Parsing the politics of "24" may be more entertaining than the stories in the new season. After the show received criticism -- from the U.S. Army, no less -- for its depiction of heroic CTU agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) torturing bad guys as a means to an end (saving the day), the series now sits Bauer before a Senate hearing about his actions.
But the show is clearly on Jack's side, depicting a senator (Kurtwood Smith) who questions Jack's methods as a smirking poseur.
Jack's take on his testimony: "It's better that everything comes out in the open. We've done so many secret things over the years in the name of protecting this country, we've created two worlds: Ours and the people we've promised to protect. They deserve to know the truth, and they can decide how far they want us to go."
- When: 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Fox.
At the same time, a new president (Carnegie Mellon alumna Cherry Jones) must decide whether or not to intervene in an African country where genocide runs rampant while her husband investigates whether their son was murdered (police claim it was a suicide).
And, yes, thought-to-be-dead Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) returns, nursing quite a grudge. Making Tony a villain seems like a betrayal of the character viewers knew.
This season doesn't really kick into gear until night two, when Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) and Chloe (Marylynn Rajskub) return, operating outside the bounds of the government. Can't wait to see if Chloe ever meets a new Chloe-like FBI computer geek, played by Janeane Garofalo.