Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Good & Bad: '24: Live Another Day' (5/12/14)

24: Live Another Day Hour 3

Plot: Jack and Chloe are hot on the tail of the mysterious blonde-turned-redhead lady currently in possession of some sort of techno-y doo-dad that has the power to control drones. Just when it looks like Jack has the gal cornered on at a subway station, she slices open her own leg and starts screaming at him. Suspecting some form of spousal abuse, London’s finest collection of helpy-helpertons get involved, allowing her to escape.
                Well, that and the fact that Chloe zoned out when she saw a man and a small boy who reminded her of her husband and son. Her uh dead husband and son. She thinks they were killed in an effort to get to her due to her connection with Jack. There are emotions exchanged and so forth and then, as just as quickly as they appeared, those emotions are bottled up and not mentioned again.  Like it’s supposed to be.
                Jack and Chloe make their way back to Michael Wincott’s Techie Fanatic Pad and use his crew to get more information on the currently-redheaded drone aficionado, like the fact that she comes from a long line of terrorists.
                Meanwhile, Red, who goes by the name of Simone reunites with the rest of her terrorist cell, which includes her brother, her husband and is run by her mum, Mama Stark. There’s some tension with Simone and her husband because Simone has spent the last three weeks in deep cover, the sexy kind, but then it turns out he’s not worried about that, he’s having buyer’s remorse about that whole potentially ending the world thing he’s wrapped up in.  It also turns out besides attempting to orchestrate the apocalypse, Mama Stark is also spying on and threatening the hell out of everyone she knows. Luckily for the world, it’s going to take her crew a little while to get the drone controller to work with their PC. Guess they should have used a Mac to end the world, just like Steve Jobs intended.
                Elsewhere, Agents Kate Morgan and Erik Ritter are still getting in Jack’s way, President Heller decides to speak in front of Parliament and has a hard time of it, things seem conflicted between the President’s daughter Audrey and her slimy, Chief of Staff husband, and that same Chief of Staff husband is working to deport Jack to Russia.
                The episode wraps with Jack getting caught trying to sneak into the US embassy in order to talk to a young drone pilot framed for killing a bunch of folks overseas (it was really the terrorists), and then, in an inspired stroke, Jack creates a diversion by shooting a bunch of protestors in the leg to create a riot, allowing him to sneak in with Agents Morgan and Ritter right up his butt.

Good: The subway chase. Lots of tension. Also, people don’t just outsmart Jack every day. To have someone do that in a very logical fashion, well that just creates even more tension. Well played.

Bad: Depth for Chloe. Ummm … I like character development as much as the next guy, but I don’t know. We only have twelve hours, do we have time for a major revelation about Chloe’s personal life? I mean, I would have just accepted the idea that Chloe met up with Michael Wincott’s gang and that was that. I don’t need a reason for it, but I guess that’s because I had no idea Chloe was married or a mother. Must have happened in the later seasons. Either way, maybe save the rest of the big family stuff for future miniseries movie things.  

Good: Don’t need the depth, but love the softer side of Jack. The world could end at any minute, but Jack’s still got the time to give Chloe a big ol’ hug and tell her it will be ok. Listen, the world ends when Jack Bauer says it ends. Until then, it’s huggin’ time.

Good: Mama Stark, psychopath. As if it wasn’t enough that she’s hell bent on ending the world, but the fact that she’s a paranoid wack-o who doesn’t trust anyone in her own organization, even though as far as I can tell, her entire organization is basically made up of her immediate family? Love. Put this character back on “Game of Thrones.”

Good: Terrorist family values. The interaction  between all of the folks serving under Mama Stark was also a high point.

Bad: There's always one guy who's not totally on board with the evil plan. TV show terrorists need a better screening process I guess.  

Good: Slimy Chief of Staff. Handing a man over to the Russians just to keep him away from your lady? It may seem harsh, but that’s how the Guy Code goes.

Bad: CIA Agents Morgan and Ritter. I don’t care that you made a battle-hardened henchman squeal like a little baby in four and a half minutes. Until I’m proven otherwise, you’re both Gilligan. You’re the increasingly-frustrating reason everyone’s still stuck on that island, or, in this case, that Mama Stark is going to blow up everyone.

Bad: Casting Stephen Fry and then not giving him anything to do. Don’t tease me “24.” You’ve got Michael Wincott over there, just Wincotting it up and that’s great. And then you dangle Stephen Fry in front of me, but then relegate him to “Anonymous British Guy?” This is Yvonne Strahovski’s fault.       
Good: Jack Bauer, learning computer. I can’t help but think that Jack’s decision to start injuring legs to create a diversion wasn’t inspired at least in some way by Simone’s getting one over on him in the subway. There’s something very appealing about the idea that, even after eight years of choking the beejesus out of terrorists, Jack can still learn a new trick or two. Appealing and horrifying.

Good: Jack vs. the Embassy. I love Jack Bauer extraction missions in tight, heavily guarded venues. There is almost nothing better on “24” other than his creatively awful “enhanced interrogation” methods.

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