Earlier this year, fans of the Fox hit action-drama series “24 ” rejoiced as word spread of its triumphant return. The show ended its eighth and supposedly final season in 2010, and although it had begun to garner more criticism as the seasons progressed, viewers are poised to welcome “24” back with open arms. Perhaps it’s true – you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and we have missed Jack Bauer.
Emmy Award winning actor Keifer Sutherland will reprise his role as Jack Bauer. Just as in real-time, when the series picks up, four years have passed. Jack resurfaces as an American exile in London, and he just might be more explosive and unpredictable than ever before. Other “24” alumni confirmed for resuscitation are Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian, Kim Raver as Audrey Raines, and William Devane as James Heller. Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order”), Yvonne Strahavski (“Dexter”), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”), and Giles Matthey (“Jobs”) will head the CIA team on the hunt for Jack, who will undoubtedly connect with Chloe, his former CTU cohort – turned anti-government hacker (now teamed up with Adrian Cross, played by Michael Wincott) on his mission to intercept an incoming catastrophe centering around the visiting American President (Devane).
Is your head spinning yet? Chloe being a hacker may not seem to be much of a stretch. The anti-government attitude seems appropriate, too. Chloe always had that fiery hostility about her – cross her one time too many, and I doubt she’ll be bringing the pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving dinner! The CIA tracking Jack would be the norm after another split in the ever-dysfunctional “Jack and the government” relationship. What’s not always certain is whether this season-opening tactic will be a hunt for Jack’s help, or his head on a plate. Longtime viewers know the government reps aren’t always extending the olive branch when they come calling for Jack.
One big change in the upcoming season is that James Heller has become President of the United States. When we last saw Heller, he was none too thrilled with Jack, and ordered him to stay away from Audrey, Heller’s daughter, and Jack’s love (left catatonic and traumatized after becoming embroiled in one of Jack’s former take-downs). Audrey is apparently all better now, and married to the Chief of Staff, played by Tate Donovan. It’s fairly obvious to see the dramatically painful triangle forming here. Can “24” loyalists hope for a last-minute rekindling of this once intense flame? It would be a fitting way to tie up a loose end. By now, Jack is certainly due some romantic stability, but can Audrey handle the baggage? More importantly – can President Heller remember how much he once trusted Jack himself? Will he even live through the day? Or… could he even be behind this season’s terrorist plot? Speaking of that, what will be the nature of the event set to challenge Jack’s limits and loyalties this time around?
So many questions, and only one way to uncover the answers. Tune in this summer for the 12 episode mini-series. “24” debuts on Fox, Monday, May 5 at 9 PM EDT for a limited engagement. Join the “24” welcome-back party – #JackIsBack , and stay tuned to the show’s official Twitter account for updates and announcements.