A quick review of tonight's “24: Live Another Day” coming up just as soon as I splash a little water on you…
After a few episodes in a row that demonstrated the power of this pared-down format, “4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.” was “24” back to a lot of its old tricks – and I do mean a lot. The last few episodes had kept things very simple, even at times leaving Jack out of play to focus on things that mattered. This was a very cluttered hour, with not only too many things happening, but too many of the same dumb things that “24” used to have to do all the time to make its way through a 24-episode season. So we got the revelation that this year's CIA mole (or, at least, the first of potentially several CIA moles) is Steve Navarro, we got Mark getting into trouble for the forged presidential signature he sent over to the Russians, we got Simone wasting time and getting badly injured in dealing with her sister-in-law and niece. And we got the first dumb plot twist courtesy of Heller's dementia, as the British prime minister decides he can't trust Heller or the plan with Jack (which, in fairness, would sound insane to anyone who is not a viewer of “24”) and sends an MI5 team in to potentially screw up the undercover op and endanger Jack and Kate.
There was an awful lot to induce wincing and the rolling of eyes… and yet, one of the things the season has done consistently well throughout is in establishing Kate as a worthy partner of Jack's. The moments focusing on Kate dealing with this lunatic and the danger he is going to keep putting her into were excellent, whether she was choosing to inject herself with the anesthetic or holding up under some really nasty torture. Now, a good chunk of that torture scene was cribbed directly from the first “Lethal Weapon” movie, up to and including Kate's method for taking out the one bad guy stupid enough to get close to her legs, but if you're going to steal, steal from the best and then give it to Yvonne Strahovski to perform.
This was not an especially good episode of “24” of any vintage, and I'm worried that it's opening up too many new paths that we'll be forced to travel on for the next several episodes. But at the show's core, we have Jack and Chloe, and now Kate. I suffered through a lot of idiocy in original recipe “24” to watch Jack work, and I'm willing to expect a poor outing of a fundamentally uneven show given that we're already halfway through this season.
What did everybody else think?