24: Live Another Day (2014) season 1, episode 8
"Day 9: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m."
WRITER: ROBERT COCHRAN
DIRECTOR: JON CASSAR
AIR DATE: JUNE 16 2014
Well, obviously English football and rugby will have to play out somewhere else next year.
The last episode ended with James Heller (William Devane) offering to surrender to the Big Bad of the season, Margot (Michelle Fairley) if she agrees to end her attacks on London with the hijacked drones under her control. And he meant it. This episode carries that out. Heller enlists Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and his chief of staff son-in-law (Tate Donovan) to help him slip out unseen by his staff. Jack and Mark don't particularly like each other, but they reluctantly agree, all while Jack hopes he can find a way to thwart Margot's schemes.
That depends on Simone, who's in bad shape in hospital by now. Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) is with her, knows what's at stake, and despite the gravity of Simone's condition, must get information from her on her mother's location. Simone does have something of an insurance policy, something that might prove valuable.
And other stuff is going on. Jordan Reed, who's been targeted by the mole in the Agency station for death, finds himself out of his comfort zone, wounded, and being hunted by a paid killer. Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott), the hacker activist who's been involved with Chloe, continues to play all sides against each other, his agenda yet unknown. Audrey (Kim Raver) finds herself devastated by a turn of events, and much of her pain is directed towards her husband. Those who have had a long history watching this show know that she's suffered more than her share of sorrow and grief. This only extends that for her.
Jack with James Heller
We're left to wonder about Margot. We've still got four episodes to go in this series, and there has to be a jump ahead in time sometime soon. Can a terrorist give her word and mean it? Margot seems to be leaning that way, even as she takes her revenge. Fairley has made the most of this character, a thoroughly ruthless villain who may have her own code of honour. She feels justified in what she does, even if what she does is horrific and appalling. We understand her, even if we can't condone her. She's really made Margot a compelling character.
The episode feels more like setup after the ferocious action of previous episodes, but that's not a bad thing. There are more character moments than action this time out. Heller's decision makes sense in a manner of speaking. He admits that he's suffering the early stages of Alzheimer's, and makes a choice that's noble. Giving up his own life to save innocent lives certainly is noble. And on a personal level, he signs a Presidential pardon clearing Jack of everything he's done in the past. Jack has the chance to go home a free man. And so it makes sense that Jack is the one who takes him to his fate.
Sutherland is at a point with the character where the combination of resourcefulness and weariness makes sense. He argues against the plan, hopes for a last minute miracle that can prevent it, and yet accepts what is to come. Sutherland's portrayal owns the character just as much as the work of the writers, and as an audience we've gotten to know him so well that we can empathize with him. We see his helplessness as all he can do is stand back and watch what's to come. Devane gets a final scene in a grand place- Wembley Stadium, and it's obvious that he's right there in the heart of the pitch. It's a final moment for the character, and it's a brave moment- a rare thing for a politician.
I find myself wondering what the management of Wembley think of that ending though...