20th Century Fox
MSRP: $32.99
Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 1050 minutes

Audio Commentary on selected episodes
Deleted scenes
Fimucite Festival Presents: The Music of 24
24/7: The Untold Story featurette
Hour 19: The Ambush featurette

The Pitch

Jack Bauer’s in D.C. with a day to kill.

The Humans

•  Kiefer Sutherland – Jack Bauer
•  Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian
•  Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor
•  James Morrison as Bill Buchanan
•  Annie Wersching as FBI Special Agent Renee Walker
•  Colm Feore as First Gentleman Henry Taylor
•  Bob Gunton as White House Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin
•  Jeffrey Nordling as FBI Special Agent in Charge Larry Moss
•  Rhys Coiro as FBI Special Agent Sean Hillinger
•  Janeane Garofalo as FBI Special Agent Janis Gold
•  Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
•  Peter Wingfield as Emerson
•  Ever Carradine as Erika
•  Tony Todd as General Juma
•  Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Colonel Ike Dubaku
•  Kurtwood Smith as Senator Blaine Mayer
•  Glenn Morshower as Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce
•  Sprague Grayden as Olivia Taylor
•  Cameron Daddo as Vice President Mitchell Hayworth
•  Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges
•  Carlo Rota as Morris O’Brian
•  Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer
•  Amy Price-Francis as Cara Bowden
•  Will Patton as Alan Wilson

“What can I say, some motherfuckers just need a good headbutting…”

The Nutshell

years have passed since Season 6, and Jack Bauer finds himself in front
a Senate subcommittee answering questions for his past acts as a former
agent of the now-defunct CTU.  Of course, it’s not long until he finds
himself embroiled in the latest terrorist threat to hit the country. 
This time it involves African rebels who have managed to get their
hands on the CIP Device, which can allow them to hack into any
government computer system and cause havoc.  Jack is pulled into
tracking them down by the FBI, and together with FBI Agent Renee
Walker, as well as some old acquaintances, Jack has 24 hours to peel
back the layers of a government conspiracy that goes way deeper than
rebels and computer devices.  Events along the way include Jack being
wanted for murder, an assault on the White House by terrorists, and the
government taking up arms against its own.  And on a personal level,
Jack will face one of the biggest betrayals of his life as an old
friend has gone to the dark side.

“Anything else you wanna tell me, Tony?”
“I’m holding Kim hostage.”
“Yeah, you and every other friggin lowlife in town…”

The Lowdown

I knew that when I started covering TV shows in THUD reviews this past winter, that the returning 24 would be one of the programs on which I definitely wanted to give weekly breakdowns.  The serialized nature of the show makes it perfect for seeing how the season is going on a week-to-week basis.  I managed to comment on the majority of the episodes, and invite you to check how the season broke down as I saw it with the episodes fresh in my mind:

THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “8:00 AM – 12:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “12:00 PM – 1:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “1:00 PM – 2:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “4:00 PM – 5:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “5:00 PM – 6:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “6:00 PM – 8:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “8:00 PM – 9:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “9:00 PM – 10:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “10:00 PM – 11:00 PM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “11:00 PM – 12:00 AM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “12:00 AM – 1:00 AM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “1:00 AM – 2:00 AM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “2:00 AM – 3:00 AM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “3:00 AM – 4:00 AM”
THUD REVIEW: 24 – DAY 7: “5:00 AM – 6:00 AM”

On the whole, I thought that this season was a marked improvement over Season 6, which is generally regarded to be the worst of all the seasons to date.  Of course that’s all relative, because bad 24 is still better than most other shows’ good stuff.  There were definitely some good new characters introduced, the least of which certainly wasn’t Jon Voight, as the scene-chewing Jonas Hodges.  There were also some old favorites returning and that was certainly welcome. 

However, with two years in between this season and the previous, I was hoping for a true reinvention of the show, perhaps getting back to a more personal type of story like the one that drove Season 1 for Jack and kept the action tight and contained.  Since then, 24 has ballooned to world-wide action show and has become about each season trying to outdo the other in terms of scope, and not always for the better.  There were some interesting scenarios presented this year, especially the Starkwood situation, and Tony’s role on the show.  But I found many ideas and situations recycled from previous years and for awhile it seemed as if the predictable aspects of the show would outpace the good things and make the season just another hum-drum exercise that didn’t deliver on the promised revamp.

“What have we learned from Bauer yet?”
“Well, let me put it this way: Don’t ever cheat on me…”

The show of course switched locales this season, moving from L.A. to D.C., but in the final scope of things, that change was mostly cosmetic.  The only set-piece that was crucial to the goings-on this season was the assault on the White House, which was one of the higher points of the season.  Otherwise, this could have essentially been L.A.  This season was also initially about terrorists using the CIP device, but it was fairly obvious, especially after how previous seasons have gone, that that was only the first wave of terror, and that there were bigger threats looming.  The CIP device was reminiscent of Marwan’s (Arnold Vosloo) Dobson Override device that allowed him to trigger meltdowns at key nuclear plants across the country. 

“I know this is highly irregular, and maybe perhaps a bit inappropriate at this particular moment, but you do smell nice…”

The CIP device was used in similar fashion to sabotage a chemical plant before it was recovered.  And later, when Dubaku was captured, he had incriminating evidence hidden inside his body, just like a flunky did in Season 2 with the chip that could simulate anyone’s voice and was used to implicate a terrorist falsely.  Also there was the government cabal behind the terrorist attacks. such as in Seasons 2 and 5, and the mole within the government agency, in this case both the FBI and Senator Mayer’s staff among others.  Then there was the bio-weapon, which was a repeat of the main terrorist tool used in Season 3, as well as one used in Season 5 if I recall.  There were other elements that were rehashed ideas, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind. 

On the one hand, Jack’s successfully tracking down the Sons of Sodomy terror cell was a good thing.  On the other hand…

I’ve voiced in the past that whether or not they’re the main bad guys, or the unwitting flunkies of someone behind the scenes, the show uses Muslim terrorists way too much. 
Seasons 2, 4 and 6 did this, and in a show of how silly the situation got, Kiefer Sutherland had to do a PSA during Season 6 about how Muslims and Arabs may be portrayed as the bad guys on 24, but they’re not all really like that.  I get that this is the post-9/11 reality we live in, but I know there are other bad guys out there.  Fortunately we got some interesting ones this season, both from the Dark Continent and our own homegrown type.

“I’m sorry, Dad, I would have been here sooner, but there was this earthquake, meteor shower, exploding gas main, typhoon, a bus driver who was really a stalker, plus I was taken hostage five different times in a ten block radius…and a mountain lion somehow got loose from the zoo if you can believe that…”

But there were things that Season 7 did bring to the table that were outright successes.  The first being the Starkwood subplot, and Hodges.  The concept of a private security firm like Blackwater going rogue was an intriguing element, and Voight as Hodges is hands down the best villain of the entire run of the show so far.  I also liked Annie Wersching’s work as Agent Walker.  She held her own quite well and played well off of Jack.  Jeffrey Nordling was also fine as Larry Moss, but his continually getting in Jack’s way or being after Jack became slightly played after awhile.  And except for
Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Col. Dubaku and my man tony Todd (who was criminally underused by the way), not too many other new characters jumped out at me this season.  But it was nice to have much of the old gang back in the form of Bill, Chloe, Morris, Aaron and of course Tony.  Finally, Bringing back Kim Bauer was handled with restraint, but still making her at least somewhat relevant, which is a tricky prospect in and of itself. 

Season 7 didn’t completely deliver on the promised revamp of the show, as many old ideas and plots were repeated.  But it was, all in all, one of the better seasons of the show, with some good characters created and some fond ones returning.  I’ll of course be there for Season 8 and any movies after that.   

The Package

The packaging for this six-disc offering is fairly impressive, with all discs situated staggered in a clear slim case.  A few years ago this would have been some shelf-hogging two-inch wide affair.  But this is nice and compact.  Main complaint, however, is that there’s no reference for what extras are on what disc.  Fortunately, I’ve taken the liberty to break it down for you:

Disc 1:
Commentary on episodes 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.  The Fimucite Festival Presents: The Music of 24 featurette runs about 13 minutes and features Sean Callery and the Tenerife Film Orchestra and Choir doing a suite of the music from the show. 

Disc 2:
Commentary on episode 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

Kiefer finally got around to watching Mirrors and, well…

Disc 3: Commentary on episodes 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Disc 4:
Commentary on episodes 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Disc 5: Commentary on episode 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM.  Hour 19: the Ambush is a 13-minute behind-the-scenes on the production of the segment where the FBI agents are nearly all blown to bits looking for Tony’s accomplice who made off with the last container of bio-weapon.

Disc 6:
Commentary on episodes 5:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 6:00 AM – 7:00 AM and 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM.  25 minutes of deleted scenes and the 24/7: The Untold Story featurette,m which runs about fifteen minutes and gives the breakdown on how the two false delays and the Writer’s Strike pushed the production of Season 7 back nearly two years. 

7.8 out of 10