“24” was one of the major casualties of the writer’s strike for me, because seeing Jack Bauer kick some terrorist ass each year is a key to my happiness and 2008 was void of the “Jack Bauer Power Hour” as I like to call it. Some shows got axed after the WGA mess, while others like “24” took a ridiculously long hiatus and had time to make the show better than ever!! Not only that, but the “24” peeps even squeezed in a prequel movie putting Jack in Africa last November to tide us rabid fans over, which not only added to the season, but proved to be a great stand-alone two hour piece of Jack Bauer awesomeness!
I’m pretty sure you can already tell my opinion of the show and this season, but first let me tell you a little about the plot, which has more twists, double and triple crosses, and gunplay than any season yet. We start season 7 in a new location, Washington D.C., where Jack Bauer is being brought in front of a Senate sub-committee to answer to his violent ways of getting things done. This was not only a good way to put Jack in a new locale, but also was a nice response to the outpouring of criticism over season 6 as relishing in the torture of terrorists (I personally didn’t think that, but hey I’m on Jack’s side no matter what decision he makes, because his decisions save lives people!). Jack isn’t in front of these lame-ass politicians long before our new heroin Renee Walker from FBI comes in and snatches him up to help with a national threat. Why do they always turn to Jack Bauer? This time around we find out it’s because an old friend that was supposed to be dead is actually still alive and might be behind today’s imminent attack, that person being Jack’s old rival-turned-BFF, Tony Almeida.
Right from the start my mind was blown that they brought back a fan-favorite character from the dead and as a bad guy, but in typical “24” fashion, things aren’t always what they seem. I don’t like giving away too much of the plot, because the entire reason to watch the show is the cliffhangers at the end of each episode, so be warned: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!! As I give you some highlights from the season. CTU, which has been disbanded, turns out to still be active but the only members are Bill and Chloe who are working with Tony, who is actually deep undercover with the terrorists. There’s a plot to scramble airline messages that makes two planes collide over Washington, a raid on the White House where the president’s life is threatened via internet broadcast in a very harrowing and tense episode where the White House is raided and shot up by FBI agents. Oh, and did I mention the president is a female this time around. “24” has always been ahead of the real-world America in their diversity of presidential candidates, they’ve already had two black presidents and now a female. There’s too many twists to mention, Kim Bauer even comes back towards the end, which is my only grip about the season that they still don’t know how to make her character interesting. She just always comes off as a bit silly and unnecessary, but don’t worry fans of the show there’s no “cougar-threat” moment this season.
One of the nicest surprises was how complex Renee Walker’s character turns out to be as we watch her go from strictly by-the-book FBI to turning more and more to Jack’s way of thinking, because like the old cliché says “desperate times call for desperate measures” and Jack is an expert at desperate measures. There’s also a crap load of awesome baddies this season and just when you thought you figured out who was behind everything Jon Voight steps in and plays a crooked owner of a private military. His commitment to his cause and reasoning for what he’s done is played so well you almost agree with him, until you realize he’s just bat-shit crazy for killing thousands of people, but that’s what makes a great bad guy, when you’re on the fence about whether they are justified or not. This season delivers one whallop of a twist after another and just keeps going like a bullet. I can’t say enough, if you’re a fan of the show and for some silly reason missed this season because you were soured by the lackluster season 6, this year was a return to form and you would be proud to say you’re a “24” fan again!!
Special Features include:
– Audio Commentary on Select Episodes
– Deleted Scenes (more talking, not a lot of action here)
– The Music of 24
– Making of Season 7- my favorite bonus feature, because they go into detail about how long it took them to come up with this plotline and how the WGA strike ended up helping them write a better story
– Hour 19- The Ambush Featurette- showing how they filmed the White House Raid
Features- B +