To open season nine of everyone's favourite terrorist witch-hunt, 24 and the shouty Mr Bauer took a trip to London in last night's UK premiere. It involved drones, explosions, and serious men in suits saying 'taking care of things' with even more serious facial expressions. We've recapped it in GIF form for your viewing pleasure -- prepare your browsers, steel yourself for spoilers, and click through.
Things start off in the CIA London Station (which looks suspiciously like a Royal Mail depot), where an angry-looking man in a suit is co-ordinating the hunt for Bauer.
We then get to watch the hunt, which involves a bunch of CIA heavies running around (supposedly) East London, with the occasional shot of a Tube train (Hammersmith and City Line, it would seem), to remind us which city we're in.
The CIA guys have some cool toys, including a little robot camera thing straight from the r/c section at Hamleys:
We get our first dose of gratuitous violence when the CIA bust down the door of a warehouse and start shooting at things, all whilst being watched on the flat-screen by Angry Suit Man in the sorting office.
Obviously, Jack beats them up, and then does the whole scary-intimidating-look-thing into the camera, so Angry Suit Man knows exactly who he's messing with
Some CIA goons do get his measure, though, and the chase ends when Bauer jumps onto the banks of the Thames (because that's a good idea, really?!), and an inexplicable boat full of rifle-toting CIA dudes turn up to ruin his day, capture him, and take him back to HQ.
With the pre-lims over, it's time for the long, generic establishing shots, to really make sure everyone knows what city we're in.
We get a few minutes of plot: basically, the US President is in town, to strong-arm the Brits into keeping a US drone base (boo illegal assassinations!) on British soil. Bauer might be a threat to the President, or something. The President is this inexplicably old guy, who looks like he should be shouting at unruly kids, but really spends his time with the serious face on, bossing people around.
We then cut to the US Air Force base in question, which is really a business park just outside Guildford (I'm just guessing here).
BONUS TECH SPOT: In the sort of overkill that only the U.S. Air Force is capable of, that ginormous 512GB Kingston flashdrive (six hundred and forty-six bleeding quid!) makes a cameo appearance, as a drone operator logs into his drone-operating console
In the meantime, poor Jackie-boy has been stripped shirtless, wired up to a lie detector, and is being interrogated by Angry Suit Man, who's using the veiled threat that if he doesn't cooperate, a scary 'Special Operations' team will drag him back to the same dark room that Royal Mail use for storing those really important parcels right around Christmas time.
We get a look at that hell-hole a second later, when we see Jack's hacker friend Chloe getting tortured by the 'special operations' guy, who seems to enjoy injecting her with not-very-fun drugs.
Quick cut back to the outside world, just to remind us that this 24 is happening in London, and isn't really being played out in a series of nondescript, windowless rooms. (Side note: in 24-world, the President appears to have eschewed his actual residence in Regent's Park for an equally cool London townhouse.)
BONUS TECH SPOT 2: In 24-world, the CIA use iPad Minis. Score one for Apple!
Back to Bauer's interrogation. Kate, an out-of-favour CIA analyst, disagrees with the angle her boss is taking, thinking that Bauer has orchestrated his own capture to rescue Chloe. Of course, her boss doesn't listen to her, so she has to Tazer a poor security guard, and try and take Bauer down on her own.
In the meantime, Bauer's buddy on the outside is hacking into a BT phone cabinet, so that he can kill the power to the CIA complex to create a distraction. Apparently, all it takes to hack the power grid is an Ethernet cable and a HP laptop.
Distraction accomplished, Bauer does his thing, and beats up a few people while still in handcuffs.
He then gets into Chloe's room, where he finds her unconscious. As every good federal agent should, he grabs a handy Epipen, which he stabs her in the sternum with. This makes her completely fine, apparently. (I'm not a doctor, but I have a fairly strong suspicion that it wouldn't work. Anyway.)
He then wins a shoot-out with Kate by shooting a handy gas line, making a Goldilocks explosion: big enough to singe her eyebrows, small enough to let him sneak away without having to actually kill anyone.
Jack's phone-box-hacking-friend then pulls a 40mm grenade launcher out of the back of his Transit van (standard BT issue, it would seem), and creates a convenient hole for Bauer to escape through, complete with Chloe.
With that end of the plot all wrapped up, we go back to our Air Force base. A drone goes rogue and blows up a US military convoy. Cue a disembodied face saying "it's done", and a killer cliffhanger is all ready for next week.