Up to this point, 24: Live Another Day has been a sluggish return to the small screen for Jack Bauer. Like prior seasons, it takes some time to feel out the direction the show is heading, I get that.
This “limited-run” felt different because it jumped back into the show’s universe rather smoothly after a four-year absence. The first four hours showed us that 24 could return without skipping a beat but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
With dreams of a 24 feature film shelved for now and the series coming back to TV after limping through two mediocre seasons to end its original run, any old Jack Bauer wasn’t going to cut it. Sure it looked and felt the same as ever, but to make this limited-run work, there had to be a really good story to tell if we were going to give another 12 hours to this man.
Thus far, the story is just coasting along and there lacked a moment that really let us know the show is back. Tonight’s episode, which chronicles hour 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., turns this ship around. The writers were confident this was the turning point, giving Kate Morgan a line that makes it pretty clear early in the episode:
“Things are about to get a lot crazier.”
When a show lays it out for you, it better back it up. 24 delivered one of its most eventful and emotional episodes in some time, finally capitalizing on the drone plotline and getting us closer to an all-out Jack Bauer assault that the fans so badly crave.
Less we forget that we got to this point because of Kate Morgan. She doesn’t budge when the military questions her. She has a lot to prove to the United States government and to herself. But we’ll save that emotional talk for another day. “Things” are getting crazier because the president and his trusty companions now know that…
“Jack Bauer was telling the truth.”
Of course he was, guys. This isn’t Jack’s first rodeo. Hell, the president himself has seen the best of Jack. Even Mark comes around on Bauer! He was being selfish before, jealous even. Thankfully that’s all behind us now and we won’t have to worry about that plot point boring us to death. There are better ways to die.
With the president briefed on the situation, his next course of action is to alert the British Prime Minister. Yep, the same Prime Minister who vouched for his drone program hours earlier. That’s going to be an awkward conversation, but hold up, because…
Those aforementioned things just got a little crazier.
Kate was right! Margot releases one of those terrorist videos that usually get picked up by FOX News and she puts Heller on notice. He has three hours to present himself or London burns down in a blaze of glory. Now we’re getting to the juicy stuff, bravo 24.
If Heller doesn’t show, it gives Margot a moral victory, a reason to bomb London to pieces and he’s correct, half the world is going to agree with her decision. What is there to do now?
“You’re going to have to do it my way”
That’s right, you’re going to need Uncle Jack to clean up the mess. Jack’s meeting with Heller is plenty revealing. Jack shows his cards and promises if he’s let go, he’ll surrender after finishing the job. I trust Jack, Heller trusts Jack, that’s not the issue. Heller lays his cards out and says that Russia’s panties will conveniently be in a bunch if they find out the US released Jack. If you recall, Russia and Jack don’t have the best relationship. Also, Heller kind of just ruined his country’s relationship with England. That whole thing with King George seems like nothing compared to this.
Both men’s hands are tied but Jack still has another card up his sleeve. He can withhold the name and location of underground arms dealer that is supposedly the only person connected to Margot until he gets his way. So with Jack and Heller at a standstill, they send in Audrey in to talk some sense into Mr. Bauer, I assume. Then “things” get really emotional. It’s about as much of Jack’s soul as he’ll reveal and it’s wonderful. That’s a man who has been through a lot and he needed that moment to get him through the next and possibly his last major hurdle.
So what happens when the government refuses to listen to Jack? People die. To fully deliver on their promise of crazy, Margot leads the CIA into a decoy house and blows it to shreds. FOX got a little cheap when it came to making the explosion look real but CGI gripes aside, 24 brought the boom and I’m finally excited to see where this can go.
Best of the Rest:
I’ve accepted the fact that these bad guys are bizarre, underwhelming characters. We can move on now.
Mark hid the information about the strike from Heller, a political no-no. The president needs to be informed. Then Heller hits him with the guilt trip: “You didn’t think you could trust me with the truth?” Mark should have hit him back with “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” and walked out of the room.
Adrian’s “I love you Chloe” threw me off. Are they a thing? Either way, I promise I won’t use the word “thing” in my next 24 review.