24 Episodes

2001, TV Show

24 Episode: "Day 7: 8:00 AM-9:00 AM"

Season 7, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Season 7 opens with Jack Bauer on trial in Washington, D.C., and the return of Tony Almeida, who is involved in a national-security breach. New president Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) must deal with the threat without CTU, which has been disbanded. Janis Gold: Janeane Garofalo.
Original Air Date: Jan 11, 2009

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Season 7, Episode 1
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Length: 04:32:00
Aired: 1/11/2009
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24 Episode Recap: "8:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M." Season 7, Episode 1

Finally, 24 is back with its long-awaited seventh season — and it gets off to a pulse-pounding start in downtown Washington, DC, with a vehicular smash-and-grab by black-clad thugs toting heavy firepower. Their target is tech expert Michael Latham (John Billingsley), who will soon be put to use hacking through the firewall that protects America's most vital communication networks.

Jack Bauer makes his far-from-triumphant first appearance in a Senate hearing, where he is being questioned over possible human-rights violations. As Sen. Blaine Meyer (Kurtwood Smith) grills the former CTU agent, it almost feels like 24 itself is on trial for a seemingly cavalier attitude toward extreme interrogation methods (AKA torture).

"Basically what you're saying, Mr. Bauer, is that the ends justify the means, and that you are above the law?" Sen. Meyer asks.

Yet Jack is unashamed, telling Meyer, "When I am activated, when I am brought into a situation, there is a reason. And that reason is to complete the objectives of my mission at all costs. ... The people that I deal with, they don't care about your rules. All they care about is a result."

Day one of Jack's hearing is quickly cut short, though, when FBI agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) interrupts the proceedings with a subpoena from the bureau. It seems the country's security is again in jeopardy, and who are you gonna call to help but our man Jack Bauer?

The need for Jack's personal involvement in this latest crisis becomes clear when Walker reveals the man behind that opening-scene abduction: presumed-dead former CTU agent Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard).

In an effort to convince us that this is even remotely possible, Walker reminds Jack that he may have seen EMTs wheel Tony away, but he never actually saw the body after that, did he? Plus, Almeda's grave has since been exhumed and — surprise — the body buried there isn't Tony's.

I have to admit, I'm still having a tough time with this plot device — bringing a character back from the dead is one thing, but turning a beloved one like Tony into a villain is practically sacrilegious. However, Walker also helpfully reminds us that Tony's wife was killed by a faction operating within the government, and that a man who has lost everything is capable of just about anything. We'll soon see just what that means for Tony.

Before the end of hour one, Tony has taken control of a passenger jet, and Jack is already returning to his old torturous ways. But the man he is interrogating — an Irish former colleague, who is soon to be gunned down by sniper fire — caves before Jack can even get that ballpoint pen into his eye. Such a tease!

Springing out of the excellent 24: Redemption prequel is what appears to be this season's primary subplot: As Colonel Juma continues to slaughter the innocent citizens of fictional African nation Sengala, new President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) considers whether the U.S. should intervene with military force.

Stray Observations:
•Ironically, as 24 makes the move from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, this season's opening scene is reminiscent of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, which took place not far from CTU's former home and involved the L.A. Police Department.

• So far, the subplot about "first husband" Henry Taylor's (Colm Feore) investigation into his son's suicide — or murder — isn't particularly compelling. But I have a sneaking suspicion it will tie back into the main terror plot before long.

• Many recent seasons have begun with Jack a total mess, both mentally and physically, so it's nice to have our hero a little more levelheaded from the outset. We'll see how long that lasts though.

9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
As hour two gets rolling, we learn that Tony is only testing the CIP device in a real-world scenario, not trying to bring down a plane full of people. It's good to know he's not out to take innocent lives — but just what the former CTU agent is after, as he says, "You'll find out soon enough."

In the White House, the U.S. continues to prepare for its invasion of Sengala. President Taylor meets with the nation's former prime minister, Ule Matobo (Isaach De Bankolé), securing a handshake agreement that once Juma is brought down, his injustices will be dealt with in a court of law, rather than at the hands of an angry mob.

While the sniper is hunted in an adjacent building, Jack's downtime allows for a brief heart-to-heart with a young FBI agent who thinks his Senate inquisition is a raw deal for an American hero.

But Jack isn't quick to agree, and his response belies a conscience 24 seemed to lack in recent years: "We've done so many secret things over the years, in the name of protecting this country, we've created two worlds: ours and the people we promise to protect. They deserve to know the truth, and they can decide how far they wanna let us go."

But hour two's main event is a showdown I expected to see much later in the season: Jack apprehending Tony and, as the episode closes, asking the question on all our minds: "What the hell happened to you?"

With the plot wheels already set in motion, hour two of the premiere proved less eventful — aside from that episode-closing shootout/chase/fistfight, of course. But after the over-the-top attempts at creating danger and drama that plagued Season 6, slow, steady and solid actually feels like a welcome change of pace.

Stray Observations:
• So far, FBI techie Janis Gold (Janeane Garofalo) seems like a watered-down version of beloved sourpuss Chloe: She's all nervous energy and snarkiness, but without the sharp edge of sarcasm.

• The FBI building, with its white walls and gray cubicles, certainly doesn't have the "wow" factor of the high-tech, black-metal-and-glass CTU headquarters. But maybe its real-world simplicity is indicative of the more grounded, back-to-basics approach 24's creators are trying to take this year.

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Finally, 24 is back with its long-awaited seventh season — and it gets off to a pulse-pounding start in downtown Washington, DC, with a vehicular smash-and-grab by black-clad thugs toting heavy firepower. Their target is tech expert Michael Latham (John Billingsley), who will soon be put to use hacking through the firewall that protects America's most vital communication networks.

Jack Bauer makes his far-from-triumphant first appearance in a Senate hearing, where he is being questioned over possible human-rights violations. As Sen. Blaine Meyer (Kurtwood Smith) grills the former CTU agent, it almost feels like 24 itself is on trial for a seemingly cavalier attitude toward extreme interrogation methods (AKA torture).

"Basically what you're saying, Mr. Bauer, is that the ends justify the means, and that you are above the law?" Sen. Meyer asks.

Yet Jack is unashamed, telling Meyer, "When I am activated, when I am brought into a situation, there is a reason. And that reason is to complete the objectives of my mission at all costs. ... The people that I deal with, they don't care about your rules. All they care about is a result."

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Premiered: November 06, 2001, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (1,410 ratings)
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Premise: An exciting and edgy real-time action series about U.S. counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer trying to save his country from foreign and domestic enemies in the course of 24 grueling hours (with each hour a separate episode). The series took a great concept and executed it superbly, juggling taut storylines with forceful performances and a stylish, gritty look. Which made it easier to forgive some of the more foolish and implausible subplots, many involving Jack's crisis-magnet daughter, Kim.

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