24: Season 7, Episode 1

Day 7: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. (11 Jan. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Mystery
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The FBI pulls Jack Bauer from a Senate hearing because an old pal of Jack's may be planning terror, while the President calls for military action in Africa.

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Title: Day 7: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. (11 Jan 2009)

Day 7: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. (11 Jan 2009) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Storyline

Four years after Abu Fayed's reign of terror CTU has been disbanded by forces inside the government. Jack Bauer is facing questions in a grand jury hearing for actions he took in the pursuit of justice in addition to being fingered as the fall guy for all of CTU's mistakes. The FBI's counterterrorism squad learns of a plot to cripple the nation's computer infrastructure when they figure out that security expert Michael Latham has been kidnapped. Written by Derfel85

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11 January 2009 (USA)  »

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Goofs

(at around 15 mins) The cockpit shot of a commercial airliner shows the pilot with his hand on 4 throttle handles. In a close up the numbers 1 2 3 4 are clearly visible verifying this is a 4 engined aircraft cockpit. The exterior shots are of a 2 engined airliner taking off. See more »

Quotes

[being questioned about previous illegal actions taken by CTU]
Jack Bauer: The difference between success and failure is your ability to adapt to your enemy. The people that I deal with, they don't care about your rules. All they care about is a result.
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24 Theme
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Written by Sean Callery
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"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore..."
29 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The seventh season premiere of "24" is an odd little anecdote and artifact during the later years of the series. The creative team produced the premiere about six months following the broadcast of the previous season's finale (they had several unprecedented false starts in their planning prior to this season that caused this delay), yet "Redemption," they produced almost a year later, while they were only about halfway through shooting the seventh season.

I'll give you a moment to wrap your head around that.

With "Redemption" being made so long after that abysmal proceeding season, it allowed a year's worth of hindsight to inform its production, as well as the handful of episodes made before the 2007 Writers Strike to guide them. Admittedly, "Day 7: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m." isn't the best produced hour that the show had made. It's full of clunky plotting that cursed much of the sixth season and a writing staff gaining their confidence back after a disastrous run of episodes.

Picking up a few months after the prequel, the show gets back on the right track merely by the end of the first act. Everything is presented there without the benefit of breathing room, which is good for jaded fans, and even better for newbies.

The show needs to establish where Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was in the interim four years since the previous season, and what's happening to him when he's answering for his torture of terrorism suspects. It needs to shut down CTU and establish that the vastly different (and more bureaucratic) FBI that will be taking point in the thwarting of terrorists this season. We've switched locations (for the better) from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C, even if it's just CGI and blue tints. ...and oh yeah, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) faked his death for non-wholesome reasons...

Yet...it works. Any show that introduces meta-commetary as a way of answering critics, by principle stands upon shakier ground than when they started. Just look at the "Trial of a Time Lord" arc of the original Doctor Who run for proof. In this particular case, it benefits the show that they're raising the issue that our main hero might be a "thug with a badge," to quote Paul Raines (James Frain) from season four, without really making such bold statements yet.

At this early juncture, it's better they tease this premise than simply diving right in, to give them room to add and subtract elements as they go. Even if FBI Director Larry Moss (Jeffrey Nordling) leers dangerously close to being the stereotypical spineless pencil- pushing bureaucrat loves to portray, he's far from being a boring obstructionist. The same goes for Renee Walker (Annie Wersching), who clearly has boundaries regarding torture, yet knows when to help and not hinder when Jack's questioning a opulent hacker (Tommy Flanagan).

Season six hit a wall early for laying it's cards out to early. "Unlawful detention and racism aren't really good, even if we're being continually attacked." "Jack Bauer is psychologically scarred from torture." "The leader of the terrorism cell that's attacking us wants to call a ceasefire." It helps the premiere immensely that credited writers Howard Gordon, Joel Surnow and Michael Loceff write with such a feverous pace as to not linger upon them for long. Within the universe, it's been four years since the end of the last season, and no one seems bothered how much has changed, so why should we?

Also, Tony Almeida is our big villain now, directing his gang into kidnapping a government engineer (John Billingsley) at the start of the hour to press him to manufacture an override devise that can hack air traffic control and other public utilities. By the end of the hour, him and his crew, with the aid of Billingsley's device, hijack the communications between a commercial airliner and air traffic control.

Bernard brings back his familiar cadence and body language to Tony Almeida, but other than that they might as well be two different people. That compassionate, yet easily reactive personality he found before in the character he replaces with a cold, blank hostile stare. Originally, the writers meant Jack Bauer to be in Tony's position, yet the idea stretched credulity for the amount of time we've known the character.

As silly as they envisioned his inexplicable survival of taking a needle to the chest, his adverse transformation likely seemed irresistible to the writers after that initial spark came. "What would have happened to Tony after he said his dying words, 'She's gone, Jack,' hypothetically if he survived?" was probably something similar to what was said in the writers room.

At the moment, all this works better on paper than what's on screen, Tony's plot line notwithstanding. When they created President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) and the First Husband (Colm Feore), they were still fine-tuning what makes her president unique from the five proceeding fictional Commander-In-Chiefs, beside a reticent National Security Council and a dead First Son. Likewise, all the personal squabbling at the FBI feels perfunctory at its most benign and banal at worst. Even if the creative did themselves a solid and hired Janeane Garofalo, someone with a Honest-To-God earthshaking personality.

Everyone is doing an admirable job here, even if it's not very memorable, they're far from a lost cause. Then again, that's roughly where the last season started too... Either way, a promising start...


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