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’24: Live Another Day’ Review: “1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.”

FOX

24: Live Another Day‘ got off to an explosive two-part start last week, with Kiefer Sutherland‘s Jack Bauer returning to the screen without missing a (bloody, gravelly and often terrifying) beat. The first two hours set up the season’s plot and its many characters, but now the show has to sustain itself. Can it keep up the momentum? Find out in our recap and review of the third episode of the season, ’1:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.’

THE EPISODE

Jack and Chloe arrive at the pub where Yates and Simone were last seen, but the bar is empty. Jack discovers Yates’ body in the bathroom and informs Chloe that a professional must have killed him. After finding her wig in a dumpster, Jack realizes it was Simone. Chloe hacks into nearby cameras and discovers that she’s on a subway. They get in the car and rush to meet her at the next station.

Back at the housing project, Morgan and Eric interrogate Basher and his men. Navarro calls them and says that the police are on the way and that they can’t be caught running an operation on British soil. They let the thugs go, but Morgan knocks Basher unconscious and, with the help of a reluctant Eric, she drags him into their car.

Jack and Chloe arrive at Waterloo Station. From behind her laptop in the car, Chloe guides Jack to the proper car. Jack and Simone spot each other but neither can make a move in the crowded car. She pulls out her knife and cuts her own leg. When the doors open, she smears blood on her face and yells that she’s being attacked. A crowd swarms Jack, giving her time to escape while he fights them off.

Simone escapes into a maintenance tunnel and Jack yells for Chloe to find her when she reaches the surface. Suddenly, Chloe notices a husband, wife and son walking past her car. She stares at them, totally lost, as Simone gets into a waiting car and makes her getaway.

Jack admonishes Chloe for losing her and demands to know what happened. Chloe breaks into tears and tells Jack that her husband Morris and her son Prescott were killed in a hit-and-run and that she thought she saw them. Jack embraces her. Chloe blames herself and says that she believes someone was actually targeting her, a revenge killing for helping Jack escape justice back in season 8. Jack, no stranger to dead family members, says that the only way to battle grief is to save others and that he needs her help to stop the attacks.

Mark meets with his aide, Ron, who hands him the necessary paperwork to hand Jack over to the Russians. All it needs is President Heller’s signature. Audrey enters and has a small fight with Mark, saying that he treated her father poorly and humiliated him. She believes in him, but Mark thinks his disease is complicating things. Mark argues that the treaty is a lost cause that they need to focus on damage control. He convinces her to talk to her father about it.

When Audrey leaves, Mark forges the President Heller’s signature on the Jack Bauer papers.

On the road, Jack and Chloe use Interpol’s database to learn that their suspect is Simone Al-Harazi, a wanted terrorist. Jack realizes she’s the daughter of Margot Al-Harazi, the widow of a terrorist leader who was killed in a drone strike ordered by Heller. She barely survived and now she wants revenge.

Simone arrives at her family estate in the countryside. Margot meets her in the garden she fills her in. They share a hug and Simone hands over the device. Inside the house, Simone’s brother is tinkering at a computer terminal. He examines the device and says that Yates has reconfigured it and it’ll be an hour before it can be used. Naveed, Simone’s husband, enters the room. He shares an awkward kiss with Simone and Margot orders them to kiss properly. It’s revealed that Margot sent Simone off to seduce Yates, admits that she did the same thing on her husband’s orders. “All that matters is winning,” she says.

Back at hacker HQ, Jack and Chloe fill Cross and the gang in on what’s going on. They need proof that Tanner’s drone was hijacked. Jack decides that he needs to infiltrate the U.S. embassy to intercept Tanner before he’s handed over to the British. Cross reluctantly agrees to set him up with a fake identity and high security clearance.

Basher still refuses to talk, but Morgan and Eric drive him under a tunnel and threaten to hand him over to a rival gang. It doesn’t take long for him to break and he admits that Yates was working on a big money project involving drones and Tanner, but knows nothing else.

Meanwhile, Tanner’s convoy arrives at the embassy.

Margot sews up Simone’s leg wound and chastises her for being careless. Simone says they’re safe now, but her mother isn’t so sure. She makes the wound-treating process more painful than it needs to be to prove her point.

Morgan reads up on Tanner’s status and wonders how all of this fits together. Eric is impressed with her work, but wonders how she can do all of this while missing her husband’s treason. Morgan wonders the same thing. After an angry phone call from Navarro, Morgan decides they need to talk to Tanner themselves.

President Heller watches the news from his hotel room. Protester activity in front of the U.S. embassy has tripled since the drone strike. Audrey enters and makes her (and Mark’s) concerns known. Heller says that he needs to make his stand here and now that he’s not going home without the base. He wins Audrey over, but when he asks her about how her and Mark are doing, there’s plenty of doubt in her cheery response.

Jack arrives at the embassy and moves through the protestors. Chloe guides him from hacker HQ. Jack gets in line to enter — his fake identification should be ready soon. But Cross has other plans: he takes over a hacker’s keyboard and intentionally flubs Jack’s credentials so he’ll get flagged.

Naveed and Simone meet in their room. He has a drink (against her mother’s wishes) and admits that he doesn’t know if he can go through the plan. He’s been having nightmares about killing people. She comforts him, admits that she’s killed before and they can get through this together. She kisses him and they lie down on the bed…

…while Margot watches them from a hidden camera.

President Heller’s convoy arrives at Parliament, where the Prime Minster tells him that speaking to them will be a mistake. Heller is insistent on speaking and Mark is aghast. Audrey snaps at him for being too controlling and says that he needs to stop treating them like they’re so fragile.

The Prime Minster introduces President Heller and he takes the podium. Before he can even speak, he’s being angrily shouted at. He can’t get a word out and he becomes disoriented.

At the embassy, security flags Jack’s I.D. Chloe realizes something is wrong and yells for Jack to get out of there. Jack makes a getaway, but security is on his tail. He takes down a police officer, steals his fun and runs back into the crowd of protesters. He opens fire into the crowd, kneecapping protesters while screaming that they’re being shot at. In the ensuring riot, Jack slips into the front gates … but Morgan and Eric see him and give chase.

OUR REVIEW

After the explosive two-part premiere, it’s not surprising that the next episode of ’24: Live Another Day’ slows down just a little bit. Still, the reduced season size is doing wonders for the show’s pacing and even this “breather” episode is full of action and general craziness. As always, the best stuff involves Jack doing some truly awful and evil things in service of the greater good. We’re not sure where shooting innocent protestors ranks on his list of crimes against humanity, but it’s up there.

Thankfully, Kiefer Sutherland’s supporting cast continues to impress. Mary Lynn Rajskub acts her ass off as Chloe and Yvonne Strahovski remains a compelling rival for our main anti-hero. Most exciting is Michelle Fairley’s performance as Margot — it’s not a deep role, but there’s always something great about watching a talented actor turn the villainous ham up to 11.

This episode ends with the promise of a truly bonkers fourth episode and we’re still on board. ’24: Live Another Day’ is still more ’24,’ but it’s just as handsomely made and entertaining as ever. Sure, it’s socially irresponsible, but man, it sure is fun.

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