Jack finds out who is plotting the drone strikes while he pursues a lead that takes him all the way to the front gates of the U.S. Embassy….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
There’s always a somewhat general, central theme to every season of 24 — there’s going to be a plot either assassinate someone or blow something very vital up, there’s going to be a bad guy leading the charge, there’s going to be a government agent hell bent on spoiling Jack’s plans, there’s going to be another bad guy somewhere hidden in the shadows, and there will inevitably be a bad guy disguised as a good guy during the series.
It’s not rocket science how 24 works, but the brilliance of the execution and intricacy of the plot is how FOX got me to tune into the show religiously for eight seasons and why I was on the edge of my seat to see Jack Bauer back on my TV screen a week ago. With that said, let’s tick the boxes of the 24 formula for what we have so far as we get into the recap of this week’s episode.
Assassination Plot and Blowing Shit Up
Check. Jack Bauer received intel a couple of months ago that President James Heller, an old friend of his, would be killed on foreign soil while visiting England on a mission to extend a lease of a military base where drones are being housed and launched against enemies overseas.
The secondary plot, however, reveals that the way the terrorists will get to the president along with nine other targets is by using U.S. operated drones with missiles to take out anything and everything in their path. A hacker named Derrick Yates created a program that could hack into the Department of Defense’s database, slip in the override, and get out again before anyone was the wiser. He already managed to steal one drone and blow up a U.S/U.K convoy overseas killing four people including two British officers. The pilot — Chris Tanner — was taken into custody for committing the act of treason but he’s claiming someone had control of the drone (which obviously they did).
The Bad Guys
Jack pursues Yates to a pub in England where he finds the former hack-tivist dead from a stab wound to his ear. He quickly discovers that the sexy little tart that was accompanying him was actually the operative sent in to get the device that would allow the terrorists to control the drones. Jack and Chloe trace her to the subway system, but she makes a daring escape when she spots our fearless hero by cutting her own leg and smearing blood on her face while feigning an attack. While a few onlookers attempt to apprehend Jack, she makes her escape out a side exit.
She slips right past Chloe, who has been distracted by a happy family walking hand in hand with a little boy and when Jack arrives, very upset that she allowed the terrorist to get away, that’s when her tragedy is revealed. Chloe’s husband Morris and son Prescott were killed by a hit and run truck driver a few years ago while Jack was on the run. Normally, Chloe was the one who took Prescott to his soccer practices, but that day she ran late and Morris had to take him. In other words, this hit and run was no accident and she believes it all boils down to the information she was holding regarding Jack on the day he escaped custody during season eight.
Jack shows her some sympathy and kindness before picking back up on the trail of the mystery girl, who we soon learn is Simone Al-Hazari, the daughter of Margot ‘Catelyn Stark’ Al-Hazari, the wife of a former Al Qaeda terrorist who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen a few years ago. Now it’s all coming together!
Back at the evil lair, Simone gives over the drone hijacking device to her brother, who is also part of the killer crew before her husband Naveed shows up and gives her very little affection. You see, Simone had to do the dirty-dirty with Yates to get close to him, and it’s obvious Naveed isn’t a big fan of these tactics. Even more concerning is Naveed’s trepidation about pulling off this plan at all when he explains to his wife that he’s having second thoughts about killing a whole bunch of people. She calms him down with some 4 minute sex — I can’t be the only one that notices the nookie on 24 could easily be measured in seconds — while her creepy mother looks on from a hidden camera in the main viewing area.
Michelle Fairley does an outstanding job playing terrorist Margot Al-Hazari. On ‘Game of Thrones’, Fairley was often meant to be portrayed as a loving mother who only wanted what was best for her children, but deep down she was a deeply vengeful woman, who carried a lot of angst in her heart. It’s this performance that’s key in how she’s playing this subdued terrorist, plotting to take down London with a series of drone strikes while using anyone and everyone around her to get the job done. Very cerebral performance thus far from Ms. Fairley.
The Government Doof
This go round his name is Mark Boudreau, the President’s chief of staff and husband to his daughter Audrey. He’s on a mission to stop the President or his wife from finding out about Jack Bauer’s re-emergence in London, especially considering his connection to both of them from the past. He’s so committed to this plan that after one of his aides drafts an order to hand Bauer over to the Russians once he’s captured that he forges the President’s signature to make sure no one knows the former CTU chief ever pops on the radar before he’s buried beneath the deepest, darkest prison somewhere we can only assume will be in Siberia.
He also attempts to keep the President from addressing the members of the British Parliament following the drone strike because Heller has some kind of health ailment (we can assume it’s some form of Alzheimer’s) and he’s not 100-percnet these days. The last thing he needs is a room full of British chippies all going for his head amidst this military blunder. Well, the President goes ahead with his plan and it takes about three words before the first member of Parliament begins shouting at him, and before long it appears Boudreau’s worst fears about this situation are coming to fruition.
Who is the Mole?
Our CIA agents this go round include chief Steve Navarro (who appears to be woefully undermanned when it comes to the smarts department), his new chief field operative Erik (the guy with the heart of gold and a boy scout merit badge sash about three miles wide) and Kate Morgan (the Jack Bauer-esque bad ass who is leading the charge to find the real Jack Bauer). If anyone in this bunch is the mole, my money is on Erik just because he’s too goody-goody for my taste and the fact that Kate’s husband was selling secrets to the Chinese right under her nose leads me to believe the makers of 24 want it to be so obvious that she’s not the bad guy that we have to get slapped over the head with that fact.
Regardless – femme-Bauer captures British drug lord Basher, who was protecting Yates while he was building the drone device before Jack busted up their little hideout. Through some very Jack like techniques, Kate gets him to give up all the information he has which includes the name of the pilot who is being accused of committing the drone strike that killed four people.
Tanner is currently being transported to the U.S. Embassy for questioning before being handed over to the British for the same routine. So Kate and Erik are headed there as well to talk to Tanner to see what he knows about Yates and his connection to Jack Bauer.
The Final Act
Jack gets wise to Chris Tanner as well and he uses Chloe’s hack-tivist friends to build him a cover identity so he can get into the Embassy and question this pilot about what really happened with the drone strike. Unfortunately, Chloe’s boss Adrian is tired of taking orders from Jack, who constantly has a gun pointed at them while requesting help. So he flubs the wrong access code on Jack’s multi-pass and when he arrives at the Embassy, the security agents flag the fake ID and get ready to go after him. Luckily, Chloe realizes what’s going on and warns Jack to get the hell out of there.
In the chaos of Jack running through a crowd of protesters, who are all there to take down the U.S. drone program, he hockey fights a cop and then takes his gun before firing a couple of rounds into random people while shouting ‘they’re shooting at us!’, which of course makes the whole crowd go ape shit and start running for the gates. Jack slips through one of the entrances as the witless guards try to control the crowd. But before Jack can get inside, Kate shows up and spots him from a distance and now she’s in hot pursuit.
It appears on the next hour of 24: Live Another Day, Jack gets time with pilot Chris Tanner and while he was able to get into the Embassy, getting out is going to be a whole other ordeal.