24: Season 7

24: Season 7
According to the "Making of" featurette included on the six-disc set of 24: Season 7, the year-long delay of this season, as a result of the writers strike, was fortuitous for the creative team, given their many struggles, false starts and the uncertainty of the show's future. With an uneven sixth season and some increasing absurdities, such as Jack Bauer's intermittent drug addiction, Tony Almeida's gunshot wound to the neck that healed in mere hours, Kim Bauer's multi-episode battle against a cougar and, well, Sean Astin, an extended break seemed to be just what the show needed. This result of this hiatus, however, was a complete abandonment of credulity and logic in favour of political and ideological pedagogy, and as such, season seven is a clever character-based blend of Republic and Democratic perspectives on rules and systemic folly, which makes little narrative sense. What starts out with an attack on America's infrastructure and the White House by Senegalese terrorists while Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) stands trial for his many crimes turns into a fable about the inherent problems with privatization and a treatise on the double-edged sword of rules that protect both the innocent and those whose morality is questionable, or downright evil. Jack's interaction with F.B.I. agent Renee (Annie Wersching) causes her to question the status quo set by her boss Larry (Jeffrey Nordling), given the sacrifice Bauer makes for the greater good. The debate here is to the tune of what one can live with and how just a speck of black dropped into white makes grey. Driving this point home is a storyline involving the president (Cherry Jones) and her power-hungry daughter (Sprague Graydon), wherein the nature of revenge comes into play, as does the toll of living by the presidential standards preached. Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) makes a groan-inducing return from the grave as a potential villain, accompanying resident over-acting baddie Jon Voight. The actual plotline is all over the place, featuring an unlikely White House infiltration and some amusing human sacrifices. And Jack, as always, has absolutely no sense of humour, carrying the guilt of his morally ambiguous actions, but computer analysts in the form of Janeane Garofalo and Mary-Lynn Rajskub lighten things up every once in awhile. The DVD includes several commentary tracks on key episodes with producers, writers and actors, which are informative but dry. Also included is a mini-supplement on "Hour 19," wherein the audience learns of a character twist that Jack is unaware of, along with some deleted scenes. (Fox)