’24: Live Another Day’: Everyone is at the Table

Published 11 months ago by

Yvonne Strahovski and Gbenga Akinagbe in 24LAD Episode 4 24: Live Another Day: Everyone is at the Table

[This is a review of 24: Live Another Day episode 4. There will be SPOILERS.]


Right around the time of day most people are wishing they could take a nap, Jack Bauer is storming an embassy and helping deliver an incredibly well-executed episode of 24: Live Another Day that takes complete advantage of the show’s formula. But in addition to delivering a entertaining and compact episode, ’2:00pm-3:00pm’ is the first episode to demonstrate how the switch to a shortened 12-episode season seems to have the show utilizing its time in such a way the pacing feels frenetic but more streamlined than ever before.

That means Jack’s mission inside the embassy to visit Tanner and get a hold of his flight data key is equal bits him actually doing that, and the vehicle through which the show brings the other major players to the table. Of course, that means that Audrey and President Heller are now made aware of Jack’s presence in London and the fact that he’s convinced a terrorist attack on the city is imminent. Meanwhile, the longer she listens to Jack and is privy to his undying determination, it seems as though Agent Morgan is starting to become a believer of the Jack Bauer Theory. So, in as much as the previous three episodes were table-setting, ’2:00pm-3:00pm’ is making sure the guests all know where they’re seated.

At the opposite end of the table, then, is Margot al-Harazi and her Drone Strike Taskforce, and, seated somewhere in the middle (possibly at the kids table) is Adrian Cross and Open Cell crew who aren’t quite sure whether they want to help Jack or possibly expose him and the governments he’s trying to protect. And, in a way, that creates an interesting set of questions regarding the motivations of and manner in which the audience perceives the characters caught between the extremes of Jack and Margot.

Mary Lynn Rajskub in 24LAD Episode 4 24: Live Another Day: Everyone is at the Table

On one hand, certain Open Cell members (like Chloe) owe Jack their life, so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to pay back that debt. But Cross isn’t so indebted to Jack, and is seemingly motivated only by his feelings for Chloe – which leads him to send some decryption software Jack’s way, in a nice but ultimately futile show of solidarity. One wonders, though, when the information of hijacked drones and a threat on London as well as President Heller is going to supercede Cross’ personal interests and influence his desire to disseminate such incendiary information to his followers.

The notion of secrets, or, more specifically, how long they are kept and when they are to be revealed (if ever) becomes a part of the underlying subtext of the narrative. At least it will be until President Heller’s degenerative condition is dealt with. Interestingly, this hour of 24 doesn’t really touch on Heller’s neurological condition; instead, it briefly plays up the history he and Audrey share with Jack. That history, and the fact that Mark kept the information of Jack’s resurfacing from his wife and the president puts a wedge between her and her husband, but it also adds some drama to what was beginning to become a somewhat inert game of Keep the President in the Dark.

But having the major players become a more integral part of the plot gives the series the ability to push forward into maybe even more compelling territory. So far, 24: Live Another Day has been getting by on the significance of Jack’s return and, partially, on displays of Margot’s extremism, which, apparently extend to compelling Navid to pilot the drones by having a henchman liberate some of Simone’s fingers from her hand.

Setting up a battle of the extremes is exactly what the series excels at, and with one third of the story already gone that battle will only get more intense. But the show has also inserted some interesting variables and characters to the 24 equation that just may keep things from going down in anything but the usual fashion.


24: Live Another Day continues next Monday with ’3:00pm-4:00pm’ @9pm on FOX. Check out a preview below:

Photos: Daniel Smith/FOX

TAGS: 24
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. So far, so good. I’m so happy this show is back on the air. Go get’em Jack!

  2. you know after all this time one would think that they’d give Jack the benefit of the doubt, I mean it’s not like he’s saved the world a billion times, oh wait, he has. so glad this show is back I hope they do another series next year. I so want to see Yvonne in this role but i just can’t, she will always be Sarah Walker to me (it’s basically the same role without the charm and comedy), sorry.

  3. Kevin you did not explain why Jack has the President’s private phone number.

    • I don’t think he did. President Heller called Jack on the embassy phone.

    • The President called Jack in the scene? Jack almost didn’t answer. But yeah it has been a great start to a season, so well paced this far and jack is totally back, and a bit more grounded, in the past Jack would have somehow gunned down the soldiers and two agents and escaped.

  4. Was surprised by President Heller ,sending in the troops ,thought he was Jack’s friend.

    • It’s called bad writing. Have a character do something completely OUT of character to create “drama” because you don’t know how to do it properly.

      • I disagree. I felt like it was perfectly fine. Last time we saw Jack and Heller together Heller told him he wanted nothing to do with him and to stay away from his daughter. A lot had happened between Jack and Heller shooting up terrorists in the beginning of season 4 (one of my favorite 24 moments.)

        Then add that weasel Chief of Staff and its no wonder he made the decision he did.

        Loved it when Jack was talking to him though. “It was a right I thought I deserved, by the way.”

        • EDIT: A lot had happened between Jack and Heller shooting up terrorists in the beginning of season 4(one of my favorite 24 moments) AND WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY.

      • Have you watched the other seasons when Jack interacted with Heller many times? Heller has seen some bad along with all the good Jack’s done, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Heller honestly can’t be sure what kind of man Jack is by now.

    • “We know Jack Bauer! You don’t!”
      “This time he’s bad for real”
      “Send in the Marines.”

  5. Love that 24. Now, are they going to follow their usual script, and have a catastrophe averted midway, only to reveal a second plot, and the real masterminds of the whole initial plan? Anyway, Jack will save the day!

    • I’d be willing to bet they do, or at the very least, Margot is working for someone (MAX!!). I hope Mandy shows up at some point, too…

      • Spoiler for the 24 video game. Since the game is considered to being canon then Max shouldn’t be able to reappear since in the last level Jack kills Max on his boat. I’d be interested in seeing the organization Nina Myers worked for and I guess Mandy too.

        • I went and looked up Max after my comment, and he was indeed killed by Jack in the game. Too bad. The character was only in a few scenes but I enjoyed him and would love to see a confrontation between him and Jack.

    • I bet Cross is the mastermind. I don’t think they cast Michael Wincott to just a play a somewhat shady side character.

      • Same feeling here, also the chief of staff feels like a guy who may have something to do with all of this.

      • I must have missed something. What did Cross do to doublecross Jack???

  6. What about the part where the CIA lady jumped through the air vent to get in the room with Jack?
    The Marines who work at the embassy didn’t about that air vent?

    • Seems like they could of, you know, dropped some tear gas through the vent instead of blowing up the door.

    • She heard about the vent FROM the Marines, but they didn’t want to drop through one by one so Jack could pick them off.

      • Oh.

  7. The show could stand some more logic, few cardboard cutout weasels, fewer characters who prefer to bury their heads in the sand to an absurd extent, and the list goes on.

    • Fury, I’m not sure why you even watch, you clearly dislike the show, why torture yourself? Oh yeah, I know why. :)

  8. I just did a mass viewing of the first four hours. So far so good. I am glad they reduced the series from 24 to 12 hours. That seems to move the action along better than dragging things out for 24 hours. However, Keifer does look a little long in the tooth to be doing this kind of thing these days. Also, Chloe needs to cut back on the black eyeliner! Otherwise, good work.