Last week, I held 24: Live Another Day accountable for a promise made early in the episode. I wanted to see if things got crazier.
As we get to tonight’s hour “4:00 – 5:00 p.m.,” a few key ingredients for a full, kicked-into-overdrive episode were still missing, mainly Jack Bauer. What should have been taken care of last episode is finally settled. The president is putting his only card on the table, and it’s his Ace, Jack Bauer. Daylight is fading and it’s time to unleash the beast.
“You are to give Jack Bauer whatever he needs, plus silence.”
We’ve seen over the years that not just anyone gets to work alongside Jack Bauer. He had to warm up to Chloe. His relationship with Tony Almeida clearly wasn’t what it seemed. That situation alone makes it understandable if he has trust issues.
There isn’t time to vet a partner for Jack. He requests Kate, the obvious choice because she proved she was up to the task. The CIA says no-go. She’s not even on the roster. Well time is running out and the CIA has a short bench and a picky new captain. Jack wants her, Jack needs her, so Jack gets her.
“I’m sorry, what?”
You heard it, Kate. You’re called up to the big leagues. She’s shocked to hear that Jack needs her help but she quickly wipes the look of confusion off her face and readies for battle. Before Kate and Jack meet up, Mark personally delivers the goods to Jack with a blunt message, he wants him to go save London and then go bye-bye. Jack isn’t sure if he’ll live through the day (smart money says he does) and if he does he’ll be on his way to prison. So he tells Mark that he’s the “last thing you’ll need to worry about.” And he’s absolutely right. The President Heller is repeating himself again. Russia is adamant that Jack should be on the next plane to Moscow and Mark is making calls that are way over his head.
Somehow it all seems trivial compared to the decisions being taken away from Britain’s Prime Minister, who is forced to trust a man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease who just released an international fugitive to direct a city-saving operation. I guess there’s nothing to do except sit back and pray that President Heller made the right call on Bauer.
“It’s my country that will suffer if you’re wrong.”
President Heller’s mind must be declining faster than we all are led to believe. Of course Britain wasn’t going to sit back and leave it all up to Bauer. Jack, who claims to have a beat on an arms dealer named Karl Rask, demanded that his operation be in the dark. For the last two years, Jack worked for Rask. He needs to make sure Rask knows that Bauer wasn’t a CIA informant, so he has to plant evidence on Kate and give her up as a sign of goodwill. Jack wants to give her up unconscious so she isn’t interrogated. It’s a long shot, but Jack’s had the world stacked against him before and risen above it. Kate is so desperate to clear her name that death is less of a fear and more of an escape.
The plan goes smoothly until the British catch wind of Jack placing an unconscious Kate in the truck. The Brits are concerned and send the dogs after Jack. Now we have two governments, if you include pissed-off Russia, locked in on Jack. Then we have Kate knocked out and given up to Karl Rask. Throw in the far-off threat of cyber bullies working on a drone strike and this stew is starting to get a little meatier. But really, the last half-hour was something to be excited about because…
Finally, we have some real bad guys!
Forgive me if I’m not all in on the bat-shit crazy, send-your-daughter-to-kill-a-mom-and-little-girl villain in Margot. This is 24, where the shootouts and double-crossing and botched operations reign king. Stealth is great, but we need action. We got it with Jack and Rask going head to head, Britain’s operatives crashing the party and Kate living up to the hype by escaping a torture session and taking out a slew of baddies.
If that didn’t exhaust you, there’s reason to believe this season’s plot still has fresh legs. In the final ticking seconds, we learn the CIA has another traitor on its hands.
Sounds like all the ingredients for a highly entertaining episode of 24 were there to me.