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This story was never meant to be a long term tale. It was probably at best a four year show... tops. But success got the better of it as it had to top itself every year to be more explosive than the prior Day (my personal jump the shark moment was when they decided to *start* a season with an exploding nuke).
Loyal to its (assumed) end, I never stopped watching - although my fervor had decreased immensely. I barely remember the show's sad end with Jack once again going into self-imposed exile after doing something... with Chloe's help. There was never an option of me not watching tonight's resurrection.
In 24's hiatus Television has, in my humble opinion, leapfrogged "Hollywood Movies" as being the top spot for produced entertainment. Our standards have rightfully changed. I'm leading you all down a wrong path here - for this show should not be held against the impossible to attain level established by Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Mad Men... 24 should be judged alongside shows that consistently stuff your lizard gullet full of what you crave in the same manner as The Bachelor, Survivor, Tosh.0, Here Comes Honey Duck Cake Top Model Chef Drag Boss Meeting Your Mother...
So let's have some fun with Jack's return:
- I used to want to have a movie made starring all the leading women of Batman movies in a support group dealing with how they all know about Bruce Wayne and lean on each other to cope. In the same light, a show of all of the Jackmaids left in the torture dust... And I'm sorry to say Audrey is the least interesting of all the Bauer Babes. If the show wanted to blow my mind they bring back Connie Britton (Mrs. Coach herself!) as the character that fell in love with the "civilian" during his first imposed exile.
- I should be kinder on Audrey, seeing as how Jack left her catatonic at the end of her initial run. But I couldn't help but feel odd that she's now married to her Dad's Chief of Staff. Don't forget, she was shacking up with Bauer when he was his aide. Is she using her Father's career as a matchmaking service?
- Without a doubt, my favorite moment of the entire two hour premiere was Tate Donovan (perfect casting, for the record) looking at Jack's file. Did anybody else pause that frame to read it in total? We could only see the Confirmed Kill list up to 58, but the way the screen looked (two packed columns 40 names long), it very well could be 80. And the recognizable names to diehard fans was a welcome tip of the cap.
- That freeze frame also made my heart warm at remembering that Kim named Jack's granddaughter Terri... And with the news of a little grandson now in the Bauer bloodline I'm really hoping we see Elisha Cuthbert soon. (May it be the only good thing to come from the unwarranted end to Happy Endings)
- Speaking of attractive women with blonde hair: YVONNE STRAHOVSKI!
- One thing is always constant in the world of 24 - the weakest link of our counter terrorism / intelligence team is its headquarters. And the *worst* of the worst is its security guards. CTU's HQ in LA got bombed, gassed, and its guards subjected to knockout blow after knockout blow... And I'm not even getting into the mole-per-year angle that I'm sure we'll have just around the corner. Benjamin Bratt should just bring in his ex partner Miss Congeniality to cement his Special Dumbass In Charge title.
- Jack's Adrenalin Stab evoked memories of Pulp Fiction in me, and now I want to see a reboot of the Tarantino movie played with 24's past (Bauer and Palmer as Vince and Jules, Tony as Butch, Habib Marwan as Marcellus Wallace, and Nina Myers as Mia Wallace).
- Jack has no friends, awwww (Let's get that into a meme, 2014)
- Bauer is badass when he headbutts people, but he is next level kickass when he's driving a Volvo station wagon - please may that vehicle last a few more "hours."
- Another nice nod to diehards - and this had to have been 100% on purpose - we end the 2 hour premiere event with a "damnit" that hits us with a That's Our Song pang.
As anybody who has seen every season, we know that halfway through we will have an entirely new villain and threat. We're just one mole away from that occurring. Yeah, Drone strikes are somewhat current - but what is more current? What's the biggest international hot topic since January (and even more so in the last month)? And as we were reminded early into the first hour or Jack's re-entry into our lives: The last people he pissed off were Russians.
That's right everybody, It's gonna be Jack Bauer versus a "Putin" type of monster! And if there's not a bear attack or shirtless horse riding involved I'll be severely disappointed.