24 Live Another Day: 4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

"Jack wants her, Jack needs her, Jack gets her."

As the season progresses, I keep coming back to the same question; how much does Fox want 24 back on the air?

To elaborate, I don't mean that Fox is reluctant to have it back. Actually, I think they are using this mini-series to explore the idea of a spin-off. This episode was basically like a Jack Bauer initiation ritual for Kate. She got knocked out for a mission, tortured, vindicated (although she doesn't know yet that her husband was innocent), and kicked ass to get herself out of harm's way. They're putting a lot of effort into her character, and they are building her up to be Jack's equal.

Of course there are narrative reasons for that as well as practical ones. Kiefer Sutherland isn't exactly getting any younger, and having another character that can do rough stuff is probably a good way to take the load off his shoulders. Story wise, Kate going through all this stuff is a solid way to establish audience trust. It works even better now that the mole in her agency has been revealed as Navarro.

Navarro has felt "off" since episode one, along with Boudreau. So one of them had to be a bad guy. Unfortunately that means Boudreau is probably just a slimy politician with a hero complex. He has to be the one to save the President and Audrey, and he can't stand that Jack is back in their lives. At least his forgery of Heller's signature is probably going to be his downfall, but we'll see.

I wonder how the Prime Minister's aide got that information about Heller? Was it Boudreau? I wouldn't be surprised, but I bet it isn't that easy. Of course the Brits moved in to spoil Jack's plan, which was classic 24. The mission goes to crap, all the bad guys die, and Chloe ends up with some impossible computer problem that she'll have to figure out at some point in the next hour.

This is usually the point where the first villain of the season is running low on steam, or their presence is becoming a bit tiresome. Which usually means they are going to be taken down so that the real big bad can move onto the scene in an appropriately explosive way. Thankfully, Margot hasn't lost me yet, but her excessive mustache-twirling level of evil is definitely pushing her daughter to the limit.

Simone has been the most interesting part of the villain plot so far this season, and her conflict involving Naveed's sister and niece was well done. She clearly didn't want to kill two innocents in cold blood. Taking out Derek was one thing, he was responsible for killing a bunch of Marines (or at least facilitating those deaths), and was going to give over a program that was likely to kill a lot more people.

But Naveed's sister and her daughter, who had no idea what was going on? That was a bridge too far apparently. I guess it's a matter of semantics here, but at least Simone isn't a total monster (she didn't mean to kill her sister-in-law, and I don't think she was chasing down Yasmin to kill her). I kept thinking, as Simone was chasing Yasmin through the streets, that one of them was going to get hit. Maybe getting hit by that bus will be the thing Simone needs to realize her mother is bad news.


There were 4 confirmed dead and 6 wounded from the missile attack at the end of the last episode.

I called it last week, Kate was assigned to Jack.

Margot is pretty much an unapologetic monster to her children. Why do they follow her again?

Loved Jack's response to Boudreau asking him to stay away from Audrey. Basically, if I live through the day, I'm going to prison so don't worry about me. Plus, Jack lied to him about how Audrey feels about her marriage. That was far nicer than he had to be.

Belcheck is loyal, and it was pretty cool that he was more worried about Kate than he was about the mission.

Winner of the "in an hour" pool is - Heller ordering that the military not be deployed for an hour so that Jack had chance to make his mission work.

Jack is a freelance counterterrorist operative, of course he's a freelance counterterrorist operative. What else was he going to do in those four years, retire?

Kate going with Jack's plan took a lot of trust, which means Jack now trusts her.

Jordan is Kate's Chloe, and he's working on retrieving the evidence that Navarro tried to delete. Which begs the question; who does Navarro work for?

"You are to give Jack Bauer anything he needs. Plus silence."
Pretty good episode, but also pretty standard for 24.

2 1/2 out of 4 Forged Signatures

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow, The Originals and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.


Billie Doux said...

I knew we'd finally get an extended torture scene. I was so hoping we wouldn't -- it's my least favorite thing about 24.

Terrific review, J.D. You're right. They are *so* setting up Yvonne Strahovski for a spinoff.

Simone is indeed the most interesting character so far. I keep wondering what will make her jump ship when it hasn't happened already. Cutting off her finger? Murdering her husband in front of her? Ordering her to kill an innocent woman and child? What's it going to take?

ChrisB said...

Throughout this episode, I kept thinking that Kate was being shown to be Jack's equal. Your review nails it completely.

Like you two, I believe Simone is the most interesting character we've seen. Although, I was convinced that Navarro was the good guy and literally shouted at the television when he dialed that phone.

This damn show -- it never ceases to shock me.

WADEZILLA13 said...

Everything about this episode was outstanding - even the torture. The whole sequence was intense enough, but when the idiot Brits took Belchek down it ratcheted up even more. Kate's escape was truly Bauer-esque and she is quickly becoming a great character (though I do still miss the lovely Renee, whom Kate is very similar to).

Which brings me to this point - I have a terrible, terrible feeling that Jack may not "Live Another Day", and all of this may be a passing of the torch to a new era of 24. I hope I'm wrong.

ChrisB said...

Wadezilla13 -- I have the same gnawing feeling. I've always felt that Jack should, eventually, run out of good luck and options. It seems clear to me that Kate is being set up as his successor and that we are all going to spend the final episode or so mourning our hero.

J.D. Balthazar said...

Wadezilla13, I think you're right. As much as I'd like for Jack to retire with Audrey to a desert island somewhere, I don't think that's in the cards. I hadn't even thought about the idea that Jack might not make it to the end of the season.

What if he died in the next three episodes or so, leaving Chloe to avenge his death, and Kate be the surrogate Jack to take the villain down. I'm not sure it would work without some kind of interact between Margot and Jack, but that would make her one of the most effective villains on the show.

Because killing Kate off would serve absolutely no narrative purpose. She's new, we like her but we aren't attached. She feels more like the one who will carry on Jack's legacy than someone who will be sacrificed by the 24 PTB.