4 Down, Only 20 More Hours of 24

by Sarah Carbiener

Season 8 of 24 begins with Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) curled up on a couch with his adorable granddaughter, and for the first hour of the new season, the show was having a hard time finding a reason for him to get off that couch and fight new terrorists. But by the end of the final hour in the four-hour season premiere, Jack had a beautiful and dangerous reason to stick around and I had a reason to keep watching.

Starting at 4:00 p.m., Jack’s latest day from hell involves (so far) hunting down weapons-grade uranium, infiltrating the Russian Mob, and protecting the world’s one hope for peace in the Middle East, President Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor), from being assassinated. Typical stuff for our man Jack.

At first, it felt like this season was going to stay a little too true to formula. Jack is pulled out of retirement (again), no one at CTU trusts his instincts and he has to go out on his own (again), and at one point he ends up tied to a chair getting the crap beat out of him (again). But then former FBI agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) is brought in to CTU.

Apparently, Renee had a breakdown after the events in season 7 (check out the DVD if you want to see why), but she’s the only one who’s ever gotten close to the Russian Mob, having gone undercover six years ago. Jack is worried she’s too much of a loose cannon to be trusted. As it turns out, she’s more like an entire armory of loose cannons. She is the perfect reason for Jack to stick around CTU one more day and for me to stay tuned.

The casting department scored some major hits this season. Jennifer Westfeldt of Kissing Jessica Stein plays a reporter who’s gotten too close to her subject, President Hassan, played by Slumdog Millionaire’s charismatic Kapoor. And Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff plays Dana Walsh, CTU’s new top tech geek, rankling the already cranky Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Even if Renee Walker hadn’t entertained the hell out of me, I would keep watching this season for its cast alone.



  • Reply
    January 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I was only paying half attention until Renee showed up! She’s amazing. I loved her last year and it looks like I’ll be loving her even more this year. Couldn’t believe what she did to that guy.

    I hate Kim. She’s useless. Wish they’d stop bringing her back.

    • Reply
      January 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      Kim is TERRIBLE. The only reason I forgive her continual existence on the show is that adorable toddler. But she’s the reason I stopped watching for a few seasons. The idea that someone at CTU would pay her to do anything… And I can’t wait to see what Renee does next.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I was thinking it was business as usual until Renee came in and kicked it up a notch. Damn! That chick’s tough! And she’s hot. Damn.

    What did you think of Freddie Prinze Jr.? That guy was so bland, he added nothing to the show. I wouldn’t miss him if his character got killed off.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      Agreed, but I don’t think they’ll kill him off because they’ll use him in the storyline about Katee Sackhoff’s character having a dark past and psychotic ex-boyfriend. Odds are, he will just bland that up too.

      • Reply
        January 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

        Haha! I agree with you guys about Freddie Prinze. When I first heard he’d be playing a CTU agent, I laughed. Oh, I’m so sure he’ll be so tough. NOT. His wife Buffy could kick his ass around the block.

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          January 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

          I think Buffy could kick most of our asses around the block. I love her and still miss that show!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    January 22, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I haven’t watched the last few seasons of 24 ~ it mustn’t rate well here, because they tend to put it on very late and I forget it exists. But I loved it in the early days ~ I might give it another whirl this time around!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Shell, it’s interesting which shows you get and don’t get in Australia. You can watch American Idol but not Chuck, House but not 24. I wonder if TV programmers think Aussies wouldn’t be interested in an American agent fighting international terrorists.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    renee is awesome. i think she will get killed by one of the russians

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      January 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm

      Hi debra,

      Nooooo! She can’t be killed! At least not too soon. I’d stop watching.

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