Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fox's "24: Live Another Day": "Day 9: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm" (aka episode 8)

Um, wow. Wow wow wow.

We're now 2/3 of the way through "24: Live Another Day" and the quality has not let up at all. We even got our first (and second) shouts of "There's not enough time!"

Let's get to talking about the episode:


At the end of the previous episode, President Heller had communicated secretly with terrorist Margot al-Harazi and indicated that he would offer himself up if she promised to destroy the hijacked drones. The bulk of this episode consisted of the President's efforts to get himself snuck out of the Embassy to Wembley Stadium, where al-Harazi told him to be at 7 p.m. First, Heller has to persuade Jack Bauer to sneak him out when Bauer thinks it's a stupid plan. But Bauer reluctantly agrees and says he needs help to know the movements of the Secret Service agents, so Heller brings Chief of Staff Mark Boudreaux into the plan. Ooh, tension as Boudreaux and Bauer - rivals in a sense for Audrey's attentions - have to work together. Bauer cuts the subcutaneous transponder out of Heller's arm so that the President can't be tracked. Then Bauer sneaks the President out of the Embassy to a parking lot with a waiting helicopter, which Bauer flies to Wembley.

Meanwhile, Kate Morgan - at Jack's direction - pulls a Jack Bauer and makes the CIA doctors working on Simone al-Harazi give her something to bring her back to consciousness even though it risks killing her. When the doctors refuse at first, Kate threatens to shoot them. Just like Jack would do! Awakened, Simone tells Kate that her dead husband Naveed left behind a disk drive that might contain a way into the hacking program that al-Harazi's son Ian is now using to pilot the hijacked drones. A CIA team finds the disk drive and uploads the contents to the CIA station, and Kate in turn has it sent to Chloe O'Brian, who's working away in a bar (where she continues to get hit on).

Jordan Reed is still eluding the assassin who shot him in the last episode. He calls CIA Station Chief Navarro and gives his current location, which Navarro then treacherously discloses to the assassin. Ah, but Reed is too smart for that. He figured that Navarro must have betrayed him, so this is an ambush, and he gets the drop on the assassin. But he's not smart enough to handle it safely, and the assassin is able to attack him with a knife, stabbing him, but then Reed shoots the assassin. The assassin is killed, and judging by the growing pool of blood, things don't look good for Jordan either.

Finally, at the appointed time, President Heller walks to the middle of the soccer stadium. Piloting the drone, Ian is able to see that it is indeed Heller waiting there. Margot al-Harazi takes over and launches the missile . . . . Are they really going to kill Heller? The big explosion in the middle of the field certainly suggests so!


* Jack Bauer sure found his respect for the President quickly. Last time he was in the room with the President, he didn't even bother to stand. Now he's referring to him as "Mr. President" or "Sir" and says "I'll do whatever you ask of me."

* That was a funny line when Jack was cutting the transponder out of the President's arm(!), and the President commented that Jack had done enough damage as a federal agent; it was a good thing he hadn't become a surgeon. If "24" were more intentionally campy, this would've been a great opportunity for Jack to say, "Dammit, I'm an agent, not a doctor!"

* I would've expected the President to get some kind of suicide capsule, just in case al-Harazi had in mind to capture and torture him.

* I realize I'm not exactly courageous enough or sporting enough to be a CIA employees (even an analyst), but I was thinking that if I had been in Jordan Reed's shoes, having just whacked a bad guy with a pipe and taken his guns, especially a silenced one, I would've shot him in both knees before telling him to get up.

* More Jack brutality: when the Secret Service agent spotted the President, I was expecting Jack to do his neck chokehold (kind of like a harsher version of Mr. Spock's neck pinch), but instead Jack just clocked the guy in the face. Yikes!

* No silent clock at the end for President Heller? Does that mean he's still alive? Naw, "24" doesn't play the "ha ha, he/she isn't really dead" game. Well, except for Tony Almeida. I guess if you want to look for possibilities, the fact that Chloe was messing with the drone program offers a rationalization for either confusing the drone's video feed or altering the missile's flight path. I think he's dead, though. It's a pretty heroic sacrifice, and we've seen that before on "24" (George Mason, Ryan Chappelle, Bill Buchanan, among others).

* Lots of "24" tropes/scenarios replayed tonight. Pointing a gun at doctors to make them disregard the Hippocratic Oath showed up in season 4 when Jack made them stop working on Paul Raines in order to save the captured Chinese diplomat that he needed information from, even though doing so doomed Raines. Having guys hit on Chloe while she was trying to do her computer nerd magic in a public setting came from season 5, and was done better then because she pulled out a stun gun and zapped the persistent suitor before continuing with her work. We saw Jack walk out with a doomed man in season 3, when President Palmer offered up CTU head Ryan Chappelle to appease terrorist Steven Saunders.

* "24" isn't particularly known for acting, but I thought Tate Donovan and Kim Raver did great jobs in conveying what Boudreaux's having helped send the President to his doom was going to do to their marriage.

* Kate Morgan is becoming more and more like "Jacqueline Bauer," and even the producers are saying they'd consider future seasons with her as the lead: "The format itself is very sturdy and with the right story it can be compelling. So if a [Jack-free] story presented itself to us, we would be open to it."

* Unfortunately for those of us who love "24," the ratings last night were kind of bad. On the other hand, maybe a Kiefer-less season would be cheaper to produce and justifiable even with those ratings, which are still better than most shows that Fox has been airing all season....

No comments:

Post a Comment