VOD TV recap: 24: Live Another Day Episode 9
James R | On 02, Jul 2014
This contains spoilers.
Let it never be said that 24 doesn’t know how to mix it up. So far, Live Another Day has delivered a versatile blend of stupidity, sentiment, action and more stupidity. After last week’s unexpectedly moving farewell to President Heller, it’s straight back to action again. With – yes – a healthy dose of stupidity.
The first thing we discover? President Heller isn’t dead after all. Surprise! That effective plot point that you thought happened? It didn’t really! And there you were thinking 24 could be serious and mature! Fooled you!
It’s only a matter of minutes until everyone discovers they were duped into feeling angry/victorious/surprised and immediately starts feeling angry/victorious/surprised. And so, while Catelyn Stark keeps her word about dumping drones by Dover, Ian informs her of the deception and promptly redirects the last one to Waterloo. In response, the good guys arm their own explosive missile – Jack Bauer – and target him straight at their hideout.
That, it turns out, is easy to find, thanks to Chloe and hacker Adrian Cross. With the revelation that he is working with Navarro, though, can we really trust him? Such thoughts are soon brushed aside by a loud spray of bullets: Jack and a team of CIA officers storm the London building where Catelyn and Ian are hiding out.
It’s a rollicking set piece, directed with speed by Milan Cheylov, who has had previous on Prison Break, Dexter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Things are as urgent and exciting as 24 has ever been – then that stupidity comes into play, as Jack rappels down the building and breaks into the baddies’ hideout through the window.
Ian and Catelyn react as anyone would: they get out their guns. Jack reacts as only he can: he grabs them both and defenestrates them. To death. It’s absurd. It’s laughable. It’s unexpected. In short, it’s exactly what makes 24 still entertaining after nine seasons – the ability to chuck your expectations out of the window through the potent combination of fast pacing and slow thinking.
The problem of stopping the drone’s missile is swiftly handled by Chloe, who can still help Jack to override it. Of course, she cannot pilot it herself – rather, that falls to Kiefer Sutherland, who waggles a big joystick until it explodes in the River Thames, conveniently avoiding all of the city’s big famous landmarks.
It’s typical treatment of Chloe from the programme, which has always had her veer between active force in her own right and supporting enabler for Jack’s own awesomeness.
But who can blame Bauer for being the best? With the drones downed and the terrorists stopped, he’s saved the day once again, hasn’t he?
Not quite. Kate is called to Camden to the aftermath of Jordan’s fight with his assassin. Both are dead – a sign of how redundant that plot line was – but fingerprints from the assassin are swiftly traced back to Navarro. By Jack, of course, not by Kate – precisely the pattern than makes 24 still frustrating after nine seasons.
Benjamn Bratt, meanwhile, goes into panic mode. Cross says he can help him escape the country with a new identity, but only if he gives Adrian the override device, which contains defence information for the entire country. And so Navarro takes the device when no one is looking – this, despite the fact that the CIA office only has walls made of glass – and somehow manages to run out of the back entrance.
It’s another dose of stupidity, but again, one that functions perfectly; with the weight of the other story line behind Navarro’s slippery antics, for the first time we care about the now overly-familiar moley formula.
Bauer pursues, leaving Navarro to arrange a meeting with Cross. Jack’s answer? Chloe, naturally. She shows a hint of independence here, refusing to give him assistance; she’s done. She’s out. Then she gets into a car with Adrian and they drive off with a kiss – a move that suggests she’s either a villain or a fool. Sadly, given Mary Lynn Rajskub’s many passionate speeches about doing the right thing and how nice Jack is, it’s most likely the latter, which risks relegating Chloe back into a secondary role. (The fact that Michael Wincott’s thin-lipped monotone appears incapable of expressing romance only undermines their relationship further.)
24 may have mixed it up once again this week to keep us hooked, but it’s inability to rely on anyone other than Bauer may prove its most stupid decision yet.
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