’24: Live Another Day’ Review: “2:00 P.M. — 3:00 P.M.”
When we last left '24: Live Another Day,' Jack Bauer was inciting a riot to break into the U.S. Embassy so he could interrogate a drone pilot so he could retrieve drone flight data so he could prove the existence of a terrorist plot to hijack drones and attack on London. Whew. Does the place keep up in hour four of the newly resurrected Jack Bauer Power Hour? Read on to find out!
The riot outside the embassy continues as Jack makes his way into the building, Chloe guiding him from Open Cell HQ. Most of the guards are distracted, but he takes down one lone man with a sleeper hold to get his ID card.
As Jack kicks ass, Chloe takes Cross to task for purposely botching Jack's ID. Cross says it's the principle of the matter and that he refuses to assist governments in any way. Chloe, who only wants to save lives, yells for him to get out of her sight. Chloe pulls up the building schematics and guides Jack to Tanner.
Eric and Kate meet up with the Embassy's Marine captain and warn them about Jack. A squad of soldiers is dispatched to intercept him at Tanner's holding room.
Jack uses his new ID to get into Tanner's room, but the soldier doesn't believe him when he says he's there to transfer the prisoner. Jack knocks the guard out and tells Tanner that he knows that truth: he's innocent and that he needs to prove the drone was hijacked to prevent a terrorist attack. Tanner, realizing that Jack is his only chance, says that drone flight key is in the pocket of the man he just knocked out. Jack escapes moments before the soldiers arrive.
Eric and Kate interrogate Tanner, but he won't say anything. The Marine Captain initiates total lockdown and Jack finds himself unable to escape. Chloe says that the building is swarming with troops and that there's no possible escape. Jack has one last choice: use the embassy's communications room to upload the flight data and turn himself in.
Back at Margot's estate, Yasser finally has the drone hijacking device ready and Naveed will have total control in less than an hour. However, Naveed is still having second thoughts about killing countless innocent people and he tells Simone of a plan to escape that very day. Simone says that her mother will never allow them to escape, but she agrees to go along with him.
Back at the embassy, Kate calls Navarro and updates him on the situation. She doesn't think Jack is directly working with Tanner. Elsewhere in the building, Jack finds the communication room, takes the men and women working there hostage and begins uploading the data. With the Marines closing in, he makes Chloe promise to give the data to President Heller no matter what happens to him. Then he hits a speed bump: the computer terminal Jack is using is too slow and the data needs to be decrypted before it can be uploaded. Cross sends him the proper software, but it's going to take some time. Jack orders one of the hostages to open the door and Jack opens fire at the Marines, making sure to only hit them in their body armor.
Simone and Margot share some tea and the elder Al-Harazi knows something is up with her daughter. Simone comes clean about Naveed's hesitation and begs her not to hurt him. Margot will not show him mercy -- she has come too far and will do whatever is necessary to get him to pilot the drones.
President Heller finally begins wrapping up his speech to Parliament and he's succeeded in winning over much of the crowd. His success is short-lived: Mark takes a phone call from Navarro and learns of the hostage situation. Jack's presence in London will no longer be a secret and Heller will soon know the truth.
Jack continues to decrypt the flight data, but he needs 20 more minutes. As Jack ignores the Captain's attempts to negotiate, Cross tells Chloe that he doesn't care about Jack at all and is only cooperating for her. Jack tells the Captain that he'll begin shooting hostages if the soldiers move in, but Jack assures his prisoners that he actually means them no harm whatsoever.
Kate and Eric interrogate Tanner, but he refuses to implicate Jack because he doesn't want to prevent him from helping prove his innocence. Tanner fills them in with what little he does know, saying that Jack told him that a drone-led terrorist attack will soon be underway. Kate now believes that Jack is telling the truth, but she wants to talk to him directly.
Back at Parliament, Mark informs Heller and Audrey of the Jack Bauer situation. He fills them in on the events of the past three and a half hours and they're appropriately shocked. Heller insists on speaking with Jack before anyone does anything else.
Naveed is packing his bags for his big escape when Simone, Margot and two henchmen confront him. Margot says that he's dishonoring himself, but Naveed stands firm: he won't kill innocent people no matter what she does to him. So Margot orders her men to chop off Simone's finger with a hammer and chisel ... which they actually do. Margot orders them to chop off another, but Naveed caves in.
Back at the embassy, the Captain refuses to let Kate speak with Jack, but he will let her listen in on the President's call. Kate tries to get Navarro to intervene, but his CIA jurisdiction won't let him overrule a military operation.
Jack's phone rings and he finds himself on the phone with Heller. The President isn't happy to be speaking to Jack again, but he wants to resolve all of this peacefully. Jack tells Heller everything he knows: the drones, Margot, Yates, etc. Jack promises to turn himself in once the data is uploaded. Heller asks Jack why he didn't directly bring this to him and Jack reminds him that the government has labelled him a terrorist -- this was the only way.
Heller talks the situation over with Audrey and Mark. Audrey thinks Jack is telling the truth, but Mark says Jack is working for Open Cell and Adrian Cross. Mark thinks he's actually uploading valuable government secrets and needs to be stopped. Audrey counters that she actually knows Jack, but Mark says that he's not the man she once knew. Heller concurs and orders the Marines to take him out.
At Open Cell, Chloe tries to sway Cross to her side. She tells him that he's not helping the government, he's simply saving lives. Cross says that Jack is a lost cause and that she needs to let him go.
As the Marines move into position, the Captain gives one soldier strict orders to execute Jack on the spot.
Kate talks the situation over with Navarro and he promises that they'll try to find and monitor Margot -- there's nothing else they can do. Kate takes matters into her own hands breaks into the ventilation system to get to Jack before the Marines.
Audrey and Mark have a huge fight. She accuses him of having a personal agenda against Jack. he accuses her of taking this situation too personally. She stands by Jack: if she's right, then "God help us."
Chloe warns Jack that the embassy cameras are being cut out and that he needs to surrender. Jack refuses and readies for a fight, saying he'll hold them off until the transfer finishes. He overturns a desk and builds a barrier to protect the hostages and gets behind cover. Jack hears noise above him and fires a warning shot, but it's Kate: unarmed and ready to talk. She promises to finish the upload if he turns himself in.
The marines blow down the door, but Kate already has Jack on the ground. She puts herself between him and the soldiers and orders them to stand down.
Back at the Al-Harazi estate, Margot orders Yasser to take control of the 10 most heavily armed drones near London. Naveed sits at his console, ready to pilot them.
After three hours of non-stop action, '24: Live Another Day' was due for a slower hour. But thats not necessarily a bad thing. After a couple episodes of non-stop action, a tense, more slowly paced episode set almost entirely in one location is a nice breather. It lacks the "Holy Crap!" factor of Jack opening fire on a crowd of protestors, but it's a reminder that '24' has always been just as good at claustrophobic drama as it is at bombast.
The shorter season means that the story as a whole is moving more briskly than usual and it's a relief that Kate is officially on Jack's side and that Mark and Audrey are already at odds over Jack. In a full season, these obvious developments would have stagnated, but they truly feel urgent here. The same goes for Margot's devious plan, which is proceeding much faster than expected. At this rate, London will be burning within the next hour.
However, this episode also exposed the weakest parts of new cast. '24' has a long history of incompetent bosses, but Navarro is officially on the fast track to become the most useless director of operations this show has ever seen. No one has been this wrong this often. Sure, the show has an excuse for why he wouldn't trust Kate (treasonous husband and so forth), but his total lack of commitment or trust is just insane at this point. He's either the worst leader in '24' history or he's secretly working for the bad guys.