Drop what you’re doing right now and tell us what you thought of the two-hour premiere of Fox’s 24: Live Another Day.
Fronted of course by Kiefer Sutherland, 24: LAD finds onetime CTU boss/mutli-time world-saver Jack Bauer still a fugitive and with a CIA team closing in on him in London, just as U.S. president James Heller (William Devane) arrives in town for some delicate treaty negotiations regarding a drone base. Jack gets “caught,” but disgraced-and-departing CIA agent Kate Morgan (Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski) suspects it was on purpose — but to what end?
While Kate’s colleagues ignore her (spot-on) suspicions, Jack gets himself sent to a lower-level torture chamber operated by the inconspicuously named “special activities” division. On the way there, in concert with his buddy Belcheck operating outside the facility’s walls, Jack overpowers his escort, infiltrates the chamber and retrieves… a doped-out Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub)!
Jack sets Chloe free, but only so that he can track her to the location of the super-secret Wikileaks-type hacker hive where she works. He then drops in on his old friend, for the purpose of getting help in stopping an assassination attempt on Heller, whom he feels he “owes,” because of Audrey’s breakdown. Chloe offers her own services — if only to get Jack out of her and associate Adrian Cross’ (Michael Wincott) hair — and the two suss out a hacker named Yates, unbeknownst to anyone just yet, has found a way to access and override the U.S. Military’s drone command.
As a first demo for his employer Margot (Game of Thrones‘ Michelle Fairley), Yates commanders Air Force Lt. Chris Tanner’s (Star Wars VII‘s John Boyega) controls and uses a drone to kill a couple of U.S. and British soldiers. Later, just as Yates is about to trade his tech in for a payday, Margot’s (sooooo obviously) embedded henchwoman (and daughter!) kills her mark and makes off with his highly valuable package. Jack and Chloe meanwhile are only able to glimpse at a thumb drive full of damning evidence before it self-destructs, leaving only a fragment of a schematic behind.
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Elsewhere on 24: LAD:
* Heller’s chief of staff, Mark Boudreau (Damages‘ Tate Donovan) gets word that Jack has resurfaced, but keeps a lid on the news — in part because he is now wed to Jack’s old flame/the boss’ daughter, Audrey. What’s more, Boudreau is hot to cast Jack as the prime suspect in the rumored assassination plot. It’s also revealed that Heller is suffering from a mentally incapacitating disease, one that is slowly showing signs of itself in public. How very Jed Bartlet.
* Before Heller can break-slash-spin the wayward drone news himself, British Prime Minister Alastair Davies (Stephen Fry) gets word of the tragedy, effectively compromising his support in the talks. As the premiere ends, Heller is prepping (with some success) to address Parliament about the matter.
* Because her every instinct about Jack proved right, Kate “gets her badge” back from her CIA boss Steve Navarro (Private Practice‘s Benjamin Bratt) — at least long enough to follow up on Bauer’s escape. Among her colleagues, Kate has a (seeming) ally in Jordan Reed (True Blood‘s Giles Matthey), while Erik Ritter (The Wire‘s Gbenga Akinnagbe) is none too happy to be partnered with her on the Jackhunt.
24: Live Another Day makes its regular time slot premiere next Monday at 9/8c.