At a time when the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques is back in the news, it's fitting that the crown prince of torture, Jack Bauer, returns to the airwaves in May for the first time since 2010. Yesterday, FOX released an extended trailer for Season 9 (ORIGINAL WAS REMOVED- I'VE LINKED TO A FAN-EDIT THAT IS SIMILAR)- which will feature 12 episodes that jump around in time instead of the usual 24 episodes occurring in real time. If that cuts down on filler plots like Terri's amnesia or Kim's cougar problem, then I'm all for it.
When we last left our hero, he had finally gotten with the extremely cute and mentally unbalanced Agent Renee, only to lose her to a Russian sniper. So, he did what anyone would do. He waged a one-man guerrilla war against the United States and Russia by taking out several Russian diplomats while threatening to kill a former President of the United States. Of course, he escapes and ultimately ends up spending the next few years on the lam, reinventing himself as a reporter with an autistic son.
0:02 - Redband trailer! You know what that means. Curse words, explicit content and other stuff they can't show on TV. Except since this is TV, we'll probably only get a few "dammits" from Jack.
0:10 - Benjamin Bratt is the leader of a team of CIA operatives tasked with capturing Jack Bauer. In other words, he's got a better chance at reuniting Oasis than he does of bringing Jack in. Look for him to set up several perimeters during the course of the mini-season - only for Jack to get past each of them. I'll put the over/under at 4. Anyway, I actually think Bratt is a good TV actor (he was very underrated on "Law and Order"- then again, that was over a decade ago). We'll see how he does on this show.
0:15 - Bratt orders his team to "take him alive - if possible." Something tells me that Jack will be just fine. Bratt's men might be like those cops from "First Blood" who went into the forest after Rambo, only for him to systematically pick apart each man with surgical precision. Hopefully, Bratt didn't send any dogs.
0:25 - Tate Donovan's character: "Jack Bauer is a traitor and a psychopath. He killed two Russian diplomats." Oh, he's killed a few more people than that, buddy. For us, what he did to the Russians was one of the most shocking acts of international terrorism committed on American soil. For Jack, it was a Tuesday.
0:34 - Bratt and Jack have a face-to-face where Bratt gives him the standard spiel about how he knows Jack is responsible for saving thousands of American lives but that the country considers him to be a traitor. "I know how many lives you've saved, how the country is in your debt, but they'll just see a man who snapped. Killing and mutilating with no regard for the law or conscience. A man whose country considers a criminal... a terrorist." Those are fighting words! Then again, he's right. Jack's bloody rampage following Renee's death in Day 8 was based on vengeance, not patriotism.
0:51 - Former Secretary of Defense Jim Heller is now President. And Audrey's back and she looks like she's completely cured from her Chinese-conducted torture. That might be the least believable thing about Season 9. After all, no Secretary of Defense has ever been elected President.
0:55 - I'd say something about how stupid Jack is to be in London, where they have tons of modern day surveillance and a close relationship (as well as extradition treaty) with the United States. Then again, he might have had his reasons. Surely, he'd be facing the death penalty back home, and the UK won't extradite defendants who could face capital punishment in their home countries.
1:00 - Is it just me, or does Jack have even more scars than he did during Season 8? What's he been doing? Visiting domination and bondage clubs in London? Anyway, Bratt threatens Jack with enhanced interrogation. Someone ought to write a book about how this show influenced American views on torture during the Bush Era.
1:12 - Yvonne Strahovski stars as one of the agents on Bratt's team. She could be the Renee of this season as Jack tries to reason with her into letting him thwart whatever evil plan the terrorists are planning. She better hope she isn't the love interest- otherwise she's going to die before the season is over. She reminds me of a younger Sarah Wynter, who played Kate Warner (A/K/A the only one of Jack's love interests- not counting Marilyn Bauer- to survive). Coincidentally, her character's name is Kate Morgan. I guess they're running out of names. Maybe she also has a sister named "Marie."
1:24 - Chloe finally appears, and she's decked out in her finest cyberpunk gear. Based on what I've read about this season, she lost everything as a result of helping Jack escape at the end of Day 8. I wonder if she's going to turn on him. At some point, she has to wake up and realize that all he does is use her and then get her into trouble. Wake up, Chloe. He's never going to love you!
1:30 - There's an assassination plot against Heller. Of course there is. If you're President on this show, you're always at the center of either an assassination plot or a 25th Amendment-inspired palace coup. We get our first glance at Audrey, and she's Tate Donovan's wife. I wonder how they'll explain her recovery. Are they just propping her up and moving her arms and legs like in "Weekend at Bernie's?" Is this an Audrey impersonator? Did they break the spell by calling in an exorcist? Anyway, I have high hopes for Donovan. He was very good on "Damages" as Glenn Close's junior partner.
1:38 - Something about drones attacking soldiers. Maybe Chloe's hacktivist group figured out a way to access the drones without permission. Wow. If someone managed to do that to our drones, then I, as well as most people, would be pretty freaked out.
1:52 - "Bauer has escaped." I bet he slipped through a perimeter.
2:04 - "There's no going back for me." You know. Unless this season is a success and they decide on Day 10.
I can't wait until the show premieres on May 5. Welcome back, Jack!