Monday, November 24, 2008

Jack Bauer: Humanitarian?

When the sixth season of 24 wrapped up in May 2007, I was distinctly unimpressed. A fan of the show since the beginning -- notably adored its fifth season -- I'd been blogging at TV Squad about 24 through its entire, mediocre sixth season.
I haven't thought much about 24 since the last tick of that 24 clock. Due to the writers' strike, 24 has been on hiatus. (The seventh season isn't slated to begin until January 11. 2009.) So when I watched last night's 24: Redemption TV movie, my expectations were low, although I was still watching. And those low expectations were exceeded. Dramatically.

I thoroughly enjoyed the off-campus (as in not in LA for a change), two-hour movie that did a stellar job of setting up the seventh season and trying to literally redeem itself from the sadness that was season six. The movie had Jack Bauer in Africa, volunteering with a humanitarian mission spearheaded by a former colleague of his who ran a school for boys. Jack spent much of the two hours of the movie guiding a group of boys to safety all the while putting his own freedom at risk.

It was quite stark, seeing Jack as a humanitarian, surrendering himself to U.S. authorities -- who, for a year, had been unsuccessfully trying to serve him with a subpoena to appear at a hearing regarding his torturing of a terrorist suspect way back in season six -- so that a group of orphaned boys could be evacuated from their country that was about to collapse due to an impending coup. It was Jack, totally on the defense.

And, in typical 24 style, we saw other storylines unfold, alas, no Chloe O'Brian though. A new president, Allison Taylor, was inaugurated. Taylor has a distinctly different position on the use of force and foreign policy than did her predecessor, the sinister President Noah Daniels, who was the commander in chief during the previous season of 24. Taylor seems no-nonsense and has a cute adult son who, in the new season, will be in danger because a friend tried to leak him info about government ties to terrorists.
When Redemption ended, Jack was being flown back to the United States in handcuffs, the boys he'd helped were being evacuated and the first woman president had been inaugurated.

How well will Jack Bauer, rouge and violent anti-terrorism agent, play with the viewing public after the election of Barack Obama? I think he'll play well, particularly given that Jack, for the first time, will have to answer to U.S. officials in Washington for his methods. It promises to be an exciting season and we'll have to see if the show can maintain its quality throughout an entire 24 episode span. After all, the first four hours of season six were great, then it was downhill from there.

Image credit: Fox.


Juanita's Journal said...

"A fan of the show since the beginning -- notably adored its fifth season -- I'd been blogging at TV Squad about 24 through its entire, mediocre sixth season."

Season 5 was considered the best of the series? Season 5? Granted, it had a good story. But it had story that didn't require a 24-hour setting. Which is why is not "adored" by me.

Meredith O'Brien said...

What's your favorite season Juanita? Did you think one stood out more than the others?