Spoiler Warning: If you have not watched episode 7 of '24: Live Another Day', stop reading now…
We can now say with certainty that 24 has hit its stride for this limited season. The seventh episode featured everything you expect from 24: Intrigue and action, loyalties questioned and unthinkable consequences.
'Jack Bauer' Is Back
After MI5 nearly blew Jack’s mission, Heller confronts the British PM about the mix-up. The yelling match reveals that the PM knows of Heller’s disease. After the dust up, Heller brings in Mark and Audrey and says he wants to accelerate the transition of power once he’s back in the United States. He’s planning to resign. This conversation happens amid Margot sending Heller a secure video data link to call to arrange his handover.
Meanwhile, Jack’s plan with Kate has reaped results as Chloe tracks the phone number to Simone which leads Jack and Kate to a hospital. Through a spotter, Margot knows Simone’s situation and that she nearly spilled the whole plan to Navid’s sister and niece. Unbelievably, Margot then orders the drone to fire into the hospital to kill Simone and everyone else. This woman is really showing us what the antithesis of motherhood looks like.
As Jack and Kate start to evacuate the hospital with Simone, she rebuffs Jack until she hears of her mother’s attempt to murder her and a hospital full of people. But the drone is already in position and fires into the hospital as Jack, Kate, and Simone leave. As the trio flees in a car, the drone fires twice more, missing them both times. The drone only has one missile left. Jack takes refuge under an overpass and uses a decoy car with a cement block on the gas pedal to lure Margot to fire at the empty vehicle. As they flea back to the CIA, Simone loses consciousness.
The conspiracy surrounding Navaro and the framing of Kate’s husband took an astonishing turn as it was revealed that the mystery man who is helping Navaro cover his tracks is none other than Adrian Cross, the Wikileaks-type ‘hacktivist’ group leader. Cross eludes to him being a middleman for a larger authority figure. Navaro asks Cross to send him a “cleaner” to take out CIA techie Jordan Reed whose been looking into the missing data sets on Kate’s system. Cross hires possibly the worst assassin in the world, however. When Reed gets to a phony drop point, he’s shot, not fatally, and falls into the water.
The slimy Mark/Russian conspiracy moved forward as Mark met with a Russian deputy minister who figures out Mark forged the rendition order and reiterates Russia’s lust for Jack to face justice. Mark assures him, “Once Bauer serves his propose, everyone gets what they want.”
We end with Heller alone contemplating calling Margot. After telling Mark and Audrey his plans to resign after the crisis passes, that realization surely tugged on his willingness to sacrifice himself. He calls Jack and asks if there's really any shot of stopping Margot. Jack says a chance, but not a very good one. Heller then calls Margot. Since Margot’s demand that Heller surrenders himself to her was made, his complying seemed unthinkable. But the fact that he made the call to her suggests the President of the United States is willing to surrender himself to a foreign terrorist. Margot gives her word that no one else will die if he complies. Heller tells her ominously, “My decision has already been made.”
This series has done pretty much everything imaginable with characters and public figures, but one thing they've never done is put the President in a field scenario. Heller’s illness and his contemplating his mortality has obviously led him to conclude sacrificing himself is the last, best option to save lives. Quite the noble deed. Situations like this are what the show is known for. Putting the characters in impossible, surreal situations and seeing how they handle it.
The secondary questions that linger are of the plot to rendition Jack back to Russia and why Navaro and Adrian Cross, of all people, are trying to frame Kate’s husband. And who’s really calling the shots on this conspiracy? Those plotlines will be the ones that lead us to the season finale.