24 Live Another Day: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

"Get in the car and let me do what I know how to do."

This was a non-stop action packed episode with a bunch of great classic 24 twists and turns. Starting with one that I truly didn't see coming.

I honestly thought Heller died in the last episode. Having him sacrifice himself like that, for the sake of lives, was a very powerful moment. Then like Dennis Hopper in Speed, Margot and her son realized that the video feed from the explosion was looped. It was a great moment, but it was eclipsed by two others.

The first was when the camera panned over to show Heller alive and well standing next to Jack. That reveal made me smile from ear to ear. Seriously, they got me. It would've been totally within the scope of the series to have him die, especially to raise the stakes. Yet at the same time, letting Heller die felt like a major defeat. So having them do both was a great fake out. No wonder we didn't have a silent clock in the last episode.

Yet that wasn't the moment that I really loved. As G'Kar from Babylon 5 put it best; "They were the bad guys, as you say, and we were the good guys. And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor." Jack tossing both mother and son out that fifth story window was simply marvelous. Sure, there didn't seem to be any repercussions for him to outright murder Margot, but honestly, I don't really care.

I was thinking when Jack had Margot in custody that all he would have to do was toss her out the window too and then the chances of her ever getting free and doing something like this again would be gone. I'm not sure Jack from a few seasons ago would've done that, but this Jack... it made me laugh out loud with joy. Margot has been so overtly evil that watching her go splat was extremely satisfying.

As for everything else? Jordan's death is sad, I had hoped he would make it. His turn around on the assassin was a great character moment in the last episode, and unfortunately it was his last. At least Navarro revealed himself. I wasn't sure Navarro would make it out of the building, but if Cross is going to be the new big bad for the rest of the season (all three episodes of it), he had to escape.

I think the real moment where the threat was increased was when that tech described the machine as capable of hacking any kind of encryption and taking over any defense system unilaterally. That's truly scary, and I bet a nuke is going to play into the final arc. Perhaps with a villain from the past? Who knows besides the 24 PTB.

The device shifting hands also marks the change over, which is a common plot device used by 24. I wasn't sure this season would employ the villain switch up, but since the Margot plot literally came up short, it felt natural for the threat to transfer to someone else. At the moment Navarro has the MacGuffin, but I bet he'll hand it to Cross, who will in turn hand it off to someone worse by the end of the next hour.

Bits:

Although Kate is really the female version of Jack, she is able to show a bit more emotion than he does. It was nice to see how she reacted to Jordan's death.

Erik seems to be on the level, and I'm glad there's another agent character in the mix again.

Audrey and Jack's phone call was kind of perfect. The romance on this show has never been a strong point, but I like Audrey. I know a lot of people don't, but I think it would be nice to see them get another chance.

It was really cool that Margot actually kept her word, and it would've made Heller's sacrifice have significance. Not that she wouldn't eventually do something horrible again, but in that moment it was almost worth his life.

I kept thinking as Jack pushed the limits of morality that he already has a pardon for everything he's going to do that day.

I love Chloe sitting in a pub wearing Goth make-up doing her hacker thing on a laptop. Unfortunately, she's romantically involved with Cross. I hope that doesn't mean she's in the loop about the drone device.

When Waterloo Station was in danger. I kept thinking about when the show nuked Valencia. It made the threat real for me.

Jack pulling a John McClane was a fun nod to the action beats with the helicopter and the shoot out on the roof in Die Hard.

I loved how Jack managed to retarget the missile while holding Margot in a choke hold. So Jack.

I thought this exchange between the President and Belcheck was a hoot. Plus it was cool that Heller vouched for him to the Secret Service.

President: "So what's your name?"
Belcheck: "Belcheck."
President: "Belcheck what?"
Belcheck: "Belcheck. Just one word. Like Madonna."

This episode was a lot of fun, and kept the action both engaging and fast. That's hard to pull off. I just thoroughly enjoyed this one.

4 out of 4 Very satisfying thumps when the bad guys hit the ground.

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.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I was also totally shocked. Excellent fake-out. And the two of them going out the window that way was so satisfying. Plus Jack redirecting the missile while keeping Margot in a choke-hold was just classic 24.

ChrisB said...

After watching this episode, I re-read my review from last week. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong in a big way. Heller is alive; Jordan is dead. garyb was right — we didn’t get the silent clock because Heller was still alive. Great catch, Gary!

Like you, J.D., I cheered at the Heller reveal. This show can do a twist like no other and I always love them.

Having said that, we are seeing a truly dark Jack this year. I commented on his harshness about Simone before (an episode without her did not bother me), but tossing both mother and son out the window, while extremely satisfying, was very, very dark. The man has always had a strong moral center, only killing when necessary. Margot’s death, especially, was not necessary.

The Chloe/Cross “romance” feels wrong to me. I’m convinced she’s figured him out and is setting him up. But, we all know now how wrong I can be.