Welcome back to a new season of 24. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get going. I’m going to split up the two hours of the premiere so I can get to bed at a decent hour.
Start spreading the news… Jack Bauer is back, and he’s in the Big Apple.
When last we saw Jack, he was on his deathbed. He was finally at peace with himself and had gone into an induced coma, awaiting death’s sweet embrace. But Kim Bauer was not ready to lose her father and submits to a dangerous stem cell procedure that could possibly save him.
She’s a Bauer; Danger is her middle name, baby.
We pick up sometime later. Jack has moved from the deathbed to the couch, where he is enjoying an afternoon with his granddaughter, Teri. He has fully recovered from the disease and is contemplating a move to LA with his daughter Kim and her husband Stephen. I’m guessing the move to California is Stephen’s idea, because he looks an awful lot like Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and probably gets a lot of grief living in New York.
Before we go any further, I want to remind you people of something. It’s the most basic rule of watching 24; don’t get too attached to any character. It’s just not worth it. They will burn you. Remember, any one of them could be a mole, a sleeper cell or some other kind of covert bad guy. On the other hand, some of the people that may seem bad may really be good…. like a double agent, or maybe even a triple or quadruple agent. But most of all don’t get attached because anyone can die at any moment.
A perfect example is the very first character we meet tonight, Victor. Don’t get too attached. Victor is played by the guy who was Aceveda on The Shield. So this guy is going from Vic Mackey to Jack Bauer. (If you know The Shield, you know that is like going from the frying pan to the fire, except besides boiling oil, the frying pan was also full of corrupt cops, evil gangbangers and compromising cell phone pictures.) When we meet Victor, he is dressed like Little Red Riding Hood and being tailed by some assassins. He manages to escape, but not before he is shot in the shoulder. He makes his way to Jack Bauer’s place and we learn that he is an old CTU informant. As usual, he wants to trade protection and immunity for information about an impending assassination attempt on Omar Hassan, the President of the fictional Muslim nation of Kamistan and the owner of one impressive head of hair. Hassan is played by the Indian Regis Philbin guy from Slumdog Millionaire. But in this case, he’s the one who’s gonna need a lifeline. Hassan is in town for peace talks with our old pal, Madame President.
Yep, Allison Taylor’s run as President is still going, even though her marriage is not. I guess turning in her murderous daughter was too much for the First Hubby. Either that or maybe she just doesn’t put out anymore. But her old pal Nathan is still by her side. With Nathan it’s “‘til death do the part.” Unfortunately that might happen sooner rather than later. During a break in the negotiations we see Nathan popping pills and we learn that he is dying. This being 24, he can expect him at death’s door before the end of the day. Perhaps he’ll be sacrificing himself at some point. Just a hunch.
Jack calls CTU and tells them about Victor’s news and they agree to send a chopper to a nearby police precinct to pick them up. This is where we get to meet the new clowns at CTU: NY and also see their new digs. The new CTU office has a CSI: Miami look to it, while maintaining the trademark windows and stairways that we all have grown to love. There’s also some cool Get Smart-like sliding doors and plenty of new technology. And having trouble keeping up with this new technology is one familiar, scowling face, our girl Chloe. She’s working under the new, hot CTU computer chick, Dana Walsh. Dana is played by Katie Sackhoff, who was also the new, hot Starbuck on BattleStar Galactica. It was a big night on Fox for Galactica alumni, because Tricia Helfer, the hot, blonde Cylon, was on Human Target just before 24.
Dana is engaged to Cole Ortiz, played by Freddie Prince Jr., who is the latest hot shot CTU agent in the tradition of Chase and Rickey Schroeder. There’s also a geek named Arlo, who runs the flying drones that fly around Manhattan. Arlo also uses the drones to spy on sunbathing chicks and is caught gawking at Dana’s rack at one point. This makes him the most realistic guy in 24 history. We also meet the new head of CTU, Brian Hastings, who is played by Bubba from Forrest Gump.
Dana is a bit more knowledgeable than Chloe about the new CTU software and is also a much more formidable rival than Agent Garofalo from last year. She’s smart, attractive, and confident and she outranks Chloe. Chloe does even attempt to hide the chip on her shoulder. She also has problems with Hastings, who is not confident in her Chloe’s abilities and even less thrilled with her attitude. There are also signs of budget problems and downsizing at CTU. We learn that Morris was laid off and that CTU is running lean. When you hear the word “lean” at your job, you know it’s time to revise your resume. Unfortunately, this means that CTU does not send enough men to pick up Jack and Victor.
When Jack and Victor head out for the rendezvous, another long lost character makes an appearance. Yep… the Jack Sack is back. And like the way the Batmobile evolves with each new Batman movie, this Jack Sack has a new look too. This time it’s a swanky leather courier bag; possibly Coach or Gucci. It seems Mr. Bauer has been spending some time uptown, or maybe it’s a knock-off he bought from a guy on a corner.
Anyway, the bad guys are monitoring the emergency frequencies and find Jack while he’s attempting to clean Victor’s wound in an alley with the cloth from a dirty mattress. (That’s sanitary, right?) He must have cut the tag off the mattress, because someone spots him and calls the cops. Jack and Victor flee from the bad guys after a shoot out that kills a couple of cops. Jack runs out of bullets, and the bad guys seem to have them cornered in a stairwell. But this is Jack Bauer, and he don’t need no stinking bullets. He takes a page out of The Shining and chops down the bad guys with a fire ax.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Sorry. Combined references to The Shining and Jack Bauer can do that to me.
Jack and Victor make it to the roof, and meet an understaffed Freddie Prince… I mean Ortiz. Just as Jack has convinced Ortiz that he does not need to go back to CTU, a missile flies in and takes out the chopper. Everyone except Jack and Cole die. With his dying breath, Victor tells Jack that there is an insider involved in the assassination plot. To this I would expect Jack to say “No sh*t, Sherlock.” After all, this is 24. When is there not an insider involved?
And who might this insider be? It just might be Meredith Reed, a perky, blonde reporter who has been denied entry into the UN but is able to call Hassan directly and have him grant her access for an interview, despite the reservations of his brother… who looks a lot like Jason Schwartzman, the guy from Funny People, Bored to Death and I Heart Huckabees. It is clear Hassan has the hots for Reed, even though he is married. Maybe they should call him Tiger Hassan.
The hour ends with Miss Reed gaining access to the UN from Hassan. Is she on her way to do an interview, make sweet love or to kill him? The episode is over, but the two hour premiere is just getting started.
Scroll up for the recap of hour two.
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