24: LAD Recap: Keeping Up With the Droneses

24LAD-EP5_SC520_DS-5205(1)This week on Fox’s 24: Live Another Day, important people finally start to buy what Jack Bauer is selling, but did they wise up too late? Also: Margot Al-Harazi goes public with her demands — is President Heller willing to pay the price?

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So, coming out of last week’s tag, in which the CIA’s Kate Morgan “stole” custody of Jack Bauer from the (angry) Marines at the Embassy, you may well have thought we were commencing the Jack and Kate Save the World Show. But not quite yet. Instead, the unlikely allies are (for now) pulled in separate directions — her, called on the carpet by CIA boss Navarro, while Jack gets the face-to-face with President Heller he’d been yammering for.

It may seem a bit early in the “season” for VIPs to start taking Jack seriously, but the show needs to accelerate things in this 12-episode format. Plus, as I’ve said since Season 2: Why wouldn’t they?? The guy saves planets, with frequency. Luckily, though Jack wasn’t able to upload the entire flight key to Chloe, Kate leaves the Embassy with it and finishes the job via laptop. And sure ’nuff, she uncovers the proof that Margot is able to seize command of 10 drones, to do with as she pleases. Nonetheless, Kate gets double-secret officially demoted by Navarro for her productive yet extreme effort. Adrian meanwhile orders Open Cell to mobilize, but Chloe insists on staying behind to help Jack and the CIA.

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Heller, upon hearing from Navarro that the threat is real, orders General Walter Steele to ground all drones worldwide, but Margot is able to commandeer six of them before the lockdown. Worse, the U.S. has no means of tracking their stolen, super-stealthy hardware. So that’s a problem. Margot then delivers a video, detailing both her grievance (a drone strike killed her husband as well as many civilians) and her demand, that President Heller is handed over to her in three hours. The next objective is thus to find Margot’s base of operations — and as luck would have it, Jack “knows a guy,” but he and only he can track down this arms dealer to, you know, do the things Jack does to get intel. However, Heller’s not about to send Russia’s Most Wanted back into the field; guy has enough political headaches.

Amidst the mayhem, 24: LAD makes time for a reunion two-and-a-half-seasons/seven years in the making, when Audrey secures her own face time with Jack. But rather than rip open old wounds and rehash their estrangement — long story very short: in Season 6, Audrey was tortured by the Chinese, resulting in a catatonic state, in the course of trying to help Jack — their time together is instantly warm, intimate. I was never the hugest Jack/Audrey fan (#TeamRenee), yet found myself suitable moved by their extended session of forehead sex.

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Back at Margot’s lair, Naveed decides that he cannot go through with piloting the deadly drone strike, so he confides in Simone his plot to slip the CIA a clue to their whereabouts. Alas, Margot’s son Ian spied Naveed’s handiwork and swapped in an alternate IP address for the CIA to track. As Margot executes Naveed in front of an I’ve-Got-9-Fingers-Yet-I’m-Quite-OK-With-It-All Simone, Navarro and Ritter lead a team to the manor they believe Margot is operating out of. But instead of discovering a big, bad terrorist, all they find is a pair of drone missiles descending right at ’em. The explosion suggests many casualties, though the fates of Navarro and Ritter — who were charging toward the blast without helmets — are TBD. But come on — it’s Benjamin Bratt. So while he might be banged up for an episode/hour or so, leaving Kate to rule the CIA roost, I have to believe he’ll be back.

What did you think of 24: LAD‘s 3 o’clock hour? Excited for Jack and Kate to hit the field together next week?