Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good & Bad: '24: Live Another Day' (5/19/14)


24: Live Another Day Hour 4

Plot: Oh my god, Gilligan made it off the island. Up is down, night is day and cats and dogs are storming a Bastille concert together. But more on that shocking turn of events later.
                This episode begins with Jack running amok in the US embassy in Britain. Sadly, unlike I first thought, this was not part of some grand extraction mission to bust the adorable and wrongly accused drone assassin Lt. Tanner out of US custody. Instead Jack just wants to get Tanner’s flight key to pass along to use as proof of a terrorist plot to take over drones – and sort of by proxy prove Tanner’s innocence. Tanner swoons when Jack believes his story – that someone took control of the drone he was piloting and used it to blow up soldiers – Jack gets the flight key, everybody wins. Well, until it becomes clear that the embassy-full of PO’d marines aren’t keen on just letting Jack walk out the front door and there ain’t no back door. Jack ends up locked in a basement communications center with three techs held hostage while he tries to transfer the info from the key to Chloe.
                Elsewhere, Simone and her husband Naveed engage in some fun pillow talk, if your idea of fun pillow talk involves terrorism, massive treachery and thousands, maybe millions of people dying. Naveed is no longer too keen on all that and he’s got his and Simone’s escape all planned out. Simone agrees to go with him and then literally two minutes later betrays him to her mother, Mama Stark, the head terrorist. For the first time that I remember, Naveed’s role in all this is explained: they need him to pilot the drones when they take them over. Naveed’s all “Not gonna do it” until Mama Stark cuts her own daughter’s finger to pretty well force him to do it.
                Back in the embassy, the marines are sick of bargaining with Jack so they decide to storm the com room. He’s still transferring the file because the American Embassy still has a dial up internet connection or something. Right before they do, CIA Agent Kate (Blonde Gilligan) drops from an air vent and in the face turn of the series so far announces she believes Jack and wants to help him. As the marines storm the room, she claims Jack as her prisoner and so they can’t kill him. They’re bummed.
                Also in the episode, President Heller goes from useful – wants to hear Jack out, convinces Parliament that drones are still cool, to completely useless when he’s manipulated by his slimy Chief of Staff into ordering the Marines to kills Jack. Just prior to that Jack and Heller have a fun phone conversation where Jack explains what I’ve been saying for three posts: Get out of his way, he’s always right. Oh and we swing by the CIA long enough for Benjamin Bratt to be no help with anything and to haphazardly introduce a Johnny Depp-bearded tech who is in love with Kate. 

Good: Negotiations with Mama Stark. Can I just say again how awesome she’s been in this show? She cuts her own daughter’s finger off just to get what she wants. Sure, she’s completely evil, but I’ll take this any day over the waffling, undercutting character she played on “Game of Thrones.”

Bad: No extraction mission. Sure, it’s my fault I misinterpreted the teaser for this week’s episode, but still. There’s nothing better than watching Jack drag some geek along by his ear through a maze of trained killers.

Good: Kate joins the logical world! Her standing there in a cloud of smoke telling the Marines to suck it at the end of the episode is a fantastic face turn. She's one of the good guys now and despite me hating on her for three episodes, this just feels right. I imagine somewhere Jim Ross was watching this episode and just started screaming "MY GOD!" over and over again.

Good: Jack’s embassy assault. He wasn’t trying to get anyone out, but it was still tense.

Bad: Simone’s betrayal. The girl excuses herself from the bedroom and immediately rats out her husband to her mom. This is one of those times where men just sigh, shake their heads and mumble “women” under their breath.

Good: Lt. Tanner hearts Jack. I can’t believe it took this long for me to fall in love. Tanner is adorable and I legit feel bad for the character.  

Bad: Stephen Fry. I’m not even sure it’s accurate to call him window dressing anymore. He’s basically an extra. Makes sense though, I mean, he’s only the British Prime Minister. What role could he possibly fill during a proposed terrorist attack on his own country? More about Audrey’s marital problems please!

Good: Jack and his hostage pals. Jack is a tough as nail, terrorist-killing machine, but when it comes to taking hostages the man is a peach. He was so nice to the tech folks he held captive in the com center, he did everything to keep them calm save for make them hot cocoa and tuck them in.

Bad: Marines are kinda dicks. Not all Marines, but the crew here, kinda yeah. What’s with the “kill the guys who saved the country on nine separate occasions no matter what” attitude? I guess it’s like the old saying goes: To be the man, you have to gun the man down in cold blood when he’s badly outnumbered.

Bad: Heller. You are a miserable judge of character. You can’t trust Jack, the dude who’s saved your balls over and over again, but you can trust your Chief of Staff, a man who couldn’t be more of a douche unless he had the word “Nickleback” tattooed on his face. By the way, this is the same guy you don’t even seem to like all that much in his role as your daughter’s husband  or have you forgotten that whole “And how are things between you two?” followed by knowing glance conversation from two weeks back? Early stage Alzheimer’s or not, you’re the President for god sakes and this is a slow moving lob of a decision. It’s like going to a restaurant and the waiter saying “We serve two things: Chicken fingers or cow feces.” 

Bad: Benjamin Bratt. Our new Gilligan. Extra credit Bad goes to the Johnny Depp-bearded tech. Don't care about you or your one-sided lustings.       

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