24: Live Another Day Review by John Keegan

24: Live Another Day 9.07: Day 9: 5PM - 6PM

24: Live Another Day 9.07: Day 9: 5PM - 6PM

Written By:
Tony Basgallop
Directed By:
Jon Cassar

I’ll give 24: Live Another Day this much: rather than continue to debate the theoretical danger of the stolen drones to the people of London, events are constructed to demonstrate that danger directly.  Perhaps the most potent moments of the episode were the missile strikes designed to kill Simone and anyone around her, and if this is what Margot is willing to do in terms of “collateral damage” now, what would she be willing to do later?

 



And here I thought the drones would be a convenient and timely backdrop to the proceedings.  Instead, it’s part and parcel of the overriding question that 24, at its best, was willing to tackle: what cost security?  In the past, it was expressed in terms of torture or black ops handiwork; this time, it’s automation of warfare.  What happens if that weapon gets in the wrong hands?

 

In contrast, we have Jack employing a few torture methods himself on Simone, which is an odd combination, to say the least.  But it puts the question to the audience: is Jack’s choice justified, given the stakes that are abundantly given form in the rest of the episode?  Is torture ever justified in the name of security for the masses?  This episode doesn’t answer the question, it simply raises it, and does so effectively.



 

I must also give the writers credit for immediately addressing (and overcoming) my main criticism from the previous episode.  Yes, Navarro is a mole, but his activities aren’t disconnected to the rest of the plot progression after all.  It wasn’t Kate’s husband that was selling state secrets to the Chinese; it was Navarro, via Adrian Cross.  All of a sudden, Open Cell isn’t simply a faux-WikiLeaks with an indirect accountability for putting agents and their families in danger with indiscriminate disclosures.  Instead, it takes the Assange and Snowden philosophy to its logical, terroristic end.

 

It would appear that Navarro got in over his head, perhaps seeing himself as a good citizen of the world by selling secrets that he thought the world should know.  It’s unfortunate that he brokered that deal with Cross, who was more than happy to sell the information to China.  It’s not an act of altruism and “freedom of information”; it’s outright sedition.  Not only that, but the audience has been given reason to sympathize with Kate and how the accusations against her husband unfairly ended her career.  And now other agents, particularly Jordan, are being targeted to die for uncovering this “noble” enterprise.  It’s yet another aspect of a character doing what they think is right, only to discover that others with less than savory intentions will produce unexpected consequences.



 

It seems odd that the season would wait until kicking off its second half before ramping up the action, but with the budget being relatively constrained this time around, it makes sense.  The complication phase of the season will be wrapping up very soon, as the story turns towards its resolution.  Episodes like this make me more confident that there is a method to the madness.


Our Grade:
B+
The Good:
  • Strong exploration of the cost of “security”
  • Best actions sequences of the season
  • Turns out the mole was more relevant than I thought!
The Bad:
  • Jack’s torture of Simone seemed the most egregious

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

24: Live Another Day by - 6/11/2014 12:16 PM176 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A
Definitely the best action and the best episode of the new season so far. It almost felt like Jack was punishing Simone more than torturing her for information, especially with that line about "she wasn't going to talk anyway" and it was interesting to see him apologize to Kate after she witnessed him do that, especially after all she just went through less than an hour before. Additionally, kudos to her for getting back in the saddle so quickly.

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