After four years of hiding Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is picked-up in London by the local branch of the CIA. With the President (William Devane) also in the country no one questions why Bauer is in London or the ease by which he’s arrested except a single agent (Yvonne Strahovski) on her way out the door who knows a set-up when she sees one. Although she isn’t able to prevent Bauer’s escape, or his rescue of another prisoner – Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) in the episode’s best action sequence, Kate Morgan (Strahovski) does parlay the situation into temporary reinstatement and a mandate to track down Bauer.
Cutting Chloe loose, Bauer follows her to her underground organization to find Derek Yates (Joseph Millson), a hacker who he believes is part of a plot to kill the President of the United States this very day in London. Running through the episode is a second story involving a drone hijacking and death of a squad of soldiers (half British officers) in Afghanistan that the military would like to sweep under rug including the President’s plan to turn over the drone pilot (John Boyega) over to British authorities for interrogation as a public relations ploy to hold on to his campaign to drum up support for his military objectives. The two stories connect when Bauer realizes Yates is the man responsible for hacking the drone and his next target will likely be President Heller.
Morgan shows up ruining Bauer’s chance to nab Yates and grab the device which allows him to hack the drone system. Despite getting away the hacker’s bright future is cut short when he is killed by his girlfriend Simone (Emily Berrington) who is actually the daughter of terrorist Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) who has obviously gone into the family business. With the reveal of Jack’s mission, Al-Hazari and her daughter, and those tied to the drone strike the opening two-part episode sets up the major players why reminding those with limited knowledge of the show’s other seasons the basics of Bauer’s backstory.
I’ve never been an avid 24 viewer as I find the concept of a sequential 24-hour story as limiting as the idea is unique from other action-thriller kinds of TV-series. I briefly got into the show in Season Six with the casting of Alexander Siddig in a key role and the storyline held my attention for a few episodes but I quickly lost interest when his character was killed off and the middle of the season began to stall. The casting of Strahovski, still looking for a stand-out role in her post-Chuck career, grabbed my attention and given the level of backstory of her character which is hinted at in the two-hour premiere (involving a treasonous husband whose actions have destroyed a once-promising career) suggests she’ll get a longer run than Siddig did.