|Eric Carter brings his own baggage to 24.|
To start, it's downright amazing that the United States of America is still in business in this universe. I can only assume that the government secretly pumped many metric tons of Prozac into the drinking water to maintain some semblance of social order. How else can the good citizens bear to live in 24-land?
I like Eric Carter- he's a professional; Carter picks up on danger very quickly. In that, we have a proper heir to the Jack Bauer legacy (oh, now I get the show's title). Carter gets tipped off to the new danger by his grungy unit comrade, a guy named Grimes (yeah, I know, well "Pigpen" was already taken). Grimes loves heroin and that makes people distrust him- except for Carter, who sends out an alert to the rest of the unit. The other unit members don't respond because they're all dead. Wasting no time, Carter calls up Rebecca Ingram- the former head of CTU- for help. I like Ingram because she's professional; she picks up on danger very quickly. Right out the gates we have people using their brains and getting together to stop the bad guys.
Somewhere in-between all of this, we learn that Carter loves killing too much, according to his wife, Nicole- who confides as much to her ex-boyfriend, a guy who presumably loves selling drugs and killing folks too. This guy is also Carter's older brother. I'm using Wikipedia to write this post- heavily.
It's also notable that Nicole is the character who first liberates the new Jack Sack from Carter's safe in their home. Ah, fresh air! Now, let's start shooting guys! The bag is different from Jack's Jack Sack, but Carter's Jack Sack is a worthy successor. You might be saying "Hey, Jack Sack, why are we calling Carter's bag a 'Jack Sack' when it should be 'Carter Sack?'" My answer to that is- shut the hell up, I own this domain name and it's gonna stay that way!
Let's see, what else? Former CTU director Ingram is married to Senator Jimmy Smits, played by Jimmy Smits, a former Senator on STAR WARS EPISODE III and ROGUE ONE. Smits' constituents, along with himself, get blown up in EPISODE IV. Let's HOPE Smits' run as a senator in this show does not end with his planet being destroyed.
CTU is still as dysfunctional as ever. Ingram, who no longer works for CTU, is using one of its analysts, a helpful guy in glasses named Andy, to help Carter find Grimes and his box of plot device in time. Enter a nosy analyst, Mariana Stiles, cousin of Edgar Stiles (RIP), a former, nosy analyst at CTU. Stiles uncovers the "unauthorized" operation Ingram is running and tells the new CTU boss all about it. The new CTU boss is a guy who played Jay Garrick on THE FLASH. Ingram doesn't trust this guy because she thinks he ratted out Carter's unit to the terrorists. Obviously, this man is innocent because he's the first person suspected of being the mole. Not knowing the rules of 24 plots, Ingram tasers the crap out of the guy when he confronts her about using CTU pens and pads for unauthorized purposes. CTU takes its office supplies very seriously.
On the kill count, Carter proves his worth when he finds Grimes at an obvious hobo hideout- the rail yards. The terrorists close in on Carter and Grimes as they learn the thing that the bad guys want is a... THUMB DRIVE! On the thumb drive are the names and favorite ice cream flavors of all the sleeper cell members in the US. Before you can say "Rocky Road," the bad guys chase the good guys through some tunnels and up to a work site that has a HUGE storm drain section hovering over them. Carter shoots at the strap holding the storm drain and it rolls down the ramp, killing one bad guy while giving Carter cover to take down the rest with a gun and piece of rebar.
It was an impressive action sequence- I liked how Carter didn't hoof it out of there when the storm drain started rolling towards the bad guys. Most people would have run for safety but Carter decided he wanted to kill more. I guess his wife was right when she said "Eric likes killing people." That's the kind of person we need as the main character on 24. While Carter is doing that, Grimes swipes the thumb drive and runs away (he doesn't like killing and is therefore a stinking coward). Grimes calls Carter on what was his 3rd burner phone in this one hour of real-time to say "If you want this thumb drive, you gotta pay me." I think Carter is going to slap him when they meet up next.
I'm okay with this new version of 24. Sure, Bauer is the ultimate human weapon, but the writers have done him no favors in the last two seasons. I lost a lot of enjoyment seeing Bauer being shoved into ridiculous situations by writers who ran out of ideas for a hero who deserved better. They needed a clean slate, and so did we, the viewers. Carter is off to a good start. Let's get that man a hacksaw.