Jack Bauer is back—because the Fox program, 24, is back—still hard to take but meaning well.

The first of twelve 2014 episodes is set in London, where Chloe is virtually hanging out with the Clockwork Orange bunch and, withal, must be rescued from torture by Jack.  The authorities, you see, have it in for both Jack and Chloe (again Bauer is in hiding), but no matter:  Jack has a POTUS to save on British soil.  And then some.

Keifer Sutherland doesn’t seem to have his heart in this episode, but maybe that will change.  In any event, the same old suspense and implacable drama (not always involving action) are there.  The characters hold us too.  A real go-getter of a female agent (Yvonne Strahovski) is nearly frantic to arrest “culprit” Jack.  Let’s hope the acceptable fun continues.

Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer (Photo credit: Victor Bracco)