Although most people may not recall how long ago 24 went off the air or for how many seasons it ran or even what it was really about, the one thing people can agree on is that 24 is BACK all of a sudden. Like a vengeful witch haunting the site of her public murder, 24 has returned for a reckoning and all of us are in real trouble. Subtitled "Live Another Day" (or the sexily homoerotic hashtag #24LAD), this fresh face-blast of 24 takes place in London and it involves drones, running and shouting, sitting in vans, and also Alzheimer's. Based on the double helping of episodes that aired last night, this season is going to be a real treat. (Can a treat be exhausting?)
One interesting thing I noticed about 24 is it seems like a lot of it takes place in "real time." This means that the amount of time the characters experience on screen is the same amount of time all of us are hurtling toward the grave. Another interesting thing about this new version of 24 was that most of the characters were now hobos. The beginning of the premiere had a hobo whip off his sleeping bag to reveal himself as an undercover CIA agent and then a team of CIA agents infiltrated a hobo camp where Jack Bauer was sleeping on a cot. Who among us hasn't been jolted awake on our rusty cots at one point or another, but unlike you or I, Jack Bauer immediately gave chase by running out of the warehouse and knocking over milk crates and punching a guy and trying to run into the river. The CIA ended up catching up and taking him back to CIA headquarters, but ten minutes later he still hadn't spoken a word to anybody. As far as hobos go, Jack Bauer was not going to be one of those yammerers you'd avoid on the bus. Also he had a secret plan that was about to unfold.
Meanwhile we met a bunch of new CIA agents, some of whom were smart and capable and some of whom were total jerk-idiots. The most sympathetic new agent was the blonde lady from Chuck (Kate) and her dunce-boss was Benjamin Bratt from Catwoman. When we first saw Kate, she was packing up her desk because she'd been getting clowned right and left by all her co-workers for the simple reason that her husband had sold secrets to the Chinese. But just when it seemed like Kate was out of the game and fully shut down, she figured out that Jack Bauer had personally arranged his own capture because he was trying to bust out another CIA prisoner: Chloe! Chloe has an Elastica hairdo now and cat-eye makeup and she looked VERY mad about being tortured nearly to death by the CIA only to be resurrected by Jack Bauer at the last minute via a shot of adrenaline to the heart, which, trust me, is very annoying. But despite looking super tired and rough from the torture, Chloe was happy to see Jack Bauer, so that was a heart-warming reunion. Anyway, to escape all his captors Jack Bauer kicked a bunch of guys and strangled a man with his handcuffs and suddenly he and Chloe were being chased by Kate through the basement. Fortunately they had a friend with a face birthmark who fired a modestly sized bazooka at the ground above their heads and pulled them up through the hole in the asphalt. That is the story of how Jack Bauer got himself captured by the CIA and then escaped from their building in the span of 30 minutes.
Chloe is also a hobo now; she lives in a tenement with a bunch of teen runaways and their thing is they're all hackers who leak classified documents, Edward Snowden-style. But it turned out that Jack Bauer hadn't simply rescued Chloe because he was her bestie and he'd been missing her like the deserts miss the rain, but because he mostly wanted to track down one of Chloe's ex-friends who was now possibly trying to murder the President (who was currently visiting London for whatever reason, doesn't matter). Next thing we knew, Chloe had used computer magic to locate this hacker guy in his home office, which in this case was in the back room of an apartment where a drug kingpin was making all the drugs. It wasn't specified if this situation was a sublease or maybe an AirBNB type thing, but when Jack Bauer arrived to bust in and shout at everybody, he suddenly had to contend with tons of drug-thugs while the hacker guy and his horny Russian girlfriend jumped out the window like a couple of rascals.
See, here's what was up with this hacker guy: He designed a, I guess, universal remote control that can make unmanned drones murder the world. We saw him test it out during a U.S. military operation, causing four deaths, framing a chill-seeming soldier for the crime, and jeopardizing the President's relationship with British Prime Minister Stephen Fry. So that was some major diplomatic drama right there. Also the President has Alzheimer's and his Chief of Staff Tate Donovan was getting on his case about it so much, even though Tate Donovan's wife Audrey (Jack Bauer's ex) was the President's daughter and would probably prefer not to see her husband humiliating her elderly father all the time. Anyway, that subplot was almost too boring to talk about, so let's get back to the drones. Guess who hired the hacker guy to create this magical drone-controller? Hermione's mom, Catelyn Stark! And in a surprise twist, after the elusive hacker guy had whisked his horny Russian girlfriend to a local pub in order to elude Jack Bauer and also drink a delicious beer, he learned the hard way that his horny Russian girlfriend was actually a head-stabbing villainess with designs on stealing the device. Basically she stabbed him in the head and stole the device and then called up Catelyn Stark who turned out to be her mother. So that is an interesting twist right there, didn't see that coming.
As for the blonde lady from Chuck, she pretty much got reinstated in order to bring down Jack Bauer, because it's early in the season and everybody thinks he's a villain right now even though multiple characters pointed out that he'd previously saved the world seven or eight or nine or ten times (how many seasons of 24 were there? Eleven?). That was the most depressing part of #24LAD: the idea that you can legit save the world a baker's dozen times and the jerks back at work will treat you like straight-up trash. It's like, why even try? Luckily Jack Bauer isn't about to change his ways, not now, not ever. There is way too much running and shouting to do. Now it's just a matter of whether the rest of the good guys will realize he's doing the right thing and help him or not. Knowing this show, 80% of the other good guys are secretly terrorists, but the other 20% will probably end up being pretty cool with whatever Jack Bauer does. We'll find out! Or will we? We probably will, to be honest.
Welcome back, Jack Bauer!