Monday, May 19, 2014

REVIEW: '24: Live Another Day' - Jack Talks with President Heller & Margot Exudes Her Dominance in 'Day 9: 2:00PM - 3:00PM'

FOX's 24: Live Another Day - Episode 9.04 "Day 9: 2:00PM - 3:00PM"

With the threat escalating, Jack heads to the U.S. Embassy as the CIA closes in on him. Elsewhere, Margot asserts her authority with unthinkable force, President Heller faces members of Parliament and Kate takes matters into her own hands.

Four episodes into 24: Live Another Day and I have to ask: Do you care about any of these characters? Of course I have strong feelings towards Jack and Chloe because the show has put enough good will into them over the years. But everyone else, I just feel empty towards. I guess Kate would be the third character I care about the most but that's only because the show is clearly forcing her to be seen as important. That and Yvonne Strahovski make me care in a way that I just don't when it comes to any of the CIA or the terrorist people or anyone else at Open Cell. I also like Kate because she's basically already a female Jack. The episode nicely mirrors Jack having to trust her at the very end with how Jack convinced Chris Tanner to trust him at the start of the hour. Those parallels are interesting to have.

But ultimately "2:00PM - 3:00PM" is largely an hour with people sitting down and waiting for information to load or certain characters finally becoming aware of what else is happening in the world. It seriously took 3 and a half hours before President Heller and Audrey knew that Jack was in London and causing trouble again. Their reactions were quite good. It just took a lot longer than I expected for them to be brought into the fold. Once they were, they could finally stop talking about the legality of drones and start wondering whether or not Jack is telling the truth. That brought them into the more interesting aspects of the world which, in turn, made me care about them a tiny bit more. Heller and Audrey do have that history with Jack and that causes some interesting repercussions here. Mostly because Mark uses that to turn everything on its head. I'm already tired of his patronizing ways and the sooner he gets what's coming to him the better.

Elsewhere, Margot is dealing with her family of terrorists and her son-in-law who's getting cold feet with the operation. Her solution? To cut off her own daughter's finger! Ummm, how does that keep the daughter on her side in the future? That seems like a certain way to turn her against Margot. But Margot also exudes power and dominance. So she'll try to keep them in line no matter how desperate they get to escape. And that just seems like such the easiest direction to take this story which means that I'm not interested in it at all - at least not until Margot starts communicating with the rest of the important characters.

And then, there's Jack who storms the U.S. Embassy, gets to Tanner, gets the flight card and then turns things into a hostage situation in order to get that information to Chloe. The inability to decrypt the information on the drive fast enough is yet another lazy plot obstacle that the characters just have to deal with in order to drag out this plot for an entire episode. But what's most interesting is that it doesn't finish downloading by hour's end. Kate has to take it as Jack is forced into custody for the second time in four hours. And all of that means that I'm much more interested in seeing next week's episode than I am left admiring what took place in this one.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Day 9: 2:00PM - 3:00PM" was written by Patrick Harbinson and directed by Adam Kane.
  • I keep thinking the one other guy at the CIA station is Milo but then I remember that, nope, he's dead. The actor both looks like him and is in love with a prominent female agent.
  • Also, Benjamin Bratt has done nothing.
  • Adrian exists solely to get into Chloe's way or for her to argue over ideals with for no real reason whatsoever other than to say the word drone a dozen times every episode.
  • Last week, the show made a big deal about Heller facing Parliament and this week it couldn't care less. Episode three ended with Parliament members bombarding the President with questions and Episode four doesn't even pick up on that story until we're like 20 minutes in. In that time, everyone suddenly became supportive and eager to clap for him once he finished speaking.