24: Live Another Day: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

“Face it, son. You and I are the only chance they have.”

So often when we watch a television show or a movie, we know that the danger in which the hero finds himself is a plot device. Before the end of the hour, something will happen that will thwart the bad guy and the good guy will win. 24 is not a show that has ever played by the rules.

I spent the hour watching this episode convinced that Chloe was going to be able to hack into Margot’s system and take control of the drones. I just couldn’t believe that Heller would die. I was wrong. Unless the man is made of kryptonite, the missile strike did its job. Last week, I mentioned that Heller was doing one of two things; he did, indeed, go out in a blaze of glory. RIP, Mr. President.

Unfortunately, the entire hour led up to that final moment and it felt like an hour. I got the sense that this episode was meant to put the pieces into place for the final run to the end as the various stories being told begin to come together.

Simone is in very bad shape, but ultimately she betrayed her mother and gave Kate the information everyone needed. Jordan appears to be in very bad shape as well, if he is not dead. Something tells me he is not, but we shall wait and see. I did love the fact that, as a desk jockey, he was able to get the upper hand on a trained assassin, albeit briefly.

Adrian is still chasing Chloe, but she is wrapped up with Jack right now. The jealousy is an interesting angle for the writers to take and I am very much looking forward to seeing how that story plays out. Speaking of jealousy, I have not been a fan of Mark’s up to this point. Here, however, we got to see what the man is made of. He put aside all feelings about Jack and Audrey, helping Jack, not betraying Jack to Audrey, and standing up to his wife when he needed to. The scene with Audrey was quiet and understated, which just made it all the more powerful.

Finally, however, this episode was William Devane’s and he was wonderful. Shouting at Jack, convincing Mark to help him, the very sweet scene with Audrey, and that heroic walk across the football pitch all showed us a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Interestingly, however, we still don’t know why he did it. Was it because he felt guilty about Margot’s husband or because he couldn’t face the reality of his illness? We will never know and that’s all right. What matters is that Heller was a hero at the end.

It was very clever of Heller to resign the presidency just at the moment of his death. This action effectively removes the “negotiate with terrorists” problem and makes his death much more personal. It is not between the President and a terrorist; it is between Heller and Margot. To drive home the point, Margot is the one who actually fires the fatal missile. Her revenge is now complete.

Or, is it? Will Margot keep her word and destroy the drones? Will Ian allow her to do it? Who will discover the Steve/Adrian connection first? Is Jordan alive or dead? Who is the President now? Billie thinks it’s someone we know; I think she may be right.

This was an episode that set up all of those questions, while ending on a literal bang. Two and a half out of four brightly lit stadia.

Bits:

Jack seemed particularly stressed out this episode. His “So wake the bitch up” was uncharacteristically harsh.

To get to Wembley from the American Embassy in London, the helicopter would not fly along the river. I’m willing to overlook the error because the shot of London lit up was so beautiful.

Audrey’s engagement ring looks an awful lot like Princess Diana’s, now Kate’s.

In the past, when someone important dies, the clock is silent. I was very surprised at the ticking clock at the end of the episode.

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

It got to me just a bit. I've always liked Heller, and he went out just as I'd expect him to go out. I think his illness did have something to do with it because he's not the type of guy who would kill himself. If he'd been at the top of his game, I bet he would have tried a lot harder to find an alternative.

It seems unlikely that the dysfunctional and homicidal mother and son are going to just bring down those drones. How could they resist using them? I can just hear them justifying breaking Margot's word to Heller.

I was so glad that Jordan tricked Navarro the way he did, because I was thinking, wow, you're so stupid, Jordan. Only Navarro knew you'd be there. I hope he's okay.

I was also surprised at the lack of the silent clock for Heller. Maybe we'll get it in the next episode.

garyb said...

As I understand the 24 folk lore, the absence of clock ticks (aka the silent clock) is indicative that the character is truly and most sincerely dead.

If the clock is still ticking, the person may be dead, but could get better.


WADEZILLA13 said...

Another phenomenal episode; As sorry as I am to see Heller go, I'm glad Chloe didn't find some magic computer loophole at the last minute. Heller's self-sacrifice was classic 24, as will be the hell Jack unleashes on Margot in retribution. The only thing I thought was missing from this episode was a conversation; it would've been nice if on the helicopter ride to Wembley Jack and the President had put their personal differences to rest, and maybe even mentioned Audrey (whom I still don't like, though I'm interested to see if her dad's death, aided by two men she loves, is enough to put her back in the looney bin). Anyway, the pardon was a nice gesture, cleaning Jack's slate and giving him free reign to kick some Al-Harazi ass.