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The day after: Jack Bauer's next 24 hours

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The new season of Fox's "24," in which Jack Bauer spends all of the aforementioned hours in a day running, shooting, driving, and then running some more in order to prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, is as gripping as ever. The show has demonstrated an uncanny ability to manufacture genuine "ripped from the headlines" suspense in a way that, say, NBC's "E-Ring" never quite manages. And "24" has also been justly praised for its innovative format, in which each hour-long episode corresponds to an actual episode of Jack's very long day. But when the day ends, so does the season, which leads to the burning question: What happens to Jack Bauer during the next 24 hours?

Well, wonder no more: the following takes place ... the day after.

7 a.m. Jack catches up on some well-needed rest.

8 a.m. Jack continues to sleep.

9 a.m. Jack wakes up briefly, looks at his alarm clock, mutters something about how someone who saved the world deserves five more minutes, and goes back to sleep again.

10 a.m. Jack is woken by his secure phone. It is, however, a telemarketer asking if he'd like to change his long distance service. Jack manages to use the men's room for the first time in 27 hours.

11 a.m. Paperwork. Jack has, in the previous 28 hours, destroyed approximately $10 million worth of civilian property (vehicles, mostly); you had better believe there are forms that need filling out.

12 p.m. More paperwork, and a light lunch.

1 p.m. Jack goes to pick up his dry cleaning. Some tension when the dry cleaner reminds him he was supposed to come in yesterday; dry cleaner is mollified when Jack displays his latest presidential commendation, and Jack even manages to get the special "unsung national hero" 20 percent discount.

2 p.m. Jack does other errands, as long as he's out; returning library books (he didn't quite manage to finish "The Lovely Bones," but it was overdue); getting new cellphone headset (since the explosion yesterday at 7 p.m., he keeps hearing a sort of staticky sound); buying more ammo.


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