Last week 24 rocketed back into social relevance with the premiere of 24: Live Another Day. Overall the episode was great and action-packed. The frantic pace that the series is known for is seen in the first five minutes and it never really lets up. Last night’s episode does a good job building even more tension while interspersing backstory and character motivations throughout. In short, it was great. Even after a four year hiatus 24 remains one of the best shows on television.
If you haven’t seen last night’s episode (or the episode before it) I recommend watching it before reading this review/recap. I don’t want you to end up like this:
Quick Recap of last week’s episode: POTUS (President of the United States) is in London to attempt to continue the American Drone program, which is run out of a base in England. Derrick Yates, a former member of the “hacktivist” group known as Free Information, developed a device that can take control of up to 10 U.S. drones at a time and intended to sell it to Margot Al-Harazi. Margot’s daughter, Simone, got close to Yates using coitus and was able to take the device after killing him while he was at a urinal (the location only matters because, really? At least let the guy finish up before brain-stabbing him in a pub’s bathroom). Mark Boudreau, POTUS’ Chief of Staff and all-around asshole, wants Bauer caught and/or killed because of a personal vendetta involving his wife and is using the CIA to do it.
Last night’s episode picks up right where the previous one left off (which is kind of hour 24 works). Jack and Chloe track Derrick and Simone, they have the drone device, to a pub where they are/were hiding. Jack discovers Yates dead and realizes the girl must’ve killed him. He determines that she got on the subway and has Chloe drive him to the next stop. When he locates her they make awkward eye contact for a few seconds. After exiting the train car she accuses Jack of trying to assault her to create a diversion (this leads to Jack having to throat chop some dude who believe they are being chivalrous), and escapes down a maintenance tunnel. Chloe has an emotional lapse when she thinks she sees her son and husband walking out of the subway and missed Simone getting away (both her son and husband were killed in what was most likely an attempt to kill her).
Mark, the Chief of Staff, wants to get Bauer extradited to Russia for crimes he committed in the eighth season. The extradition order requires President Heller’s signature, but Mark just forges it and moves on. Here’s the thing about Mark – you are not supposed to like him and you totally don’t, he’s an asshole.
We then get some critical backstory for the series’ antagonist, Margot Al-Harazi. She was radicalized after marrying an Al-Qaeda commander who was then killed by an American drone, hence her motivation to use drones to kill POTUS. We are also introduced to Simone’s husband, who doesn’t like how she had to get close to Yates and is having second thoughts about killing people. Simone then uses coitus like a Jedi Mind Trick to convince him that he isn’t really having second thoughts at all (all of this while her mother, Margot, is watching via hidden camera, because what’s the use of having an antagonist without a little bit of creep). You really get the sense that Simone is just brainwashed into second-hand radicalization by her overbearing (and creepy) mother.
The next time we see Jack, he and Chloe are back at Free Information HQ and are trying to convince them to help him prevent the attack on POTUS. They reluctantly comply (reluctantly being the key word here) to help him gain access to the US Embassy so he can talk to Chris Tanner, the pilot of the drone that was taken over by Yates. The CIA also know about Tanner and Yates because Kate Morgan (girl Jack Bauer) got the information out the leader of the gang Bauer ran through last episode. Bauer, as well as Agents Morgan and Ritter are all en route to the embassy to talk to Tanner.
Heller (who has Alzheimer’s) is attempting to give a speech at Parliament, but is getting shouted down. We won’t get to see how he handles this until next episode.
Unfortunately for Bauer, Free Information set him up in the Embassy’s system, but purposefully included some errors that would get him flagged by security. Unfortunately for the protesters and Embassy guards, Bauer doesn’t let a hiccup like being flagged by Embassy security slow him down. Once Jack realizes he something was amiss he begins to walk away towards the crowd only to be followed by a security guard. Bauer knocks him out, takes his gun, and then walks into the crowd of protesters. He then fires multiple shots (hitting some protester legs in the process) and blames it on Embassy security causing pandemonium among the crowd, which he uses to gain access to the Embassy. Kate sees him, but is too late to stop him aaaaaaannnnd SCENE.
This episode was great. Like last episode, the show does a great job jumping from action to tense dialogue and setup without it being boring. I am very impressed with how the show is not only living up to the hype, but staying consistent with the tone of the previous outings. One thing I am not used to is having to wait a week to catch the next episode. My binge-watching of the previous eight seasons has given me a desire for instant gratification. Like most political thrillers, the plot will only get more and more tangled, so it will be interesting to see how they keep it all together.
Let us know how you liked last night’s episode in the comments, and make sure to check back here next week!