Fans were all abuzz on twitter, anxious to see the reunion they’ve been waiting for the past seven years. This week Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) was out of commission after his arrest, but that didn’t stop the action as ‘Bauer Power Hour’ commenced!
Our rogue CIA Agent Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahvoski) does exactly what she promises Jack and immediately contacts Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub). They finish uploading the data from the flight key and, thanks to Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott), finds the override code embedded within the data. CIA Director Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) immediately tells the President that Jack was right, the drones have been compromised and Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) has the ability to take control of them! Lt. Tanner’s (John Boryega) drone was definitely hacked!
After learning the drones have been compromised, President Heller (William Devane) orders all U.S. drones worldwide be grounded. However, things get hairy when six drones do not respond to the recall and all are sickened as they realize the drones are lost! Not only do they no longer have control, but thanks to advanced stealth technology, the drones can’t be tracked by radar or infrared! They learn Margot is in control of at least six drones, headed straight for London! President Heller breaks the news to Prime Minister Davies (Stephen Fry) who is not happy since he’s been an advocate for the U.S. drone program.
Margot isn’t through yet. Her next move? Upon taking control of the drones, she releases a video in which she describes just how many died during the attack in Yemen. In addition, she demands President Heller turn himself over to her within three hours or she’ll use the missiles to kill thousands in London! Heller learns Margot’s claims are true, there were civilian casualties, including children as a result of the air strike and is furious he was kept in the dark. Boudreau (Tate Donovan) explains that his job is to keep the drone program on course and Heller’s support for it, no matter the cost.
Next Heller decides to have a face to face with Jack. While grateful for Jack’s efforts to uncover the attack, the President asks for help in finding Margot. Though Jack offers up information of an underground arms dealer that has done business with the Al-Harazi’s, he refuses to tell Heller where this person is hiding. Instead, he requests temporary reinstatement to make the covert contact himself, until he’s able to catch Margot. Unfortunately, Heller doesn’t like this plan, afraid of retaliation by the Russians should they find out Jack is in custody and didn’t clue them in. It’s still a no go, even after Jack promises to surrender once Margot is caught. Heller is unable to convince Jack who firmly stands his ground. “I’m not going to let you blow the only lead that we’ve got because you’re worried about what the Russians will do. If you want Margot Al-Harazi, you’re going to have to do things my way,” Jack demands. Things are left in the air as Heller leaves to further consider the request.
Ever since Jack showed up in London, Boudreau has had it out for him, obviously due to Jack and Audrey’s history. Mark apologizes to Audrey for his lack of support, admitting his feelings clouded his judgement of the situation. Audrey dismisses the apology, then reminds him of his duty to her father. Later, the reunion fans have waited for finally happens! Jack and Audrey see each other! Audrey is completely overtaken by emotion, feeling like she should have defended his actions more. Jack assures her it’s not her fault; he did all he is accused of doing. Though they share an intimate moment, Jack sends her away in tears, the love between them still apparent.
Across town, Adrian decides to pull up shop now that Jack and likely other law enforcement agencies are aware of the Cell’s location. Chloe wants to continue to help the CIA, concerned thousands will die if she walks away. Adrian refuses to stay. In a poignant moment, though he tries to manipulate Chloe by reminding how the government wronged her, but she decisively terminates her association with the Cell organization- at least for now. She watches as her mentor, lover, and friend leaves without her. “I love you Chloe,” Adrian tries, using one last tactic as he makes his exit.
At the CIA offices, it’s curtains for Kate after U.S. Marine Capt. Cordero (Alec Newman) files a complaint regarding her actions during the stand off at the Embassy. Although it was Kate’s heroic moves that revealed the threat, Navarro has no choice but to release her from duty. Luckily that doesn’t stop her from alerting Chloe of the flagged IP address found attached to Margot’s digital upload. Both of them think something is awry, knowing how methodical this terrorist is and aren’t surprised to find a redirect code within the video coding. Unfortunately, Navarro has already taken a team to the bogus location, unaware of the ambush they are about to walk into!
Meanwhile, back in enemy territory, Simone (Emily Berrington) is still nursing her amputated finger after her mother’s barbaric orders. In an unbelievable scene, Margot apologizes and then asks her daughter’s forgiveness! Talk about dysfunctional! With only 14 minutes until the drones reach their targets in London, Naveed (Sacha Dhawan) quietly tells Simone he flagged the video with their location and when authorities arrive, he’ll protect her. Of course Margot is three steps ahead of him, having already learned of his second betrayal. Unbeknownst to Naveed, Ian (Liam Garrigan) is now able to pilot the drones, effectively rendering his usefulness null! His time is up! After a beat down he pleads for his life, using Simone’s love for him as his escape. He is horrified when he realizes this is not the case! Simone quietly watches Margot deliver the final blow as she shoots her daughter’s husband in the head!
On the ground, Navarro’s team enters the vacant house, cautiously conducting a sweep for the suspects. Realizing it’s a trap, Kate and Chloe warn Navarro but is too late! The President, Prime Minister and company watch missiles, launched by U.S. drones, hit the estate!
This is another quality, action packed episode. Although Jack is mostly MIA, the story doesn’t suffer and the cast proves it’s worth, able to take center stage minus the need for Kiefer in every scene.
One of the most interesting shifts in the episode is Kate and Chloe’s uniting to finish what Jack started. They are both dedicated to the CIA, though for very different reasons. Kate wants to redeem herself after being a patsy for her duplicitous terrorist husband, and Chloe feels it’s her duty to help stop the attack, no matter what she’s endured thanks to the U.S. government. Both are dealing with demons within, trying to make amends for their respective actions. I love that we see more of the ‘old Chloe,’ though transparently conflicted about her choice to stay. Because of Chloe’s stint in prison, as well as deep emotional cuts after the death of her husband and son, it is easy for Adrian to drastically influence her way of thinking. She is still very vulnerable, has gone through hell and he took advantage of her situation. It’s a huge step for her to stand up for herself against him, seeing him in a new light. I also think to a certain extent, she misses being in the thick of things and Jack reentering her life is a positive move forward for her. Where will this leave her by the end of the season? Only time will tell.
Let’s talk about Margot for moment. Every time she appears on screen, I get chills down my spine and my heart starts to pump a little quicker. Fairley’s portrayal is unnervingly brilliant! Margot is the epitome of exactly how brutal, committed, and lethal terrorists truly are and, if she doesn’t illicit fear in you, she should! Her dysfunction with Simone is the equivalent to that of a domestic violence relationship, where one is battered, then in an instant the other apologizes like nothing happened. It’s disturbing how deeply Simone is being controlled by her mother, watching with a slight grin as Margot kills Naveed right in front of her. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that neither have a hint of remorse in their eyes! This family is truly mentally, as well as emotionally, detached from their humanity. Like machines, they deal out their punishments without mercy. I’m anxious for Jack to track them down. Margo makes for a formidable opponent and I think the showdown will be of biblical proportions!
That brings us to Jack and Audrey’s reunion! The moment they locked eyes, you could see the love flood back to their faces, as though they’d never been apart. Both have been through a lot, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I found it very interesting that Audrey never answers Jack’s question about her marriage, completely avoiding the inquiry. We have seen tension building between Mark and Audrey, with Audrey feeling a bit controlled. Even after Mark apologizes for his lack of judgement about Jack, Audrey pretty much just walks away. Is it possible Audrey doesn’t love Mark the same way she does Jack? I’d have to say a resounding yes! I’m sure she feels indebted to Mark after his role in her recovery; however, her draw to Jack is so strong. They were pulled apart by circumstances, not because they didn’t love each other. In a way they are uniquely matched because both have war wounds. Ultimately, I have a feeling that Jack will win his love back in the end. He deserves a little piece of his life back!
Overall, while there have been a few groans that this season only has 12 episodes, I feel this hasn’t hindered the show but actually enhanced it. The old saying of ‘less is more’ applies in this case as we are getting quality, fast-paced episodes without any lag time in between or meaningless moments as filler. Each episode is meticulously laid out, effectively compressing the storyline to allow for maximum impact. The audience is kept on the edge of their seats from the beginning, left with spectacular cliffhangers each week, all clamoring for more! Can’t get much better than that!
So what’s in store for ‘Team Bauer’ next week? It won’t be too surprising when Heller authorizes Jack’s field request, but who does he want to back him up? Our feisty CIA Agent Kate Morgan, who has just been relieved of her duties! Jack has a plan to find Margot that is a little unorthodox; of course his plans always are! Will they finally figure out where the fanatical terrorists are hiding or will the plan fall apart at the expense of an unexpected lure? It all remains to be seen as Jack is back in the action!