It’s 20 months since Jack vanished into the East and the US is a changed place without him. There’s a new President in place (who has some strong experience in supporting his brother in the role) and America is under attack from terrorists (okay, so maybe not that much has changed from the previous days…). This time it seems that the terrorists are Islamic militants and the president is under pressure to introduce racial profiling and specific detention centres for Muslim suspects.
On a brighter note, Karen Hayes is now married to Bill Buchanan who is back in control of CTU and we also discover than Chloe has a husband in Morris O’Brien who appears to have gone to the same charm school as Chloe herself.
And Jack is back! Although the reason behind his repatriation, and his physical and mental condition on repatriation leave much to be desired… but he’s back, and he’s ready to do some more saving of the nation… But he is a changed man from his Chinese exploits and he questions his own ability to perform as he has previously, especially when he is forced to take drastic action against a friend.
This season deals a lot with racial stereotyping and the inherent dangers therein and there is definitely a lesson trying to be taught here. Once you overlook the moralising though, there’s still the usual action-packed drama, twists and turns in the plot.
Back to the terrorists and they’re a seriously co-ordinated bunch in this series, hitting multiple US cities simultaneously. They’ve also managed to get hold of five nuclear suitcase bombs and are determined to use them. However, the real brains behind the attacks – who were also the brains behind President Logan – are about to be revealed, and it’s a huge shock to everyone involved…
Massive action and intrigue ensues: a nuclear explosion hits LA, there’s some serious blackmail and subterfuge at the White House, torture (naturally), assassination attempts, Jack discovers who ordered the murders of David Palmer, Tony and Michelle, we see the return of a former disgraced president, another foreign embassy is illegally entered and there is a real threat of all-out nuclear war. We also meet more of the Bauer clan and have to wonder if they are the most dysfunctional family in 24’s dysfunctional history.
Finally, when you think it’s all over and the threat has passed, something else totally unexpected happens as someone close to Jack is raised from the dead and the stakes are raised once more…
This is probably the weakest of all Jack’s days, but is still worth watching as part of the overall series – and while the storylines may not be as well thought out as in previous seasons, the action and intrigue still work just as well as previously… I dare you to watch it and not jump in shock at least one time.
As well as audio commentaries and more than 20 deleted or extended scenes, DVD extras also include 3 great featurettes, webcast diaries, ‘mobisodes’ and a very funny cameo from 24 fan Ricky Gervais.