24: 8:00AM - 9:00AM (season premiere)
(S07E01) "Just came along for the ride." - Jack
This never gets old to say: Jack is back. When I first watched tonight's opening hour last week, I felt as though I'd already seen a lot of it. Much of the general plot has been leaked for months now, and FOX has been airing promos that probably gave a little too much away. That doesn't mean that it wasn't one hell of an hour full of life lessons. The most important one? Jack Bauer can kick your ass while wearing a suit and tie too.Following the events of Redemption, Jack is back in the good ol' US of A, getting grilled by a Senate sub-committee led by Senator Blaine Mayer (an extra slimy Kurtwood Smith). But as I mentioned in my Early Look review last week, the FBI swoops in and that's when the day really began. Why? Because they give Jack a gun and some (sort of) shocking news - Tony Almeida didn't die in his arms way back during season five. Remember - the clock wasn't silent.
As we've come to expect from this show, the plots always move quickly as one thread gets dropped in favor of another. Before Jack even has time to process what exactly is happening, he's back in action (although, not "activated") with a defacto partner in FBI Special Agent Renee Walker. While Walker seems like a by-the-book type of gal, it became apparent pretty quickly that she saw the value in The Jack Bauer Method of Getting What You Want.
Once the two of them tracked down Gabe, the ID forger that Jack and Tony used to go to, you knew Jack was going to resort back to his old ways, and it wasn't much of a surprise when Renee seemed OK with it. Honestly, I don't see it working the other way had Renee been against Jack's methods - it wouldn't be 24 if Jack isn't allowed to threaten people with Bic pens.
With Tony playing the bad guy on one side of the story, the other side focused on newly elected President Allison Taylor. The Sangala conflict led by General Juma is the news of the moment, as Juma continues to murder innocent women and children. It certainly has a "ripped from the headlines" feel, but it was easy to figure out how it will all tie together once we found out that Roger, the first son (introduced in Redemption), is now dead - an apparent suicide.
As you may recall, Roger inadvertently had some info (from his friend Chris, who got murdered) on Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight, whom we won't see until later in the season), and Hodges had ties to Juma. Presumably, whatever Roger did with that info is what got him killed. Only the First Gentleman seems to know something ain't right, and I like how he's been working rogue, behind his wife's back, to uncover the truth. I doubt very much that Samantha, Roger's old girlfriend, got that $400K because she was good at her job.
More thoughts on Jack's return...
- Even though I know the answer, I'm curious - what does everyone think Tony's endgame is? With the potential for him to mess with the nation's energy, utilities, and transportation (thanks to Latham's device), it doesn't feel quite like he's just getting revenge for Michelle's wrongful death. There's clearly something bigger at stake. Thoughts?
- Just because CTU is gone, it wouldn't be 24 without a mole. How else would Tony have known that Jack and Renee went to see Gabe? Any guesses? It could be an FBI agent or one of the select few in Taylor's cabinet that knew about the op. The President's Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin seems a little off...
- Renee can certainly hold her own in a fight. She destroyed Gabe's huge bodyguard without breaking a sweat!
- I know you've seen it in all those promos more times that you can count, but I still got goosebumps when Jack dropped this doosie during the Senate hearing: "But please, do not sit there with that smug look on your face and expect me to regret the decisions that I have made, because sir, the truth is - I don't." Badass!
Plenty of questions, but we've got 60 more minutes of Jack Bauer tonight. Check back here in an hour for my review of tonight's second episode!