24 has graced the small screen since 2001, giving us a new meaning to the words "cliffhanger" and "tension." When most shows grow stale after five or six seasons, 24 has proven able to circumvent staleness by tinkering ever-so-slightly with its format. Season 8 may not have had much in the way of new things, but they stuck to what they do best: presenting about 44 minutes of some of the best action and intensity television has to offer.
Going into this season, I wasn't too excited, not nearly as excited as last year. Last year, we had Tony coming back and seeing some intense scenes between the two. Season 7 ended up being pretty good so Season 8 had a lot to live up to. I'd have to say that it did so for the most part, even if the first episode wasn't as explosive as the previous season premiers.
In a way, this premiere was like Season 1. We're not given an assassination or a murder or explosion to start things off.. instead, the first few scenes unravel rather slowly, introducing us to Victor Aruz, to the new CTU, to President Hassan (played wonderfully by Anil Kapoor from Slumdog Millionaire), and even a side of Jack we haven't seen in forever: the family guy. Season 7 started off with a bang, but this episode started off by building up to a great ending and a great lead-in to episode 2.
I liked the dig to Season 3's Salazar plot (Aruz was an informant Jack used during those days) and I liked Jack's axe-to-the-chest kill near the end. Easily one of my favorite kills he's done.
Overall, this was a good introduction, even if it did move a bit slower than other seasons before it.