24: A New Hope, Maybe

Oh lookit, there’s a new show on teevee! Chris Partlow is out on the streets of a city, hunting someone down. It must be The Wire, Season 4, right? But wait, here’s Detective Rey Curtis in a high tech police station – surely it’s a Law & Order rerun. Now this blonde woman is getting shitcanned from the CIA – she seems to have a hunch about something, but no one is taking her seriously. We get it – they’re re-running the first season of Homeland! Awesome!

how my hair look?

Whoops, wrong show

Actually it’s 24: Live Another Day, or Season 9 of 24 (9 times 24 is 216! Zoom in and enhance!). Kiefer Sutherland is back as Jack Bauer, and he is not the only familiar face. In addition to Benjamin Bratt (L&O), Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), William Devane returns as President Heller, Kim Raver is back as his daughter, and there’s also Tate Donovan from every unsuccessful 80’s movie ever.

Day 9: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The action takes place in London, where the CIA has set up an HQ with a black site for detainees (in true Hollywood style, the set could double as a chi-chi cocktail lounge). Jack Bauer is on the loose in a vacant warehouse and a few dozen agents are hunting him down. The London exteriors are a nice change of scenery, there’s a fairly awesome action scene, and bazinga – Jack Bauer is busted.

But wait, says halfway-out-the-door analyst Kate Morgan. Wasn’t that a little too easy? “Scoff scoff” says Benjamin Bratt, but we have watched every episode of Homeland and we know that the blonde woman with a hunch is always right.

I'm not Claire Danes

Yvonne Strahovski as Kate Morgan

Jack Bauer has a plan – he’s going to bust Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) out of the black site, where she has been undergoing some sort of torture that is only hinted at. Next up, the immovable object meets the unstoppable force, as stone-faced killer Jack Bauer breaks Chloe out of the most super-secure, high security complex ever, brushing aside Kate Morgan like Darrell Issa brushing aside Elijah Cummings at an IRS hearing.

Elsewhere, some USAF drone-flying dude is in deep shit when his drone gets away from him and BOMBS U.S. TROOPS (wait, wasn’t that also on Homeland?) You know there will be repercussions, and you won’t have to wait long to hear about it, because it’s a two-hour premiere event, so…

Day 9: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m

Chloe makes her way back to her hipster/hacker friends in their huge loft. She barely has time to say g’day guv’nor before Jack bursts in – of course he was tracking her the whole time. Apparently Jack has a total hard-on for some hacker named Derek Yates, who isn’t here, man.

He's tracking you!!

Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub in one of 24’s hallmark split-screen shots

Derek is actually in one of those dreary council estates familiar to anyone who has seen movies like Attack the Block (2011), Fish Tank (2009) or anything directed by Ken Loach. He’s holed up with his hot but annoying Russkie girlfriend, in an apartment that is the HQ for a drug-dealing gangster right out of a Jeremy Jason Statham movie. Yates is watching something on his laptop – it’s the live feed from that drone attack gone wrong! OMG, he’s the dude who caused it!

Elsewhere President Heller is meeting up with the Prime Minister who is – STEPHEN FRY! How cool is that? Things go south when word gets out that two of the drone strike victims are British officers. The big treaty will never get signed!

Meanwhile Jack and Chloe are going after Derek, and in order to do that, they are going to have to go through the gangsters too. Thus there is a decent shootout/chase in the council estate that is a nice homage (ripoff?) to the whole Brit gangster movie genre. Next there is a SURPRISE ENDING PLOT TWIST that sets up Hour Three and we’re off to the races.

Too long, didn’t decrypt version – sure the show is completely implausible, and okay, maybe it recycles elements of other spy shows, but the action scenes are top-notch and the plot twists are fun as hell. We’re hooked for the rest of the season, thought maybe not enough to actually recap it, because man, that takes time. Let’s see some more Stephen Fry, and how about bringing back Elisha Cuthbert, and then we’ll talk continued recapping.

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