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24: Live Another Day: "1:00pm-2:00pm"

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<em>24: Live Another Day</em>: "1:00pm-2:00pm"

Jack and Chloe are in pursuit of the woman they previously saw with Derek Yates. Jack found Yates dead in the bathroom, and stumbled upon the woman’s wig outside of the building. He concludes that she’s the one who killed Yates, that she now looks different from their previous encounter, and that she has the device. Chloe is able to track down the woman to the subway, and gives Jack directions as he hops on and off the train, smacks some people and ultimately loses sight of the suspect. As the woman escapes, she crosses Chloe’s path. Chloe, however, is distracted by a family she sees outside of the station. She fills in Jack on what he—and the audience—missed in the past four years.

Morris and Prescott, Chloe’s husband and son, are dead. They were killed in a car crash on the way to soccer practice, and the lone witness didn’t see much. It is something that could have been a tragic accident, but, according to Chloe, it wasn’t. On any ordinary day, Chloe would have been the one driving her son to soccer practice. “They were targeting me,” she says. Jack doesn’t understand why.

“I know what happened the day you disappeared,” Chloe answers.

Jack tries to console his dear friend, and attempts to explain that if they don’t keep pushing forward, more people will die. At this point, one of 24’s series-long themes comes to light again. Heroism—particularly the brand of heroism that Jack and his kind champion—comes at a big price.

In the first season of 24, we’re introduced to Jack Bauer as a federal agent who has to save the senator and his family on the same day. He does manage to save the senator, who goes on to become President. In one of the most shocking plot twists seen on TV at that time, Jack’s wife is killed, and the consequence of this is devastating. The action assured viewers that this wasn’t your ordinary hero-saves-the-day series. Teri Bauer’s death started a domino effect of very bad things falling upon people trying to do good. Chloe’s reveal reminds the audience of how high the stakes are in 24. Jack, Chloe and others in their position aren’t the only ones at risk. Everyone they love now stands to become a target.

While Jack and Chloe are in pursuit of a woman they soon learn is Simone Al-Harazi, daughter of radical Margot Al-Harazi, the CIA is pursuing them. Kate Morgan, who is shaping up to be the CIA equivalent of Jack, is ready to strong-arm anyone into locating the former CTU agent. Meanwhile, President Heller is about to talk to parliament about a base against the wishes of his Chief of Staff/son-in-law Mark Boudreau. When we see Boudreau forge the President’s signature, there’s an indication that his concerns might be about more than his father-in-law/boss’ declining health. Beyond that, we go deeper into the lives of the Al-Harazi: Margot worked with her husband on attacks before he was killed in a drone attack, and now, she’s set on revenge, and it’s a family effort. Simone, we learn, is married, and her husband is getting cold feet about the plot. Simone tries to convince him that they need to follow through with the plan. It appears that Simone will do whatever her mother says. As for Margot, she’s coming across as one controlling mom who ups the creepy factor when she spies on an intimate moment between her daughter and son-in-law through surveillance footage.

Politically, 24: Live Another Day is the culmination of the past eight seasons. Back when the show was at its peak of popularity, it earned a lot of criticism for torture depicted in the show. You may still hear people remark on the politics of it, especially regarding the justification of torture. With 24, there’s a lot of obvious criticism of U.S. politics and practices embedded in the show. Drones are at the center of the series, particularly now that we know Margot’s backstory. Her husband was killed by a drone, and now she seeks revenge with one. At the same time, anti-drone protests have marked the President’s visit to London. On top of that, the attack on U.S. and British troops that took place previously on the show has sparked an outcry from Parliament.

Moreover, there are the offhand comments that pepper the episode. Steve Navarro, who heads up the CIA office, notes that he’s been hearing about “armed Americans.” Adrian Cross, a Julian Assange-type figure, cooly reprimands Jack for his “rude habit of asking for favors while accompanied by a gun.” When Kate tries to get info from Basher, he wonders aloud if there will be water-boarding.

By the end of the episode, President Heller faces the wrath of the MPs. Jack’s latest plan is thwarted when Adrian messes with his credentials and violence escalates quickly. The situation isn’t looking good for anybody right now. The President, and thus, the country, face humiliation. Jack is entering a situation that is dire, even by his standards, and Live Another Day is looking like the bleakest 24 series yet.

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