It’s almost hard to believe that until last Sunday, there hadn’t been a new episode of “24” on the air since May 2007. With that long of a break, I was anxiously awaiting the new season. My main concern was I’d be let down by a dud of a season premiere. Fortunately, the four-hour two-day event didn’t disappoint.
There wasn’t much that I disliked about these first four hours. I could go through a laundry list of what I loved about the premiere, but instead I’m going ramble for a bit about what I liked best. That was of course the triumphant return of Tony Almeida.
Like most “24” fans, I was shocked when I first learned that Tony was going to be on the show this season. I thought he was dead! It’s too bad they couldn’t have kept Carlos Bernard’s return a secret, but with so much time in between seasons, that would have been impossible. But, even more shocking than Tony’s return was the news that he was going to return as this season’s antagonist. Say what?? Then sure enough he’s in the van filled with kidnappers. I cheered when I heard him talk thought that clichéd black ski mask. Our man Tony is back.
I felt the same way that Jack did when he found out Tony was working for a terrorist organization. There’s no way, he has to be undercover or something. But when FBI Agent Walker said they checked with every organization and no one could vouch for him, I assumed he was officially on the wrong side of the law. Not to mention how convincing he was when dealing with the computer expert and talking to the FTA officials. I was sold with him as Season 7’s bad guy. And, if I was on the fence about whether or not Tony was good or bad, I wasn’t anymore after his interrogation scene with Jack. Holy cow, that was intense. He said some pretty awful things, like Jack working with the FBI was like spitting on Teri’s grave. Ouch! I couldn’t blame Jack for wanting to break Tony’s neck.
And then at that very moment, my faith was restored when mid-strangle, Tony whispered, “Deep Sky” into Jack’s ear. “Deep Sky” of course was code for an old CTU phone number. When Jack called, who’s on the line? None other than former CTU head Bill Buchanan! Things just kept getting better and better. And, they got even better when we saw that Chloe is working along side of Bill. So, it turns out Tony isn’t a terrorist, he’s working undercover with Bill and Chloe as they try to prove that there are U.S. Government officials doing dirty deals with the Sangala army.
I can’t express how floored I was by the “Tony’s not a bad guy twist.” During the entire off season, all I heard was Tony was going to be this year’s bad guy. I am amazed that twist was able to stay hidden so well. I was hoping Tony wasn’t really on the bad side, but I prepared myself to watch Tony and Jack match wits and go at one another for 24 hours (honestly, that would have been pretty cool). But, I think it’ll be fun to watch these two working together again like they did during Season 5. With Bill and Chloe manning the command post, I think we’ve got a really fun season on our hands.
Wow, I just spent six paragraphs gushing over what I liked about one storyline. I’ll try to keep the rest of my analysis a little shorter.
Here is what else I liked about the “24” premiere:
*The fact that there is no more CTU. As the series wore on, I began to like the characters there less and less. In fact, two of the only characters I liked (Bill and Chloe) are still around, so it works out perfectly. I am sure that some people will feel that the FBI has just replaced CTU as the pain in the rear office. Part of me felt that way too, but let’s give it time. Speaking of the FBI…
*I really like Janeane Garofalo and Rhys Coiro in their roles. I’m really impressed with Garafolo; when I heard she was going to be on this show, I wasn’t sure how that was going to work. She’s a great comic, and I didn’t know how she was going to adapt to a dramatic setting, but so far so good. As far as Coiro goes, how can you not love Billy Walsh? He’s solid in his role here too, although it’s strange to see him clean cut and wearing a shirt and tie.
*The subtle moments that have to be extremely subtle because every second counts on this show. For example I got a kick out of Tony apologizing to Jack for the things he said about Teri and Jack in turn apologized to Tony for almost crushing his windpipe and Tony just said, “I’m glad you didn’t.” There aren’t a lot of exchanges like that on this show, so when they pop up it’s always fun. I also liked Chloe and Jack’s exchange when they saw each other again. It was so awkward but touching all at the same time.
The only thing I didn’t really like was all the stuff with the First Gentleman trying to prove his son was killed. It didn’t fit in with everything else and slowed down the rest of the episode. I have a feeling it will eventually connect itself to the rest of the storylines.
So, I think it’s fair to say the seventh season of ‘24” is off to a fantastic start. I can’t wait to see if President Taylor decides to call off the troops in Sangala to save all the Americans in the air, or to proceed with the plan at hand. Something tells me we already know how it’s going to turn out, but this “24,” so you never know.
So, are you happy to have “24” back? Are you satisfied with how the season started and with Tony’s rise from the dead? Feel free to comment below!
Joe Dyton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.