'24: Live Another Day' recap, Break-in at the U.S. embassy
By SIMON HABTEMARIAM
For The Baltimore Sun|
May 20, 2014 | 9:51 AM
Some people think the use of Drones is a necessary evil, some think they are just plain evil. British National-turned-terrorist's widow Margot Al-Harazi believes the latter, and has recently used her daughter Simone to acquire a doomsday device allowing her to control up to 10 U.S. Drones at one time.
That is, unless Jack Bauer has anything to say about it.
The following takes place between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The mob Jack started provides enough of a diversion to allow Jack access into the U.S. embassy, where he chokes a security guard and steals his jacket. Because falsified credentials don't work, but a generic blue windbreaker will get you past United States Marines?
Chloe continues to provide aerial support, even while she calls out Adrian Cross for blowing Jack's cover at the gate. Adrian doesn't fall for Chloe's guilt trip and throws an anti-drone hissy fit to justify his apathy towards helping Bauer.
CIA operatives Erik Ritter and Katie Morgan inform the Marines guarding the embassy that Jack Bauer is in the building; meanwhile, Jack has made his way to Lt. Tanner's holding room. Naturally, the Marine guarding Lt. Tanner is suspicious of Bauer, and when he conveniently tries to answer the phone call telling him not to trust the stranger in a blue coat, Jack pistol whips him to the back of the head.
Jacks informs Tanner that he realizes he did not control his drone on the attack a few hours ago and gets Tanner to hand over his keycard.
In the first seven minutes, Jack has knocked out two levels of diplomatic security guards and convinced a major character that they're going to have to trust him. Classic Bauer.
Back at Camp Al-Harazi, it seems that Simone's husband and Margot's employee, Navid, is getting cold feet about operating a doomsday device capable of leveling the British capital. He then gets real oedipal, asking his wife to pick his terrorist mother or him. She picks him, but it definitely looks like her fingers were crossed.
Jack breaks into the embassy's communication room so he can upload Tanner's flight key data to Chloe via a secure line. Adrian informs Jack and Chloe that a flight key needs to be decrypted on Jack's side before he can send its contents. You think Apple Maps was inconvenient? Jack needs special software to save the world.
Jack needs to buy some time, so he decides to distract the incoming Marines with some violence. After being assured the soldiers are wearing body armor, Jack hits a few with shots to the body. They return fire but Jack has the luxury of being locked in a bulletproof room.
Simone goes to make a cup of tea and Margot comes to join the party. Her maternal instincts say that her daughter's trying to confess something. Simone snitches on Navid. Margot informs her daughter that, despite Navid's cold feet, he will pilot the drones or bad things will happen. Meanwhile, hello? The water's boiling! Jeez, one-track minds, everybody, it's just kill, kill, kill.
President Heller is still speaking with Parliament, surprisingly uninterrupted. Navarro calls Chief of Staff Bordeau with some news. Good news: Jack Bauer is contained, he's in a room surrounded by the world's greatest fighting force. Bad news: Word of his presence in London is making its way up USMC chain of command.
Meanwhile, Jack is in the embassy communications room trying to upload the contents of Lt. Tanner's flight key. A quick shot to the world's last remaining landline, and I think I've solved the issue. The Brits are using a dial-up connection and somebody must be on the phone.
But then Adrian goes geek squad on us and reveals that Jack's computer only has a single core processor. So the Brits couldn't spring for a broadband connection AND they have a pre-911 CPU? Don't tell me they still get America Online CDs sent by mail in tin cans.
OK, so back to that phone call. The Marines called Jack to negotiate, Jack says no and threatens the hostages.
Ritter and Morgan then play a game of good spy, bad spy on Lt. Tanner. Ritter grills Tanner while Morgan picks up the pieces and asks probing questions. Tanner says he doesn't know Bauer and that Jack's trying to prove that the drone strike was the first of potentially many – which we know will only be prevented if everybody stays out of Jack's way. Too easy, right?
Meanwhile, President Heller wraps up his Parliamentary address without forgetting anybody's name or where he left his car keys. Hooray. Mark pulls the President and Audrey aside to inform them that Jack Bauer is in London, has caused a huge ruckus and now has hostages inside the U.S. Embassy. Not believing that Jack would do any harm, POTUS demands to speak with everybody's favorite and potentially treasonous ex-spy.
Margot, with Simone's help, discovers Navid packing his bags ready to dip. Navid tries to convince a terrorist that terrorism is wrong and Margot responds with ancient Babylonian torture…on her own daughter, having Simone's fingers chopped off one-by-one as Navid watches.
Back at the embassy, Agent Morgan asks the Marines nicely to speak with Jack and is denied. She then attempts to go over their heads, but finds that President Heller is about to call in a fire-side chat with Bauer. Navarro agrees to let her listen in on the call.
President Heller asks if there's any way the two of them, man to man, can resolve this…preferably in the next 18 minutes )or at least give the audience a tease of what they'll talk about next week). Jack spews the entire truth of the last few hours' events and says he can get this done in 15 minutes. You know, provided that the Marines outside his door don't come barging in on his LAN party.
Mark doesn't buy the story and brings up a good point: Jack just rescued Chloe, who is associated with a network of hackers who have leaked classified documents regarding thousands of US operatives in the field. But Audrey brings up another good point: what if Jack is telling the truth? You know, like he always does?
Mark brings up another good point, Jack is a labeled terrorist and the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. But POTUS assures Mark and his Ronald Reagan quotes that they know Jack. Mark then lands a low blow, bringing up Bauer's estranged relationship with Audrey and essentially calling his wife damaged goods. Not cool, bro. But pillow talk aside, Jack DID go on a killing spree a few years ago and almost kill the Russian president. Heller gives the Marines the go-ahead.
Some quick cuts in the hour's penultimate block:
Adrian asks Chloe why she's so hung up on Jack. Chloe gives that face that creeps out the viewing audience.
The Marines are preparing to take out Bauer, the thought of which seems scary.
Kate recalls seeing an air vent when the Marines were reviewing blueprints to the embassy and sneaks into the room to try and talk Bauer out of a shooting spree.
Mark is WAY in the doghouse. Audrey gives a passionate lecture to her husband, explaining just how bad the world gets when people don't trust Jack Bauer.
Jack can tell the Marines are about to barge in and starts to set booby traps for when they blow the door. Agent Morgan then sneaks into the Comm Room, convinces Jack that HE doesn't have any time and HE is going to have to trust HER on this one. In one fail swoop, she just stole all of Jack's one-liners and nobody had to die this episode.
Morgan then has Bauer brought into CIA custody and in our tri-frame of foreshadowing, we see Jack in handcuffs, Simone nursing her ironically chopped-off ring finger and Navarrro watching the news report of Jack's capture.