A quick review of tonight's “24: Live Another Day” coming up just as soon as I put you out into the field…
There's an old saying about suspense, usually attributed to Alfred Hitchcock, saying that action is if a bomb blows up, while suspense is when the audience knows that the bomb is there and could go off at any time. Though “24” has plenty of action, its design is built more around suspense, both because the writers need to pull the audience along for 12-24 episodes of story, and because once the explosions start, the story changes rapidly.
Up until now, London has been under threat of a terrorist attack, but now Margot has fired missiles at a hospital and into London traffic in an attempt to kill her daughter before she can talk to authorities. (Margot's too myopic and paranoid to realize that these very actions are making it more and more likely that Simone will betray her.) And when you see parts of a hospital exploding, and see victims wandering around missing limbs or literally being on fire, it turns this into a very different season – or should, anyway. Sometimes on “24,” terrorist activity generates panic in the streets, which only makes Jack's job harder, but other times – say, the nuking of Valencia – the world around Jack seems to keep functioning more or less normally. We're deep enough into the season without having skipped an hour that I imagine a very big time jump is coming (possibly skipping all 12 necessary hours in one go), which would in theory allow the show to skip over the period when all of London would rightfully be going crazy because missiles have been fired at hospitals. But we'll see.
As for the rest of the episode, Navarro being a mole now ties in with the Open Cell storyline, as we find out that Adrian Cross was the one who sold national secrets, and not Kate's husband. It's a little disappointing to have Cross do a full heel turn, if only because it's so much the obvious thing to do, and also justifies all of Jack's contempt for what Chloe has been doing of late. But it now gives Chloe some big stakes in the story, since I'm guessing her mentor Cross is the one who turned her into the CIA in the first place. And William Devane continues to be terrific, even if all the material surrounding Heller (the Alzheimer's, Mark forging his signature on the rendition order) remains sketchy.
What did everybody else think? Did all the missile vs. car action excite you, or did it make Margot seem like a much less imposing threat, given that she couldn't kill Simone and is sabotaging herself without realizing it?