“Previously on 24”
President James Heller (getting absolutely grilled by Parliament), Jack Bauer (just snuck into the U.S. Embassy), Chloe (back on Team Jack), Simone Al-Harazi (never trust an evil butt and a smile), Margot Al-Harazi (never trust the evil mother of a daughter with an evil butt and a smile), Open Cell (hack or die).
Episode 4: 2-3 p.m.
To reiterate, Jack has found his way into the U.S. Embassy, because CIA London is a crime-fighting claw crane. Within seconds of seeing Jack, we’ve already been gifted with a split-screen Jackson Bauer chokeout.
You can never get enough angles of such art.
It’s clear from the jump that something amazing is going to happen in this Embassy at the end of this episode. Kate and Ritter are there, they know Jack is there, they’ve told the Marines that Jack is there, and everyone knows Jack is after Tanner (even though they are completely off about why). And in the other corner, there’s Jack with Chloe in his ear. So it’s a pretty even fight, Jack and Chloe vs. the armed forces.
Jack thankfully gets to Tanner first and tells him he knows he’s innocent. Tanner’s shaken, with the hand-in-the-cookie-jar expression plastered on his face, most likely because he’s only feet away from the real-life Jack Bauer.
Then this idiot looks Jack Bauer in the eyes and says, “How do I know whether or not to believe you?”
How DARE you, framed drone assassin. Jack’s response:
“Son, right now the point is that I believe you. From everything I can see, no one else does.”
Fix your face, Tanner. And watch that mouth from here on out.
One thing I failed to mention: Jack beat up a guy guarding Tanner’s room. But that has to be assumed at this point. Just tell yourself that if Bauer enters a room, someone had to get a beat-down in order for that to happen. One grows tired of discussing low-level beatdowns. You understand, right? Great. Wonderful talk.
After Bauer reminded Tanner how his world works, he took the ever-important flight key off of the beat-down guard and left the room before CIA London and the Marines made it. Seeing the guard down, the hunt for Bauer continues. And to contain him, they shut down all exits, trapping Jack inside. Chloe alerts Jack that he’s stuck and the Marines are closing in on him, and then Jack suddenly realizes there’s a way to upload the information.
“Hold on, hold on,” says the ever-curious Jack Bauer. “Every U.S. Embassy has its own shielded communication room. I can use their system to upload the information from the flight key.”
Of course he knows this. Do not be startled by this sudden acknowledgment. Chloe, ever concerned with Jack’s safety, tells him that they’re going to capture him. But Jack’s only concerned with uploading this info. Because what’s getting captured to Jack Bauer? Need I remind you of CHENG?
Out of nowhere, we leave the Embassy and go to Margot’s House of Horrors, where her son is going to have the 10 missiles ready in under an hour. In the other room lie Simone and Navid, fresh off a silk-sheets Teddy Pendergrass session. Navid’s still unhappy, Simone tries to ease his fears, and then NAVID SAYS THERE’S A GETAWAY CAR OUTSIDE AND HE HAS A KEY TO GET THEM OUT OF HERE FOREVER.
Navid is serious. Simone is freaked out because she’s terrified of her mother and startled that Navid suddenly is not. Finally she says, “OK, I’ll come.” Part of me thinks, however, that she’s going to tell mom and mom is going to put an EMP in his booty. Just look at her, she’s the most impossibly hard person to read, other than the constant baseline of terror.
I can’t tell if that’s “terror: I’m in love” or “terror: I’m about to stab my man.” Very puzzling, that Simone.
Back to Jack: He’s found his Embassy control room. There are innocent people in there, so Jack scares the hell out of them and then makes them sit in the corner so he can focus and upload the flight key. But of course there’s something wrong with the upload. Because this is 24.
The snake leader of Open Cell, Adrian, seeing that Chloe and Jack are struggling, smugly offers an encryption code to help. But it’s taking a while and every Marine is right outside the door. At this point, Jack pulls a throwback move and asks Chloe if they’re wearing body armor, which she says they are. So when the door opens, Jack shoots two Marines in the chest (directly into the armor), screams about his hostages, and closes the door.
And just like that, he’s got more time. Jack Time.
Back at Margot’s Tower of Terror, Simone tells her mom everything. So Navid’s going to die by the time I’m done drinking this iced coffee. Bye, Navid. Sick escape plan, by the way. WRITE ME OF YOUR SOUTH OF FRANCE TRAVELS WITH SIMONE.
Back to the embassy: One of the Marines calls Jack. On the land line. And Jack answers. Because he’s Jack. And then this Marine tries to negotiate with Jack like he’s not Jack Bauer.
In the middle of his negotiation, Jack calmly interrupts.
“Captain, the situation is simple: I have three hostages. Keep your men back and no one gets harmed. Make a move on this room and I kill all three of them. Are we clear?”
He said it like a robot, one with no heart or emotions or concern with anything being said his way. He didn’t even stop typing. Truth be told, I think he beat a level of Candy Crush before the end of his statement.
Back to Lieutenant Tanner, who’s being given a stern talking-to from Kate and Ritter. Kate’s trying to get answers while Ritter’s trying his hand at evil black cop from Boyz n the Hood. It’s not working.
Tanner tells them everything he knows (that he just met Jack, that Jack said something about him being framed, that they’re going to use the drones to attack). Ritter doesn’t believe him, but you get the sense that Kate is starting to assume Jack knows the truth. And that Tanner is innocent.
After finally getting through Heller’s boring speech to Parliament, the snitch chief of staff Mark Boudreau pulls Heller and Audrey aside to tell them about Bauer. And you can tell he wants Audrey to hear that Bauer’s taking hostages, just so he can remind her that he’s bad, mainly so Bauer can’t steal his girl. Audrey’s response, upon hearing that sweet three-syllable heroic name:
Yeah, boo. He’s back.
Nothing pleases me more than that his plan backfired in a spectacular way. Not only did the name “Jack Bauer” make Audrey feel some type of way, but then she got mad at her chief of staff husband, who wants to send in troops to kill Bauer. And then, as the cherry on top, Heller wants to talk to Bauer. What followed was the look of Wait, what, I thought we could just — let me start over…
There’s a power circle, Mark. And you’re the odd man out.
Back to Margot Magorium’s Wonder Emporium of Nukes, where we get a quick glimpse into what your face does when you realize it’s all over.
Why so stunned?
Oh yeah. THAT.
I’ll give it to Navid: Even as Margot intimidates him to no end, he holds his ground. He’s refusing to pilot the drones on the grounds of not killing innocent people. He goes back and forth with Margot, with Navid prepared to die and Margot needing him alive to fly the drones. So Margot says “turn down for what” in her mind. And then takes it to the next level.
“Whatever is necessary,” Mama Terror screams. And the guards suddenly grab Simone and pin her down, and holy blood is not thicker than water they’re about to cut her hand off.
No no no no no why does he have a mallet?
Excuse me, need to vomit, be right back.
So in case you don’t understand what just happened, that pinkish, slightly cylindrical thing that’s floating in the air is half of Simone’s finger. And based on her facial expression, it hurt.
After this, Navid agrees to do it. Even though his girl turned on him, he can’t watch her be tortured by her mother. So the finger chopping is officially done. My nausea is still here, however. Thank you for your continued concern.
Thankfully, we go back to Jack. He gets a call again. When he picks up, he thinks it’s the Marine, but instead gets:
“Jack. It’s me.”
I’m so excited I could chop off my own finger with a mallet right now.
For the next two minutes, I didn’t breathe. Because scenes like this are how 24 has stayed on the air for so long: the one-on-one “Bauer versus” interactions. Be it Tony, Audrey, Nina, President Palmer, President Taylor, Chloe, or Buchanan, the intense back-and-forth with Bauer is always when this show peaks. In his standoff with Heller, it’s classic Jack going line for line, explaining how he needs to save America, why he couldn’t do it through the proper channels and how he’s always been faithful to him, all while some of those hearing the conversation begin to realize that perhaps they should have listened to him. Except, of course, the one guaranteed snake who will stop at nothing to undermine Jack’s plan.
And here he is.
This piece of work tells Heller that Jack is working for Open Cell and that his terror plan is a cover-up. Audrey, on the other hand, thinks Jack is telling the truth. And just like that, Heller has a daughter angel and a son-in-law chief of staff demon on each shoulder, pleading with him to not listen to the other. And you thought that whole elevator thing was family drama.
Mark, attempting to convince the president to send the Marines in and probably kill Jack, says, “With all due respect, sir, this is a clear call.” Heller’s response:
“It may be a clear call for you, Mark. But not so for Audrey and I. WE KNOW JACK BAUER. YOU DON’T.“
Hey, Mark, a message from Black Dynamite.
The degree to which he’s getting told in this episode is unbearably fun. But because his feelings are hurt, he resorts to low blows. “All I’ve seen is the damage he leaves in his wake,” Mark says to Audrey and the president. He keeps talking, but then Heller turns his back and walks away. It’s good to know he’s back on TeamJackBau—
“Tell the Marines to go in when they’re ready.” —Heller.
WHAT IN THE WHAT.
Back to the embassy: Kate gives Benny Bratts a call. Benny Bratts continues to play by the rules and Kate doesn’t have time for that, since she’s Lil Bauer. So she’s going to try to break into Jack’s hostage room before the Marines get in there. Before that happens, however, more hilarity, as Mark follows Audrey down the hall, calling her “sweetheart.” It doesn’t work, as she tells him off.
You’re burning the candle at both ends, Mark (don’t really know what that phrase means), and it can’t work forever. Something’s got to give.
This incredible episode concludes with the standoff I hoped would take place. But before the Marines bust in, Kate comes in through the ceiling like the Lil Bauer that she is and convinces Big Bauer to trust her. He most certainly does not initially, but eventually realizes he has no other play.
And right when the doors blast open, we see Kate holding off the Marine gunfire by apprehending Bauer and telling the soldiers he’s in CIA London custody. Lil Bauer is the truth.
CIA LONDON DID IT. THEY FINALLY DID SOMETHING RIGHT. GOD BLESS THE QUEEN.