24: Live Another Day (2014) season 1, episode 5
"Day 9: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m."
WRITERS: SANG KYU KIM and PATRICK SOMERVILLE
DIRECTOR: OMAR MADHA
AIR DATE: May 26 2014
And so we find ourselves going further down the rabbit hole. Without a white rabbit leading us there.
Episode 5 of the summer limited series carries on as Jack Bauer finds himself in custody for much of the time, having tête-a-têtes with people he's known before, while the building threat continues to loom over the whole proceedings. Tension builds as the episode goes on, even with moments that are just right for characterization, leading all the way to a climax cliffhanger of sheer devastation.
For those coming in late, Margot Al-Harazi is annoyed with America. The death of her husband, a jihadist, in a drone attack, will have that effect. And she has the resources to carry out a scheme of revenge. She's really growing on me as a character, and Michelle Fairley's performance in the British born jihadist is the reason for that. She believes in what she's doing, believes she's doing something just, even if it is vengeance. She has used her underlings, including her hesitant son-in-law, to hijack American military drones over Europe, just as the American President (William Devane) has arrived in England for a summit meeting.
This episode is largely in between action in its tone (at least until the end). Nonetheless, tension simmers and builds. Margot has managed to keep control of several drones, and the audience is reminded of just how much armament are on board those things, and just how devastating an attack can be. She has also gone public, issuing a demand on President Heller. It's a demand he can't possibly cave into. But what choice does he have?
We also see character moments along the way. Chloe, who might have turned her back on her country years ago, still has faith in Jack Bauer. That means doing things that her colleagues in the hacker's group don't approve of. Including cooperating with the CIA, even by phone. Will that come back to bite her? And another question- is this the last we see of Michael Wincott, who's been involved with her as a member of the group? Wincott's spent much of his career playing particularly nasty villains, so I'm still wondering if a sense of typecasting is making me wonder if he'll be back in a different capacity.
Jack and Audrey
We also see a particularly chilling turn of events this time out. Despite what Margot did to her last time out, her daughter Simone throws her lot in with her mother. You'd think that having part of a finger severed as a way to bring the hubby into line would result in Simone being a wee bit annoyed. Instead, late in the game, Simone shows her husband that she's firmly with her mother, just before her mother shows her son-in-law just how ruthless she can be.
Among the political intrigue side of things, Tate Donovan's Mark continues to be something of a weasel, reluctantly giving up information to President Heller and to Audrey. I find myself wondering as the series progresses whether or not all political chiefs of staff are hard nosed prats. Most likely. Heller seems more himself this time out, even though he seems to drag his feet with making decisions. There's a moment, after Jack's theories have been proven correct, when Jack and Heller have a face to face meeting on their own. They have a lot of history as characters, and as actors, Devane and Sutherland are both formidable. There's tension between them, to say the least.
We also have another face to face moment, and it's the most personal of the episode. It's the calm before the storm, so to speak, given the death trap that involves other characters at the end of the episode. Jack (still in custody) is reunited with Audrey. They also have a whole lot of history. There was love there, and in many ways still is- the anguish between them plays out. Jack lets down all of the walls, and is vulnerable with her. Audrey's one of the few people he's ever known that has that effect on him. And Audrey, who has been through the ringer, shares that anguish with him, that wistful sorrow over the past. And beneath all that, she still believes in him. Sutherland and Kim Raver make the moment work perfectly. These are characters they know well, and it shows in their performance.