24: Live Another Day Review by John Keegan

24: Live Another Day 9.05: Day 9: 3PM - 4PM

24: Live Another Day 9.05: Day 9: 3PM - 4PM

Written By:
Sang Kyu Kim and Patrick Somerville
Directed By:
Omar Madha

Have the characters in the world of 24 learned a few things in the four years since Jack Bauer had to tell everyone that actually listening to people with urgent intel is a good idea?  Because this episode suggests that without the need to pad the season with extraneous episodes, there’s no reason to have characters like Kate spin her wheels for hours on end until someone pays attention.  She has information new information for the President?  Then she gets through.  Done and done.



 

It’s nice, because it resolves the whole matter of Jack having to convince Heller about the threat, which could have taken forever.  Instead, it’s about whether or not Jack’s killing spree has undermined his credibility.  And guess what?  It has, as Mark pointed out in the previous episode.  And he seemed to change his tune once the new information was available.  It doesn’t absolve him completely of potential Bad Guy status, but it does show that even the seemingly good intentioned cannot completely trust Jack’s motives anymore.

 

And that includes Heller.  I’m glad, despite the consequences, that Heller didn’t immediately back down when Jack pressed him to put him back in the field.  Heller has absolutely no reason to trust Jack at this point, and he has an entire CIA station at his disposal to conduct whatever operations he needs.  That doesn’t go very well, so of course Jack will be back in the saddle soon enough, but going with this option first was the logical progression.




So far as that goes, it was fairly obvious that the CIA was rushing into a trap, especially once Navarro decided to command the op himself, leaving Kate safe and sound on the sidelines.  Funny how that leaves her essentially unscathed and the only one able to take control and back up Jack, isn’t it?  Anyway, the trap for the CIA was also a trap for Naveed.  Didn’t he learn that Simone was devoted to the cause in the previous episode?  I suppose not, and I’m rather glad to see that Margot (and Simone) didn’t soften up just because it was Simone’s husband.

 

Meanwhile, if there is a weakness to the episode, it had to be the battle of wills between Chloe and Cross.  I don’t buy into their supposed relationship for a second, and this episode was the first time that Chloe’s new persona completely failed to convince.  Maybe it’s because she’s not projecting the same amount of nihilistic angst as she was at the start of the season, but she looked less than authentic, as if she were going to a party where “cybergoth” was the theme of the week.

 



It’s worth pointing out that after a rough start, 24: Live Another Day is actually settling into a nice narrative space.  There’s a relative minimum of unnecessary action set pieces, the characters are starting to gel, and the Big Bad is far from the typical terrorist suspect.  I’m sure that there will be something utterly ridiculous before too long, given the Howard Gordon effect, but right now this is actually feeling like one of the better incarnations of 24, and that’s a good thing.  (Unfortunately, given that the ratings are dramatically below those of even the later seasons of 24, I have a feeling this season will be the last hurrah.)



Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • The character work continues to strengthen
  • Naveed’s fate is fitting
The Bad:
  • Chloe’s makeover doesn’t quite gel this time

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 - 5/29/2014 1:32 PM268 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: B+
The first half of the episode really drew me in and I thought it was going to be my favorite so far, but the tension eased up in the second half as some predictability set in. The scene where the drones are taken over was fantastic though, and the fact that they were actually utilized by the bad guys in this same episode is another tribute to the shorter season. Hopefully the action continues to build next week.

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