24: Live Another Day (2014) season 1, episode 4
"Day 9: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m."
WRITER: PATRICK HARBINSON
DIRECTOR: ADAM KANE
AIR DATE: May 19 2014
Our hero keeps going down the proverbial rabbit hole in this episode. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) breaks into the American embassy by inciting a panic among protestors. And why? To confirm evidence that a tragedy that has unfolded early on in this very bad day was a deliberate, manipulated act. And that evidence happens to be on the computer key of a soldier currently under arrest for said tragedy - a soldier who knows he's innocent. So of course one of the world's most wanted men must invade a highly secure facility, get himself cornered in a room to recover the evidence, with a whole lot of pissed off Marines coming his way and merely the support of Chloe in his ear. And wanted man or not, he can't shoot to kill - these are still his countrymen, just doing their job, even if he's annoyed with their orders. Still, a cornered Jack Bauer is a very dangerous thing.
We see other developments this time out. Margot, the resident Big Bad, is really showing herself to be profoundly ruthless. We're learning more and more about how dedicated she is to her own private war. If that means playing hardball to get her hesitant specialist to do his job - in a way that would shock most parents (at least one hopes), she's really showing herself to be a nasty piece of work. Her efforts seem to be paying off, as the earlier tragedy appears to be set to become far worse with another attack. Cliffhangers are such convenient things to leave off with at the bottom of the hour.
Character developments abound on other fronts. Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), who's been right about everything thus far, even while she lives under a cloud of disgrace because of the betrayal by her estranged husband (selling secrets to the Chinese will do that), continues to be right this time out. It's finally rubbing off on her irritable replacement Ritter that she might be an agent worth listening to, and she's following her instinct. That instinct leads to a rather unlikely position for Kate, who throws her weight around with annoyed Marines and shows them who's boss. It's a good moment for the character. Strahovski is playing her in a decisive way.
For all of the action going on here, there's a quiet moment that emerges as perhaps the most tense of the episode. President Heller (William Devane) and Audrey (Kim Raver) learn that Jack is in London, getting into all kinds of trouble at the embassy. They both have history with Jack, who reminds the President in a phone call that despite everything, he has never lied to him. Jack insists that there's a threat coming - which he's right about - and asks for just a little time to confirm his findings. Despite the fact that Jack remains a wanted man largely because Heller has allowed the whole fugitive status to go on, Jack still believes in his country, and is still trying to do the right thing. There's tension between them nonetheless, particularly when Heller decides not to trust Jack. And there's another level of tension to the whole proceedings - Audrey believes him.
As is so often the case with 24, things end in an ominous way. The audience is left to wonder how awful this attack is going to be. Who will pick up the pieces when it's all said and done? Where will Jack be in the next hour given where things leave off for him?
And just how evil can Margot really get?