Jack's Back, This Time For a Full Day, on Fox's "24"

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    Jack Bauer may not have many romantic moments while saving the world time and again, in real time, on Fox’s “24,” but he and love have something in common. Apparently, love and Jack have the same overall definition: never having to say you’re sorry.

    The seventh season of “24” begins Sunday and Monday (8 p.m. ET) with Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) facing a Senate subcommittee, answering to alleged charges of torture and other abuses of government authority while serving as a Counter Terrorist Agent all these years. The CTU has disbanded, there’s a new (female) president in the White House, and Jack is appearing, without legal counsel and without apparent regret, to accept the will of the American people.

    Except that, almost immediately, the American people need Jack in the field again, helping to pinpoint, then solve, another dire threat to our nation’s safety. Old faces return, but in different capacities – and faces new to "24" appear, including Janeane Garofalo as an FBI computer whiz and Annie Wersching as the stern FBI redhead who pulls Jack out of the subcommittee frying pan and into the save-the-world-again fire.

    Wersching makes a terrific first impression, and so do these first four hours of “24,” back at last after way too long a series hiatus. Season six began impressively, too, but soon collapsed under the weight of its own improbable plot twists and characters – and November’s telemovie was little more than a prequel appetizer.

Finally, the main dish is being served. Let’s hope it serves its characters, and its audience, well, as the hours of “24” pile up.

    Meanwhile, welcome back, Jack.