Monday, June 30, 2014

REVIEW: '24: Live Another Day' - Jack Tries to Retrieve the Override Device as an Old Villain Returns in 'Day 9: 8:00PM - 9:00PM'

FOX's 24: Live Another Day - Episode 9.10 "Day 9: 8:00PM - 9:00PM"

Jack's harrowing day crescendos as he pursues final leads at all costs. The emotional toll of the day's events escalates when Kate learns the truth about her husband and Audrey confronts Mark about his duplicity. Making matters incredibly worse, the scope of the terror threat widens and the potential devastation reaches new heights.

There oddly is poetic symmetry that in the season that brings Jack and Audrey together again is heading towards its finish by reintroducing the villain who pulled them apart years previously. Honestly, I'm much more interested in the return of Tzi Ma as Cheng as the villain for the season's final two episodes than I was by Adrian Cross filling that role. Even when Adrian was explaining his plan to Chloe, I was groaning because I didn't want to see that battle of ideals as the central conflict. Cheng is a villainous character that the show has gone to many times previously. He's the one that broke Audrey. Wouldn't this season end so triumphantly if she got to confront him face-to-face? That's besides the point. It's ultimately a twist I wasn't expecting but does occur naturally despite it being done in this same way before. Cheng has more power than he ever has before. Within moments of returning, he gets a U.S. submarine to shoot missiles at a Chinese ship.

But no one knows that Cheng is back other than Chloe - and she doesn't seem poised to make it out of this ordeal alive. I've respected Live Another Day a lot for being aware of the global consequences. Multiple nations have been at play this season including the U.S., England, Russia and China. It's all very precarious. In the end, however, it means yet another combative task force running into Jack and Kate delaying them from stopping the villains. It's a plot twist the show has done a million times previously - including once earlier this season!

Jack and Kate do have a very active hour though. Jack is trying and failing to stop Steve from handing the override device (the ultimate MacGuffin!) to Adrian. It's a nice bit of role reversal to see the two of them sitting in the same interrogation room they were in at the start of the season. But now, Steve is the one hooked up to the machines with Jack trying to get the information. Yes, it's just another insistence of Jack saying he needs to interrogate the suspect and someone else - in this case, Erik - trying him he has to follow the rules. There really isn't a way 24 hasn't done this scenario before. So, there's no interesting way to approach it anymore. It's fun seeing Jack and Kate outsmart Steve in order to get the information. But it is still a story the show has done before. I am excited to see Jack and Kate get out of the situation they're in - but mostly to see his reaction to learning that Cheng is back.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Day 9: 8:00PM - 9:00PM" was directed by Milan Cheylov with teleplay by Adam DaSilva and story by Robert Cochran, Manny Coto & Evan Katz.
  • It is nice knowing that the accident that killed Morris and Prescott was really just an accident and not an attempt at killing Chloe.
  • The show doesn't really know how to use Heller now that's he heroically tried to sacrifice himself and lived to tell the tale. So, basically it's more focus on his dementia.
  • Yeah, Mark is just back to being the douche.
  • Did we know Kate's husband was dead previously? Either way, Yvonne Strahovski was excellent here.