24: Live Another Day Review by John Keegan

24: Live Another Day 9.08: Day 9: 6PM - 7PM

24: Live Another Day 9.08: Day 9: 6PM - 7PM

Written By:
Robert Cochran
Directed By:
Jon Cassar


Back in its glory days, 24 was the kind of show that embraced the three-act season arc model, even as the writers were making things up as they went along.  It was easy to predict when the biggest story changes were coming, because it was usually episode 8, 12, and 16.  I mention this because this shorter season means that the complication phase of the arc should come to a close in this episode, ushering in the resolution phase for the final four installments.  And sure enough, that’s precisely what seems to have happened.



 

President Heller’s health issues become the basis for his decision to call Margot’s bluff, as he sacrifices himself in the name of bringing the terrorist threat to an end.  Heller would rather go out in a near-instant blaze of glory than allow London to go up in a hail of missiles, and it will force Margot to either keep to her word or demonstrate to the world what kind of threats really are out there.  And using Jack’s own brand of cold logic was the icing on the cake.

 

What added to the flavor of despair was Heller’s request that Jack help him get to the designated location.  It left Jack between a sense of duty to a president and friend, and his own instinct to prevent a terrorist from “winning”.  Jack may have made some questionable decisions, but suppressing his own doubts and conceding to Heller’s wishes speaks volumes.  Despite that, Jack’s pardon feels like it comes too easy; while there will be complications thanks to Mark’s deal with the Russians, for all intent purposes, Jack is getting “time served in exile” for his crimes.

 



Mark and Audrey have a confrontation in this episode as well, and one has to wonder if this is supposed to set up a final break when she discovers that Mark sold Jack down the cold Russian river.  I can’t help but wonder how they intend to keep their follow-up options open at the end of the “day”, though I get the feeling that this mini-season of atonement will be short-circuited into another delaying tactic.  That said, everything seems to have a purpose at the moment, so keeping Audrey in the mix surely means something.

 

With Heller out of the picture, the final four episodes will likely be caught up in the tension of getting to Margot and ending the threat, unveiling Navarro and Cross as the true source of the leak that brought down Kate’s husband, and doing all of that while fighting the interference caused by the power vacuum left in Heller’s wake.  That doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but given the pacing of the season thus far, I think they could pull it off.

 



If there was a weak point in the episode, it was the subplot involving Jordan and Navarro’s mission to eliminate a possible threat to that little conspiracy.  It felt like a bit of a delaying tactic to keep the “Kate’s husband was framed!” subplot from coming to a head too soon.  Quite possibly, this could be pending a revelation that Cross and his activities were in some way connected to Margot and her revenge plot, but that may be getting a little too cute with the connections.  Regardless, it felt apart from the most interesting parts of the episode, and so it feels like an unnecessary distraction.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • Heller’s decision is one badass way to go out
  • Nice subversion of Jack’s motivations
The Bad:
  • Jordan’s subplot felt out of place

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 - 6/18/2014 12:07 PM196 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A-
I loved this episode. I especially loved the potential last second saves that just couldn't happen in time. Jack held out as long as he could, and even to the very end, I thought he would do something crazy to foil Heller's plan and anger Margot further. I don't like the idea of the terrorists "winning" either but it made for good TV. And the hitman sent to kill Jordan may just be the worst hitman ever. Then again, he did get Jordan to fall for the oldest trick in the book.

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