24: Live Another Day, Ep. 1.09, “7:00 PM – 8:00 PM” brings the thrills

24 LAD S01E09

24: Live Another Day, Season 1, Episode 9: “7:00 PM – 8:00PM”
Written by Tony Basgallop & Sang Kyu Kim
Directed by Milan Cheylov
Airs Mondays at 9pm (ET) on FOX

You got us, 24. We all fell for it, and in truth we should have seen it coming. Everyone was convinced Heller truly died in the middle of Wembley Stadium in a missile strike, but there was a major hint at his continued survival: the lack of a silent clock at the end of the previous episode. The silent clock is a 24 tradition to pay tribute to the death of a major character. It felt slightly jarring that Heller did not get that treatment, and now it’s clear why.

Pleased as I am at William Devane’s Heller surviving, it feels like a cheap cop-out, as his apparent death was impactful and shocking, and resonated deeply. While we should be used to 24 yanking the rug out from underneath us, and though it’s heartening to see it pull off a well-orchestrated genuine surprise at this point in its lifecycle, it feels like a narrative cheat, even if it makes sense within the larger arc. Most importantly, it means that our review of last week’s episode is more vapid than Kim in Day 2 as she wanders aimlessly around the California backwoods and barely escapes from a mountain lion.

That quibble out of the way, let’s discuss another: Jack’s newfound complete disregard for justice. He goddamn throws someone out of a window, someone who was unarmed, bound, and completely in his custody. Granted, she’d just tried to kill thousands of people, but his bloodlust overcame him. It’s a dicey moral line for Jack to cross, even for a man with such a complex moral code.

Those two reservations aside, “7:00 PM – 8:00 PM” is a blast. It’s one of the 24iest 24s that 24 has ever 24d. A lot happens, thanks to some careful plotting and a tight rein on the action.

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We get helicopters, double death by defenestration, missile attacks, rope rappelling, choke outs, and much, much more. It’s almost like a greatest hits of 24 action beats. Start to end, it’s one of the biggest episodes we’ve seen in terms of scope and story. Not only is there complete carnage, all but one of the plot strands loop together (there’s no update on Mark’s forged signature and the Russians).

Navarro’s only way out of his web of lies is to deliver the recovered MacGuffin — sorry — override to Cross. It turns out, of course, that the override can bypass all of the state’s security infrastructure, just the type of tool that would be catnip to an anarchist. Chloe’s role in the saga is muddied. Her relationship with Cross is about to be tested by her eternal allegiance to Jack.

We really have very few major complaints other than those two biggies at the top. The cast is top notch and just about all the key players have something significant to do. Actually, that’s a lie. If there’s one thing we really could have done more with, it’s Belcheck. The man’s a golden one-liner machine. Can’t wait for the Jack and Belcheck buddy cop spinoff.

Asides:

– The Sky News footage showing Waterloo station claims that train passengers had to go through metal detectors and were not allowed to take baggage. Yet damn near everyone featured in the B-roll footage has luggage with them.

– Um, isn’t Heller’s letter of resignation in effect at the start of the hour? That seems an egregious loose end to simply abandon, one that could have been explained away by a quick line about Jack intercepting the letter.

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