All I can say about Monday night’s episode of 24 Live Another Day is that the next morning my heart was still racing! Talk about intense! Fans on Twitter were pumped, eagerly waiting for the ‘Bauer Power Hour’ to begin and FOX delivered!
It all starts as Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) pushes his way into the U.S. Embassy with CIA Agents Morgan (Yvonne Strahvoski) and Ritter (Gbenga Akinnagbe), as well as a slew of Marines, hot on his tail. Thanks to Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), Jack makes it to Lt. Tanner (John Boyega), who is shocked as Jack quickly takes his guard out of commission! Although initially leery of this intruder, Jack relays he knows control of Tanner’s drone was hijacked and can prove it with his flight key. Still a little apprehensive, Tanner accepts the help. After finding it on the guard, Jack is able to take off with the Lieutenant’s flight key, which had been initially confiscated upon Tanner’s arrest.
I thought it was a little strange that the guard would have the flight key. I guess they had to figure out the best way for Jack to get it, but typically I’m sure it would have been in evidence not on one of the Marines guarding the prisoner.
His next move? He throws caution to the wind, determined to get the data uploaded. Though Chloe fears he’ll be killed, all Jack cares about is getting the information to President Heller (William Devane). Chloe navigates him to the Embassy’s secured computer room in hopes of uploading the data from the flight key. However, Jack and Chloe learn from Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) the data is encrypted and it will take at least 20-30 minutes for his program to decrypt it so the data can be uploaded.
Interestingly, for the first time, Chloe questions whether Cross is telling the truth, especially after his previous turn coat move in flagging Jack’s ID. I think Chloe is on the way to recovery now, seeing Cross in a new light. I’m always in awe of her total loyalty to Jack, and her commitment to him. Much like Margot (Michelle Fairley) is fully immersed in her cause, Chloe is the same with Jack’s. It’s a great parallel.
Across town, President Heller finishes addressing Parliament, calming the tensions within the British government. His moment of triumph is fleeting as the Chief of Staff breaks the news of Bauer’s presence in London. Of course both Heller and Audrey (Audrey) question why they weren’t alerted immediately, and Audrey accuses Boudreau (Tate Donovan) of deliberately keeping the news from them. While both are surprised at this development, as always, Heller tries to understand what Jack is up to.
I really love that no matter what happens between them, Heller and Audrey stand up for Jack, evident when the President demands a chat, much to Boudreau’s dismay. Then in a show of strength, Audrey confronts her husband believing he’s kept them in the dark because of her history with Jack. Though he denies this, deep down he knows she’s right!
After speaking with Jack, learning of the threat against him, Heller is contemplating what to next. However Boudreau skillfully thwarts any notion the President may have in believing the threat laid out to him by reminding Heller of the reasons Jack is marked a terrorist. Boudreau appears to relish the moment as he gives a run down of Jack’s dirty laundry. Ultimately it’s a convincing argument and Heller gives the order to arrest Jack!
Afterward, Audrey admonishes Mark. “I am telling you that this is the wrong call. Jack is telling the truth and that’s based on me knowing him better than anyone else in that room! That is my measured opinion and God help us if I’m right!” I see a rocky road for this couple!
Meanwhile, our terrorists Simone (Emily Berrington) and Naveed are enjoying a moment alone until he informs his wife he plans to abort his part in the mission. Of course he tries to sway Simone to leave with him and although she agrees, it’s not within her to go through with it. The moment Margot gets an eyeful of her daughter, she can tell something is amiss and as suspected, Naveed (Sacha Dhawan) is not a loyal soldier!
When Simone exposes her husband’s plans to leave, you could literally see the fear in her eyes that she understands the consequences of going against her mother. “Please don’t hurt him,” she pleads. Unfortunately for Simone, the betrayal only solidifies the fact that Margot will do whatever it takes to get the job done, even maim her own flesh and blood! In a disturbing scene, she orders her mercenaries to chop off Simone’s finger!
Back at the Embassy, pretending to take the employees hostage, Jack is trying to stall invasion by the Marines. Although he threatens to kill the hostages if they try anything, he promises the employees he means them no harm. Knowing things are looking pretty grim, in a moment reminiscent of the series finale four years ago, Chloe promises Jack she’ll get the data to the President no matter what happens to him. I could see the panic and sorrow in Chloe’s eyes at the thought of Jack’s demise. It’s an extremely poignant moment.
Next, enter Capt. Cordero (Alec Newman) in charge of the Marines who finally gets the okay to use force to arrest Jack. He’s trigger happy, ready to kill him the first chance he gets no matter what the President wants! Luckily our rogue CIA Agent Morgan has the moxie to undermine the operation. After hearing the call between President Heller and Jack, she is now convinced that he’s telling the truth. In an effort to minimize the likelihood that he will be killed, she makes her way into the computer room via the ceiling. Jack doesn’t trust her, but she promises to get the flight key uploaded and to the President. With no other choice, he agrees just as the Marine’s storm the room! Morgan pushes them back announcing she’s arrested Jack!
The episode ends as Margot’s team readies the drones and her plan of revenge against President Heller is set to commence!
The entire hour is an adrenaline rush as I watched at the edge of my seat, wondering how the hell Jack was going to get out of there! There is no time for any type of lackadaisical discussion, as the episode immediately hits the ground running! While I usually multitask during shows, the action was at such a frantic pace, I barely had time to catch my breath between commercials! By the end of this episode, we see a clearer picture of exactly who each character is, and especially how far they will go to accomplish their missions.
We know Jack’s dedication, but I find it kind of sad that he really doesn’t care about what happens to himself at this point. I thought it was about time we saw more of Jack’s feelings, his struggles in having to leave the family and country he’s fought so hard for. I could feel his frustration at the way he’s had to live on the run for the last four years thanks to Heller’s administration. What amazes me is that Heller is a stand up guy, so I can’t believe he wouldn’t give Jack the chance to defend his actions! He’s right, he has definitely earned that much. I think Heller owes him big time!
Margot Al-Harazi on the other hand, is a whole other story! Not only is Margot radically committed, but completely void of any real emotional connections on a normal level. When I spoke to Michelle Fairley, she described her character as very committed, mourning the loss of her husband, in a lot of pain. I think what separates her from villains on previous seasons is her unwavering vow to seek revenge at all costs, even her own family! She feels a responsibility to her fallen husband to avenge his death. I’m sure working side by side her Al-Qaeda commander husband is the reason she can so callously dole out such severe punishments without a second thought or emotion!
When Simone outs Naveed, at first, I really thought Margot would cut him slack because her daughter loves him so much. My jaw dropped when she barbarically orders Simone’s finger chopped off! I think most fans were rendered as utterly speechless as I was! I never thought Margot would go to such an extreme to illicit cooperation from Naveed this way. I figured if anyone was getting hurt, it would be him for turning against them! After this episode, I doubt the audience will ever underestimate her again!
One of the best things I’ve seen thus far is our techie guru Chloe finally letting go of some of the pain she’s endured by getting back in the thick of things with Jack. I think her time apart from him, as well as her life at CTU, sort of feeds into her dark spiral, and I was so happy when she questions Cross’s truthfulness! Chloe is no dummy, and thanks to Jack, the fog is lifting and she is seeing things much clearer. I hope that by the end of the season, Chloe is back on track!
Finally, I am waiting with bated breath for Jack and Audrey to see each other! While Boudreau (and probably the President) thinks Jack isn’t good for Audrey, I beg to differ! In my view, Jack gives her the strength to confront Mark about his decision to keep Bauer’s presence from her for so long. I’m sure that Audrey is thankful to Mark for helping her sort of come back to the living after her horrific ordeal at the hands of the Chinese, but she is Jack’s one true love and he’s hers! The smile on Audrey’s face was proof and Mark knows he doesn’t stand a chance against Jack! I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for their reunion!
So what’s next for our deeply tormented hero? A face to face with President Heller! First it’s where’s the flight key? Thankfully it’s in Kate Morgan’s capable hands, but how will this affect Jack’s fate? Finally able to talk to Heller, Jack asks to go back in the field so he can thwart the terrorist attack. Will the President authorize temporary reinstatement? Meanwhile, Margot is now in control of at least six U.S. drones, all positioned straight at London! She delivers her ultimatum- President Heller must surrender himself to her or she will attack London!
It’s going to be another roller-coaster ride, so get ready for ‘Bauer Power Hour’, Monday, May 26 at 9:00 p.m. on FOX!