President Heller gives the longest speech ever, while Jack Bauer uses his ninja skills to infiltrate the U.S. embassy.
Let’s bitch it out…
Serbian Mafia Guy had a line of dialogue again this episode (apparently he’s guarding the Open Cell ‘office’), and I thought that it was the most telling line of the night. Goth Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) insists that Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) was only doing what he thought was right when he betrayed Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) last episode. Serbian Mafia Guy’s response: “Right for who?” Who knew that Serbian Mafia Guy would be the subtle philosopher? It seems like every character on this show has their own agenda, and what’s ‘right’ is a very fluid concept, depending on one’s perspective. There’s also the question of just how far an individual is willing to go for what they deem to be ‘right.’
Naveed (Sacha Dhawan) thinks that the right thing to do is bail on the terrorist plot, and he’s willing to risk that his crazy mother-in-law, Margot Al-Hazari (Michelle Fairley) will probably try to kill him for it. Margot, on the other hand, thinks that the right thing to do is to blow up a bunch of people because of they’re guilty by association for electing their leaders, and she’s willing to chisel little bits off of her daughter, Simone (Emily Berrington), to coerce Naveed back into the fold.
After a thirty second conversation with the drone pilot, Chris Tanner (John Boyega), Agent Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) is finally convinced of Jack’s innocence, and that there is an actual terrorist plot going on. She reads the trigger-happy marines correctly, and realizes that the right thing to do is to sneak into the communications room of the US Embassy where Jack has barricaded himself. She’s willing to risk that Jack might shoot her or that the marines might shoot her when they storm the room. I think that Agent Morgan has a little extra incentive these days; she’s desperate for her instincts about Jack to be accurate (after being “so wrong” about her husband) that she’s a little reckless. Naturally we know that she’s right and her tactics work in Jack’s favour, so that’s good for us.
President Heller’s (William Devane) chief of staff, Marc Boudreau (Tate Donovan) obviously has some sort of nefarious agenda going on (Kim Raver’s Audrey even calls him out on it!). I’m really hoping that this doesn’t amount to him being in on the terrorist plot somehow – it seems so obvious that he’s a bad guy that I’m half-expecting some crazy misdirection that reveals he’s not actually bad at all. Maybe Marc really is just worried about his wife? It’s doubtful. I mean, he did forge the president’s signature last episode.
Last week I wrote about how I was disappointed in the editing around the President’s speech to parliament. I figured that ‘2:00pm-3:00pm’ would return to Heller after the speech had concluded to reveal that he had somehow, miraculously, swayed the British Parliament. It was pointed out in the comments that, perhaps, we would pick up Heller’s speech right at the start of the episode. Instead, we got neither. We return to Heller well into the episode, and the only snippets of his speech that we see are fairly tame and uninspiring. And yet, after nearly thirty minutes of real time weak speechifying has passed, the British Parliament applauds Heller as he concludes. That’s some really weak writing.
Jack has an eventful episode this week: he breaks into the embassy; puts a random guy in a sleeper hold and steals his badge; locates Tanner with Goth Chloe’s help; Tanner’s guard conveniently has the flight key on him; and then Jack locks himself in a room with three hostages. There are a number of suspenseful scenes, and some good action. And we get the big reveal as the hostage situation forces Marc to reveal Jack’s status to Heller and Audrey.
The conversation between Jack and Heller is solid. I am disappointed that Heller doesn’t believe him, and instead buys into Boudreau’s crappy argument about the damage Open Cell will cause if Jack’s lying. Like, who cares? On one hand we have the possibility of terrorists hijacking ten military drones and killing thousands, if not millions, of people. On the other hand, we have a group of goofy WikiLeaks stand-ins who will… what, exactly? Release the contents of a drone flight log to the public? I don’t see how any rational leader could weigh those two options and not at least wait the 15 minutes for Jack to finish uploading the data and see if it amounts to anything. And yeah, I know that the military advisor (Colin Salmon) says that they already analyzed the key and found nothing, but what’s the harm in letting Jack do his thing? Just to be sure? I find the whole flight key business to be quite silly.
Jack obviously believes that he’s doing the right thing, going so far as to shoot protesters and take hostages to prevent the attack against London. What he lacks is Margot’s conviction. I don’t think that Jack would have harmed the three hostages, even if it meant the fulfillment of his plan. Luckily, Agent Morgan gave him another option. Hopefully she’ll be able to convince Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) to do what she thinks is right.
- This episode uses one of my biggest TV/movie pet peeves: people crawling around in ventilation ducts! Die Hard is one of my favourite movies, but I curse the chain reaction it created when I see scenes like this. Why is the cover to the ventilation shaft never screwed shut, for starters? Human beings wouldn’t be able to fit in ventilation shafts, even in large buildings (and certainly not in that small embassy). Sheet metal makes a ton of noise when contacted. And, most importantly, vents are designed to carry air – air is pretty light. A standard ventilation shaft would collapse under the weight of even an extremely light person.
- I don’t know much about drone piloting, but it sounds impressive to me that Naveed is the only pilot for the terrorists. Is the average drone pilot capable of piloting ten drones at once?
- Finally, so far, the writers have gone out of their way in every episode to shoehorn in a reference to Kate having had the wool pulled over her eyes by her supposedly traitorous husband. It’s been brought up so frequently and stressed so hard that I fully expect to find out that her husband was never bad and that she was never wrong about him.
Your turn: did you enjoy Jack’s journey through the embassy? Are you disappointed that Heller didn’t believe Jack? Is there any way that Marc isn’t evil? How is Naveed going to pilot 10 drones? And are we in agreement that Kate’s husband isn’t a traitor? Sound off below
24: Live Another Day airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX