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Four Years Later, A New Day Dawns

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24, Live Another Day

Rating:
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When we last saw Jack Bauer, his one man reign of destruction had come to an end outside New York, all of his years of service to his country and six different Presidents reduced to being given a few moments to disappear. Four years later, we still have no idea what Jack has been doing the last four years, but he has a new mission --- stopping a terror strike on London, where President James Heller (William Devane) is currently trying to negotiate a deal with Great Britain over a base deal.
In the past, Jack has at least had the knowledge that the government had his back. In 24: Live Another Day, he has no such safety net. The President and his daughter, both of whom are still recovering from the damage Jack has left on their lives when they last met, seem determined not to grant him any quarter. CTU's London base of operations has been tasked with the job of hunting him down, all but a single agent (Yvonne Strahoski) believing him as much of a threat as any terrorist. Only Jack's technical adviser Chloe O'Brien (Mary Lynn Raskjub, back in good form) is determined to support him, but the last four years have not been an easier for her than they must have been for anybody else who deals that closely with Jack. Her husband and child are dead, and she has disowned the federal government , now working for an anti-government watch group called Open Cell
In all honesty, my biggest problem with Live Another Day is my constant worry as to whether Jack can put his body through the efforts every day of 24 seems to put him through. For those loyal fans who have been watching since day 1, Jack is now close to 60, and frankly, every time he bashed a door down, I wonder if he'll break something permanently this time. Everything else that happens on 24 is, as always, nearly impossible, but the fan of this show (of which I will admit I still am) knows that you don't watch this series for plausibility any more than Scandal. You watch it because there is something viscerally thrilling watching one man handle a world gone horribly wrong. You watch it because Kiefer Sutherland remains one of the most charismatic actors more than a decade after first playing this role. And you watch it because for all his automatonic ways, there is still a human being beneath this complicated hero.
Many people wonder, considering how closely associated 24 is with the Bush-Cheney way whether it is still relevant in an era where we are trying to get such practices at torture and spying out of our system. Considering how popular the show was during the first two years of Obama's administration, that's a hard question to pierce. What is clear is that the show has averaged some of the highest rating Fox has gotten since House went off the air. They say that Live Another Day will be the shows last statement. I wonder. America may not need Jack Bauer any more, but Fox clearly does.

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