Plot: Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is inside the U.S. Embassy and must now get Tanner’s (John Boyega) flight key to Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Chloe can hack the key’s data in order to prove Tanner’s innocence and to warn the President (William Devane) of an impending terrorist drone attack in London. Margot (Michelle Fairley) must deal with the rebellious feelings of her daughter and son-in-law with swift and merciless justice. Open Cell is split as Adrian (Michael Wincott) seems to want to derail Jack’s plans. Meanwhile Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) must find a way into Bauer’s trust in order to get to the real reason all this is going down.
After last week’s mostly lackluster installment, business on 24: Live Another Day picked way the hell up with it’s latest chapter, ‘2:00pm-3:00pm’
First, let’s talk about Michelle Fairley’s villainess, Margot. Again, not a lot of screentime given to the former Mrs. Stark, but when she was onscreen, by God did she own every second of it. The scene where she has her own daughters finger cut off in front of her son-in-law in order to convince him to man the drone attack (It should be noted that we haven’t been told why he doesn’t want to do this outside of ‘He don’t wanna’) was insane. Easily, the most harrowing and memorable performance and scene from the entire episode. The cold, calculating, just flat out evil in Margot’s eyes was chilling and despite her lack of development, upped her villain status by a thousand fold. Fairley makes such a good villain and takes a role that could easily be played for caricature and makes it something special.
As an episode, this chapter was paced at a tighter and crisper speed. This was aided greatly by the portrayal of President Heller as the Alzheimer’s storyline was put aside for this week and Heller was portrayed as savvy, no-nonsense POTUS. This is exactly what the series needed to keep the intensity up, because this arc really took the episode to a screeching halt last week.
Last week we conceded to the fact that not every episode of 24: Live Another Day could work at 100mph. Well, this chapter did and it was effective. There was plenty of suspense and a ton of action — all smart and logical, not the silly run and gun, shoot innocent people stuff from last week.
The Kate Morgan character is really turning a corner. Yvonne Strahovski has really taken a one-note character and given it an underdog toughness to it. Sadly, one can’t help but think her character’s fate ends with a bullet (because who has a happy ending on this series?), but every week she’s been able to take these never-ending “you gotta trust me” cliches and pulverize them with her a sense of honesty and a spirit of vindication.
24: Live Another Day really delivered a strong chapter on Monday night. This installment needs to be the pace setter for the rest of the series. They don’t have time to fart around with side stories and romantic gaga (although you can see it coming), the attack on London is imminent and the show needs to keep the suspense building. The previous week’s effort showed us what happens when the foot is off the gas, so let’s hope this week was a taste of how things’ll be on the series.