’24: Live Another Day’ Season 9 Premiere Review: Jack is Back!

Published 12 months ago by

Kiefer Sutherland in 24 LAD Episode 2 24: Live Another Day Season 9 Premiere Review: Jack is Back!

[This is a review of 24: Live Another Day episode 1 and 2. There will be SPOILERS.]


It has been four years since Jack Bauer was last seen on television, and for a series that made its name by unfolding its storylines in real time it comes as no surprise that those four years are wholeheartedly felt here. At its heart, the world of 24: Live Another Day is still very much the world of 24, as it was last seen in season 8 (back in 2010). But things are different; most notably, the world has gone on without Jack battling it out on the frontlines. It has somehow endured without the relentless, near-super heroic efforts of one man constantly racing against the clock to prevent catastrophe. As the special 12-episode event series kicks off, it becomes clear that the ever-ticking clock counting down the seconds of each and every episode won’t be the only thing reminding the audience of time; those four years that the world treated Jack Bauer as a memory weigh heavily on the proceedings as well.

To its credit, however, 24: Live Another Day wants to use (and largely succeeds in using) that gap to its advantage, assembling the plot in such a way that it can utilize familiar faces from the past, while also putting them in situations it doesn’t necessarily have to explain in excruciating detail. For one, there’s a new president in office: former Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane), who is apparently suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile, his daughter, Audrey Raines (Kim Raver), has recovered from her trauma, and is now Audrey Boudreau, wife of Mark (Tate Donovan), the president’s chief of staff. All told, those are small but significant changes to the narrative that might have taken place between any season of the FOX action-drama, but the first two episodes – which transpire from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm – make pointed use of the four quiet years by establishing several dramatic possibilities with regard to those who might be directly effected by Jack’s sudden reemergence.

That being said, the progression of time becomes important in terms of building a legacy – both for the series’ protagonist, and the show itself. It’s difficult to say who exactly was clamoring for a return from 24, but they got one, and the producers and writers manage to do everything in their power to use that first hour reminding viewers what made the show so popular in the first place.

Yvone Strahovski in 24 Live Another Day Episode 1 24: Live Another Day Season 9 Premiere Review: Jack is Back!

So, after eight seasons of saving the world 24-hours at a time, Jack Bauer’s legacy is certainly deserving of some examination, and much of what happens in between ’11:00am-12:00am’ is Jack in full-on super-hero mode. Characters talk about him in hushed tones, reminding one another what he’s capable of, while Kiefer Sutherland does his best 1,000-yard stare before wreaking the kind of havoc only Jack Bauer is capable of. The kicker, then, is in how Jack demonstrates he’s still Jack, in all the good ways and even more so the bad. After all this time, Bauer is no closer to placing his trust in anything or anyone but himself. He’s a man without a country, without a job, and without friends (as he mentions to an accomplice who questions Jack’s decision to place a tracking device in Chloe O’Brian’s cell phone after he risks life and limb to extricate her from the clutches of the government). All that matters to Jack is the task at hand, and after four years of laying low, he’s finally found a task that’s worth poking his well-covered head out for.

That task welcomes Jack into the familiar, but increasingly complicated world of drone warfare. This time, with the added variable of hackers capable of hijacking the deadly military hardware for use against American and British forces. While jack is allowing himself to be apprehended and questioned at a CIA blacksite by Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) and, later, the more levelheaded, but disgraced by association, Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), a hacker by the name of Derrick Yates establishes proof of concept for his software by setting up drone pilot Lt. Chris Tanner (Jon Boyega) for what looks like the deliberate bombing of a superior officer in the field. In reality, Derrick is formerly a part of a WikiLeaks/Anonymous-like group run who’s looking to strike it rich by selling his wares to Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley). By the end of the second hour, Margot’s daughter Simone (Emily Berrington) has killed Derrick and run off to rejoin “mummy” and apparently use American drone technology to assassinate President Heller on foreign soil, theoretically igniting World War III.

Benjamin Bratt and Gbenga Akinnagbe in 24 Live Another Day Episode 1 24: Live Another Day Season 9 Premiere Review: Jack is Back!

With that kind of a set-up, Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) becomes the perfect representative for the post-WikiLeaks free information movement world of today. It’s the kind of place where those with the ability to do so – like Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) the leader of her group – are forcing transparency on the government by actively releasing intelligence information to the public, an act that flies in the face of Jack’s pro-intelligence community stance. And while it certainly mirrors Jack’s “the ends justify the means” style of information extrication, and saving the world, the group’s methods also put a timestamp on his gun slinging, head butting ways – which, in the early part of the series paints Jack as something of a unique relic from the recent past.

That’s an interesting way of looking at a series that’s been resurrected after four years collecting dust. The juxtaposition of Jack and Chloe early on is both a callback to their previous efforts together, as well as a look at the ways in which they’ve moved on (or in Jack’s case, not moved on) without one another. Both are essentially fighting for ideologies and interests they are not interested in, nor have asked them to do so. In a way, it’s a lot like the show’s reemergence itself:  No one asked for it, but we got it anyway, so we might as well hold on and let 24: Live Another Day do its job.

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24: Live Another Day continues next Monday with ’1:00pm-2:00pm’ on FOX.

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  1. Thought it was a great way to start off the resurgence. Can’t wait for next week!

  2. So happy the show is back. I think the characters introduced look exciting, and the drone thing and Chloe turning into Edward Snowden keeps everything current.

    • What narration? Did you listen to an audio track for the hearing impaired instead of the normal one?

  3. Brilliant start to the new season, loved every minute of it. Welcome back, Jack.

  4. According to your poll, so much for people not asking for it!

  5. According to your poll, so much for people not asking for it! In the everlasting war for ratings is it even possible for a network to go through the trouble of resurrecting a series no one asked for?

  6. Loved it but they better bring back Tony Almeida!

    • Yes! Bring back Tony! The show lost some great characters over the years, and he was definitely one of them.

  7. Great premie, very involved.

  8. even the on the edges storylines like heller’s Alzheimer’s and john boyega’s framing were captivating and felt well placed. they didn’t f’ around from jump ball tonight.

  9. “In a way, it’s a lot like the show’s reemergence itself: No one asked for it,”

    Where are you living,on Mars ?
    Lots of people asked for it,my self included !
    Hell even most Martians I know did !

  10. The best show on television has return! Man I missed this show. Welcome, back Jack!

  11. “No one asked for it”???

    What kind of drugs are you smoking?! Fans have been clamoring for more Jack (and even hoping for a movie) since it went off the air.

  12. What a brilliant way to start the season. Watching Bauer in someone else’s is brilliant.

  13. Absolutely wrong in thinking nobody wanted this show back! They’ve been trying for a movie ever since the show ended. It obviously works better as a pseudo miniseries.

  14. ” No one asked for it”? Where did the author hear that? Was any research done to back this claim, ’cause as far as I know the internet was clamoring big time for another 24 season.

  15. I love 24! But if I were Jack I would just sit back and let everyone who has stabbed him in the back get what was coming to them

  16. That was awesome. I get that people are complaining that why film it in London if they’re not gonna use any big shot but honestly, the show is always about tight corner and back alleys. And I love that they didn’t change it.

    Poor president Heller though.

  17. “No one asked for it”?! ….I just had to write that because a few others did. Anyway, I will say it is one of my favorite shows. There are only a couple shows that I own every season of and 24 is one of them.

    Jack is back!! YES!

  18. how well versed do you have to be in the previous 8 seasons to enjoy this?

    • Not at all. My wife has never watched and she enjoyed last night very much.

      • Thanks…much appreciated.

        • All you need to know is that Jack Bauer is one of the top anti-terrorist agents in the world and lost it during the final season when he realised everyone he thought he could trust was in on the big conspiracy. Oh and Chloe O’Brian is the only person who’s supported him and risked her life/job in the process over the years. She’s also possibly autistic and very good with all things technical and computery.

          Otherwise, they touched upon it in the opening episodes last night and that’s why the show is so accessible to new fans as well as paying us longtime viewers lip service with character appearances and little mentions of past events.

  19. Yvonne Strahovski i love you.

    P.S. Glad to have an encore of Jack… Ready for next week!

  20. Jack is back… with a vengeance! It was terrific!

  21. Original show much better. Not liking the lady chasing Jack, she just doesn’t have what it takes.

    • I imagine we’ll see a change in character on her part. She’ll probably work alongside Jack in one way or another but yeah, currently she is a little wimpy but I do think the writers want that right now.

    • She’s there solely as the CIA person who can figure out what’s up but goes unappreciated in her work and has something to prove. They also wrote her to make us hate her a little bit for assuming Jack’s responsible for the possible assassination but that will change over time.

      We’ll probably also see her husband, Adam, help make her more sympathetic.

  22. Welcome back Jack…

  23. I was wary of how 24 would fit in this new “golden age of tv,” alongside greater shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. And Homeland is basically a more mature version of 24

    AND, by the time the last season of 24 had ended, it was a pretty poorly written caricature of itself with Jack screaming “dammit” and insisting on unnecessarily torturing someone at least once an episode.

    However, I was loving it once again last night. I think the shorter episode count should benefit the series by hopefully eliminating all the filler, and keeping it lean and mean.

    But yeah, bring back Tony!

    • I’d have left Breaking Bad out of that list purely because I never thought Breaking Bad was as great as people claim it is.

      I even enjoyed 24′s weakest season (season 4) more than Breaking Bad at its best.

      • I never understood the hype over “Breaking Bad”. A school-teacher that becomes a drug kingpin; so what? Never had any interest in it.

        • The ending of Breaking Bad was pure dumb. Jesse was scared of his life from Walt at that point. No chance they (or Jesse, especially him knowing Fring’s demise and then not questioning how Walt arrived) would let him know where there lab/base was for the ending part for him to drive there for the staged slaughtering. Jesse would have warned them just to save his own skin although he was there as a slave.

          I know people that thought that the ending was a perfect 10/10, flawless masterpiece…knowing this huge plot hole I’m sorry but it is far from it. I would say maybe 6/10 or a C+ at best(same could be said for the rest of that show that didn’t include the Gus Fring arc).

        • It’s not the premise that is great about Breaking Bad, it’s the character development, the acting, the personal drama and the black humor. Of course you have to watch it to appreciate it, instead of dismissing it based on the premise alone.

          • Precisely.

        • your comment just shows that you’ve probably never watched more than a few episodes of Breaking Bad. There’s a reason that it was so widely critically acclaimed to be such a great show – sure, there was a lot of hype that blew up its popularity and pop culture penetration, but at its heart it was an excellent show in all facets. Maybe if you actually watched every single episode, you’d have a valid opinion, but it’s obvious that you’re just one of those people that likes to hate on things just to be “different”, or “look how cool I am, because I DON’T like something …”

          just curious, what are some shows that you like? I bet we could find many faults with them as well …

  24. I liked it but I think Dexter’s homicidal girlfriend was miscast. She’s no Renee walker.

  25. Katherine, I have missed her. She is going to be an amazing Villainess, and to those that knows what i’am talking about, i think she is going to give us a preview of Lady Stoneheart.

  26. soooooooooooo happy to have jack back in season 9,cant wait..

  27. It’s great to see the show’s back, but after various tweets from the writers I expected something… else.

    This 9th season so far looks most like the 8th – the weakest of all seasons that came before. Because the writers’ intention was to go back to a more personal approach, like in the very first season, I was looking forward to that. A relatively normal guy, with a dangerous job, getting into trouble – shot at from all sides, and all the mystery that’s going on. THAT was the great thing about the show, until they focused more and more, with each next season, on another bomb, or assassination attempt on the president.

    And here we are, year/season/day 9, and again it’s the same old thing. The only ‘personal’ thing we got was Jack saying, in a short break between running, he’s got no friends.

    Come on.

    Also, the season is starting off slow, given the only 10 episodes left. There should’ve been much more mysteries, side- and back stories, just a whole lot more guessing than the straight forward Jack & Chloe team up to save the president and get Audrey back – plot that we’re gonna see.

    I love the show, but it’s been a carbon copy of the first 5 seasons for a while now. And because of all the publicity, I was hoping the writers would’ve dared to come up with something fresh. Too bad.