If you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’ve seen 24. I don’t need to write some long, detailed review of that show and how it led to 24: Live Another Day. Having said that, hopefully you’re also up to date on Live Another Day, because there are certainly going to be spoilers ahead.
At the end of Season 8 of 24, we find Jack Bauer has once again saved the United States from a horrible terrorist threat. At this point, he’s died twice and been shipped to China and tortured for 18 months. What thanks does he get? A 20 minute head start to become a fugitive. It was a bit disappointing and certainly not what Jack deserved.
4 years later…
London. President James Heller is there to see the Prime Minister (portrayed by the delightful Stephen Fry) and ask that the United Kingdom allow the US to use British military bases as places to launch drones out of.
Enter Jack Bauer. He’s been following a lot of back alley/black market chatter and believes that there will be an attempt on President Heller’s life that day. He is there to stop that attack. In episode 2, we find out who our bad guy is for the season: Margot Al-Harazi (portrayed by Michelle Fairley aka Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones fame). Her husband was killed in a drone attack. She is looking to see Heller dead as justice for the innocent lives lost.
The major points of this season have all been around Jack convincing people he’s right, them doubting him, and then realizing he was correct all along. The only person that’s been on his side since hour one has been Chloe O’Brien, Jack’s only “friend”.
Al-Harazi has taken control of all the US drones over Europe and plans to turn them all against London if President Heller doesn’t give himself up to answer for his “crimes”.
That’s the ‘A’ story of this season. There are a few ‘B’ stories as well. Agent Kate Morgan’s husband being a spy and her not knowing (which is explained as the show goes on and happened before the season started), President Heller’s chief of staff, Mark Boudreau being married to Heller’s daughter, Audrey (who also had a history with Jack). Boudreau is also working with the Russians to turn Jack over to them for crimes he committed seasons ago (all behind Heller’s back). Chloe is part of an elite cell of hackers who “fight the man,” as it were. Their leader Adrian Cross seems like a cool guy, but he’s really a dick. Oh, and it turns out he’s also behind everything? He’s working with Steve Navarro, head of the CIA London office, who after several episodes we find out is the mole and set up Kate’s husband to take the fall. Kate has a CIA analyst with a puppy dog crush on her named Jordan helping her out. He’s been snooping through files and found data missing that could prove Kate’s husband innocent, so Navarro sends him on “an important field mission” and puts a hit on him. The hit fails, and the last we see of Jordan, he’s alive and has what he needs to topple Navarro, and thus Cross and ultimately Margot Al-Harazi.
It’s been an exciting 8 episodes so far. Making the season only 12 episodes long may be the best thing they could have done. They say it’s going to take place over 24 hours, but it’s been real time so far. Either way, this cuts out the mediocre filler stories and gets to the point. The format is familiar and there have been enough twists to keep me engaged. It’s reminiscent of the best parts of the first 3 seasons. Jack is just as intense as ever, if not more so. He doesn’t plan on living through the day it would seem. This isn’t new, but he actually says it this time.
Seasons 7 and 8 made 24 better. The show ended on a good note, despite not having the ratings of the previous 7 seasons. There was a planned movie that got scrapped, but I always hoped they’d do something to finish Jack Bauer’s story. I think this is going to be it. I said a long time ago that the only way this show ends is if Jack is dead, and I think we’re at that point. President Heller gives Jack a pardon in the most recent episode, but Jack says it’s not what he wants. He has nothing to go back to. Dead wife, every other love he’s had since then dies or gets fucked up and his daughter is estranged. All he has is doing what’s right.
And that is the essence of Jack Bauer. Doing what’s right, no matter the cost.