The clock ticks again.  Four years after going silent and Jack Bauer going on the run… the split screens return.  Except this time it’s in London.  And we’re still WASTING TIME!

1–JACK IS BACK.  Everybody’s favorite CTU agent returns…and even has multiple twitter handles: real_jackbauer, 24_JackBauer_24, and jackbauer.  Makes perfect sense for a man who pulled 8 seriously sick all-nighters.

2–“The only reason you’re still conscious is I don’t feel like carrying you”.  Uttered in Season Five as a throwaway line…proof that Jack is in control.  Even when he’s captured.  Because that’s what he wants all along.  Capture?  He chooses to visit…and when he leaves.

3–Competent underling/incompetent supervisor– Benjamin Bratt’s Steve Navarro never stood a chance.  And doesn’t Kate Morgan remind you of Kate Warner from Season Two?  Minus the sister who shot her fiancee on their wedding day, of course.  I’m debating what’s going to be more annoying:   the fact that she’s going to be right all the time or the fact that the Americans won’t believe her until it’s too late.  Again.

4–Meet the new boss!  Former Defense Secretary James Heller is now President…making him the 10th Chief Executive since 2001’s premiere (we can backdate that season to the year 2000 to keep in line with real-time election cycles).  Are you ready for the list?  David Palmer, James Prescott (acting via the 25th Amendment), John Keeler, Charles Logan, Hal Gardner, Wayne Palmer, Noah Daniels and Allison Taylor and Mitchell Hayworth.  Now Heller.  At least there are no underlying issues.

5–Underlying Issues– so President Heller is confusing Teddy for Franklin Roosevelt.  He’s “forgetting things”.  And his Machiavellian Chief of Staff is married to his daughter (Audrey–or as her first husband said, “Orrdrey”).  No chance of any problems whatsoever.

6–Audrey’s back!– so much for being catatonic.  And she’s happily married!  Except it’s to that Machiavellian Chief of Staff.  As Audrey’s been around and about the federal government in the “24” world for some time, shouldn’t she know that there are usually turncoats in the President’s inner circle?  And they often just happen to be the Chief of Staff?

7–Pity the smug agent who thinks he has Jack under control– Erik?  Instead of saying “You were really something, Bauer, back in the day” why didn’t you just offer up “So you’ll escape my clutches at what point?”.  And after the escape he still thinks he can out-think know-it-all agent Kate Morgan.  Sorry, buddy…but at least you’re still alive.  Because we need to see you underestimate Jack at least once an episode from here on out.

8–Goth Chloe– so this is what London really does to people.  All those beans and who knows what they serve over there nowadays–outside of London Broil, which is always exemplary.  Will she have a dragon tattoo?  Is her ex-husband Miles or the child from season 7 not too far away?

9–Torture Time– of course, dealing with the shoe salesman/computer expert in Seasons Five and Six make whatever torture she’s going through seem like heaven.  Thank goodness Jack was there to re-animate her…

10–Drones…or this season’s first MacGuffin.  The bad guys (and if 24 has taught us anything, it’s that there are quite a few of them) plot is to hijack control of US drones and fire on our own troops while killing a few British officers to muck up the extension of the expiring lease of a US base.  Topical and different–although there’s no guarantee that will be the focus 8 episodes from now.

11–“I don’t have any friends”.  Jack’s end of first episode confession is sad because I’m sure Chloe thinks he’s her friend and the dude driving the fan has to wonder “who the hell am I?”  Sometimes, it’s just better to keep what you’re thinking inside.

12–More topical takes– Chloe apparently works for the Avis version of WikiLeaks.  And even though she’s oh so careful about getting into the remote location that has way too few pizza boxes to be housing computer experts, Jack tails her there.  There’s even a little bit of conflict between her and Jack about leaking classified documents.  Nice filler between chase scenes, for sure.

13–First Bad Guy– there are often multiple villains in any one season of 24…much like clowns coming out of a car.  The first clown in London is “Derek Yates”–the scoundrel who hijacked the drone.  Jack tailed him to the Burger King of WikiLeaks.  Have it your way…

14–First Superior– naturally Derek Yates speaks to his “boss” about the drone strike gone bad.  It’s also nice to see 24 have a female chief antagonist for a change…even if it’s revealed in a few weeks that she’s reporting to somebody else as is the case with most of these villains.

15–Prime Minister Alastair Davies--go figure the British would learn about the Drone misfire during an event with the President.  Just when you thought there would be eternal world peace, the process gets hijacked.

16–The Bad Guy before the Bad Guy– Jack has to go to a drug dealer’s den to find this “Derek Yates”.  Have we mentioned Yates has an annoying girlfriend?  From Eastern Europe?  The drug dealer is having no part of Jack getting to Yates’ room.  That may not have been his first mistake, but it most certainly was his last mistake.

17–“I can tell you think you’re a pretty intimidating group. You probably think I’m at a disadvantage. I promise you I am not.”–the money quote of the night.  I refuse to even commit the drug dealer’s name to memory or this page…Jack disposed of him and his underlings in such ridiculous fashion.

18–Keystone Cops!– So much for pursuing Yates and his really annoying girlfriend.  Jack runs into CIA-London agents. Instead of locking down the area, they focus on chasing Jack into a dark basement.  With nobody posted outside. All we need for these scenes is the Benny Hill theme to play in the background.

19–In Some Cultures, the head-butt is a sign of affection.  Jack after whispering to Kate Morgan (still the smartest agent in the bunch, her inability to realize her husband was selling secrets to the Chinese notwithstanding) what he knew knocked the lady unconscious.  Audrey has a run for her money.

20–Debate Prep!– Audrey and Machiavellian Chief of Staff decide to prepare her “initial stages of dementia father” for an address to Parliament.  Will he have to wear one of those wigs?  As he stumbles on some facts Machiavellian Chief of Staff refuses to let up– and Audrey is not cool with this.  Like this is the first time he’s had to challenge Heller on anything?  Audrey turns into an ice princess–and know it all CIA agent becomes the leader in the clubhouse.

21–Chloe saves the day…again.  And if Kate Morgan doesn’t work out, Chloe’s your girl.  Somehow Jack slides through a tiny crevice in the basement to get back outside…and while the CIA London guys are running around to “Yakety Sax” Ms. O’Brian comes through with a getaway car for Jack.  And of course he has information for her computer.

22–Yates, we hardly knew ye– who would guess the annoying girlfriend would wind up killing Derek Yates?  To top it off…she reveals she’s not even Eastern European!  She was wearing a wig as well– what is this, The Americans?  She’s in cahoots with the woman talking to Derek on the phone earlier–who refers to herself as “mummy”.  Could we be seeing a replay of Dina and Behrooz Araz?  Philip and Graem Bauer?  The Drazen Family Singers/Killers?

23–Uploading the master plan– So Jack and Chloe now have the schematics on this drone thing-great!  Uh-oh…there’s a self-destruct.  The files are being erased!  They’re no closer to the truth than they were two hours ago!  Who would have thought!

24–DAMMIT!– we all knew Jack had to get at least one in before the end of the night.

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