Hercules of Ain’t It Cool News has scoop on the 24 Season 5 premiere… nearly a month in advance of its air date! Take a look at his spoilers (presented in question/answer form):

Herc! The current issue of TV Guide has already revealed that:
* Jack Bauer has been impersonating an oil digger named Frank Flynn. “Frank” has been “shacking up” with a local woman (Connie Britton) and her son;
* Jack will be roused from his “death” by “Eastern Bloc freedom fighters” overseen by a billionaire (Julian Sands);
* Russia and the United States are about to sign an antiterrorism treaty;
* Tony and Michelle, remarried and running their own security firm, “will facilitate Jack’s reentry into his old life and, inevitably, the CTU offices”;
* Jack will “butt heads” with a new CTU leader (Sean Astin) and be reunited with his “G-man mentor” (Peter Weller);
* Audrey Raines will learn that Jack lives; and
* Kim Bauer will stage a “comeback.”

True?
TV Guide has indeed reported these things.

Is there anything TV Guide is … not telling us?
There is.

Wait. First. Did TV Guide get any of it wrong?
The “shacking up” thing might be misleading. Jack is renting a room in the Connie Britton’s character’s house. While there’s some sexual tension, there’s no outward evidence (at least at first) that the two are or ever were a couple.

What’s it called?
7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.

Who’s responsible?
Teleplay is said to be credited to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”/“Angel” vet Howard Gordon.

Does Jack start out with that hoodie-Cobain look he sported in the season-four DVD’s 10-minute season-five prequel?
He does not. Jack starts the season looking pretty much the way he does in Fox’s season-five promos.

Season one began with a plane crash. Last season began with a train crash. What action sets the plot in motion this season?

Within the first five minutes, a sniper’s bullet pierces the brain of one of the world’s most famous political figures. A character we’ve met before this season will cradle this political figure’s brain matter and skull fragments.

The big news?
In the first 20 minutes, a woman we’ve met in a prior season will die. A character we met in season one will witness her death.

Have Edgar and Chloe and Curtis gone the way of Milo?
No fewer than 12 characters from prior seasons return for the season premiere. Here are 10 of them:
07:00 DOD Vet Jack Bauer
07:05 President Charles Logan
07:05 Presidential Aide Mike Novick
07:07 CTU vet Bill Buchanan
07:07 CTU Vet Curtis Manning
07:07 CTU Vet Edgar Stiles
07:10 CTU Vet Chloe O’Brien
07:12 CTU Vet “Soul Patch” Tony Almeida
07:12 CTU Vet Michelle Dessler
07:20 DOD Vet Audrey Raines

Is it true, as reported on IMDb, that Tzi Ma is back for 5.1?
IMDb lies about 5.1. If our intel is correct, Tzi Ma does not reprise the role of Cheng Zhi in 5.1. Ping Wu does not reprise the role of Su Ming in 5.1. William Devane does not reprise the role of James Heller in 5.1. Sean Astin is not in 5.1. Sabrina Lloyd is not in 5.1. And IMDb fails to list several returning cast members who will return in 5.1, including Bill Buchanan.

But. But. Sean Astin. TV Guide said he was playing a CTU …
Astin does not appear until 5.4.

Is Chloe still working for CTU at episode’s start?
She is. In her first scene, we learn that Chloe has something in common with fellow CTU vets Jack Bauer, Chase Edmunds, Michelle Dessler, “Soul Patch” Tony Almeida, Nina Myers, Curtis Manning and Kim Bauer.

What does Chloe now have in common with Jack Bauer, Chase Edmunds, Michelle Dessler, “Soul Patch” Tony Almeida, Nina Myers, Curtis Manning and Kim Bauer?? I must know!
Chloe likes to bone the occasional CTU employee!!

Ew! Edgar??
That. Would be. Telling.

Is Audrey now working for CTU?
No. She’s just comes to visit CTU on behalf of President Logan shortly after all hell breaks loose.

Is Logan in D.C., as he was last season?
No. Like all the other returnees, he is in California.

Any new key characters TV Guide fails to mention?
Two of the biggest are First Lady Martha Logan (Jean Smart), who has a history of mental instability, and Martha’s stunning aide Evelyn (“Rapa Nui” star Sandrine Holt).

Is Milo back?
Eric Balfour was busy with that witless primetime soap about Silverlake.

Supersexy lesbian assassin Mandy? Naked cavorting?
Not in the first four.

One more hint, please, Herc!
Lawman Repay!
Sandbar Slicer!

Will this be a good episode?
One of the best ever. The stuff with the Bakersfield teenager learning of Jack’s secret identity is priceless.

How does it end, spoiler boy?
A photograph of Jack Bauer appears on a computer monitor.

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