Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Cherry Jones, Carlos Bernard
After a nice sneak peak last November in the form of 24: Redemption, Jack Bauer is back again for another turn as super-agent extraordinaire in Season 7. Jack was as sharp as ever during Redemption where in Sangala he single-handedly saved a school full of kids, but it ended up costing him his freedom (again). Jack was forced to turn himself back in to the big bad government authorities and by this point must feel like there is some serious conspiracy hashed out directly on him. I guess I don’t blame him when in our first look at the new season Jack looked like a defeated man who has had enough. When else have we ever heard Jack say that he doesn’t care if they take his advice? Besides his early lack of enthusiasm, we learn that CTU has been disbanded and the FBI only interrogates suspects within the letter of the law…not really getting us too hyped up about the season are they? Not to mention the writers absolute mockery of our intelligence by completely stealing the early airplane scare storyline right off of Colonel Stuart’s plan in Die Hard 2? Who knows, maybe Tony Almeida was a huge Bruce Willis fan during his time at CTU.
But just before all was lost, we were introduced to the greatest piece of television irony since Scott Baio made a show about helping get some child stars’ fame back. Please tell me someone was as shocked and appalled as me when I saw Billy Walsh (Entourage) playing an FBI analyst and working with Jack Bauer! Times must have fallen quite hard on the former Sundance winner after the bomb known as Medellin was screened in order for the man who hated “suits” to become one himself! I wonder who fell harder…Vinnie Chase wound up in Mexico riding jet-skiis and models and Walsh goes from top indie director, to directing Skinemax porn then to the FBI!
Jack has been brought out of his Senate hearings to give the FBI some info on his old pal and CTU cohort, Tony Almeida. Apparently he really didn’t die and now wants to cripple the government. Since Jack knows him the best, he’s clearly the only one who can save this guy. Apparently, much like Rambo, Jack has nowhere to hide and cannot refuse helping his country, as much as it has turned its back on him. Tell me if this theme sounds familiar and how appropriate it might be for Jack’s life story:
“Ten years ago / In 1972 [more like around 2001], a crack commando unit [or rogue agent] was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men [this man] promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The A-Team [aka Jack Bauer].”
I am excited for this season to unfold, even though I am going to struggle to buy into Almeida being the bad guy this time around. I also find myself wondering if the blatant real-life political undertones will become more subtle as the season progresses. I mean, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that as President Bush leaves office is when the government starts enforcing the laws about torture. Where is Cheney when we need him? My biggest gripe so far is that Jack is such a legend now that he apparently doesn’t even have to inflict harm on suspects anymore. I mean, I’m not saying I could withstand even slight torture, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t fold like a tent to some 5-foot-2 dude who played Ace in Stand by Me holding a Bic pen to my face either.
All in all it seems to be a lukewarm start. I see multiple plot lines developing and plenty of twists and turns are available. Let’s just hope that this season looks more like the Redemption mini-movie and less like the first episode.