Monday, January 18, 2010

Another 24 hours for Jack Bauer

     Last night Fox aired the first two hours of their annual 24 season premiere event, and as usual, it did not disappoint.  Opening with Grandpa Jack (Kiefer Sutherland), happy and satisfied with his family, fully recovered from the biological weapon that almost killed him last season, it took a bit longer than usual for Jack Bauer to get fully involved in the action.  In fact, Jack didn't agree to commit to stopping the latest terrorist plot until nearly the end of the two hours, even denying his best friend, Chloe, (Mary Lynn Rajskub) the favor he so seriously owed her.

     Speaking of Chloe, it is awesome to see the technical guru playing fish out of water, presumably having fallen out of practice and the latest innovations because she was spending time with her own family, and was forced back to work by her husband getting laid off.  Chloe, who started as an annoying, anti-social tech whiz at Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) back in season three, and has become the series's second most important character, after Jack.  Last year, she only appeared in about half the episodes, and she was certainly missed.  It's nice to see her back in action, with a new and fresh plot.

     The sparkling new CTU New York Chloe is working at is welcome, after CTU had been disbanded and put on trial sometime before last season.  While the FBI bureau filled in for it, it wasn't the same.  Already we are putting together all the pieces of our typical CTU formula: a hot shot new agent following in Jack's footsteps (Freddie Prinze Jr., Scooby Doo), someone with a secret that should have never been missed when they joined the group (Katee Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica), an inept boss who won't listen when Jack tells him what is really going on (Mykelti Williamson, Forrest Gump).  The only thing missing is the inevitable mole within the unit that works for the terrorist, but surely that will show up soon as well.  Believe it or not, that formula somehow manages to never get stale, and when it was changed a bit last season, it was felt.  The best part of the FBI last year, Agent Renne Walker, (Annie Wersching, General Hospital) should be showing up in tonight's installment.

     Also nice to see back President Allison Taylor, (Cherry Jones) the woman who choose to continue to serve her country rather than let her daughter get away with murder.  This year she is working on an historic middle east peace accord with President Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor, Slumdog Millionaire), who is the target of the assassination plot Jack is trying to stop.  Fans of 24 know that the murder is only the beginning or what will be a rapidly falling domino array that Jack must stop before he can get back to his family.  Despite the fact that Jack kept saying "I'll be done soon" last night, we know he will be in done in exactly 24 hours, not a minute more or less.

     Hours three and four of 24 will air tonight on Fox, before settling into one-hour-per-week episodes next Monday.

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