The first two hours of s Day 7, airing this Sunday, January 11, at 8pm ET/PT, prove to be a solid start to a seventh season. November’s TV movie, ‘, had more than its fair share of cheesy dialogue and awkward moments, but made up for it all with some great action sequences. “,” on the other hand, has a bit less action but feels much more solid and well put together. We’re not forced to watch Jack try to bond with orphaned children and instead see him inserted fairly quickly into investigating a major domestic terrorist threat. .
We first see Jack in a scene that many will recognize from the trailer and commercials: Jack being questioned as part of a congressional hearing, regarding his torturing/interrogation sessions during his CTU days. The questioning could have easily been stretched out and become repetitive but the writers smartly pull Jack out of the hearing early in the episode, as an attractive FBI agent, Renee Walker (), produces a subpoena to gain Jack’s help on a case for the day. The reason Jack is brought in to consult is something that should be of no surprise to anyone who’s seen a commercial for the new season: the man behind the terrorist threat appears to be Jack’s former CTU colleague ( ).
It’s nice to see Tony back on TV, but bringing him back as a villain (complete with a goatee, a la Evil Cartman in the South Park episode “Spookyfish“) is going to take a lot of convincing. Helpfully, Jack is just as doubtful of Tony being evil as the audience will be, allowing Jack to voice the thoughts and opinions that every 24 fan has running through their heads when they hear that Tony is alive.
Bringing Jack — a man whose reputation for torturing suspects has resulted in an ongoing congressional hearing — in to consult on an FBI case is met with an expectedly mixed reaction. While Agent Walker feels Jack’s knowledge of how Tony thinks is vital to finding him, her boss, Larry Moss (
Aside from Moss and Walker, we’re introduced to a handful of other FBI folk, including a Chloe-esque analyst named Janis Gold, played by comedienne/actress. While not quite as snarky as Chloe, Janis gets along similarly with her fellow analysts and her boss, making the comparison between the two characters unavoidable. The similarity isn’t distracting, however, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do with Janis as the Chloe-of-the-FBI.
Various issues and events depicted in 24: Redemption carry strongly into season seven, so if you haven’t watched the TV movie yet, it’s probably best to check it out now. The events in Sangala have escalated to a Rwanda meets Iraq level of urgency for the new President, Allison Taylor (), and promise to be something that will affect quite a few future episodes, if not the entire season. President Taylor’s First Husband, Henry ( ), also gets his own storyline, which involves the death of a major cast member from Redemption. The death occurred in between the time of the TV movie and Day 7, so we only see the aftermath of it, but its effect — and Henry’s involvement — feel like something that will influence the entire season.
Overall, these first two hours are a strong start to the season, and there already seems to be more planned-out storylines and overall story arcs than in previous 24 seasons, which can only be a good thing. It’s definitely too early to know for sure, but it’s possible that the extra time the writers had to plan out “Day 7” could result in a truly great season of 24 — making the long wait between seasons worth it and becoming one of few things to benefit from the television-crushing event known as the writers’ strike.