Halfway through this shortened day, I’m finding 24: Live Another Day unintentionally humorous because that’s the only way I’m able to push through.
Wiser men than me have said to not take yourself so seriously. Do even less when watching 24 because buying into everything it throws our way is maddening. Yet I’m still here, watching, reviewing, and hanging on to Jack’s every word. The show might have died years ago, but the character lives on.
During “Day 9: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.,” Jack is dealing with the fallout from the MI5 agents interrupting his operation. MI5 is cooperative with Bauer because he saved more than a few asses and he’s gained their trust. Bauer exits stage left in pursuit of Simone and we split screen to the main focus of tonight’s episode, President Heller.
He’s pissed. He’s red hot, spit-while-you-shout mad at the Prime Minister for doubting Jack Bauer. “You gave me your word,” Heller screams like a lunatic at the Prime Minister. The impromptu meeting was necessary, as it clears the way for Bauer to have full autonomy from the British government plus the Prime Minister says…
“I personally give you my word that he’ll have everything he needs.”
What Jack needs is for people to start talking. Naveed’s daughter adds little, besides making me chuckle when she bluntly states that she wants Simone to die and Kate reacts with a disgusted look. Simone is still recovering from getting hit head on by a bus LITERALLY 20 minutes earlier (in 24 time). 20 minutes! Now the question remains: is Margot willing to kill her own daughter to salvage her mission? Of course she is.
That could be enough to get us through the episode, but there’s always a wrench that could be thrown into the plot. It comes in the form of the head of CIA operations in London, Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt), who we confirm is “the source of intel” utilized to sell secrets to the Chinese. Information overload. Now we have sitting duck London, pissed off Russia, scrambling America and the information-hungry Chinese competing for airtime in the melting pot that is 24. And just who is that scratchy voice on the phone paying for those secrets? It’s Adrian Cross! He’s the Snowden-like bad guy giving secrets away. Before we can even process that tidbit, we’re moving along to more pressing matters. Look, I understand the Chinese shouldn’t be buying our secrets, however it all comes off as very secondary, at least at this stage.
The pressing matter at hand is the transition of Heller from sitting president to former president. That inevitable move has little effect on the current situation, unless of course Heller, faced with his inescapable decline decides to give himself up to protect the people of London. That would be a noble way to go out, but we’ve seen movies and shows that have bad guys doing evil things before. Getting what they ask for is never enough. They want it all. They want the world to crumble beneath their feet for the sick thrill of knowing they made it happen. Margot strikes me as that kind of villain because she’s been nothing but willing to do anything to prove her point.
Killing Heller isn’t going to bring her husband back. It’s not going to end drone warfare. Destroying London, killing thousands of people if not millions, will show that drones are the new atom bomb. If it’s drone proliferation she’s after, destruction will show the world that we cannot let our militaries swing such a powerful stick.
Up until this point their use has been somewhat realistic, you know minus the hackers breaking into the government’s secure computers. But I guess anything is possible. The power of drones is staggering, the ability to lock onto targets with superb precision and destroy in an instant is enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine, just not Jack Bauer’s…
“Lock on target and fire.”
Ok we almost made it through the episode without 24 finding a way to make a mockery of one of the most powerful weapons in the world. Do I love Jack slicing his (wrong) way through the narrow streets of London like a surgeon, avoiding drone after drone? Yes. It’s also a long overdue wake up call for anyone still hangs on Jack’s every move, like myself.
24 does enough to get by and it is, especially now in 2014, not here to show us something new. I’ve come to terms with it because having Jack Bauer in my living room is better than a new Kiefer Sutherland creation. Those of us still watching 24 have to be people who are slow to accept change, right?
Best of the Rest:
I’m buying into the Russia plot. Their diplomat has a great mustache, he’s willing to play dirty and I hope he takes down Mark. He won’t get what he wants, but I’ll have a good time watching him try.
I want more China. If 24 is going to jump the shark why not jump two of them at the same time?