Jack and Kate team up for some Tango & Cash type action to get information from Navarro while the big reveal finally happens as a bad guy from the past resurfaces….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Previously on 24: Live Another Day — Jack decided to go Jamie Lannister on Margot Al-Harazi and toss her from the fifth floor of a building where she joined her son, who had already been launched out of the same window minutes earlier after he thwarted their plan to blow up London with their hijacked drones. Jack secretly saved President Heller’s life in order to set the plan in motion, but after capturing the override device, he finds out that CIA Station Chief Steve Navarrow was the mole working with the bad guys all along because he steals the piece of equipment when it’s discovered that he sent a hitman to get his own analyst in the field when he was about to stumble onto evidence implicating him in selling government secrets to the Chinese. Now the race is on for Jack to catch up to Navarro before he can hand over the device.
The 10 Minute Chase
It appeared as if Navarro escaped Jack last week as he trotted off to meet with his secret handler, Adrian Cross, to hand over the device and get an escape route planned for him to get out of London alive. Cross finally comes clean to Chloe that he was the one who actually built the override device and he wanted it back so he could use it to release weapons systems info to every country on Earth to prove just how easily it could be done. Chloe seems on board and looks uneasy at the same time. Then again, Chloe always looks like she’s panicked and really needs to go to the bathroom simultaneously so it’s hard to say what’s exactly on her mind.
At the train station where they decide to meet for the pickup, Navarro calls Cross and gets his fake passport and cash to get out of town so he drops off the device without ever meeting face to face. Navarro — who was a member of the covert operatives team and a station chief for the CIA — doesn’t bother to ask where the car he asked for is before handing over the device and what do you know the phone is dead and Cross is gone. Navarro tries to outrun Jack and the authorities who are now on the scene and you can guess how well that went for him. It’s amazing how master criminals go for years and years, out sleuthing and maneuvering the smartest minds in their field but when they get discovered their mental acuity drops somewhere between Barney Fife and the criminal masterminds from Scooby Doo.
Navarro is captured but Cross and Chloe are off on a train with the override device just as Jack arrives a moment too late to catch them. At least he has the lead he needs to catch the guy who engineered the override device in the first place.
The Russians are Coming
Back at the faux White House in London, President Heller is preparing for his trip back stateside while still forgetting more and more stuff he’s been telling Audrey throughout the day. It’s not funny whatsoever to mock a person with Alzheimers so that’s not what I’m doing here, but ’24: Live Another Day’ has taken Heller through some serious evolutions of this disease in about 12 hours time.
Mark and Audrey aren’t in a good place either after Jack swooped in to save the day while also saving her father’s life. I get where Mark’s coming from — I mean how do you follow Jack freaking Bauer with your woman? John McClane can’t follow Jack Bauer. John Rambo can’t follow Jack Bauer. The only guy that had a shot was Clint Eastwood around the time ‘Dirty Harry’ was made, but now he’s about 125 years old and talks to chairs with invisible people in them. Kudos to Mark for delivering a great comeback this week, however, when Audrey shows all the warmth and compassion of an ice cream cone when she assures him that she’s in this for the long haul cause she made a commitment to their marriage. His response was akin to ‘I’m glad to see I’m an obligation’ and I couldn’t help but laugh.
Audrey storms off and Mark decides to call his Russian buddies who are waiting for Jack to be hand delivered to them for years of torture we can assume. He still can’t hand Jack over so the Russians threaten to call the state department to turn him over for forging the President’s signature on a Federal document. Instead, he gives them Jack’s GPS signature from his phone so they can track him and take him now that the day is saved.
But oh shit, Mark finds out minutes later that Jack is now running point on finding the override device and when he calls the Russians back guess who’s not answering?
Bad Cop, Worse Cop
Earlier this week I read a fantastic piece about the history of the film ‘Tango & Cash’ starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell in a movie I believe may be the best buddy cop team up of all time. Hit me all you want with your ‘Lethal Weapon’ or ‘Rush Hour’ suggestions, but ‘Tango & Cash’ was the perfect mix of over the top action, cheesy one-liners and ‘R’ rated humor that goes so sorely missed in this PG-13 era of action movies. In one particularly funny scene, Tango and Cash hold a mercenary hostage to get some information out of him, but he’s not giving it up even after Cash dangles him from the ledge of a building by his shoestrings. So plan B involves a hand grenade taped to his mouth with Tango just itching to pull the pin, while Cash accuses him of completely losing it. The guy gives in when he realizes he’s dealing with one guy who wants to toss him off the side of the building and another who is ready to turn his head into canned spaghetti-o’s. So he relents and tells them what they want to know and at the end the two cops say he’s fallen for the oldest trick in the book — bad cop, worse cop. Oh bloody hell, just watch the scene it’s awesome.
While Jack has had his number of partners on the ’24’, this season’s pairing with Kate Morgan has been particularly fun because she’s almost willing to go as far as he does to get the job done where most of his other teammates have been the straight laced, by the book types that try to hold him back from going maverick. But when Jack advises Eric (he wasn’t really asking, he was just being nice) he’s going to interrogate Navarro, things are about to get nasty. Kate is already on edge because when she finds out Navarro framed her husband (a former agent) for selling the secrets to the Chinese, he was sent to prison for life and a month later he hung himself. That blood is on Navarro’s hands and Kate wants a few pints of it for her own collection.
Jack’s interrogation doesn’t go well because Navarro isn’t giving up anything without full immunity, so our hero goes to the old playbook to get the information he needs. He stops short of going full on ‘Homeland’ with a knife through the hand, but instead uses the handle from his gun to smash Navarro’s hand into a million little pieces.
In the infirmary, Navarro isn’t going to get any pain meds, but out of nowhere Kate comes storming in and forces the doctor and armed guard to lay down while she spouts off about how he is directly responsible for costing her husband his life. With a gun to his head and an emotional Kate holding her finger on the trigger, Jack bursts in and begs her to stop or he’s going to have to put her down. She won’t relent and neither will Jack, but Navarro will fold. He tells them he implanted a tracking device in the override and gives them the code to find it. Kate puts away her gun, wipes the tears from her eyes and Jack relays the information Navarro just revealed to the tech team. She smirks and says she’ll be front and center when he’s executed for treason, and the sad fact is Navarro you just fell for the oldest trick in the book — bad cop, worse cop.
A Familiar Face
We’ve been waiting all season to find out what shadowy figure was lurking in the background from a past incarnation of ’24’ to pop out and reveal him or herself as the other big bad and with the hours ticking away until the season finale, there wasn’t much time left. Thankfully, the big reveal happened this week after Cross and Chloe arrived at his new hideout and found his entire team slaughtered. In shock from seeing his whole computer team shot, strangled and killed, Cross then comes face to face with the man who he was selling secrets to for all those years — Cheng Zhi.
For those that may need a walk down memory lane — Cheng Zhi first appeared in season four of ’24’ as the head of security for the Chinese consulate where Jack Bauer’s forces invade to take a valuable witness to help them stop a nuclear threat against the U.S. In the midst of the raid, the Chinese consul was killed and Cheng was on a mission to find out who led the attack. It eventually came straight back to Jack, but he faked his own death to avoid imprisonment. A season later, Jack was forced out of hiding and at the end of hour No. 5, Jack was captured and taken to China where he was tortured by Cheng and his men for a year straight. During season 6, Cheng tried to start a war between the U.S. and Russia while also revealing that he had kept Audrey Raines captive for the last year after she came to China looking for Jack. He wanted to exchange her for the circuit boards that would allow him to operate a nuclear weapon, but Jack outsmarted him, he was captured, Audrey was returned and he went to prison. His final ominous message was “my people will not abandon me like you abandoned Jack Bauer.”
Well, Cheng is back and he’s the one that wanted the override device to do the same thing he wanted to accomplish the last time except with different parties involved. He shoots and kills Cross, but keeps Chloe alive to operate unlock the device. Cheng then sends orders to a U.S. nuclear sub to fire on a Chinese aircraft carrier. Two torpedoes later the carrier is in flames, and Cheng may have single handedly just set off World War III.
Before Jack can get too far in his search for Cross and the device, he and Kate are slammed into by a truck and beset by gunmen firing down on them with automatic weapons. It’s the Russians come to collect their prize and they have just the absolute worst timing. Now Jack and Kate have to fight off some Russian operatives while Cheng is secretly operating to unmake the world. With only two episodes left (that’s all?!?), Jack will have to outwit the Russians, stomp a mudhole in Mark for being such a manipulative weasel, and then go face to face with Cheng one more time.
This episode also perfectly set up what I believe will be another season of ’24’ because this kind of action definitely warrants another year of Jack Bauer kicking terrorist ass and he has to get back together with Audrey, right? Yeah, I’ll just tell myself that to keep warm at night until FOX officially announces that Jack will be back in our lives this time again next year.