In the first hour, Jack allows himself to be captured by the CIA's London branch - he's a wanted "terrorist" - in order to save Chloe, who's in custody herself as an Edward Snowden-type hacker of Defense Department files. The CIA branch features three notable people: Kate (played by Yvonne Strahovski of Dexter fame), Steve (played by Benjamin Bratt of Law and Order and Private Practice), and Gbenga Akinnagbe of The Wire and more). The star power is definitely there, and Kate looks to be the most intelligent - as Jack notes in the second hour. In the first two episodes, Kate is Jack's most effective opponent, nearly getting the better of him a couple of times. My guess is she will be a powerful ally in the world-moving battle ahead.
That battle will center around an attempt to take out U.S. President Heller (played by William Devane) with an American drone while he's in London to seal a deal with the U.S. and the U.K. Heller of course played a crucial role as U.S. Defense Secretary in previous seasons of 24. On Day (Season) 9, Heller is not only President but apparently suffering from very early stages of Alzheimer's. His daughter Audrey (played by Kim Raver, last seen in Revolution) was loved by Jack in previous seasons, and she loved him, but she lapsed into a catatonic state after being captured and worked over by the bad guys. She's in much better shape now - looks better than she ever did - and is married to Heller's Chief of Staff, Mark, played by Tate Donovan (who's been in a handful of series in the past few years, the best of which was Damages). Mark appears to only want to help Heller, but something about him - maybe his zeal to show that Heller's mentality is not what it used to be - raises some suspicion about his ultimate motives, at least to me.
The pace is sharp and pounding as ever, and the plot may be even better than some of the past seasons, in which a series of attacks, sometimes by different forces, rolled out over the 24 hours. This time it seems, for now, that we'll be treated to one major plot, with a tentacled web of intersecting stories. The digital savvy in the story is best we've seen so far in 24, as befits the debut of this season in 2014.
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack, and Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe, are as strong as ever. Jack looks a little older, but that actually ads a bit depth to his character. Relaunching an iconic series with a season that takes account of a four-year hiatus is no easy thing, but 24 looks to be off to a sharp start. There's a fine mix of old and new here, respect for the past and the cutting-edge present. And there's just nothing like this series for sheer intelligent adrenaline pumping through the veins.
See also Season 8 reviews: Hours 1 and 2 ... Hours 3 and 4 ... Hour 5 ...Hour 6 ... Hour 7 ... Hour 8 ... Hour 9 ... Hour 10 ... Hour 11 ... Hour 12... Hour 13 ... Hour 14 ... Hours 15-16 ... Hour 17 ... Hour 18 ... Hour 19... Hour 20 ... Hour 21 ... Hour 22 ... 24 Forever!
And see also Season 7 reviews: Hours 1 and 2 ... Hours 3 and 4 ... Hour 5... Hour 6 ... Hour 7 ... Hour 8 ... Hour 9 ... Hour 10 ... Hours 11-12 ...Hour 13 ... Hour 14 ... Hour 15 ... Hour 16 ... Hour 17 ... Hour 18 ... Hour 19 ... Hour 20 ... Hour 21 ... Hour 22 ... Hours 23-24
And see also Season 6 reviews: Hours 1 and 2 ... Hours 3 and 4 ... Hour 5 ... Hour 6 ... Hour 7 ... Hours 8 and 9 ... Hour 10 ... Hour 11 ... Hour 12 ... Hour 13 ... Hour 14 ... Hour 15 ... Hour 16 ... Hour 17 ... Hour 18... Hour 19 ... Hour 20 ... Hour 21 ... Hour 22 ... Hours 23-24
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