Never a dull boy

The sight is a familiar one for “24” fans: Counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) sits panting, handcuffed to a chair as he’s tortured by non-descript Middle-Eastern men. How will he get out of it this time? After a phone call prevents the leader from cutting off Jack’s fingers, only one guard is left. With a vicious plunge and menacing eyes, Bauer digs his teeth into the guard’s neck. The guard falls, and Jack spits out a chunk of flesh, blood dripping down his chin. So ends the first hour of Season 6 of Fox’s painfully addictive terrorism drama.

After five seasons and 136 deaths by Bauer’s hand alone … there are few ways to end a life that haven’t already been employed. At this point, Jack ranks somewhere between God and Mike Tyson on the list of people you don’t want to piss off. But the show hasn’t worn out its welcome: Season 5 of “24” was the strongest season ratings-wise …

… The show’s principal appeal — the sense that anything can happen, a precedent established with the murder of Jack’s wife by his closest colleague and ex-lover in the closing moments of the first season — remains intact …

… Season 6 is a story about Jack, a character study about coping with extreme sacrifices, … The choices he is forced to make, between friends and enemies, family and national security, are more poignant than ever. Although each season chronicles a single day, the writers never forsake insight for action; for example, they daringly ended the third season with a prolonged scene of Jack sobbing in his car. Sutherland shows he’s up for the challenge, as his performance in the premiere was his best to date.

From a thoughtful review of the first five hours.

Source : – plot details from the first six episodes

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