Jack Bauer is back, baby!
In the two-hour 24 television event which premiered last night, we find Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) in Africa having a Dave Chappelle-esque search for inner-peace (and also hiding from a U.S. government subpeona). In Sengala, Jack finds solace working alongside the African children and an old friend, Carl Benton (Robert Carlisle). He soon finds out that he’s in the middle of a coup, and before the run-time hits 30 minutes, Jack Bauer is back screaming “Do it NOW,” firing a gun, and narrowly missing explosions. This plotline, inspired by the real life events of the Rwandan genocide, takes Jack away from L.A. and into a different environment. The change of scenery is welcome.
Back in Washington D.C. it’s Inauguration Day and incoming President-elect Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones), along with sitting President Noah Daniels (Powers Booth) and his adviser Tom Lennox (Peter MacNichol) are handling the issue stateside.
Season 6 left a bad taste in everybody’s mouths. For a guy who loved seasons 1-5, season 6 was a slap in the face. Bringing back a tortured and voiceless Audrey (Kim Raver), killing Curtis (Roger Cross), and introducing both Jack’s brother and his father (played by James Cromwell) as villains was a stretch even for a show that’s had its share of unbelievable plotlines. Redemption gives us Jack Bauer doing what he does best: killing people and withstanding torture. He gets some help from Benton so that he’s not alone, as well.
There is a fair share of cheesy dialogue and melodrama. It seems like the first 30 minutes no one talks above a whisper, but after the quiet introduction there is a solid amount of action. Seeing Jack without the resources of CTU to back him up and his trusted sidekick Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), it’s nice to see him figure things out on his own. The only plotline that doesn’t really work is regarding President Taylor’s son Roger (Eric Lively) trying to bail his friend out of a sticky situation. So less diluted plotlines + more Jack Bauer action = the promise of a 7th season that can reclaim some of that 24 intensity that was severely lacking last season.
Also, Jon Voight plays a crucial part in Redemption. Jon Voight is awesome.
Side note: Season 7 officially kicks off in January. Due to the writer’s strike last year, they pushed season 7 to 2009, but a trailer for the season had already been released. Whether or not we still get the season that was originally planned I do not know, all I do know is if they bring back, from the dead, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) as a villain (as it appeared they were from the trailer), then my enthusiasm for the new look 24 could wain easily.