At this point, you just have to sit back and applaud 24: Live Another Day. I’ve grappled with the idea of how to review this show on a weekly basis. My range of emotions turned from happy to have Jack back, to utter confusion about the curious direction of the characters in the early episodes, to laughing away at the ridiculous major plot points, to acceptance that we’re witnessing an inferior product. Now I’m not back at square one, but I’m at a new square altogether.
Tonight’s hour 8:00 – 9:00 p.m., to me, was the biggest game changer of the season. As someone who often uses that phrase, I’m currently questioning my understanding what it takes to change the game. By merely existing, 24 redefined how to flip a narrative on its head and then twist it around until your initial instincts were proven almost baseless in compassion to where the season ends up. If 24 wanted to win over my full attention, I needed them to go all in. Killing off the president with a drone was a ballsy move. That almost got me. Then they recanted just minutes later.
With three episodes left if you include tonight, 24: LAD hooked me in for the final stretch. How did they do it? Tonight they let the balls drop. They threw everything at the wall and threw it hard to make sure it stuck.
Let’s quickly recap the events of 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.:
Jack apprehends Steve Navarro (threat level: minimal, he’s on foot and Jack could catch him even if he was forced to chase Navarro down in potato sack)
Kate finds out that Steve set up her husband (threat level: medium, Kate’s livid but she won’t kill him and she could be the future of 24 if there is one)
Mark gives up Jack’s location to the Russians (threat level: high, they’re Russian and angry)
Chloe tries to cross Cross (threat level: Adrian has a gun)
Cross’s entire crew is violently murdered by the Chinese (threat level: oh shit!)
Cheng is behind all this (threat level: we’ve seen what he’s capable of before, gulp!)
Chloe’s family was killed in an actual accident (threat level: honesty is the best policy)
*Update* I previously stated that the Chinese launched a missile and blew up a US ship which turned things up to threat level: panic. My assessment was incorrect and I completely missed the point: the Chinese used the override device to use an Americans torpedo to destory a Chinese aircraft carrier. That pushes threat level to epic…
My initial instinct is to say that’s a lot to work with. How could they possibly fit all that into one episode and have it flow? Well it kind of works… hell it worked really well. In between all the twists, you have Jack and Kate at the shows core and they are fantastic together.
If this is how 24 is readying to go out, I’m on board. If the season needs to end with World War III, so be it. The show wants to go big before it goes home. Godspeed.