Tonight, on 24, Jack Bauer makes switching cars an art form.
Let’s bitch it out…
So I guess I was wrong assuming that being struck by a bus would sideline Simone (Emily Berrington). What was I thinking? This is 24, after all, where you can survive being struck by a bus, but die in mere minutes from a single stab wound to the abdomen.
Most of the action in this episode revolves around Simone. Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) rush to the hospital to see if they can turn Simone against her mother, Margot (Michelle Fairley). I was intrigued by Jack’s first encounter with Simone, just as she woke up. It is like a mini-torture scene as he applied pressure to her recently-removed pinky. Agent Morgan is in the corner, cringing (considering her recent torture – thanks to Jack’s crazy plan last episode – that’s understandable). Thankfully Jack has the awareness to realize how inappropriate it is, and even apologizes (to Kate, not to Simone). Has Jack Bauer actually grown as a person? His newfound distaste for torture was touched on in a previous season, but it didn’t last long. I’m curious to see if it will this time around.
Mommy realizes that Simone might be a loose end, and sends a random Arab thug to run a little recon. (Side note: why is it always so easy to steal hospital uniforms?) Once it becomes clear that Simone was trying to save her sister-in-law and niece, the only remaining option (at least in the mind of a crazy person) is to use a drone to wipe out the entire hospital. Luckily for Jack, and everyone else in the building, instead of fleeing the building immediately, the thug is inexplicably hanging around outside Simone’s room (he is so obviously stereotyped that Jack only needs to look at him to know he’s a bad guy!). This leads to a chase and the information that they have eight minutes to clear the building. Needless to say, eight minutes is more than enough time for the likes of Jack Bauer.
The scene when Simone peers out the back window of the car, surveying the devastation caused by the drone strike is very interesting. All that remains is a huge pile of debris and a slew of innocent victims, some dead and some walking around with body parts blown off. I think that this is meant to be the moment that Simone realizes what her mother is capable of, but it has the unintended (or intended? Maybe I’m not giving the writers enough credit) consequence of displaying the reality of drones, in general. This is what happens when the “good guys” use drones to strike at military targets. Blowing shit up from far away is never as precise as one would hope, and the end result is a lot of collateral damage. It’s exactly what put Margot on this path in the first place, and it’s exactly what leads lots of real world countries to hate the U.S. and its allies.
I’m also glad that President Heller (William Devane) gets to show his badass side to Prime Minister Davies (Stephen Fry). The President later tells Audrey (Kim Raver) and Boudreau (Tate Donovan) that he handled his meeting with the PM poorly, but I thought it was great. He calls the PM out on not trusting him and blowing the operation, and he is able to (presumably) get the PM’s unwavering support for the remainder of the crisis. Sure, Heller is a little over-emotional, but it works. And the PM views him as a friend, so Heller’s emotional response probably carried more impact. Unfortunately, it also sets Heller down a different path.
As soon as it is revealed that Margot has left instructions on how to contact her directly, I was afraid that Heller would give himself up. And once he more or less tells Kim and Boudreau that he’s going to step down after the crisis is over, it seems like a foregone conclusion. Sure enough, by the end of the episode, he makes the call, and offers himself up to the terrorist. Now, Heller did tell Jack that he wanted to talk to him, so this could be a ploy that Heller has concocted that only he and Jack will be in on. But I’m afraid that that may just be wishful thinking on my part. Whatever the case, though, I think it is a solid note for the episode to end on.
- I was disappointed that Cross (Michael Wincott) turns out to be the bad guy that Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) is working with/for (though I guess it makes sense given his access to secret documents). These two really need to hire better assassins, though – how the hell did that guy only hit Jordan (Giles Matthey) in the shoulder?
- Do the drones have a complement of badass missiles and wimpy missiles? When the drone blew up the building that the CIA were raiding a few episodes ago, there was a badass explosion. And when the drone blows up the hospital, there is a badass explosion. But when the drone takes aim at Jack’s car, it’s just a wimpy explosion – a badass explosion would have easily killed Jack, Kate and Simone.
- I might have missed this last week, but why does Jack’s car have a left-side steering wheel? Does the CIA use American cars in London? Once Jack starts playing musical cars, all of the other cars have the proper right-side steering wheels.
- When Jack uses cutesy terms, like “sweetheart,” it just seems really out of place to me. He needs a more badass term of endearment.
- Why aren’t people like Kate more impressed that Jack has a direct line to the President? Considering she thought he was an international terrorist six hours ago, she should be bowled over by how high up the chain he has access to!
- When the Russian guy meets with Boudreau, he refers to “Time we do not have.” Why? They’ve been looking for Jack for five years, they can’t wait a day or two longer? What is so urgent?
Your turn: are you happy that Simone lived? Do you care about this Russian storyline at all? Surprised that Heller is going to give himself up? Sound off below.
24: Live Another Day airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX