24 Opens with a Bang

Last year’s season started with a plane hijacking – filmed before but shown after September 11. This season starts with a brutal torture scene (condoned by, but not performed by, US government agents), followed later by Kiefer Sutherland apparently killing a prisoner in cold blood and then saying, “I need a hacksaw.”

Whoa. Heavy stuff – and not your typical TV fare by a long shot.

Minor nits about the first episode – where’s President Palmer’s Machiavellian Chief of Staff Mike Novick (actor Jude Ciccolella) from the campaign? (I just checked the 24 web site and the character is mentioned; no idea whether he’ll have a role or not. But I liked the character last year – he would be a good addition here, always looking for the political angle in the midst of a crisis.)

Also, there were a ton of plot threads thrown out in Episode 1: the obsessive compulsive parent in the family Kim’s a nanny for, the is-he-or-isn’t-he groom-to-be/terrorist, the over-eager CTU programmer, the Presidential aide who may or may not be working against the President… I’m sure it will balance out as the season progresses.

And since when does NSA run operations? Wouldn’t this be an FBI operation, with intelligence sharing from NSA, CIA, and others?

Predictions: we haven’t heard the last from President Palmer’s ex-wife. And Nina knows something that will play a role in solving this crisis (maybe the Drazens financed Second Wave at some point? Or they exchanged weapons for cash?).

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