Not that anyone sees it until it’s too late.
Last night’s episode was humdinger. Truths were revealed all over the place, and a major character, Game of Thrones-style, was killed in cold blood. Jack was still busting his ass for the side of good, but the terrorists seem to have the upper hand, and the President is forced to make some very difficult choices. This season, which started off a little contrived and “eh” for me, is really starting to pick up, and tonight’s episode was a major ascension point. Make sure to catch the latest episodes on Fox.com or Hulu.
When we left Jack Bauer in last week’s episode of 24: Live Another Day, the tension was building. He’d just rescued Simone from a drone attack perpetrated by her own mother, but then he was suddenly called into private audience with the President. Before he called Jack though, President Heller inferred that he would surrender to Margot, who incidentally realized her hours were numbered and decided to eighty-six her countryside mansion for safer habitat. The major B-storyline was Jordon being shot at the demand of Navarro, who we discovered planted evidence that condemned one of his own. Jordan didn’t die and is now on the move.
Deep breath, okay? Let’s go in. The episode started with Margot telling her son that the president was going to give himself up. Understandably, they were shocked. The major theme of the series thus far has revolved around the desperate measures to which one goes when they don’t get what they want or they are not believed when trying to explain an absolute truth. To have the most powerful man in the world go along with a terrorist’s plan is a little shocking, even for the terrorist and her guyliner-wearing son.
Jack also has a hard time believing this news when the president briefs him. When President Heller admits he’s surrendering, Jack’s visibly upset — I can understand why Jack’s upset, but he should know by now, with all the craziness that has befallen him in the last decade, that things can get pretty cray cray when he’s around. Mr. Prez then admits that he’s leaving office (which only a stapler couldn’t have seen coming from last week’s episode) and that he’s been actually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They’d been hinting and hinting at it, never naming it, but another major theme of the show is that the true nature of things is often staring you right in the face.
Making sure to keep the drama high, Margot decides that she wants to President Heller to surrender himself at Wembley Stadium. Well, why not? The Rolling Stones aren’t soundchecking, so might as well make it a terrorist surrender point. President Heller entrusts the information about his mental deterioration to Jack, asking Jack to be his clandestine courier to Wembley. Needing one other person in on the plan so as to get past the Secret Service, President Heller goes to his son-in-law Mark. (NO! THE TRUE NATUE OF THINGS MAY BE STARING YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!)
Back at the CIA hospital-esque place, Simone needs to start talking, coma or no, so Kate — remember, it was her husband Navarro set up — forces the doctor to wake her up. When Simone does wake, she gives up the truth pretty fast, telling Kate the location of the countryside manor and the disc that will help locate the baddies. This is when I knew something big was about to happen. These shows don’t give up pertinent information that will close out plot chapters without getting ready to throw someone under the bus, or in Simone’s case in front of. Maybe that’s why 24 is a world of misunderstandings and disbelief. If all the truths were revealed in a copasetic manner, there’d be no show.
Meanwhile, Jordan, who Navarro shot at the end of the last episode, is still on the run. Do I smell a spinoff? Jordan could easily be a new Jack Bauer. Nothing like friendly fire from the CIA to put you on your own side, am I right, Jack? It’s at this point that Jordan also forgets the theme of the episode. He calls Navarro claiming he’s been shot. Jordan! The true nature of things may be staring you right in the face! Navarro sends his assassin and in one of the infinite London warehouses Jordan roughs him up, wanting to know why Navarro — oh, now you’ve figured it out — wants him dead. But before he can get an answer, he kills the assassin.
Well, it’s almost time for President Heller’s appointment with Margot Al-Harazi. He spends some time with his daughter, whom he doesn’t tell of his situation, and leaves with Jack. After they leave, his daughter finds a letter her father has left her. She is found visibly upset by her husband, whom she realizes pretty fast knew about what’s happening and what danger her father is walking into. Oh, Audrey, the true nature of things — well, you get it now. Still worried about her father, she turns to her husband for reassurance, and in his only dignified move thus far, Mark tells her that her father is with someone he trusts. Finally, two of these characters finally find people they can trust.
Speaking of whom, Jack and the Prez make it to Wembley via a helicopter that is actually going the wrong way, but let’s suspend disbelief for a moment. Once at the stadium, Heller tells Jack that he’ll be pardoned of everything he did. Jack, always the rogue, doesn’t want pardoning, but of course, he’s not the president so the choice isn’t his. Besides, it’s President Heller’s moral insurance should things go wrong on the pitch. Spoiler alert, they do. Margot asks her hot son Ian if the drones are ready. They are. She takes control of the drone herself and kills Heller on the spot. Did she take the controls so as to absolve her son of killing the President of the United States, or did she want to personally kill the man she so loathes? I’m guessing both. She’s suddenly shown compassion in this episode, so it’s hard to gauge her. Remember, she is letting her daughter die in an undisclosed place at the moment. But, yes, President Heller was killed, point blank.
So, what have we learned? In 24 land, the moment you get a little bit of peace, the moment you make honorable decisions and are surrounded by people whom you truly trust, and maybe love (even if it’s just one) you die. The truth may be staring you in the face, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to learn or not kill you in the end.
And what of our dear Chloe? She had to leave not-Wikileaks because her boss Adrian (who is Navarro’s puppeteer) was worried the CIA might find them. She has set up camp in a pub, which may be the only place to find any real truth in London, seeing how this season is going. Once Navarro tells Adrian that Jordan’s been finally killed (a lie), Adrian calls Chloe and asks her to come back and work for him. She declines, choosing instead to stay with Jack. Let’s just hope that her search for truth doesn’t find her in the crosshairs of an assassin’s rifle or a terrorist’s drone. Not that she needs to worry about that now. Presently, she needs to focus on getting the data off the disk the feds found in the abandoned manor. The truth on that disk is less plain, but sure to be important.