It’s now 7:00 p.m. in the “24’’ universe. No wind-down-the-day beers and “Seinfeld’’ repeats in the “24’’ world. There’s a whole ton of stuff going on. Another American president is no more – though, in this fictional “24’’ timeline, that happens so often it’s probably about as exciting as another Kardashian marriage.
The smoke is still rising from Wembley as the new episode dawns, with the American government staff and the English PM watching with jaws dropped. Audrey accepts some kind words from the PM and stares daggers at Boudreau. To be expected when your husband helps your father get blown up by a terrorist drone strike.
One bit of good news, as it looks like Margot has started to crash the drones into the English Channel. Well, she keeps her promises at least. Her opponents, though … they’re just a tad smarter. Margot’s son stares at the drone-captured video of Heller’s death again. Okay, I’ve just got to say this – this next scene is completely ripped off from “Speed.’’ You remember the one, when Dennis Hopper stares at the video they’ve looped in the bus and sees the purse moving in and out of frame? Right? I can’t find the clip on YouTube, but, hell, just rent the DVD again. It’s the 20-year anniversary!
The younger Al-Harazi finds out that Chloe and Jack have looped a clip of Heller in that drone video … and that the president is alive after all! She’s rightfully pissed, and they get control of one of those drones back before it takes a dip into the Channel. Margot doesn’t send this one after the president, though. This one is sent out for maximum damage. It’s going towards a packed Waterloo station (symbolism) to wrack up as big of a body count as possible. Jack et al. have mere minutes to avert disaster. He drops Heller back off with Belichick – I’m just going to call him that from now on – and helicopters towards East London, where Margot is holed up in some place called the “Tundel House,’’ with Ritter and Morgan also in hot pursuit. By the way, “Tundel House’’ will totally be my trivia name for this week.
Chloe works with Adrian Cross to pinpoint Margot’s exact location (couple’s starting to communicate again!) and another one of the show’s awesome giant gunfights begin, with Ritter and Morgan taking on the baddies on the ground and Jack morphing into John McClane up on the roof. In fact, for a second, it looked like he was going to go full McClane on all of us by rappel-kicking down the side of the building and through a window to dispense a hot slate of American justice on the Al-Harazis. Doesn’t exactly end up like that, as the Al-Harazi son blasts out the window with an Uzi before any “Yippie-ki-ay, motherf—-ers’’ can be dispensed.
What happens next could have been the most awesome thing in the history of “24,’’ and that’s saying a lot. I mean, I’ve practically got a PhD in this show. I’ve seen every season at least three times. Hell, I even bought a replica Bauer messenger bag and walked around in a CTU T-shirt for most of my undergrad years. I’ve never yelled as much in pure, unadulterated delight as what happened in those next few minutes. Jack first hurls the Al-Harazi son out the window, to his bloody death. That was awesome enough for an entire year of television. After that, he shoots Margot in the leg and jumps to the drone-controlling computer, in just enough time to joystick the Waterloo-bound missile into the River Thames. “Piloting drones is just like playing video games, am I right?’’ as my friend would say later. Okay, also awesome, if just a little outlandish.
Then … then … comes the greatest thing ever. Jack’s learned his lesson from Nina Meyers. He’s not keeping the bad girls around. Like mother, like son – Margot goes out the window, landing almost hysterically parallel to the other cement-poisoned member of the Al-Harazi family. That’s right. I saw Jack Bauer chuck Catelyn Stark out a window. My apartment could get set on fire, my fish could die, I could get a tapeworm and my car’s engine could fall out tomorrow morning, and my year would still be well in the black just because I got to see that. Bless your heart, “24.’’ I might need to replay that scene if we lose to Germany on Thursday.
Whew. I felt like the episode could have ended there, but there’s a whole ‘nother half-hour to go. The bodies of Reed and the World’s Worst Assassin are found, which means the treacherous Navarro is facing a ticking clock; he quickly bargains with the treacherous Cross, who will get him out of the country and back to safety in return for the override device. As it turns out, that override device is for a lot more than just the drones – it can control just about anything militaristic that can blow up things. How does it work? Who knows. They might have explained it, but I was still far too excited about that whole window-tossing thing.
Jack uncovers Navarro’s plot just as the duplicitous agent makes his escape with the override device, thanks to the assistance of a buddy over in the States (not going to lie, I was hoping this might be someone we’d recognize from the prior show, but, alas, it was not). Navarro makes his escape after a brief gunfight with Jack, making his way into the London night. Who is he meeting up with? The just-as-treacherous Cross (very subtle surname, huh?) along with an in-the-dark and re-smitten Chloe, who has already attempted to cut her ties with Jack tonight. I don’t like this. Getting a little sinking feeling in my stomach. Chloe’s got to make it out of this alive, doesn’t she? Suddenly, I’m a little nervous. Still super excited about Margot’s brief flight, but … nervous. This is a hell of a last few episodes “24’’ is setting up for us.
Other thoughts, as I ponder where “the only death on my head tonight is yours!’’ ranks amongst the all-time great “24’’ lines:
– Filled in that empty part of my life before “24’’ with an On-Demand viewing of TNT’s “The Last Ship,’’ which I’d recommend. Judging by its super-solid ratings, I wouldn’t be surprised if it made it on to my recap list when next summer came around.
– Where did Heller get that blank, black baseball cap? And why would anyone ever produce that?
– Great viral reaction to the Margot window-tossing. “Roose Bauer,’’ from a friend of mine. “THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE OF 24 I EVER SAW,’’ from my uncle. “I guess Jack took those four years to learn how to drive every street in London,’’ from my dad. “Jack needs to find a window to throw Detective Curtis out of,’’ from my uncle, again, mixing a Law and Order reference in. I guess I know where I get it from.