Thursday, 26 June 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, episode 9 – '7:00PM – 8:00PM'

Thursday, 26 June 2014

written by Tony Basgallop & Sang Kyu Kim (story by Evan Katz & Manny Coto) | directed by Milan Cheylov

Bravo, 24. Perhaps because Agent Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) already escaped a seemingly inevitable death, and knowing 24's long history of doing unimaginable things, I went into this episode completely believing President Heller (William Devane) had been obliterated in a drone attack on Wembley Stadium. I should have know the writers had cleverly withheld information, as Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) actually had a plan to infiltrate the drone's HUD and send it a looped feed of Heller contemplating his demise on the centre spot. Was it remiss of 24's real-time format to have Jack presumably scheme while the audience was elsewhere? Maybe. But for the sake of delivering two jaw-dropping moments (Heller's death and "resurrection"), it was worth the underhandedness.

Once the fact Heller's still alive became clear, most of this episode was a race-against-time to capture Margot (Michelle Fairley), who fell for Jack's trickery and ordered five of her drones to crash land as she promises Heller she would, before realising the deception and battling to ensure her last remaining drone spills blood in Heller's name. 24 does this sort of stuff in its sleep, and this episode was a perfectly entertaining effort. I never expected Margot's plan to be foiled with three episodes to go, even if the show's often inclined to neutralise the main threat before the season finale and move into a more personal aftermath menace for Jack to deal with.
MARGOT (about Heller): I want him to see that what happens next is a direct result of his cowardice.
24LAD only having a dozen episodes made be believe, incorrectly, that it wouldn't follow the established template.. but it has. Jack found Margot's hideout and swung in through a window, throwing her slimeball son Ian (Liam Garrigan) and Margot herself out through his entry route—to become mother-and-son pavement pizzas. A satisfying demise, and unexpectedly brutal of Jack; who clearly has no time for "due process", so exacts vigilante justice on crazed terrorists whenever possible. A troubling moment from a hero? Of course it was. But Jack Bauer's always been something of a fantasy figure with his zero tolerance and maverick ways.

The second half of episode 9 begun the final third of 24LAD's storyline, which appears to have only vague attachment to Margot Al-Harazi because creepy hacker Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) wants her "override device" that enabled the hijacking of drones and could be used with other government systems. Navarro was also exposed as a traitor by Jack (who should really expect a traitor in his midst at all times by now), after an investigation into the covert operative who murdered Reed last week. Navarro's now fled the CIA field office, but won't get far. And while Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) has spent the majority of 24LAD stuck in a London pub on a laptop (with incredible WiFi signal), she's now an unwitting fly in Adrian's web and has severed ties with Jack just when she needs him the most.
JACK (to Margot): The only death on my head tonight is yours.
Will all that sustain the remaining three episodes? I'm guessing so. There's also the matter of the Russian government putting pressure on Boudreau (Tate Donovan) to hand Jack over to them, and the unfinished business between Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) and Navarro—who incriminated her dead husband as a traitor and almost ruined her career in the process. That's a lot of material, so I don't expect to be bored, but is it as thrilling as the season's big "terrorists in control of high-tech unmanned drones over London" premise, ready to swoop over the capital and potentially destroy landmarks and kill thousands? Well no, but maybe the writers have something else up their sleeves we're unaware of. What else could that override device do, eh?

25 June 2014 | Sky1