Scott Davis continues his journey with Jack Bauer through 24: Live Another Day with a review of episode 7…
Here come the “dammits”. Hour seven of 24’s return to the small screen, and the tension is becoming more and more palpable.
In the aftermath of Prime Minister Davies (Stephen Fry) and MI5’s disastrous intervention of Jack’s plan to find Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley), both governments are at a crossroads. Politically, they are on the verge of both being left exposed by the imminent attack on London should they fail to stop it. And their volatile alliance, and indeed the long-standing friendship between Davies and President Heller (William Devane), is in danger of imploding.
Still, they must press on in their last-ditch attempts to find Margot before the drones, now mere miles from the centre of London, blow the city to pieces. Their best chance still lies with Jack (Kiefer Sutherland), who presses forward with his attempts to find Al-Harazi himself. With Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) in tow once more, they soon get wind of the traffic accident in the centre of the city, which saw Simone Al-Harazi (Emily Berrington) left for dead.
Descending on a local hospital, Jack and Kate search for Simone in the hope that she will turn against her mother, or at the very least give them enough information to find her. Margot, however, is always steps ahead, and is informed of her daughter’s faltering loyalty. Swiftly, she and son Ian (Liam Garrigan) turn one of the drones onto the hospital to stop any leaks. Sinister but determined, Margot is not to be trifled with, even by Jack.
But this is Jack Bauer we’re talking about, and while he is a little older, his long absence hasn’t made him any less unwavering or angry. With word of the drone filtering through, he smuggles Simone to safety just as the drones hit, one on the hospital, and one which tracks them as they make their escape. Spectacularly it must be said, leaving behind it the kind of devastation seen in The Dark Knight’s hospital-leveling scene.
Lurking behind all the drama and explosive possibilities, are two similarly troublesome plot lines: Chief of Staff Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan), not Jack’s biggest fan since the beginning, has the Russian government snapping at his heels to turn him over to them for his crimes; and CIA London Chief Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt), who started proceedings as the harsh but fair chief, may not be all he seems. With a shadowy outside contact, he is ordered to remove Jordan Reed (Giles Matthey) permanently before he uncovers what he shouldn’t
As the episode comes to a close, Heller reaches out to Jack once more. With progress stalled, the end of the hour signals the conclusion of Margot’s deadline. Faced with an impossible decision, Heller calls Margot, and is seemingly left with no option but to turn himself over to her. However that decision may have already been made.
As the final scene begins, the goosebumps begin to appear. For the first time in the show’s newest entry, it has reached the point of no return. The part of the show, which has echoed through it’s history, that as a viewer you know that whatever comes next, may never be undone.
The series has been consistently taut and explosive, but through this seventh episode, you get the feeling that the next five hours will see some twists the likes of which we have never seen. Will the terrorists actually win? Will we see the end of Jack Bauer for good? So superbly executed has this mini-revival been so far, that even the most devout of fans cannot see what’s coming.