"Every one second you're helping the government you're spitting on Terri's grave" - Tony Almeida
You have to wonder how much more shocking this season would have been if Fox never announced that Tony Almeida was alive or if 24: Redemption never aired since it does give a further look and what could happen in the season. Now, it certainly seems to have foreshadowed too much, and let's hope that Fox's plan to bring back fans does not back fire. After four episodes, we would have to recommend that is might be better for new comers to skip Redemption altogether.
After Tony is captured, he is interrogated by the FBI. The usual happens, as Renee and Larry make no ground with ground with Tony stonewalling them, Bauer persuades them that he can "convince" Tony to talk. Meanwhile, president Taylor receives a message from Dubaku saying that he is in control of the module and will use it to kill Americans if they president does not pull out American's troops from Sengala.
A few of the twists start out with Tony turning out to be undercover. Tony gives Jack the clue 'Deep Sky' after being choked, which Jack calls immediately. The strange voices on the phone turn out to be none other than Bill Buchanon and good ol' awkward and frown faced Chloe. This twist has its pros and cons. To begin with, it was extremely difficult to believe that Tony had gone villain, so the twist that he was undercover was not as shocking as it could have been. The writers seemed to have shown their cards to quickly. Had Tony performed an evil deed, like executing someone in front of Jack, the audience would probably have been more convinced of Tony's evil ways. But regardless, it is great to see Tony back.
Bill and Chloe pop in out of nowhere, and the fact they are working alone makes this conspiracy situation insane. Every branch of government infiltrated? The repeated patterns that ruined last season; moles, double agents, presidential overthrowing drama, background characters with pointless subplots, may be a cause for concern in later episodes, but right now this entire situation works rather well.
Jack breaks Tony out of holding (every bit as good as season 3's Hector Salazar's sequence with Jack), and climaxes with Bauer driving his car off a structure al la Bourne Ultimatum. What is interesting is the reveal which takes place after Jack and Tony are accepted into the little terrorist gang, Tony reveals that he had only recently been undercover and that for 3 years he had acted irrationally and done some pretty terrible things. We hope that the writers will delve a bit deeper into what that actually means. Tony's death is also explained, in the sense that his death was lined up by this mercenary crew since he fit the profile of angry-ex-government-my-wife-died-I-want-to-get-back-at-my-country club. It probably is a good thing they didn't try to over explain it and make the implausibility even worse. Oh well, at least it wasn't the cougar that brought him back.
Henry 's scene with the unrealistically attractive Samantha Roth (Carly Pope), who is a combination of Gina Gershon and Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), reveals what we knew from Redemption. An inner circle in the white house is up to no good and wants their agenda on the forefront. Let's hope that this doesn't involve overthrowing the presidency.
In one of the best scenes of this four hour premiere, Renee need to question the only suspect they have now that Tony has escaped, the sniper who is in critical condition at the hospital. When he refuses to talk, Renee seems to push herself to the edge buy sticking her gun into his wound. She is obviously conflicted with her actions, but wants to make up for Bauer and Tony's escape, since she thinks they are both bad guys. The scene culminates with her bending his breathing tube and threatening to kill him, with her saying "Use your last breath wisely". What so is great here is to see how conflicted she is. Renee has known Bauer for less than a few hours and he already he has rubbed off on her when it comes to getting results.
This season has an excellent setup, and there is no reason yet to believe this won't be another fun and exciting season of 24. It is curious though on how every government agency in 24 has a foreboding looking main frame room where techs need to go to get files. Why not keep them on the same floor?
Grade: 9 out of 10
24 Cast: Kiefer Sutherland
, Leslie Hope
, Elisha Cuthbert
, Sarah Clarke
, Dennis Haysbert
, Penny Johnson
, Tanya Wright
, Mia Kirshner
, Carlos Bernard
Story by Anthony Liccardello
Starpulse contributing writer