Jack Bauer is finally back with another much anticipated season of 24 (at least for me) and the big question on everyone’s mind is without a doubt if it’s going to be any good.
Season 8 begins with a Jack Bauer we’re not used to seeing. Jack is relaxing on the couch, watching his granddaughter and seems to be settling into the role of being a grandfather. For those that have followed Jack since season 1, we know he has had a very traumatic life and seeing him relax is almost strange but also very well deserved. Having finally worked things out in his relationship with his daughter, it seems like he’s got a nice family that loves him.
As I sit there and watch the reborn Jack, I know that the next 24 hours won’t be there if Jack somehow doesn’t get pulled into some sort of national emergency and as the first hour goes on, it becomes a little bit more clear what is going to happen.
With the President of the USA discussing a nuclear treaty with the President of Kamistan (nicely disguised Iran), there appear to be those not too happy with the peace that is being discussed. A plot to assassinate President Hassan is in the works and Jack Bauer ends up in the middle of it.
When an informant from a previous bust shows up at Jack’s place, he has no choice but to get in touch with CTU and bring the informant in. A series of unfortunate events lead to the death of the informant and a couple of CTU agents. The informant has enough time to point to someone close to the Kamistanian president as being involved but not who. CTU, headed by director Hastings, finds a reporter that allegedly has hacked the UN databases and with special access to the president, he suspects that she is involved.
Chloe is back as an analyst and she’s quick to point out that they find the involved a little too quickly. Hastings won’t have any of it and clearly seems to be on a one-track mind. He seems to be headed for disaster.
The plot is typical of 24 I suppose. We know from spending seven years with Jack that unexpected things must happen and we must be left hanging at the end of the hour. That’s all the same. However, in the first couple of hours, we’ve been introduced to a number of new characters and they all have the potential to make things interesting in the next few hours.
Take Director Hastings, for example. It appears he believes he can do the job while others are not so sure. He’s quick to make decisions without analyzing all information available and once he makes that decision, he completely ignores additional input. Although he works for CTU and tries to protect the target, he could very well be the one that contributes to one disaster or another.
Analyst Dana Walsh is clearly hiding something, something her fiance doesn’t even know about. A past life of some sort is intruding in her new life and there is a lot of potential her for plot twists. Is she a bad person with bad intentions or is she just someone that had a rough life and is trying to leave that all behind?
Cole Ortiz, the man Dana Walsh is to marry, seems to be one of the few brilliant guys at CTU. He confronts Hastings after an operation doesn’t go according to plan and seems to be the one that knows how things should be done correctly operationally. As a result he clashes with Hastings and I can easily see him turn into someone that ignores Hastings just to get things done. He reminds me a bit of Jack.
President Hassan is obviously not surrounded by people that wish him all well and it will be curious to see what those around him actually do.
Overall, the first two hours were pretty good and has set the stage for what can turn into an exciting season. With two more hours tonight, I can barely wait.
The big question in my mind is this: is season 8 it? From what I’ve read, it seems like Kiefer wouldn’t mind going forward with another season but that may also depend on how this season goes. I can definitely see Jack Bauer retire for good after this season, in one way or another. Time will tell. Until then, I plan to enjoy every minute of the new season.