Bob Gunton, Cherry Jones, James Morrison, 24
This Monday, Fox's 24 delivers double the Bauer with a two-hour event kicking off at 8 pm/ET. The occasion? None other than the disgruntled General Juma's extremely bold attack on a Washington, D.C., landmark.
Indeed, just when you thought 24 had attempted it all, the writers push that envelope just a bit more. And further ratcheting the tension? Savior-by-trade Jack Bauer is thrown behind bars at a critical juncture.
"We're so proud of these [episodes]," executive producer Howard Gordon shares with TVGuide.com. "We've been looking forward to this week."
Gordon says the two-hour outing serves a specific purpose, in that it transitions this season's launch story — the theft and retrieval of a CIP device capable of compromising the nation's technological firewalls — into something new and spearheaded by big baddie Jonas Hodge (special guest star Jon Voight).
"We wanted to work toward this situation with Jon Voight and the [Halliburton-type] company ... which to some level was behind the Sangala revolution," says Gordon, "so we really needed a pivot moment. One last siege felt like the right idea."
As an added bonus, Gordon suggests, "It's a good place for [new viewers] to jump in."
But might 24 have gone too far with its choice of terrorist target in this week's double-episode? (Don't worry, spoilerphobes, we won't divulge the landmark here.) Gordon admits it was an aggressive choice, but stands by the show's execution of the thrilling sequence. "We had big internal debates about how [terrorists] would attack it credibly," he says. "I think we pulled it off, but it was a big concern."
Equally daunting was the degree of peril in which the 24 writers place the show's first female POTUS. "I know people get hinky sometimes, and I hope we don't make too many of them uncomfortable," says Gordon of what happens toward the end of the second hour. "If you look at it from an emotional context, the story is about a mother and a daughter reconciling after an estrangement ... and in the end, she gives herself up for her daughter. At least that's what you think. But [her dilemma] is excruciating."