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“24” Is Back…Now Where Did Jack Bauer Go?


“24” fans have been waiting for quite some time (since May 21st, 2007 to be exact) for the show to get back on the air and last night’s two-hour TV movie, “24: Redemption”, was the amp up for season seven, which starts in January. Sadly, it looks like we will have to wait another month to see Jack Bauer get back at it…since last night’s movie was nothing more than a boring, set up of the characters and general plot line for season seven.

Maybe I expect too much from “24”? There was such a long lay-off and the second half of last season was so disappointing that my expectations were perhaps too high? I don’t know. However, I do know that I felt that there wasn’t enough Jack Bauer last night. There is no doubt that Kiefer Sutherland makes “24” go and when he wasn’t on screen, I went numb with boredom.

There were exactly three familiar faces from the “24” universe last night: Jack Bauer, President Noah Daniels (Powers Booth), and Tom Lennox (the awesome Peter MacNicol). Booth was able to throw around his sleaziness in his brief scenes but MacNicol was completely wasted. Since we will be dealing with a new President in season seven, one could assume that Tom Lennox will not be working in that administration. If that is true, it’s a shame because MacNicol was a great addition.

Since there was no familiarity of CTU or those that work there, there were many new characters introduced last night. It was great to see Robert Carlyle as a good guy, as he played one of Jack’s old pals, Carl Benton. I can’t wait to see how involved he will be…in…the…oh wait, they killed him? What an f’ing waste of time. When was the last time there was a character that Jack really looked up to and befriended? It hasn’t happened in quite some time and it was refreshing to see that side of Jack Bauer…of course, that’s done and the great Robert Carlyle is history.

We also were treated to a female President Elect, who we can assume is a Republican since she beat the incumbent President Daniels…who was a Democrat. Wishful thinking from the mostly conservative braintrust of “24”? Cherry Jones is President Elect Allison Taylor and she was heavily featured last night. The best thing about her is that her hair looks like Darth Vader’s helmet. Other than that, she brought nothing. Her speech at the end of the show bored me to tears and I can’t remember one word that she said.

Of course, when you play the President on “24”, you have a lot to live up to. It’s impossible not to wish that “24” hadn’t long ago killed off President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert). Hell, it would great if they could bring back Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan…whatever happened to him anyway?

There were a handful of other characters that “24” fans can immediately speculate whether they are good or bad. The best thing about “24” is that it keeps you guessing, so much so that I actually think that President Elect Taylor’s husband, Henry Taylor (Colm Feore), is as dirty as Pigpen. Of course, the mandatory white, rich guy is the most evil baddie ever and who better to play him than Jon Voight.

Am I being a bit harsh on this show? Probably. Other than when the show went to Africa, it just smelled of a massive penalty kill to get us to the beginning of the next season. The entire exercise was to explain who these people were and how Jack Bauer was placed into custody. Sure, I like the Africa storyline and the moral dilemma involved with it. From what I have read, it is based on the problems in Rwanda and the lack of aid from the Clinton Administration. That’s good stuff there and I hope that the awareness of these world problems can be raised from the show.

The new characters left me missing old ones (not Kim Bauer though). I missed Chloe O’Brien. I missed the familiarity of the Cisco Systems phone ringing at CTU. The only time “24: Redemption” didn’t act as a sleeping aid was when Jack was helping those African kids to safety. That is the kind of thing that “24” fans want to see. There just wasn’t enough of it last night to get me excited and, while I’ll be watching, it doesn’t get me very fired up for the upcoming season.

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