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24: Season 8 Review

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Jack Bauer goes to New York in final attempt to have quiet day. Doesn’t work

★★★★★

After being shut down at the end of Season 6 — the ‘day’ that got everything wrong — the Counter Terrorist Unit is back for Jack Bauer’s final TV outing. CTU’s new HQ, an impregnable fortress beneath New York’s East River, is sleeker and more high-tech than ever; after all, Season 8 takes place in the future (May 20, 2015, to be precise). But no number of bleeding-edge surveillance drones or giant flashy screens can distract from the fact that by now 24 is really showing its age.

Fans will be relieved that there are no hungry cougars roaming Central Park, and by the fact Kim doesn’t even get kidnapped once. But we’re back on the same old merry carousel of double-agents (CTU is as moley as ever), torture (in maybe 24’s nastiest scene yet, Bauer goes to work with pliers and a blowtorch), political prattle and pointless subplots (sorry, Katee Sackhoff — we mean you). Having had the guts to kill off its most enthralling characters over the years — David Palmer, Tony Almeida, Bill Buchanan, Nina Myers — the show has largely failed to find worthy replacements.

Still, for those happy to watch a greatest-hits rather than a game-changer, there’s lots to enjoy. Gregory Itzin reprises his role as the show’s First Villain, the rollickingly dastardly ex-President Charles Logan. Chloe (Mary Lynn Raskjub) gets her hands on another gun. And Kiefer Sutherland, who’s always worked hard to find tonalities to the character, amps up Jack’s growly intensity. Well, aside from the episode where he dons Peter Sellers glasses and a wonky accent to go undercover as a German named Ernst.

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