Not a lot "happens" in this week's episode of 24: Live Another Day, but that's clearly by design. This episode has one purpose and one purpose alone ... to show how lame of a character Naveed is.
No, wait. It's also designed to get Jack to trust Kate. Maybe because he had no other choice, but for this miniseries to work, it can't just be the Jack and Chloe show.
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The Stand-Off at the Embassy
Even though he arguably has one of the most recognized faces in the world, Jack knocks out a DSS agent to get his jacket in the opening minutes of the episode and is not recognized by any civilians throughout the remainder of the episode.
First, he's able to get to Tanner. After knocking out the skeptical guard, Jack and Tanner have a quick conversation where Jack tells Tanner that he knows he's innocent, and while he somewhat doubts Bauer, Tanner ultimately tells Jack where to get the flight key.
While Jack has the key, he's quickly unable to exit the building. He winds up having to take hostages in a room where he can safely upload the key's data to Chloe.
Unfortunately, Jack can't upload the data until it's decrypted. Cross, who Chloe chewes out earlier in the episode, sends Jack a decryption program, but it will require many, many minutes that Jack does not have.
So what does Jack do? Confirm with Chloe that the Marines that have barricaded the room he's locked himself into with hostages have body armor. And then he shoots two of them.
(If this show comes back for another miniseries, Jack is going to need a truckload of pardons from Heller for everything he's done in just the first four hours.)
Hoping to avoid a shoot-out, Mark finally brings Heller up to speed and tells both the President and Audrey what Jack has been up to. Both are shocked that he's still alive. And Heller just finished a whopping 30-minute presentation before Parliament -- where he apparently, during his off-screen appearance, pulled it together and wound up getting applause from the members of Parliament.
"I'll be honest, Jack," Heller tells him on the phone. "I thought I'd never hear your voice again. I liked it that way."
Heller takes Jack to task for all the bad things he's done, but all Jack wants is 15 minutes to finish decrypting the flight key so he can prove Tanner's drone was hijacked. Jack then lets Heller have it, by reminding him that it was Heller's State Department that had Jack declared a terrorist without the President himself talking to someone he used to consider a friend.
Heller seems to be leaning towards giving Jack the time he needs until Mark brings up the break-out for Chloe, as well as Jack's partnership with Open Cell. Heller then decides to order the Marines to go in and get Jack.
Steve then foolishly informs Kate of the plan and she decides to sneak into the room first. (Which begs the question, why wasn't the grate she opened and snuck into guarded by Marines?)
Jack fires off a shot at Kate crawling through the vents until she yells that she believes him and wants to help. Just as Jack told a skeptical Tanner earlier in the episode.
Before the Marines blow the door and bust in, Jack decides to trust Kate and hands over the flight key so she can finish the upload afterwards. Curiously, we actually don't ever see him give it to her, but I think it's pretty obvious.
The Marines come in and their leader is quite upset that he can't kill Jack since Kate says he's under her protection. He's her prisoner.
I can't help but wonder how quickly those handcuffs will come off once Kate finishes the data upload.
Naveed is Back on Team Terrorist
The rest of the episode is all about checking in on the Al-Harazid family. We see Naveed try to convince Simone to run away with him. We see him succeeding. And we see Margot convincing him to change his mind by cutting off her own daughter's finger.
Yes, at the end of the episode, Naveed says he's back on the team and will pilot the drone they plan to hijack and use to attack London. That was honestly a subplot we didn't need in an otherwise tense, exciting and fun episode.
24: Live Another Day
airs Mondays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)