Things finally start picking up in the latest hour of 24: Live Another Day.
The fifth hour in the 24: Live Another Day saga has come and gone, and boy, was it a doozy. There was action; there was emotion; there was a reunion; and yes, there was even a death. The show, which I’ve found a little tedious thus far, finally started picking up in its fifth hour. It shouldn’t have taken five hours to finally give us some of that true 24 action we all love, but hey, we fans will take what we can – and we better like it, or some deranged English woman may chop off our finger, and it may just be our mother.
The episode opens with Jack being taken into custody by the marines, even though Kate, the CIA operative who was supposed to be leaving but just can’t let this Jack Bauer thing go even though she’s never met the man, has claimed him for the CIA. The marines have other ideas and banish her while they do their business with Jack. Why they didn’t kill him right away we’ll never know, but I’ve learned not to ask too many logical questions when it comes to this show. Kate is perfectly fine to leave Jack with the marines, however, because she’s gotten the flightkey that will prove everything Jack has been saying this whole time: a woman called Margot Al-Harazi, along with her daughter and son, Simone and Ian, are going to take over some drones and bomb the fuck out of London, where the president of the United States happens to be.
I like Kate’s character. I wish I cared more about her, but I definitely like her. She’s been playing off this whole redemption thing since the first hour due to the fact that her husband betrayed the United States before the current season started. She, like Jack, knows the truth and spends her life trying to convince people of her validity. While she has it far easier than Jack, she still fights the red tape of government bureaucracy, which is enough to drive anyone crazy, or, should I say, mad?
Now that Kate has the flightkey, she jumps into her car with her partner, the ever-fumbling Erik, and contacts Chloe who guides her through the process of finishing the upload Jack didn’t get to complete. Again, Kate’s truth mission is far easier than Jack’s.
She just happens to have a computer with G4. Well, why not. Chloe is able to finish the upload, and as she sorts through the info with Jack’s mysterious buddy, she discovers that an override code was placed on the flightkey. Proof! The drones were hacked!
Kate calls her boss Steve to inform him of the news. Steve (still played by the delicious Benjamin Bratt) then calls Mark, the bastard-in-sheep’s-clothing that’s married to the president’s daughter, to be put through to the president. I sometimes feel like we’d be in a much safer, further advanced world if the channels of information that run through the governing hierarchy weren’t so ridiculously complicated. Then again, this all happens in one hour, so who am I to complain? Of course, Mark definitely doesn’t want to give President Heller the phone. He finally agrees to put it on speaker, and Steve tells him that Jack Bauer was right. President Heller, who hasn’t forgotten someone’s name in hours, orders the drones to be grounded. He also wants to speak with Jack Bauer.
The process of stopping the drones gets underway, but Margot has other plans. From her palatial estate in the English countryside, they override the stop plan and make the drones they’ve commandeered disappear from any government or military detection. At that moment, a video of Margot delivering her plan is uploaded to the Internet. In retaliation to a drone attack that killed innocent civilians, as well as her husband, she’s going to kill thousands of people in London if President Heller doesn’t surrender himself to her by three in the afternoon (which is in a few weeks of real time).
Michelle Fairley is doing an amazing job in this role. She’s so icy. Her voice is at once comforting and completely frightening. After she ordered her daughter’s finger chopped off last episode, it’s clear she means business.
President Heller doesn’t seem to be too phased by this. He’s angry of course, but he’s seems to be more upset about the fact that the civilian casualties to which Margot referred in her video were kept from him. Mark is caught red-handed covering shit up and, strangely, Audrey sticks up for him – which I found disingenuous to her character. President Heller lays off his son-in-law for a second but clearly no longer trusts him – and because of that, he wants to see Jack Bauer STAT.
Jack, who’s been a little MIA this episode, has been hanging out in a beautiful room with his hands cuffed waiting for his moment to make more illegal negotiations. His reunion with president Heller is hardly warm, but both actors play their interaction with a great deal of tangible respect, which felt great to see, considering their history and Jack’s difficulty getting people to believe him. Jack offers up a solution to the situation: he knows an arms dealer that has worked with Margot for a long time. He can find the guy, but Jack insists on doing it alone and free. President Heller is having none of this, as you can imagine. He wants to believe Jack, but he knows he can’t just let him go find an arms dealer who might give up info about a terrorist. President Heller leaves, and Jack is, once again, alone.
Meanwhile, back at the country estate Naveed, who was the voice of dissent in the terrorist family which he’s married into, begs his psycho mother-in-law to see his wife Simone, who is recuperating from having her finger removed. Once with Simone, he tells her that he’s put a trace on the video – sneaky (and hot), Naveed. He’s also planted evidence in the house that will condemn Margot. He claims that once the authorities arrive he’ll do everything he can to save Simone, at which point I wrote in my notes: “Naveed’s a dead man.”
Back with Jack, he finally gets a short, but emotional, reunion with his former love, Audrey. He’s more than happy to see her – downright weepy in fact – and she is happy to see him, but of course, they cannot be together. After all, Jack’s hands are literally tied. They don’t kiss, but they put their foreheads together in a sort of alien salutation kinda way, and they part ways. It was a wonderful moment and I hope we see more of them back together.
Speaking of parting ways, it’s time for the people at Chloe’s organization to get the hell out of Dodge. With an impending drone attack, their hacker organization has been compromised by not only talking to Jack Bauer but also talking with the CIA of all things. Chloe’s boss, who I still don’t trust as far as I can throw him, insists that Chloe go with them, but she has her doubts.
At the CIA, Jordan, played by willowy stud Giles Matthey, finds the trace in the terrorist video. This is where things start to go haywire. They jump on this lead like a gay guy on Madonna. I understand that it’s essentially their only lead, but consider the source. They call out that it might be too easy, and it definitely is. It’s revealed pretty fast that Naveed’s trace was found and that the IP address now in the video is a trap. Naveed is devastated, and he also knows he basically doesn’t have a future.
Thankfully, Kate is the one who figures it out. Even though she’s been asked to leave, she just can’t let this shit go. Using Chloe again to look at the original uploaded video, they find out about the trap. Sadly, they can’t relay this new intel until Steve, along with a crew that includes Erik, are in the decoy house. Ian guides the drone over and boom, there go the good guys. It’s not enumerated who is left alive and who isn’t. I have to believe that Steve Navarro, while probably hurt, made it to safety. They wouldn’t kill off a major star like that – I mean, he used to date Julia Roberts, for godsake!
Now that Margot has had a good hit of terrorist glory, it’s time for her to exact her revenge on Naveed. He’s taken downstairs and beaten – Margot shames him and then pulls out a gun to show she means business. Naveed begs not to be killed, trotting out Simone’s happiness as a defense. Of course, Simone is on her mom’s side and doesn’t even flinch when Margot executes Naveed with a bullet to the forehead.
Like I said earlier, this episode was a lot more fun than the previous in this season, but I still had some problems with format. Why do we still need the character names in the “previously on” portion at the beginning of the show? Do they really think we’re that dumb? And speaking of playing down to an audience, characters deliver the plot situations every ten minutes on this show. Yes, I know that a terrorist named Margot Al-Harazi has hacked into the drone computer system. Stop telling us! I know the president needs to tell the Prime Minister, and someone needs to tell the President, and Kate needs to tell Erik, but please, stop telling us. We know. Let’s get on with it.