary for an organization of private military contractors in their plan to subvert the authority of the United States government during Day 7. She acted as the main conduit between the mutually anonymous organizers of the plot, including Alan Wilson and Jonas Hodges, and worked closely with Tony Almeida, with whom she was sexually involved. Her influence over Alan Wilson was exploited by Tony.
Working for Alan Wilson, Bowden and an accomplice murdered Patricia Eames, Jonas Hodges's attorney, in order to steal her identity. Impersonating Eames, Cara gained access to the holding cell in the White House where Hodges was being detained.
She told him that the pathogen Starkwood developed had not been intended for his personal use and that his actions had jeopardized the original plan. She said the consensus of the other conspirators was that he had a psychotic break and that they felt they were now at risk of being exposed. Bowden threatened Hodges's family and handed him a pill that would cause him to go into cardiac arrest and leave no trace in his system, making it appear as if he died of natural causes. She told Hodges that a case against his company would be nearly impossible without him, preserving some small amount of Starkwood's legacy.
Bowden then called Alan Wilson to update him on the situation. She told Wilson that she thought Hodges understood their terms and that being transferred to FBI for interrogation would pressure him into taking the pill. Wilson asked her if Tony Almeida had secured the canister of the Prion variant and Cara said he would have it soon. Wilson reminded her Almeida was her operative and he'd better get the job done but Cara reassured him that Almeida would.
Later, Cara met with Tony at a motel. Upon seeing Tony's man, Robert Galvez, the Starkwood operative hired to steal the canister, dead in the bathroom, she told him she'd assume it was necessary and Tony replied to her that Galvez had hidden the canister and tried to extort the names of people who wanted the canister from him. As they talked about the plans for the canister, Tony told her that they should use the current crisis and the weakened state of the US to attack now, instead of waiting six months as their employers intended to. She hesitated at first, but then agreed and set up a teleconference with the members of the group. She laid out to them a plan to use the remaining canister of the Prion variant during morning rush hour and place the blame on Jibraan Al-Zarian, a Middle Eastern immigrant illegally living in America whose parents were killed in a U.S. air strike along the Pakistani border when he was 11. As she listened to O'Niel, Marr, and a female member of the group debate the plan, she wrote a private message to Alan Wilson, asking him to trust her judgment and weigh in. After Wilson gave his opinion that they had an opportunity and should take it, she decided to call for a vote. Convinced by Wilson, the members unanimously decided to move forward with the plan. Cara gave Tony the news and the two commenced an intimate act.
Cara and Tony arrived outside an apartment-complex shortly after. After two accomplices arrived, they broke into Al-Zarian's apartment. They then incapacitated his younger brother, Hamid Al-Zarian, and subdued Jibraan at gunpoint. While Tony and his two accomplices handled Jibraan and Hamid, Cara started uploading incriminating evidence into Jibraan's computer including falsified visits to extremist websites and forged deposits on bank accounts. At around 4:30am, they took Jibraan to their vehicle, leaving Harbinson to watch a bound and gagged Hamid at the apartment.
While Tony took Jibraan to the subway station, Cara oversaw the preparation of the canister with a scientist. After it was prepared, she put on another wig and outfit to disguise herself and boarded the same subway-train, leaving behind a knapsack. Inside of it was the final canister of the Prion variant pathogen. She left at the next stop and confirmed the delivery of the package to Tony, then removed her disguise, again blending into the crowd.
She was later seen in a crowd of bystanders, as Tony was taken into custody and Jibraan freed. She phoned Wilson to tell him that their plot had been ruined: the canister was disposed of, their patsy cleared, Tony headed to prison and their conspiracy revealed. A furious Wilson demanded that she clean up her mess. She promised him that Tony wouldn't be in custody for long.
Shortly before 6:00am, she called Jack Bauer on his cellular phone to send him a live video-feed. It showed his daughter, Kim Bauer, sitting in an airport terminal, unaware of the fact that two killers were with her. She told him that the bodyguard had watching her, Franks, was dead, and she'd kill Kim unless he followed her instructions. Cara told him to break Tony out of FBI custody and he may have to kill agents in the process.
Cara believed Tony could be a bigger asset and suggested to Wilson that Tony be offered a seat at the table; using his skills as a former CTU agent and based on his performance throughout the day. However, it was all part of Tony's plan to lure Wilson out into the open so he could assassinate him, in revenge for Wilson's role in the Sentox nerve gas conspiracy and the murder of his wife, Michelle Dessler, who had been pregnant with his unborn child at the time.
Cara protected Wilson against an ambush led by the FBI and ran inside a warehouse for cover. She encountered Tony moments later and embraced him, but he shot her point-blank in the chest, unmoved by her lust for him. With a shocked look on her face, she collapsed at his feet and died.
Background information and notes
- According to David Fury, Cara's role was initially intended to be taken by Mandy.
- Bowden's death slightly mirrors the death of Erika—they were both shot in the chest while embracing the men they were romantically involved with, and they were both in a tight spot with law enforcement when it happened. A major difference is motive: Sean killed Erika to create an alibi for himself, while Tony killed Bowden purely for revenge.