Now that I've seen the first four episodes of 24, I'm thrilled to say the fourth season is even better than the first.
I'm going to begin with the one negative: the incredibly obvious steal of the Arab family from the film House of Sand and Fog, where they were Iranian. Father, mother and son, the identical characters, and amazingly, the mother and son are played by the same actors in both House and 24. The father on 24 is no Ben Kingsley by a long shot. Come on, guys.
Now then. Jack is at peace, and I feel a love for him that after these years of tragedy and trauma, he has found a world to live in, and a glorious girlfriend. And what casting for the girlfriend! She plays the daughter of the Secretary of State, and she looks so much the part it's uncanny. I lived most of my life among the very wealthy of Manhattan, although I am a working class Brooklyn boy made good. But I know many, and married one, of these privileged children of the ruling class. The private schools, finest colleges, sophistication and culture. And the look. Beauty and intellect. Class. That Jack found her, and that she loves him, and that he is struggling to allow himself to love again is supremely powerful.
The scripting and direction is the best of any television series, and I'd rather watch 24 than go to the movies. The ratings for the first four episodes were excellent, even without the former American Idol lead-in.
Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow fascinatingly have returned to their cult USA series La Femme Nikita for the wonderfully bitchy actress Alberta Watson, who has replaced Bauer as head of CTU. In fact, she fired him.
Scenically, the CTU interior has been modified to closely resemble the interior of the CTU-like facility on La Femme Nikita, allowing camera angles that heighten the intrigue.
The multi-screen boxes are back in frequent use. Damn it, this series is brilliant.
Jack, welcome back.