Wednesday, 11 June 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, episode 7 – '5:00PM – 6:00PM'

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

written by Tony Basgallop | directed by Jon Cassar

I'm going to stop assuming characters are dead when they're caught up in explosions or hit by buses, because there's too much wriggle room for survival! On that note, following her incident with London traffic at the tail-end of last week's episode, terrorist Simone (Emily Berrington) was rushed to the nearby St Edwards Hospital with life-threatening injuries. And this set the scene for another hour of 24: Live Another Day focusing primarily on one location, that managed to squeeze a lot of fun and excitement from a situation that, if we're honest, the show's done variations of many times before.

But let's be honest; nobody's watching 24LAD expecting the producers to have rewritten the tried-and-trusted 24 playbook. They know what's worked in the past, understand what the fans like watching Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) do, and have simply brought the show back with a contemporary issue (unmanned drones) and a trendy location to give the show a fresher identity. Watching Jack desperate to interrogate a captive enemy (resorting to "physical coercion" when nobody was looking); and seeing Margot (Michelle Fairley) send a henchman to the hospital to kill her own daughter, was all good fun.
"She's betrayed me once. I won't let her do it again." -- Margot
But what stood out about this episode (written by a Brit who's worked on UK shows like EastEnders, Teachers and Hotel Babylon), is that it contained an action sequence that felt fresh and dynamic in 24 terms. Lord knows Jack's saved the day in almost every conceivable way since 2001, but the sequence where Margot's airborne drone obliterated a hospital wing and then literally chased Jack's car through London streets was both exhilarating and, okay, preposterous. But that's an agreeable recipe for a dose of 24, which ultimately has a very honest game-plan: keep viewers entertained and hooked by the time the clock arrives at the next hour. I even liked how Jack eventually managed to evade a hellfire missile, by swapping cars inside a tunnel and sending the empty one to its fiery demise by weighting the accelerator peddle. Margot wasn't even stupid enough to believe she'd managed to kill her passenger daughter (which gave credit to her as a mastermind villain), but by then she'd ran out of missiles. Foiled again!
"Once Bauer serves his purpose everyone gets what they want." -- Boudreau
Overall, episode 7 was another entertaining hour of 24LAD, and there were some nice scenes on the outskirts of the main storyline. I loved the verbal sparring between disgruntled President Heller (William Devane) and the incensed Prime Minister Davies (Stephen Fry) over MI5 almost ruining Jack's covert op; Boudreau (Tate Donovan) is now waist-high in shit because the Russians are demanding Jack's extradition and are prepared to reveal the Chief-of-Staff forged the President's signature (a career-ending act of treason), and in the midst of everything this hour almost casually revealed the villain pulling Agent Navarro's (Benjamin Bratt) strings is none other than hacker supremo Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott). Well, it did seem a pity they hired an actor like Wincott just to be Chloe's (Mary Lynn Rajskub) prick of a boss.

And now Heller's agreed to hand himself over to Margot to prevent London incurring any more loss of life and property damage, which could end very badly in the world of 24 (although I suspect he's going to insist on Jack's backup, which is why he's been called back in). It wouldn't be unthinkable for 24 to have a villain successfully assassinate a US President, and 24LAD could then turn the spotlight on PM Davies to take charge and avenge the death of his friend. Who knows what might happen? And that's the fun of a crazy thrill-ride drama like 24, even in its ninth season and thirteenth year.

9 June 2014 | Fox