What a breathtaking start to what should be Jack’s last day!

He *really* doesn’t want to be there, but we’re glad that he is as this season surpasses even the last, making it the best so far. When he says “I hate this place!” we don’t doubt that he means it, but we also know that he cannot turn his back on his country.

As always, the action is matched by the depth of the character analysis; the impact of the previous events on some of the key players is clear:

Jack’s redheaded sidekick from ‘Season 7’ has clearly fallen to the dark-side and has absorbed all of Jack’s worst traits and is just bubbling with a certain buxom evilness what clearly isn’t sustainable…

Chloe’s confidence is shot to pieces and we’re left wondering if she could even put together a PowerPoint presentation, let alone decrypt data in time to save the world…

President Taylor seems to have had her moral compass re-calibrated as a result of the destruction of her family in ‘Season 7’, but is she a better leader for it as result?

CTU’s budgets have clearly gone through the roof, but they seem to have spent all the money on new technology and flashy gadgets at the expense of good personnel.

Of one thing we can be certain – even if Jack doesn’t make it to the end of this day, his return to our screens is welcome – and scintillating.

“24” remains TV’s pièce de résistance, and seems better than ever for those who can keep up with the pace!