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keifersutherland24.jpg“24’s” new season starts with two full-speed car crashes, the scary kidnapping of a dad in front of his daughter, Keifer Sutherland’s weathered but tan Jack Bauer on trial before Congress for his actions during the prior seasons, a heroic justification speech, and Bauer being called back into duty by the country through–in this case–the F.B.I. Back in real life, the writer’s strike is clearly over and, after more than a year and a half, Jack is back, and there is a little bit of overlap with real life events.
For anyone who finds it inspiring, redeeming, or at least exciting to see the defense of our nation expressed through the detailed minute-by-minute plots that have made “24” a phenomenon, the new season is off to a fast and strong start, albeit in a dramatically different setting.
C.T.U. has been shut down, most of the old faces are gone and most of what’s familiar–except for Bauer and a few other faces–is gone. “24” was launched back when terrorism on American soil seemed like a much more imminent and believable threat.

The question for this series will be if it can re-create that sense of pending doom in a believable manner, at a time when our country is more concerned about the economy and a historic President’s response.
One character that is back on the scene is Bauer’s former partner Tony Almeida, who had supposedly died a few seasons ago. He’s the bad guy, or is at least working with the bad guys. Before the first two episode was over, the bad guy was identified and, once again, the threat felt believable. And current.
After watching the first two hours of this season’s “24,” I remembered what it felt like to watch the show: it’s like reading a good, thick, rich, deep novel. There’s more going on than you can easily keep up with, you don’t want to wait before reading the next chapter, and you’re emotionally involved enough to care about the ending and hope it’s a good one. And in the meantime, you feel somewhat lifted and inspired to go back into the real world and give your best.
If you missed Sunday’s premiere, there is a recap at the start of tonight’s show to help you with what you missed. “24” then settles in to its regular 9 p.m. slot next Monday.
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