24: Live Another Day "1:00 PM-2:00 PM" Review: The Familiarity of the Chase

By Cory Barker

May 13, 2014

24: Live Another Day S09E03: "Day 9: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM"

Last week, I praised the debut of 24: Live Another Day for doing classic 24 stuff in all the best ways. This week? Well, I suppose it was nice to be reminded that with classic 24, we have to take the good with the bad. The third hour of Live Another Day kept the story moving and found some time to more clearly introduce a few characters, but it also brought back that familiar feeling of people just driving and/or running around chasing one another while the show bides its time until something more interesting comes to pass.

What this episode illustrated is that Live Another Day's 12-part structure isn't necessarily going to void 24's proclivity for quasi-filler episodes. When I first heard that it would only run for half as many hours as a typical 24 season, I sort of imagined this wild, action-packed shootout from start to finish. But the reality is that this event series doesn't have an exorbitant budget, so my dreams are dashed! In any event, the truth of the matter definitely dawned on me as Jack and Chloe spent most of this hour hustling to find Simone (Emily Berrington), the deadly daughter of the early Big Bad, Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley), while CIA agents Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) and Erik (Gbenga Akinnagbe) did their own scrambling to figure out what the heck happened during the firefight in the second half of the premiere.

Jack and Chloe's hunt for Simone wasn't particularly thrilling or intense—in fact, it was weirdly casual—but director Adam Kane made much better use of the London setting than the show did in the first two episodes. Moving Jack and Simone through the street, down into the Tube, and back up again brought some fluidity to the chase, even despite the lack of urgency. I wouldn't go as far to say that Live Another Day's setting makes 24 feel completely different, but the location adds more to the show than Washington D.C. and New York City ever did in Season 7 and Season 8. Plus, Berrington's Simone had a nice little moment near the end of the chase sequence where she sliced her own leg and wiped the blood on her face in an attempt to convince other commuters that Jack was trying to kill her. I'm not sure whether the show intended to go out of its way to suggest that Jack could be pretty easily outsmarted because he's "rusty" or something, but that move worked nonetheless. 

You know what didn't work as well, though? Chloe's sudden breakdown over her dead husband and son, Morris and Prescott. The downside of jumping ahead in time—and in this case, we've skipped over a four-year period—is that 24 always has to fill in the blanks with pretty clunky exposition, and apparently Live Another Day is no different. Mary Lynn Rajskub tried to bring the backstory to life with a muted performance, but there's no real way to get around an info dump that's intended to explain a character's recent history and motivation in 60 seconds. It didn't help that Chloe's family was murdered, which only further reinforces how awful the few surviving characters in this universe have it. Sure, Jack and Chloe can commiserate because they've both lost spouses, and we now have a solid idea of why Chloe joined Open Call, but yow. I get the intent, it just didn't come together onscreen. 

The episode's more detailed introduction of Fairley's Margot was unfortunately bogged down by the show's typically bumpy HERE'S WHY WE'RE TRYING TO END THE WORLD speeches, but man, Fairley's kind of the perfect person for a silly role like this, no? You really get the sense that after playing a bit of a wet blanket on Game of Thrones, she jumped at the opportunity to chop it up in the 24 universe. Hour three slowed down quite a bit when it followed Simone back to the Al-Harazi HQ, but the scenes were just weird enough to feel mostly worthwhile. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Al-Harazi, a notable terrorist, was struck down by a drone attack, making Margot's revenge ESPECIALLY PERSONAL. We've never seen that before on this show, huh? Margot spying on her daughter mid-coitus, seemingly just to make sure that Simone's boyfriend Navid (Sacha Dhawan) stays in line, was a nice touch. Naveed probably isn't long for this world, and there's absolutely no reason to care about his concerns over Simone's, uh, sacrifices while she was undercover, but Fairley and Berrington make for a solid mother-daughter pair. 

Elsewhere in the episode, a bunch of very familiar 24-y things occurred. Tate Donovan's Mark forged an executive order to have Jack renditioned, which surely won't go poorly for him in the next few hours, especially since Audrey started making some noise about how closely he coddles both her and President Heller. It's truly impossible to believe that Mark is just a well-meaning bureaucrat who's overstepping his authority in an attempt to protect his previously traumatized wife. That said, I do appreciate the show's restraint early on; Mark could've been much more of a caricature. Not only is Tate Donovan the perfect person to play a half-assed admirable scumbag, but this episode gave Mark a bit of a victory when President Heller's speech in front of parliament immediately went south, just as Mark expected it would. For a character who's almost certainly going to be in the wrong come hour seven or eight, Mark is okay, ya know?  

Moreover, Kate and Erik's hunt for Jack and all information related to him did that 24 thing where one of the characters resorts to excessive force and illegal procedure to obtain intel. It was Kate, obviously, because she's going to be the one character within the CIA who's sympathetic to Jack's position, and perhaps to his old-school methodology. Like the first two episodes, this one hammered home how ridiculous it is that Kate could be so perceptive and yet fail to catch her husband selling state secrets. I'm hoping something actually comes of that, because if it turns out to be just the show's way of building character, it won't have been particularly successful. And by not particularly successful I mean terrible. 

But! As all the best mediocre, kind-of-boring episodes of 24 do, all these events led to one heck of a final few minutes. Amid a relatively large group of people (way to make that protest look legitimate, show), Jack decided to secretly shoot a couple of randos in the leg to incite a riot, solely so he could make it into the embassy undetected. Not only did the sequence have the kind of energy that the rest of the episode didn't (maybe that was intentional), it was also well-shot and generally well-staged. While you could definitely tell what was happening, things escalated very quickly. For a series that usually trafficks in firefights in the blandest industrial parks, this was a fun way to close out the hour. Plus, 24 has a lovely track record with Jack making his way into various embassies, so I'm sure he'll just get in there, talk to everyone, and it'll all be okay. It's always okay.


DAMMIT TRACKER: Still at one; KILL TRACKER: Still at zero, as we received confirmation that the one dude survived the attack on the neck. After these first three hours, maybe we should change it to MAIMING TRACKER?

– I know it's early, but I really hope that this isn't all Audrey gets to do for 12 hours. Kim Raver deserves better. 

– Again, it's early, but when Fox promised that the show would take advantage of the shorter episode order to bounce around the day a little bit, I expected that it would happen in the first third of the season. I don't see how hour four picks up anywhere but 2pm, so that's odd. Take some risks with your format, show. That's why you're back. 

– The jab from Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott) about Jack always asking for favors and following them up with gun-related threats was pretty great, with an unbelievably stoic no-sell by Kiefer Sutherland

– I'm the only one who laughs at that photo up top of Jack on the stairs? Is there a Sad Jack Bauer Tumblr? There should be. 

What'd you think of Episode 3? What would you like to see 24 try with the shorter 12-hour format?

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  • Sawats May 18, 2014

    you missed a damnit in this episode as well. my count is 3 so far...

  • kevbuffylost108 May 17, 2014

    Just because the season is 12 episodes, do people really think it will not follow the same format 24 has done since its inception?? why are people never happy

    the time jumps are mid way through the season apparently.

    i LOVED the jack/chloe interaction and i thought mary-lynn did great, god knows what you expected

    the end scene was incredible.

    Brits whining about the unrealistic scenes in the embassy or the scenery, really? it's a tv show. why does everyone want realism in everything

    SUSPEND DISBELIEF jesus christ

  • bdr519 May 16, 2014

    "I was supposed to be driving Prescott to soccer practice...it should have been me."

    YES Chloe, it SHOULD have been you and the asshole who wrote that, essentially pressing the pause button while pissing in my popcorn as I enjoyed the triumphant return of my favorite television character. My jaw just dropped like a cartoon wolf and I immediately terminated the episode from my DVR. And PRESCOTT? You must be out yo GOT damned mind.

    I forgave "24' years ago for using the WORST plot device ever created by lazy writers...amnesia. Remember, in the FIRST season Jack's then wife got amnesia? That little storyline dragged on for WAY too long and nearly destroyed my faith in the then blossoming new drama. But I let that go. However, this is just too much, I mean they just STOPPED a whole chase scene to delve in to this unnecessary and convoluted plot thinner. It was like a slap in the face; they put an antidote in their OWN poison! This monstrously overacted and out of NOWHERE monologue, supposedly created to make me feel closer to a character I barely remember by killing off a family I flat out DON'T remember, just ruined EVERYTHING for me!

    I can no longer, in good conscious, watch NOR can I endorse others to watch "24" from this point forward. I'm sorry...but Jack Bauer is dead to me. "It was YOU Keifer, you broke my heart!" (DRAMATIC GODFATHERESQUE KISS ON BOTH CHEEKS)

  • JenMo73 May 15, 2014

    Just when I think Jack has gone soft...he randomly starts a riot by shooting people in the leg! I know I should feel bad for those people but Jack got into the embassy so woo hoo! Poor Chloe! To murder her family seems a little harsh don't you think? I'm sure they aren't really dead. Right? I just hold out for hope.
    As for the DAMNIT tracker....I think he said it in this hour when he got out of the subway. Or is that the one you are counting Cory? Great review by the way! Thanks!

  • kakarotkk May 15, 2014

    Members of Parliament would never interrupt anyone during a speech, especially by shouting?! Britain's depiction during this season is not good or accurate so far

  • richardferrara54 May 14, 2014

    Instead of "Ron Fairbanks", they should have had the name on Jack's fake embassy ID say "Charles Carmichael".

  • ronik24 May 13, 2014

    How could they ever manage to overtake a tube in the city center by car? How did that girl get from Charing Cross to a peaceful garden presumably somewhere in the suburbs within errrm 8 minutes? ;-)
    Also, horribly, horribly stereotypic as always, just the bad guys' computer screens should be set up in a dungeon, but I guess a medieval house will do. :0)

  • sleepy-sonic May 13, 2014

    A little slower than the first two but still a solid episode.

  • Mate May 13, 2014

    Good episode. If only the rest of the characters would let Kate and Jack do their thing. But then 2 hours and 15 minutes wouldn't have the same ring to it.

    I really like Kate as a character. Yvonne Strahovski is doing a fantastic job as her. I said it last episode, but if they were to continue the 24 legacy with her in the Jack Bauer position, I would watch 24 episodes of that. The character is smart and she knows what has to be done. And dammit she is going to do it.

    Jack was doing his thing. Though he might be slipping. He shouldn't have trusted Cross. And he was inefficient in dealing with the two patrons in the Tube. Once they were down there was no reason to deliver another blow. He should have kept moving and he would have gotten to her quicker and perhaps she wouldn't have escaped down that tunnel.

    It was a smart move to shoot the people in the leg. The best way to escape a secure area like that would be to cause chaos. And shooting a gun in a crowd that isn't used to guns would cause that chaos. But Kate wasn't fooled and she spotted him. I am kind of wanting the two of them to get together if only to pair the two smart characters together.

    Overal another great episode.

  • MarlboroMagpi May 13, 2014

    The bad guy at the back of the Agent Kate Morgan's car mentioned that Tanner was funding Yates. I am surprised Cory did not mentioned this.

    Was he lying? Tanner was the guy who is operating the drones and on trial for shooting the British soldiers on the ground right? I thought he is innocent but now it seems he was funding Yates? Did anyone else catch that? Or did I hear it wrongly?

    I watched three seasons of 24 including this one. I always wonder how fast these people drive from point A to point B or how close the locations was to each other. It seems to always take less than 20 minutes.

  • sleepy-sonic May 13, 2014

    He actually said he didn't know who funded Yates but that he heard Yates talking about someone named Tanner.

  • MarlboroMagpi May 13, 2014

    Thanks. I guess misunderstanding on my part as Kate was asking him and I heard the name Tanner. So I guess that part was just linking Yates to the drones. Then I wished they would have question him more then perhaps he would mentioned Yates girlfriend.

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