24: Live Another Day, Season 1, Episode 10: “8:00 PM – 9:00PM”
Written by Adam DaSilva
Directed by Milan Cheylov
Airs Mondays at 9pm (ET) on FOX
One of the best things about this event series version of 24 is that the narrative is more tightly scripted. With 12 episodes instead of 24, there is no room for fluff. There hasn’t been much of it so far, and the producers have been able to keep the tension high almost the entire way. It’s also difficult at this stage in the game for it to spring genuine surprises.
So it is very satisfying to see the unexpected return of a man who has had such an impact on both Jack’s and Audrey’s lives in the past: Cheng. He’s a true villain, unrelenting in his aggression and with zero dissension in his ranks. This makes any goal he sets out to achieve, no matter how nefarious, seem achievable. Cross wasn’t really cutting it as a major bad guy, and it’s heartening to see Cheng’s return, as he brings true menace and is a perfect fit. Not only does he help tie up a loose end from the past, since surely this time he won’t escape Jack’s clutches, but he also gives Jack and Audrey a common cause to battle against in these last few hours.
Similarly, it is pleasing to see Chloe refuse to play along with Cross’ plan. She might have initially appeared to play dumb before trying to take off with the override, though it’s a solid beat to give Cross a false sense of security. It’s also welcome to see her have a sense of closure, as Cross reveals her husband and son died in an accident, not as part of an attempt on her life. It’s most certainly the final straw for her involvement with Open Cell (the members of which, let’s face it, are all dead anyway), and should bring her back to Jack’s side.
Navarro is at the heart of the first half, as his attempt to flee London ends poorly when Cross leaves him for dead. A 24 interrogation, at this point, is not something most viewers are eager to see, but it does bring us one of the greatest lines in the show’s history — “Full immunity is not on the table, but your hand is!” — and a neat twist on the trope, with Kate playing off her sense of betrayal to make Navarro think she was willing to kill him, no matter the consequences. Well played.
We close out with Cheng seemingly starting a new global war, using the override to order a US submarine to destroy a Chinese warship. With the Russians hungry for blood (whether Jack’s or Mark’s), there’s a distinctly international flavor to the closing stages. Still, there’s only a couple of hours for Jack to prevent World War III, which he surely must, right?