I didn't realize it at first, but apparently, this week's episode of 24: Live Another Day is the 200th episode of 24, if you're counting this as merely a continuation of the original eight seasons. Knowing that as I watched the events unfold made me think something big, huge and monumental was going to happen.
Stuff DID happen. And someone did die. But it still felt like vintage 24. Even with some absolutely incredible performances -- and we'll get to that -- this still felt like a by-the-book episode of a show that has truly lost the ability to shock and awe us.
Heller Surrenders Himself for Execution
The bulk of this episode leads to the inevitable death of President Heller. It feels very similar to an episode from season 3 when Jack labored enormously to avoid having to assassinate his boss Ryan Chappelle -- but no, he still had to die and at Jack's hands.
We learn quickly Heller's decision at the beginning of the episode. Heller told Margot that he will surrender himself if she destroy the drones she now controls. Margot tells her son Ian, who doesn't exactly want to surrender, that she will keep her word.
When Jack arrives at the embassy, Heller even shows him a recording of what he promised to Margot. He'll arrive at Wembly Stadium by 7pm -- which is in under an hour -- if she'll swear on the soul of her husband to destroy the drones. And just as I predicted last week, he'll resign first.
That way, it's not an act of state, but a personal act. The President of the United States didn't hand himself over to a terrorist -- a former President did. Heller tells Jack about his Alzheimer's diagnosis, but Jack still wants to stop him, until Heller reminds him that Jack would do the same thing. Yup, that's kind of true. Even if this whole plot is seemingly insane, we all know that, yes, Jack would do the same.
Jack then tells Heller he'll need someone on security to help him successfully get Heller out of the building and to the stadium without anyone noticing. For the briefest of moments, I thought it'd be Aaron even if he left the Secret Service years ago ... but no, it's Mark.
Hoping that Heller's surrender doesn't have to be an inevitability, Jack calls Kate to demand that she "wake the bitch up" (the bitch being Simone) after he's told Kate about Heller's plan. The doctor refuses, so Kate pulls a gun on him. Oh god, get a room Jack and Kate ... you're perfect for each other!
Simone gives Kate the address of an apartment where her husband Naveed hid a disc that will get them into Margot's system before she seizes -- and will likely die.
Back at the embassy, Heller has a tender moment with his daughter Audrey while they look over some old pictures of the two of them with Heller's wife/Audrey's mom. The two of them absolutely nail that scene -- William Devane has really brought it home with his portrayl of Heller this season. Great to have him back on the show.
A little while later, Jack has to remove Heller's transponder embedded under his skin, before sneaking him out of the embassy. (And of course, Jack has to knock out a poor Secret Service agent that was just doing his job.) By the time Jack and Heller get into a helicopter at a nearby airfield, it's finally dark outside.
While Jack and Heller are on their way to the stadium, the CIA has raided the apartment Simone pointed them to and found Naveed's disc. Kate has the information on it sent to Chloe, as she starts to worry about Jordan. (And worry she should as we'll discuss in the next section.)
Margot, meanwhile, tells Ian to prep one drone for an attack and then prep the rest for destruction once Heller is dead. Ian says it's a waste, so $10 on him betraying his mom next week and continuing to use the drones to destroy things around London.
Chloe, who is working out of a pub at this point, gets the info from Kate, but she tells Jack she needs more time with it.
And unfortunately, they're out of time. At the stadium, Heller tells Jack he's already given him a Presidential pardon for everything he's done -- so he can go home now -- and will do that day to try and stop the attack.
Heller walks onto the field as Margot takes the controls from Ian and prepares to fire a drone missile directly at Heller.
The explosion from the direct hit is enormous.
And yet ... no silent clock. Did Heller not deserve it? There's no doubt he's dead, but still, odd he didn't get one.
Jordan Fights Back
The rest of the episode is dedicated to Jordan. He's bleeding and leaving a trail, but the assassin tells Steve he's having trouble finding him. When Jordan calls Steve looking for help, Steve promises to send Erik -- still not seen on-screen this week -- but of course he calls the assassin to tell him where to find Jordan.
Jordan, however, is able to subdue the assassin and even gloats, "I know Steve Navarro sent you to kill me."
The assassin, however, is able to fight back and even manages to stab him. Jordan's able to shoot him twice and kill him, but in our final scene with Jordan this week, we see him bleeding out.
Please tell me he was smart enough to call someone after he spoke with Steve? Could Erik -- or, more likely, Kate -- be coming to the rescue next week?
Other Odds & Ends
-- With Heller dead, what does that do to the agreement to hand over Jack that Mark forged for the Russians? It doesn't invalidate it, of course, but it does also mean Heller's not alive to say he never signed such a thing. Why do I get the feeling Jack will end up in the hands of the Russians at the end of this miniseries?
-- After talking to Steve to make sure Jordan was taken care of, Cross calls Chloe to try and convince her to come back and work with her. She swears she still believes in what they're doing, but she's too busy helping Jack. If Jordan really does die -- and things aren't looking too good for him right now -- my money is on Chloe somehow discovering Cross' link to Steve.
-- Incredible acting in the scene where Audrey finds out about her father's plan and Mark confesses knowing about it. I still think it's a ridiculous idea for him to hand himself over, but so was the President of the United States ordering the execution of Ryan Chappelle. Over the top? Yes. But the emotions help sell 95% of it. Same here.
24: Live Another Day
airs Mondays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)