Fox is re-creating the image of today’s superhero. He will not be seen flying through the air, sporting a spandex outfit or displaying his super human strength by throwing semi trucks and planes around.
Rather, this superhero sports a more modest outfit, typically jeans and a black coat or jacket. And while he cannot fly or throw absurdly large objects, this hero manages to be pretty experienced with a gun, and as shown in the season eight premiere of “24,” he is immune to a disease that, at the close of season seven, threatened a large portion of the nation’s population.
He is none other than “24”‘s Jack Bauer, played by actor Kiefer Sutherland.
Bauer made his return to the air over Sunday and Monday evenings’ two day, four-hour season eight premier. “24” has, over the past seven seasons, chronicled Bauer, a government agent who has repeatedly been put to the test in defending America’s safety from a host of different terrorist organizations and plots.
Each season of “24” features 24 episodes, each a single hour in the day depicting Bauer’s trials and tribulations in real-time.
Within the series, Bauer has survived numerous close bomb explosions and attacks at gunpoint that often leave him outnumbered, yet somehow victorious. Moreover, he has broken more rules within the unit in which he works, the Counter Terrorist Unit, than he has bullets fired throughout his many years fighting terrorists.
And yet, Bauer remains unscathed, with no serious injuries or illnesses, making the character seemingly invincible. Over the past seven seasons, Bauer has been portrayed as more of a superhero than a government agent.
True to his resilient nature, in the season eight premier Bauer is shown healthy and well after merely three weeks of treatment for a virus that he was infected by at the end of last season.
Untrue to Bauer’s nature, he is shown lounging in his home, spending time with his granddaughter and talking with his daughter about his plans to move with her and her family to their native Los Angeles.
This is where the classic “24” formula gets put into action. “24” seems to follow a fairly formulaic recipe for dramatic success. In the season eight premiere, this is no different.
“24”’s easy recipe for captivating audiences? First, introducing a national crisis: In this season’s case, a threat of assassination on Omar Hassan, the President of the Islamic Republic of Kamistan.
Next ingredient in a recipe for “24” dramatic success? The discovery that there is “someone on the inside” of Hassan’s administration to help carry out the assassination.
In this fictional world of endless terror threats and bountiful action, a sketchy character looming in the background is always ready to betray someone’s trust for the benefit of themselves. This sketchy character is, more often than not, working for an even sketchier character, often bent on mass destruction.
Season eight is no different, with Hassan’s brother, Kamistanian Foreign Minister Farhad Hassan, working against his brother and for a mysterious Russian man who heads a Russian mob plotting the demise of both Hassan and a recent peace treaty with the U.S.
Naturally, upon being notified of this situation, Bauer drops plans to move to Los Angeles with his daughter’s family to help with yet another national crisis. And so the drama begins.
The standard formulaic plot lines, once new and exciting in earlier seasons, have now come to be expected. Thus far, season eight has not strayed from that pattern.
For instance, in the second night of the season eight premier, Jack Bauer and CTU find themselves up against a Russian mob in possession of weapons grade uranium, posing a new threat to national security.
Dramatic? Yes. Surprising? Not anymore.
The degree of predictability in “24” has become as absurd as Jack Bauer surviving as many wrestling matches, shoot-outs and bomb threats as he has these past seven seasons.
However, for those who enjoy a lot of tense drama, season eight of “24” is sure not to disappoint. With personal issues within CTU’s agents, the threat of nuclear weaponry, the re-introduction of some old faces and the token high degree of blood and gore, this season has something to offer all viewers.
Follow Jack Bauer’s next quest for justice and safety, all the while skillfully dodging bullets and breaking rules to accomplish his mission and solidify his image as the unconventional superhero 8 p.m. on Monday evenings on Fox.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jamie Magyar at Jamie.email@example.com.