JACK BAUER IS IN LONDON AND HE IS MAD AND HE HAS A ROBOT HAND.
But more on that later …
Episode 1: 11 a.m.–noon
Within minutes, it was clear 24: Live Another Day would follow the same frustrating-yet-entertaining script of every other season. People want Jack captured, terror is on the loose, Jack is blamed for the terror, Jack knows how to stop the terror, people get in Jack’s way of stopping the terror, Jack has to prove his point by spelling out the terror and then knocking the people unconscious, and eventually everyone who is good but misguided will admit that Jack was right about the terror the entire time. And, of course, they will apologize. And Jack will shake his head and say, “Didn’t you watch Seasons 1 through 8?”
The season begins with CIA agents in London looking for a “high profile” subject. It’s Jack, and they think a sneak attack with a highly evolved Roomba is going to give them an edge.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know the first thing about London’s CIA unit, but this show will not help its reputation. You send in a crew of Paul Blarts to apprehend Jack Bauer. Are you serious right now, Head of CIA London Operations Steve Navarro As Played By Benjamin Bratt? At the very least, you send in half of the cast from The Raid 2, simply hoping one person gets lucky and hits him over the head. Or that super mutant Weapon XI from X-Men Origins: Wolverine that has everyone’s powers and no mouth. It doesn’t make any sense, does it, T.I.?
Jack beats up Hyde Park’s best and brightest and initially gets away. But then they catch him, 24 code for either (1) Jack let you catch him, you idiot, or (2) Jack’s just kind of tired, also you’re an idiot. The pride in these guys’ voices when they get him is so cute. They think they did something.
Before proceeding, it’s important to note that, like every season, there are some familiar faces and a slew of new characters that will ultimately betray Jack and/or give secrets to the Russians and/or sleep with Jack and then get killed for being too close to Jack. Former secretary of defense James Heller is now the president of the United States. Audrey Raines is also back, but per usual is married to someone else and that person will hate Jack and Jack will swoop in and Mr. Steal Your Girl the entire situation. Her husband suitor this time: Mark Boudreau, the White House chief of staff, played by Tate “Jimmy Cooper” Donovan.
When Boudreau gets the call from Benny Bratts that they’ve located Bauer, he’s not happy. Because he knows what’s up. He says he’s worried about Heller’s safety, but you know that’s not true. It’s like what happens when Jay and Bey go out to dinner and then they run into Mya and then Bey and Jay start matching-outfit reminiscing.
Other characters of interest: Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), a character with a similar look and vibe to Evil Dana Walsh and who is losing her job because her husband sold secrets to the Chinese. And Erik Ritter (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is a young CIA agent who is a little too eager for Kate to leave so he can have her job. Unclear just yet, but one of these two is currently hiding uranium under the grounds at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club.
Back to the action. The CIA Sadie Hawkins dance chaperons tasked with hunting down Bauer bring him in for questioning. And Bratt wants to take a stab at getting Jack to talk. And he actually says this, aloud, about Jack Bauer:
“I want to see what I can get out of him.”
Yeah. OK, Bratt.
Have fun with that, slugger.
While Kate packs up, she tries to figure out what Bauer’s doing at the CIA. Because she’s skeptical that her team “caught” him. BUT THEN CUT TO BRATT AND HE’S AT IT AGAIN:
“Let’s see if we can shake him up.”
It’s like one of those sitcoms without a laugh track. Bratt’s turning 24 into Modern Family. Just incredible stuff. And then, to make matters sillier, he raised his voice at Jack, as if that would rattle a silent, non-blinking, shirtless Jack. After this debacle, things begin to make sense. Because, in a different room, we see a strapped-down, tat-tat-tatted up Chloe O’Brian. And she’s being injected with something. So it’s now fair to assume Jack’s here to get his girl.
Back Stateside, like clockwork, the chief of staff begins to put into place a plan to give Jack over to the Russians. Like clockwork. Between this guy and former chief of staff Evil Walt Cummings, it might be time to just abolish the position all together.
Kate’s still on the case, pulling some throwback Bauer moves by disobeying protocol, calling contacts to get information, convincing people on the staff to look up things, and interrupting interrogations. It’s refreshing to watch. And of course she’s on to something. And of course Bratt won’t listen to her. So, of course Kate steals a Taser and uses it on a security guard. SHE MIGHT BE THE KIN OF BAUER. TOO EARLY TO TELL.
More evidence that London CIA are a much of clowns: This fool Erik has the nerve to utter this to Jack:
“You were really something, Bauer. Back in the day.”
It’s like asking to get beat down in two minutes. Or, more precisely, 32 seconds.
Comedy. Pure comedy.
Also, equally as important as this beatdown is how it took place. The power suddenly went out. Because Jack gave someone on the outside a signal. And he did it by pressing his wrist. Because, apparently, his wrist is now a button.
AGAIN: JACK BAUER HAS A ROBOT HAND.
And because of that robot hand, Jack finds Chloe and they look for a way out. And then Kate pulls a Bratt by cornering him and saying, “Drop your weapon, you’re not getting out of here.” Unfortunately for Kate, she doesn’t know Jack has a robot button hand. One that can tell his guy outside to shoot a hole into the roof, causing rocks to fall on Kate and giving Jack and Chloe an easy exit.
So just to give an update on the state of intimidation practices within the London CIA:
“I want to see what I can get out of him” — Jack Thought: Wait, who are you again?
“You were really something, back in the day” — Jack Thought: Sorry, I can’t hear you, oh yeah because I choked you out with my thoughts.
“Drop your weapon, you’re not getting out of here.” — Jack Thought: I’m just going to go now, OK byeeeeeee.
In a completely different scene, this guy is about to be in TROUBLE.
His station is somehow compromised and shoots a missile from a drone at his own unit. Not a great look for Lt. Tanner (played by new Star Wars recruit John Boyega). Because I have this feeling it’s going to be very hard for him to prove he didn’t do this. As in he will be framed to the furthest extent of the frame. Sorry, young black man out here just trying to make a living. Nice knowing you.
Episode 2: Noon–1 p.m.
We pick up with Erik still complaining about Kate. The CIA London streets must not know the way Jack beat him up. Because if they did, it’d be grounds for him to take the rest of the week off. But he’s still yapping like he just had a triple-double. He’s essentially the guy who gets crossed over, falls down, and then reminds everyone that he doesn’t even like basketball. Backgammon is his sport.
Just sit down, Erik. Go get Bratt a latte, go to your cube, and swipe right until further notice.
After this, we see Chloe at her hacker trap house. She’s now entrenched in the free-information movement, occasionally leaks government secrets, and dresses like she were en route to the “Fuckin’ Problems” video shoot.
Chloe is warmly greeted by her crew, and then Jack busts in demanding answers. Because that’s what my guy does. He’s looking for a hacker, Derek Yates, who used to work with them. Jack picked up his name in relation to a potential assassination attempt on President Heller, which is set to happen today, which explains why he’s here. We also learn that Yates is involved in the drone missile framing of Lt. Tanner. Despite his rude entrance, Chloe convinces some of her people to help Jack. Once he has the address of Yates’s probable location, he heads out. But before leaving, Chloe says she’s coming with. So we’re officially back in business.
Two updates: Lt. Tanner is still being incredibly framed and the chief of staff is still furious about every Bauer development. Also, Bratt is slowly starting to realize that perhaps he was wrong. So everything’s playing exactly how it should with our subplots.
Finally, after much mention of his name, we get to spend some quality time with Yates, who is on the phone with an unknown woman who reeks of terror and wealth. Yates has his girl with him, and from the first second you see her, you know there’s a 92 percent chance she’s going to kill him. Low-ball.
Chloe and Jack head out to find Yates at Basher’s house. Basher is Yates’s drug dealer. And Basher is a bad man. So, Jack will probably kill him with ease. Excited for that. But before that standoff, one final update on Chief of Staff Boudreau.
He’s horrible. And has all the agendas. It’s made clear that President Heller has signs of Alzheimer’s and throughout the episode he occasionally gets statistics or names wrong. Boudreau’s way of dealing with this is essentially shaming him and making him think he’s not equipped for the job. Because, looking into the 24 crystal ball, it’s clear he wants power — the president’s power. Audrey doesn’t like Boudreau’s tone — since that’s her dad and all — which is great because this gives Jack the easy swoop-in once he finds her. Can’t wait for that.
Back to Jack, and he’s now in Basher’s apartment. And though outnumbered, he delivers classic Bauer scripture:
“Look, I can tell you consider yourself a pretty intimidating group. You probably think I’m at a disadvantage; I promise you I’m not. Give me Derek Yates, I give you the opportunity to walk out of here without being harmed. I suggest you take it.”
THIS ISN’T A CIA LONDON THREAT, BASHER. TAKE THE JACK BAUER HALLMARK CARD BEFORE IT’S—
Obviously all the men are down and Jack’s hair still looks marvelous, but Yates and YatesBoo get out the back. Jack’s pursuing, Chloe’s trapped in a van, and Air Bud: CIA London has just shown up like it’s an Anchorman rumble.
The crime fighters surround the van, open it up, and Chloe’s gone. Also, she fried all the data.
And then, when it seemed as if they couldn’t miss any more open layups, the most CIA London thing of all happens: Jack, Yates and YatesBoo, and the CIA Washington Generals all end up in the same spot. London’s finest let Yates and YatesBoo run away, and then point their guns at Jack. Jack pleads with them to stop those two, but
Alton from the Real World Erik won’t have it and is screaming at Jack, obviously still sad that Jack hurt his feelings/neck. Yates and YatesBoo get away and then a sniper from the roof promptly shoots Jack in the shoulder.
A firefight begins, Jack sneaks away, and then instead of concerning themselves with the people trying to kill them, the CIA guys chase after Jack. It’s like hiring 15 Hibberts to pick up clothes and actually get them in the laundry basket.
As they continue to pursue, Jack sneaks up on Kate, apprehends her, says, “You seem smarter than the rest, so I’m going to tell you this once,” and alerts her that not only are they chasing the wrong person, but that there’s going to be an attack on President Heller. And that he’s trying to stop it. And that they’re getting in his way.
And then he head-butts her. Why? Because she deserves it, hanging around with so many Urkels.
Jack escapes, Chloe picks him up in a car that she hot-wired, and Jack seems happy and impressed with her new skill set. Also, he casually mentions that the bullet just grazed him and that he was fine. And then Jack gives Chloe a flash drive he got from Basher’s house so she can examine it. Instantly, it’s clear we are, in fact, dealing with drones. Jack’s hunch was absolutely right, because this is 24. But then, in a shocking, uncharacteristically 24 move, Chloe makes a mistake. When she goes to examine the files, they are deleted.
Very rare. Looks like hacker school’s no match for field work, Chloe.
In our last scene, we go back to Yates and YatesBoo. They’re talking about all the money they’re going to make. Yates goes into the bathroom, YatesBoo follows on the grounds of having some bathroom fun, and then:
She takes his briefcase, walks out, sheds her wig, and calls the boss, who says, “Come home as soon as you can. Mommy’s waiting.”
CATELYN STARK IS YATESBOO’S MOM.