Going into the third hour in what has already been a pretty hellacious day for Jack Bauer, things slowed down a bit, as if to give us all a moment to catch our breath. If you’ve watch any season of 24 before, then you should know that just because things slow down does not mean that you’ll be comfortable. What we got instead of the blistering pace of the first two hours was a little more understanding of the players involved with our story and some classic “Plan B” execution from Jack.
Now let’s get some names to some of these faces. We met Simone last week who’d proven herself to be a pretty ruthless killer after she put a knife through a man’s head. We also got a name for her mother, Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairly, Game of Thrones). Then we met Simone’s husband, Naveed, who seemed to be having a crisis of conscious by the end of the hour. Turns out this family is acting as some sort of spy/terrorist cell which will go to any lengths to get the job done, which also means sleeping with the enemy. After Margot rewarded Simone for a “job well done” on getting away from Jack, we go to watch how she was able to manipulate and maneuver her relationships with both her daughter and son-in-law.
Margot scares me, right to the very core. She seems to stare through people and gets them to do things her way. I get the feeling she’s hurt bunnies in front of everyone she knows just to drive the point home every now and again. Her Mommy Dearest act seems to have worked completely on Simone, but Naveed, having only married into the crazy is a little sheepish.
Back with the Heller story, we got what was probably the biggest powermove/dick move this season (So far) when Boudreau forged the President’s signature on rendition papers for Jack. He may be playing up the “for their own good” angle, but he is digging himself some serious holes for later. President Heller had to answer to Parliament for the drone attacks and Boudreau didn’t think it was such a great idea since the Commander and Chief doesn’t seem to have all of his wits about him. Speaking of which, Audrey caught in the middle of all this ping ponged a few times on the subject. First angry at her husband for how he humiliated President Heller, and by extension, her last week (hour). Then she came around to understanding that maybe her father wasn’t exactly fit to handle the scrutiny from a very hostile Parliament. After which, dear old dad was able to talk her onto his side of things. She is just a moving chess piece at this point, with no real stance of her own.
Not to gloss over things, there was a tense chase through the London Tubes between Jack and Simone, who displayed some ruthless cunning when she realized Jack was on her tail. When she pulled out her knife on the crowded subway, I was sure that poor guy next to her was due for some problems, instead she sliced her own leg, and smeared blood on her face to make it appear as if Jack was attacking her. Clever girl. We got to see Jack administer some old-school throat punches but eventually losing her when Chloe lost focus.
Which then lead to the revelation that Chloe’s husband and son were both killed in an auto-accident that Chloe is convinced was an assassination attempt on her. 24 isn’t exactly known for leaving loose ends when it comes to things like this, so I’m sure that’ll come into play later. The scene in the care between Jack and Chloe was subtle and heartbreaking, as we are given bits and pieces of just how much each of them has lost over the years, and how much they may just need each other at this point.
The final scene with Jack attempting to break into the embassy with false papers was great. It was hardly a smooth operation thanks to Adrian Cross screwing things up in order to get Jack arrested (I knew he would be trouble). Jack was then forced to improvise, using the protesters as a diversion, by shooting two in the leg to start a riot, and sneaking in.
This was a solid edition in the 24 saga. Again, with the shorter season, even though this was an exposition based episode, things didn’t feel stalled. We were able to get a glimpse of other characters without having their “less interesting” stories slow matters down too much. Now that we know a little bit more about the obvious enemy (It’s 24, the first villains are never the ONLY villains), it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here. Also, Jack has to be setting a record for secure locations broken into at this point.