24: Live Another Day episode 3 review

Review Simon Brew 14 May 2014 - 08:35

Any old iron? Geezer Jack Bauer is back in London, and lots of people don't like him. Here's our review of Live Another Day's latest...

This review contains spoilers.

I learned a lot about London from watching the third episode of 24: Live Another Day. I'm not a Londoner, although end up visiting the place fairly regularly, and there are some elements of London life I've clearly overlooked.

Firstly, I learned when entering a seemingly empty pub, a cockney geezer of a landlord will instantly greet me and tell me that "I'll be with you in a minute, mate". I half expected the camera to pan round and zoom in on Chas and Dave enjoying a shandy.

Perhaps of more use is what 24: Live Another Day teaches us about the London transportation system. Foolishly, I'd assumed that the quickest way to get from one underground station to another was on an underground train. Turns out it's not. Instead, the more logical thing to do is to jump in a car with Chloe With The Dragon Tattoo, who can traverse the London traffic by car in less time that it takes an underground train to get from station to station.

Now granted, noting that 24 fights against the restraints of plausibility misses the point of the fun. But even so: the moment at the start where a captive - out in the open in London remember - says "I don't know who you are, but I know you're not the police, so piss off" to a bunch of Americans with guns suggests a mix up of priorities. The man in question would surely be safer if it were the police. If he'd watched a few episodes of Chuck, he'd also of course know that trouble and destruction tends to follow Yvonne Strahovski around. That noted, it would be fair to say that, at this stage, Strahovski's character has yet to be established as a vital component of this show.

Anyway, this Live Another Day - or 24LAD, as Fox likes to call it, which makes me feel that the title should be voiced by Peter Sallis - picks up furiously from the last episode, with Jack Bauer chasing Simone Al-Harazi across the city. To escape angry Bauer, she rips her tights and smears blood on her face. That shouldn't be enough to evade the watching Chloe With The Dragon Tattoo, but then Chloe has a family flashback moment that distracts her for the necessary 30 seconds Simone needs. She evades capture, and goes back to that scary Stark woman.

This is all suitably entertaining in truth, and Bauer outdoors tends to be more fun than him growling around a posh office. But, once again, the machinations surrounding President Heller are far more interesting. By the end of the episode, Heller is addressing the British Parliament, which seems to have abandoned Westminster for the occasion and instead assembled in a big room. There, British manners go out of the window, as the US President is heckled before he can offer more than a word or two. We're left to find out how that will develop next week.

We also see that Mark Boudreau, harbouring fairly understandable rage against Bauer, has thrown Jack under a bus. His forging of an order that hands Bauer over to the Russians serves a political and revenge purpose, although faking the US president's signature on a document is a thread that's likely to come back too. That's not likely to be too clever for his marriage either, which we get solid hints about the stability of anyway. Tate Donovan is doing fine, fine work with the character of Mark, we should note.

That said, he's not the only one who's trying to get Bauer out of the way either. Jack clearly didn't check up on the back catalogue of Michael Wincott as we advised, so true to form, it's said actor's hacker who kickstarts the antics at the end of the episode. Again, with Chloe With The Dragon Tattoo failing to notice - she's not at her best at the minute - fake ID details are uploaded to the US embassy's computer, and Jack finds himself in trouble at the gate. He does the only logical thing in the CIA handbook at this stage, by shooting two innocent people in the leg and causing a mini stampede through the gates. As you do.

Further threads: Simone's husband is clearly going to be turned later in the series, and John Boyega's innocent Chris Tanner has the clock ticking on him too. After all, President Heller is handing him over to the British, and we'll no doubt give him a nice cup of tea, congratulate him on his Star Wars role, then lynch him via the medium of the tabloid press. That, or he'll just be killed.

It's the usual 24 juggling act then, in truth. And whilst this special exclusive season event spectacular, or whatever they're calling it this week, isn't close to vintage 24, it's comfortable entertainment. At some point, long term, a legitimate variation of the formula is still on the wish list to keep 24 feeling in any way fresh. But for now, this is daft, occasionally exciting, and really not bad.

And the current cougar count? Zero.

Read Simon's review of episodes one and two, here.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

Disqus - noscript

I found it odd that they dubbed over the tube station announcements, but as a Londoner it was cool to see him running around on the Northern Line.

The Northern Line going to Neasden was another instance that took me out of the episode for a minute along with South London to Waterloo in 2 minutes by car and Royal Courts of Justice passing for Westminster.

Hmm. Not quite as enamoured of this episode as I was of the first two. A few off-putting elements, including:

Kiefer Sutherland saying the word "pub" just sounds WEIRD.

I've never had much of a problem with 24's, shall we say, carefree approach to geography, but even I couldn't get on board with the chasing-the-Tube-in-a-car bit. Also, I'm pretty sure that nobody would have helped Simone out on the platform, everyone would just have looked very awkward and stared at their feet.

Not digging the creepy, vaguely incest-y vibes coming from the Al-Harazi household. Maybe it's a GoT hangover. And I think the "Simone's husband isn't happy" subplot is going to be the "Dana's redneck ex" of this season.

Anyone else spot that really strange moment when Jack elbows past a protester, and the guy says "you're either with us or against us"? It was extremely peculiar. And double-extremely unconvincing.

Also unconvincing - the Parliament grilling at the end. Just didn't ring true for me. The fact that Stephen Fry seems entirely un-ruffled by this major diplomatic incident took me out of the action a bit too.

Audrey looks kinda like a swan.

Chloe's tragic family backstory seems... I don't know... kind of unnecessarily bleak? I'm wondering if maybe it's lies and they'll turn out to be alive, but it doesn't seem entirely dramatically necessary for doing the right thing to have completely f&*#ed up Chloe's life as well as Jack's. Misery for misery's sake.

And yet, despite all that, I got really excited when Jack shot some random innocent bystanders in the leg to start a riot, and was gutted when the episode finished. It's like an abusive relationship.

Yes! The first time Jack said "pub" was jarring, then he said it another 3 or 4 times and I wanted to shout at him to stop it.
Also the timing of the whole car v tube bit annoyed, as it was blatant nonsense. Was expecting Jack to go on foot, to be honest.
I actually gasped when he started shooting random protesters - still unsure how I feel about this. Pretty sure a couple of shots in the air would have had the same effect.
But, yay! Jack! Superb review, by the way.

No cougars? I'm not going to bother watching this episode then

It can't just be me who wondered how Simone managed to get, by taxi, from the Underground (Charing Cross) to the rolling hills of (possibly) Hertfordshire in the space of 20 minutes. In 20 minutes in central London traffic, the most you'll achieve is hitting 2 cyclists and moving half a mile.

On the other hand, Simone and her partner had sex, and rolled over to look absent during the advert break covering the space of possibly 6 minutes. Not one for foreplay I presume.

I thought that about the traffic. As for the other thing, he hadn't seen her in weeks and she was fit. 6 minutes seems about right.

I'm pretty certain that the shouty protester who yelled at Jack was the first one who he shot in the leg as part of his diversion. This may be why English people are always polite in queues, in case someone shoots you.

Wholeheartedly agree with the Pub bit, I would have been much happier if he had said bar.

Scary Stark lady is way scary. I bet there was no argument when she told her kids to clean their rooms.

I will bet anyone a million pounds that we will meet Strahovski's "traitor" husband, and also that we will find out that he wasn't actually a traitor after all.

Probably the biggest problem I had with this was Parliament. I mean seriously? Where were they, a town hall? If they were able to make a version of the real thing for King Ralph I like to think they could do one for 24LAD. And MP's usually don't just yell out like that, there is an order to the debates full of traditional phrases and managed by the Speaker.

All this nit picking...24 in its scripting is not remotely credible is a more relevant point than geography. I thought this another very good, solid episode. Quite remarkable after 4 years off the air to so immediately return to its previous form. It's pretty rare that a series that's run for 9 seasons plus a special has so consistently delivered (imo that includes 6-8 having only just seen them recently and I didn't agree with the received fan wisdom they were a major drop in quality).

I'm still wondering whether Jack has an Oyster Card or whether he queued for a one day travel card...

Don't get me wrong I love 24 in all it's bonkers right wingery flights of fun fascism (Jack is basically Judge Dredd without the elaborate hat) but as a Brit it's great to be able to nitpick the London-based stuff!

Haha, yeah the parliament stuff was laughable. Apart from all UK politicians being horrendous and unpleasant people, though, I suppose... and the prime minister being a jowly lightweight...

"How much is a season ticket? HOW MUCH IS IT?!" *starts cutting with edge of empty Oyster card, and keeps cutting and cutting*

I was too excited, after my complaint that they weren't showing enough of London last week, to see them actually be in Kennington, Charing Cross etc, the train look like a Norrthern line train and that bit of the line to be as it is in reality to even notice many of the points raised below (much as my excitement at seeing Greenwich in Thor:TDW made me not mind so much about the way he took the tube there). The bit at the end, though - with Parliament seemingly sitting in a hall as if waiting for a concert and MPs interrupting a visiting Head of State's address, took me straight out of the action. It's all to do with willing suspension of disbelief - I can live with the idea that Jack is basically the Terminator/Judge Dredd as that fits the world the show has created, but something that jars so badly with the real world just ruins the illusion. Why not say he was testifying in front of a Parliamentary select committe or some such body - not only do they actually seem to meet in halls/big rooms, but they really are as rude as presented. Still, loving the series, nit-picking and all.

Charing Cross station to the countryside in 15 minutes? Gahaha

Take that back! Stephen Fry is a national treasure and any negative comment even remotely connected to him is high treason punishable by 6 weeks in the Tower.

Seriously I do like him so I do think he was the best part of the whole thing. I am hoping that his character will turn out to be stupendously clever and able to outwit anyone, much like the man himself.

Or, he could be a national treasure that now has a new conservatory on the back of his new house , situated nicely on his new island....

I love The Fry loads, but you could him dying a little bit when he talked the MPs, did the bit in that room where they were 'in session' and pretty much everything else.

Read More About:

Sponsored Links