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October 24, 2014

24 season eight -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 14th 2010 10:00AM
Kiefer Sutherland stars as Jack Bauer in season eight of FOX's '24.'"WHERE CAN I BUY A METROCARD?!?!"

Though it's not something you'd expect to hear an angry Jack Bauer scream at an unsuspecting tourist, people familiar with New York City are going to be amazed that he doesn't need to.

Season eight of the real-time drama drops Bauer into the borough of Manhattan and when 24 returns in just a few days (it premieres this Sunday January 17 at 9 p.m. ET and Monday January 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX), it's almost comical how easy Bauer seems to get around the city. That's half the fun of it though -- eight seasons in and haven't the terrorists learned their lesson yet? Jack Bauer will always find you.

However, that doesn't mean Jack's alone in this. As many of the previews for the new season have pointed out, Bauer is a retired man, a grandfather to boot, and there's a whole new crop of CTUers ready to pick up the torch.

Details and spoilers on the new season after the jump.

OK, here we go. First off, I should rephrase that last statement: there may be new CTUers who'd like to pick up the torch but that doesn't mean they're able to. Early on in Sunday night's first hour, Jack is thrust back into the fray as a new threat presents itself. Even though the venerable Counter Terrorism Unit has been re-opened per President Taylor (Cherry Jones) -- in what appears to be a Greenwich Village nightclub (seriously, wait'll you see the new CTU digs; all that's missing are glow-sticks and loud techno beats) -- they still need Bauer to get the job done.

So what's the threat? President Taylor is at the United Nations discussing a peace treaty and nuclear disarmament with Middle Eastern leader Omar Hassan (Slumdog Millionaire's Anil Kapoor) when word gets out that someone wants Hassan dead. Big surprise. Without giving anything away, the usual 24 suspects are all at the party -- moles and decoys and what have you -- and Jack has to save the day. Naturally he does and by the end of Monday night's second hour, again, in true 24 fashion, a much larger threat has presented itself.

Complain if you want, but at the this point, the formula is tried and true -- you know what you're getting with 24 and thus far (I've screened the first four episodes) season eight is top notch, thrilling stuff. If you liked the vibe that Washington D.C. lent the show last year, then the NYC setting is definitely going to work for you this time around. Besides, it'll never be as bad as season six was, right?

As for the rest of the cast, returning favorites include Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) and Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), now playing the part of "CTU veteran who knows more than everyone else but gets treated like an idiot." CTU newbies include Director Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson), Analyst Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff), and Head of Field Ops (a.k.a Jack's old job) Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.).

Believe it or not, everyone pulls their weight pretty well in the opening hours and only Sackhoff seems like she might be in for a mediocre day. Battlestar Galactica fans looking for Starbuck, don't bother. Dana Walsh is a mild mannered analyst, though she might have her own version of "Kim gets chased by a cougar" early on when someone from her past arrives to harass her.

The biggest surprise that's actually a surprise? Once Renee Walker shows back up, all hell breaks loose. Turns out her one very bad day hanging out with Jack in DC really made an impression on her. So what does that mean for Bauer now? Screw the Metrocard -- he might just want to commandeer a taxi to keep up with her.

[Watch full episodes and clips of 24 over at SlashControl.]

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