THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS BETWEEN 5:00:00 PM and 6:00:00 PM
5:00:01 – 5:00:02 – 5:00:03 – 5:00:04 –
Is there anything Margot Al-Harazi wouldn’t do to get her revenge? I don’t think so.
After the vengefully hell-bent Margot Al-Harazi dispatched her protégée daughter Simone to contain a leak of their operation to Naveed’s sister and niece, Simone’s compassion for her family causes her to botch the clean-up with Farah dead and Yasmin fleeing into the streets. An unsuspecting bus collides with Simone, potentially busting Al-Harazi’s operation wide open, since local authorities are now collecting Yasmin and Simone, including jack Bauer and Agent Kate Morgan.
Jack and Kate are recovering from a stealth operation ambushed by MI5 operatives under Prime Minister Davies’ command. Kate voluntarily endured torture while Jack tried to convince a former arms dealing boss to activate a trap bank account and hopefully link them Al-Harazi. Despite the British interference, Jack got the account open and Morgan turned the tables on her torturers before there was any power drilling (Seriously, no power drilling, Morris O’Brian? Anybody?)
Jack confronts the head of the MI5 squad which goes predictably, “I have my orders.” “I’m on a mission from the president!” “There’s Protocols.” “You endangered both my life and your men’s lives.“ Yada yada yada. Jack’s got no time for your shenanigans!
Margot tries to contact Simone again to ascertain her status, but instead finds an EMT answering her daughter’s mobile. It’s strange to see Margot come over, even slightly, as a concerned mother, while also maintaining her cover and looking out for her operation. As soon as she hangs up, she tells her son Ian to get their cleaner Kareem to the hospital and determine Simone’s location.
Back at the hospital, Jack and Kate discover that Simone had been trying to protect Farah and Yasmin before things got out of hand. Kate goes to ask Yasmin questions, while Jack forces the Doctors to bring Simone to consciousness. The next two scenes really give us a comparison between Jack’s arguably tiresome methods for dealing with suspects and a less severe example. Though, granted, there’s a significant difference between Simone and Yasmin in terms of methods warranted. Kate is sensitive and asks Yasmin about what happened. Yasmin tells her what happened and that Simone is her aunt. She also says that she killed her mother and hopes that Simone dies. Kate thanks her and tells her that she’s brave.
Jack’s not so subtle. Kate gets back to him and tells him what Yasmin told her and then he talks to Simone, who recognizes him from earlier in the day on the tube. Jack tells her that he knows that Simone tried to protect her sister-in-law and her niece from her mother and to think of all the innocent people that her mother is going to murder. Simone’s not so easily swayed. “Just because I was protective of Farah and Yasmin doesn’t mean I’ll betray my mother to you!”
Jack doesn’t take that well. He seizes Simone’s mutilated hand, insistently saying her mother did this to her, but Simone passes out. Kate and Jack leave the room and Jack says that he shouldn’t have done that. Jack probably realized that it would take a bit more to shake Simone’s loyalty to her mother. This isn’t the first time in 24 that Jack has had to convert a young female terrorist with (supposedly) unshakable loyalty. Marie Warner back in Day 2 was similarly cunning and devoted. But Live Another Day has made Simone much more interesting and sympathetic, so we’re hoping she’ll see the light soon enough for Jack to help her.
Meanwhile, at the U.S. delegation, Jack has told Heller that MI5 crashed his operation and Heller meets with the Prime Minister to discuss this breach of cooperation. Davies is adamant that he can’t stand by and do nothing while drones are threatening to reduce London to rubble, but Heller says that he should have trusted him and Jack to get the job done. Davies finally admits, with his sympathies, that he knows Heller is being treated for Alzheimer’s. Heller assures Davies that if he believed for an instant that his health was impacting his competency, he would resign immediately. After Heller tells Davies that Jack Bauer still has a lead on Al-Harazi, Davies promises that form then on they will have his full transparent cooperation. Well, that could have gone worse.
Heller tells Audrey and Mark that Davies knows about his Alzheimer’s and that he wants to arrange a meeting with the Vice President when this crisis is over, concerning his resignation (GASP). Mark says he’ll take care of it, and Audrey looks on, troubled.
But Mark’s got his own world of worry to deal with. His hasty mistake of FORGING HELLER’S SIGNATURE on an executive order to hand Jack Bauer over to the Russians is coming back to bite his ass sooner than he’d hoped. Russian Foreign Minister Anatol meets with Mark in person and correctly surmises that the reason Mark is so keen to keep the President out of this discussion is that Mark took matters into his own hands and that Heller knows nothing about this. Anatol insists, once again, that Mark deliver Jack to the Russians, or else the damage to his life and his career would be considerable. We will see this happen before the end of the season, mark my words.
And at CIA London, the recently audience revealed double agent Steve Navarro is still trying to get Analyst Jordon off the trail of the info on Adam Morgan, which was actually leaked to the Chinese by him. To dispose of him, Navarro gives the desk analyst a surprise field job. Jordan is shocked, but eager and sets out immediately.
*Headdesk* I can see it now; “Take this totally random surprise field job, they said. You’ve earned it, they said.”
So who’s waiting for Jordan at this supposed intel package drop off point? A mug with a silenced pistol. Mercifully, Jordan doesn’t die or drown after falling in the river, but makes it back to streets, kicking off a whole new arc of racing against the authorities and intrigue. Better clean up that wet gunshot wound in a hurry there, Jordan, fates only know what you were just soaking in.
Kareem arrives that the hospital to determine Simone’s location for Margot, but Jack and Kate spot him. Rather than being taken in, Kareem opens fire. Jack and Morgan give chase, but two other officers gun him down before Jack can question him. However, he does recover his phone which is open on the text messages between him and Al-Harazi. (The Episode never brings it up, but couldn’t they try to use that phone to trace Al-Harazi? Perhaps with what happens in the rest of the episode, nobody thinks of it.)
Jack deduces from Kareem’s phone that Margot is going to strike at the hospital with drones to silence Simone. The hospital begins evacuating, Kate gets Yasmin to safety and Jack starts to carry Simone from the hospital. Simone protests, saying her mother wouldn’t do this, so Jack lays her against the wall of the Hallway and says “have it your way.” I think Jack knew that Simone would plead for his help when he did that. With a drone strike arriving any minute Jack and Kate race to get Simone away from the hospital in a car. What follows is one of the most pulse-pounding sequences in all of 24 that I can remember.
Margot’s first drone missile hits the section of the hospital where Simone was, while people were still evacuating. Ian quickly reacquires them and sends another missile into the parking lot right behind Jack’s car. Simone looks back on the carnage her mother is wreaking as they speed away. Ian empties the drone’s whole arsenal of missiles into the London area, trying desperately to take out Jack as he drives against traffic, though alley ways, stops other drivers at gun point and knocks them out to switch cars under an over pass, until finally, Ian’s last drone missile is used and misses.
Heller watches the devastation in horror. He calls Jack and tells him that he needs him back immediately for purposes we don’t know yet. Jack agrees and tells Kate to get Simone back to CIA London and keep her alive. Kate says she will, but that Simone’s pulse is fading.
In private, President Heller finally takes the back door contact information that Margot has been feeding him and makes the call. There’s the usual appraising exchange of names. Margot says she’s surprised Heller called. Heller wants to ask Margot whether or not he can trust her to stop stop the attacks if Heller surrenders himself. Margot says that Heller is in no position to ask about trust, but she gives him his word. She suspects that Heller has already made up his mind. He has, he tells her.
What does that mean?! UGH!!! Margot has already laid waste to a significant part of London giving chase to Jack and Simone, and her deadline is fast approaching. Based on the previews, and the fact that Heller has asked Jack to come back in, it seems like Heller is going to surrender himself. But of course, even if he does, that won’t wrap things up nicely. We’ve still got 4 hours after what will be episode 8 for things to get more desperate before any kind of resolution is reached.
So let’s talk about the other big reveal of this episode. Adrian Cross. I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m not pleased. Adrian was already not a likeable character who butted heads with Jack and screwed him over outside the American Embassy. This reveal of him (we) being behind the leaking of US secrets to the Chinese and Steve Navarro framing Adam Morgan for it is not a big surprise. We already knew he was a hacktivist. Also it feels like a recapitulation of 24’s old one sided politics that I was talking about in reviews of earlier episodes. In other words, according to the show, anyone who exposes governments secrets, or perhaps more importantly, any one who disagrees with Jack Bauer is either incompetent, misguided or a bad guy. Jack’s turning out to be right in the way that I hope the show might have the courage to not make him again, like he has always has.
ON THE OTHER HAND, This new development with Adrian Cross may be more complex than simply Adrian and Steve are traitors and they’ll be the late season mystery to solve. Somebody, we don’t know for sure, but I can make an educated guess, tipped Chloe off to get out of Open Cell’s abandoned base before authorities closed in. I’ll bet that was still Adrian. Chloe was also on Adrian’s side on the issue of government transparency and the show doesn’t make her wrong very often. We have to wait and see exactly what his motives and goals are in actuality.
– 5:59:57 – 5:59:58 – 5:59:59 – 6:00:00