I guess there won’t be any soccer (futbol?) matches played at Wembley Stadium anytime soon.
Let’s bitch it out…
I guess I kind of have to start at the end. I freely admit that I half-expected Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) to find some way to wiggle out of the situation, and save President Heller (William Devane). The other half of me expected what ultimately happened. I guess it was just wishful thinking on my part, because I’ve always liked Heller as a character. And tonight was like the Heller farewell tour – he had a lot of great scenes.
When Jack reacts quite negatively to the plan initially, Devane really nails the scene with the impassioned argument that Heller makes to convince Jack. At the end of the day, we always know that Jack will play the dutiful soldier, right to the end, despite his emotional disagreement up front. But I still think that that was an excellent back and forth – and then the President immediately has to do it all over with with Boudreau (Tate Donovan). Two different approaches, and the President sells his position quite well both times.
There are a few emotional scenes tonight (which, historically, I’ve never been too impressed with, but tonight I feel like they worked well). The best one occurs when Heller goes to Audrey’s (Kim Raver) office to have a quick chat and look at an old childhood picture that she carries around. As the audience, we know that this is Heller’s way of saying goodbye to the daughter that he will never see again, but he can’t actually say goodbye to her without risking the plan. It’s a very well done scene, and it is nice to see him get this one happy moment before his impending demise. When he leaves the room, and Audrey looks up to see that he’s gone, it’s a little heart-breaking knowing that she’ll never see him again.
I think the person that most impresses me in this episode is Boudreau. Jack’s “plan” is basically that Boudreau take care of everything: obtaining Secret Service, and British security information; emptying out the hallways; getting a car and a chopper outside of the estate’s boundaries; even getting access to Wembley Stadium. And Jack gives Mark about ten minutes to pull all of it off. I guess that’s why he’s the Chief of Staff. When he’s not covertly meeting with the Russians and forging his boss’ signature, he’s actually kinda decent at his job.
In other storyline news: I really hope that this silly storyline involving Navarro (Benjamin Bratt), Cross (Michael Wincott), and Jordan (Giles Matthey) is actually going somewhere interesting. Because so far it’s been a snoozefest. It’s exactly the sort of subplot I was hoping not to see in this shorter, streamlined season. I’m still holding out judgment that it will tie into the larger plot (which it probably will, given how this episode ended – who’s the big bad now?). Before we move on, let’s take a moment to shake our heads at how inept that assassin is, though. Cross could have sent one of his computer nerd cronies to do a better job than that guy did.
We also see the aftermath of the Simone (Emily Berrington) rescue from last episode. She’s in critical condition, but Jack and Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) are desperate for any information that might stop Heller from sacrificing himself. They get a little bit of intel from Simone, but not Margot’s (Michelle Fairley) location. I was disappointed that Kate is basically sidelined: in the few scenes they interacted in, she and Jack are pretty fun to watch together. Oh sure, Kate does get a lame scene where she pulls a gun on the CIA doctor to get him to revive Simone, after Jack insists that she “Wake the bitch up!” but all in all this is a pretty boring episode for Kate.
We’re left in uncertain terrain moving forward. If Margot is true to her word, now that Heller is dead, is the threat over? Will Ian (Liam Garrigan), who doesn’t seem to agree with mommy’s rationale, continue on without her? Is Cross somehow connected to the terrorist plot? Is Navarro? Is there some as-of-yet-unintroduced shadowy big bad lurking in the background? We’re running out of episodes, so I assume we should get a lot of answers next week.
- I know I mentioned it already, but I really enjoyed Heller in this episode. He got some emotional scenes, but he also had some fun moments: yelling “Yikes!” when Jack cuts into his arm; “Thank god you didn’t become a surgeon”; his reaction when Jack clocks the Secret Service agent. It is like the writers want to showcase everything memorable about the character before whacking him.
- It is pretty impressive how fast Margot’s group move from one hideout to another, and get everything up and running again. The good guys need to take some tips from the terrorists on how to get around town more efficiently.
- RIP President James Heller. You will be missed (by me, anyway).
What’s your take on Heller’s final episode? Will you miss him? Did you tear up over his goodbye with Audrey? Will Adrian become the new villain? Is Jordan actually dead? And will Margot destroy the drones now that she supposedly got what she wants? Sound off below
24: Live Another Day airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX