And so we come to the fourth hour of 24: Live Another Day‘s 12-hour mini season. Jack’s in London trying to stop a group of svelte terrorists in the English countryside, lead by a woman called Margot Al-Harazi. She’s cold as ice and really wants to kill some British civilians. Of course, no one believes Jack Bauer, who is burdened with the truth. This burden is the theme of the show, the most poignant commentary. With so much bureaucracy and personal agendas floating around the people who are supposed to make the toughest decisions for the greater good, why is it so hard to get any of them to see the truth? In a world of nonbelievers who thirst for their own power and money, the truth holder is burdened with invalidity and muteness. Jack Bauer does what he does for that metaphorical kid who sees the murderer running away from the crime scene and knows that if he tells his parents, he won’t be believed. For those who know the truth but cannot speak it, Jack Bauer risks his life.
Back to the episode. We left Jack in the last episode as he caused a diversionary riot at the American embassy so he can get in, get to officer Tanner, who is being held on suspicion of killing his comrades with a drone that was actually hacked by Margot’s terrorist cell, and get Tanner’s Flight Key, which will absolve Tanner of any wrong doing and prove the technology to carry out the impending drone attack is legit.
Once inside the embassy, he only needs to choke out one dude and talk his way into the office where Tanner is being held. Bauer subdues another man, takes the Flight Key and tells Tanner that he believes him. Tanner in turn tells him everything he knows because when to truth holders meet each other, they must share their stories or remain invisible. Bauer takes leaves the office with the Flight Key with the intention of getting it back to Chloe, who can then upload it at not-Wikileaks and save the day.
Of course, things don’t go as planned. Everyone and their mother now knows that Jack Bauer is in the American embassy. All the doors have been sealed, and Chloe can’t find another way out. But, as luck would have it, Jack has another plan! There are computers all over the American embassy! Why not just upload everything there? Perfect. All he needs is an office. Tada. He finds one, takes three IT techs as hostage and begins the upload. While that starts, the Serbian guy he came to London with tells Chloe back at not-Wikileaks that he owes jack his life. It will be interesting to get that back-story. Chloe also states that she owes jack her life. The way Chloe repays him, and this is the crux of their relationship, is by being there for him in the tightest of situations. When he needs someone to walk through the fires of hell with him, Chloe’s there to do it.
But, Chloe’s boss has another plan in store of Jack. He stops the upload, presumably, and forces Jack to download an encryption program in order to get to the data. Well, that’s just going to take to long, at least half an hour. Jack doesn’t have half an hour. The Marines are crowding the door, waiting for the command from President Heller to take Jack out. Also, Kate and her partner have also talked with Tanner, whom Kate believes much to the chagrin of her partner, and are on their way to try to talk some sense into Jack Bauer. But, Jack has half an hour to get all this stuff done.
Meanwhile, out in the country, in coital afterglow, Naveed tells his wife Simone, who is Margot’s daughter, he’s had it with all this terrorist crap and is about to bounce. Of course, Simone, who is a brainwashed terrorist, can’t have this, and lies that she is going to go with him. She’s about as opaque as a wall made of cellophane. She warns her husband, who I think is hilarious for wanting to get in one more bone before he jumped ship, that her mother will do more than just hurt him if he leaves. He doesn’t care; he’s got keys to the gate and a car waiting down the lane.
Back in town, President Heller is suddenly, after being heckled by a bunch of angry Brits, killing this speech, delivering an impassioned message to a stunned crowd. Among the stunned are his daughter and son-in-law. Too bad President Heller doesn’t realize the shit’s about to hit the fan. After his great speech (well, the second half at least) he’s told that none other than his old friend Jack Bauer is up to his old shenanigans. He gives the order to not attack Jack’s computer bunker, wanting instead to speak with Jack himself.
A few flecks of hope fall into Jack’s plans when the president calls and they are able to speak. Audrey is clearly moved by hearing her former paramour’s voice. Could she possibly still be in love with him? Time will only tell. All I know is that her tool husband wants Jack Bauer dead. Jack is finally able to tell someone (and thank heavens it’s the president) what is happening. President Heller gives him 15 minutes to complete his mission in exchange for turning himself over. Jack agrees and hangs up the phone.
Of course, Mark Boudreau talks his father-in-law out of his mercy and the Marines are told to storm the office and kill Jack Bauer on site. Once again, the truth is muffled for the sake of personal gain and power. Let’s hope that the spark of indignation Audrey showed in this episode is boiling to a showdown and eventual divorce from that slimy Mark. You want to know how awful this Mark guy is? He tells the president that all he’s seen of Jack Bauer’s work is the damage he’s left in his wake, and he looks straight at Audrey, his own wife! What a tool.
Chloe meanwhile tries to convince her boss that these drone attacks are real by showing him footage of past, less harming drone attacks. Of course, her truth also falls on deaf ears. When asked why she can’t let Jack go, she has no answer and walks off screen. Later on in the episode, as Chloe is reporting the movement of the marines, she says “corridor” instead of “hallway.” She must have been in England for awhile for that distinction to roll of her goth tongue.
Back in the country, Simone rats out her hubby to her mom. Margot, now faced with a dilemma (Naveed is supposed to pilot the massive drone attacks in less than an hour) does what she’s got to do to make her war based on antiquated ideologies happy. She confronts Naveed, telling him he has to go through with it. He refuses, so Margot hits Naveed close to home. She starts having her brutes take off her own daughter’s fingers until Naveed agrees to pilot the drones. Once again, the female is the leverage for the terrorist attacks, just how in previous episodes Simone used her body to get what she wants. Well, she must have learned it from somewhere, because Margot is also literally using Simone’s body to get what she wants.
Kate has decided that she needs to talk to Jack because she believes him, so she jumps into the air ducts and proceeds to crawl to the office where he’s bunkered down. The marines are getting ready to storm the room. Before they can do that though, Kate makes here way to the room and takes Jack Bauer as a prisoner of the CIA. The information Jack so needed on the USB was never uploaded. Poor fella. It’s a shame too because at that moment, the terrorists take over control of the drones in the countryside.