24: Live Another Day "3:00 PM - 4:00 PM" Review: Never Trust an IP Address

24: Live Another Day S09E05: "3:00 PM-4:00 PM"


Happy Memorial Day to those of you from the States (and happy Monday to those of you who live abroad). Apparently Fox thought that the best way to honor those serving in the American armed forces was to give us another hour's worth of Jack Bauer trying to stop a British woman's terrorist plots. And while it's silly to say that airing 24 was technically the best way for the network to observe the holiday, "3:00 PM–4:00 PM" was another strong episode of 24: Live Another Day, and that in itself is something to celebrate. 

I wrote a bit about this last week, but Hour 5 further exemplified how Live Another Day seems dedicated to telling a traditional 24 story without some of the more familiar histrionics and broad (read: stupid) character types. Sure, many of them are still present in Live Another Day, but whereas the weaker seasons of the show (and even some of the good ones, frankly) tended to let characters like Mark, Erik, Navarro, and Cross devolve into incompetence, evildoing, or both, Live Another Day continues to hustle to make sure we know these folks are multifaceted people—or at least as multifaceted you can get in this universe. I've been trying to come up with an adjective that I think best describes this approach, and I keep returning to "measured." 24 will never be Mad Men, but it's displayed a certain amount of care in developing Live Another Day's supporting characters—a care that was absent during 24's last few years on the air—and that has made solid episodes like this one just a smidgen better. 

For most of this hour, characters reacted logically and with the right mix of self-centeredness and wider awareness. Take the big moment early on, when Kate revealed to Navarro that Tanner's drone was hacked by Margot and Mr. Bossman passed her call along to President Heller. After watching her disobey orders for a few hours, Navarro could've easily launched into a tirade about chain of command, protocol, etc. in lieu of actually listening to her. But he didn't! Navarro recognized the problems that Kate had created, particularly because she was supposed to be transferred out of the office anyway, but instead he made the right call to try to stop a major terrorist plot. And even though that was a brief moment in the episode as a whole, it was an important one. The same sort of thing happened again later, when Navarro reprimanded Kate for her behavior but also acknowledged her great work (and of course noted that she was doing this all to make up for her traitorous husband), as well as near the end of the episode, when he listened to Kate's advice about Margot's trap. The more the show lets characters trust or value one another, even if they're doing so begrudgingly, the better. 


Somehow, this episode also featured two different characters admitting they were wrong—and before the world was fully burning, to boot. I mean, no one on this show ever fully admits they were wrong or acting selfishly. I really enjoying what Live Another Day is doing with Mark, a character we all expected to be awful, duplicitous, and just an obstacle for Jack and Audrey. While he's still all those things in a number of ways, this was the third or fourth episode in a row that went out of its way to rationalize Mark's behavior without being especially sympathetic to that behavior. He did conceal some of the information about the Al-Harazi assassination attempt from President Heller, but as he said, that's his job, especially considering that major policy was on the table. And while he bungled some of the operation with Jack in London because of very selfish—but logical—reasons, he 'fessed up to it. Meanwhile, Cross set aside his issues with the government for a second to apologize to Chloe for screwing Jack over in Episode 4. Cross isn't as fully formed a character as Mark, but this hour did a solid job of illustrating that he doesn't want to get wrapped up in this mess because of what the government did to Chloe. That's not the worst reason, right? 

Anyway, I know I'm keying on some pretty minor elements in what was ultimately a moderately eventful episode, but these minor elements tell us that if 24's writing staff learned anything from the show's last few seasons and four-year break, it's that they have to make the supporting characters better if they want the whole enterprise to work. It can't be all Jack, all the time, and we have to both understand and care about all the machinations that eventually result in worldwide meltdowns that require Jack's superhuman abilities. For the first time since Season 5, I don't want to immediately skip through the non-Jack stuff on 24; that's a very good thing. Plus, the improved character work makes it easier to forgive Live Another Day when some of the sillier stuff happens. For example, we all knew that Margot's video was intended to draw the CIA (or whomever) into a trap; it was supremely dumb that Navarro and company loaded up and entered the building without some additional thought. But those things have to happen on 24, particularly when they lead to a big, deadly explosion near the end of an episode. 


And don't worry, I haven't forgotten Jack! This was a quiet but meaningful episode for Mr. Bauer as he shared reunions with the Hellers, and both went pretty much as we expected they would. President Heller wasn't too fond of Jack's plan to go back out into the field to meet up with a mysterious and dangerous man who could lead them to Margot, which makes him approximately the 900th person to incorrectly shoot down a Jack Bauer Plan™ that Jack will likely carry out anyway. However, the biggie here was the Jack-Audrey scene, a moving encounter that featured a lot of breathless, nose-to-nose talking. That moment was about a decade in the making for those two characters, and depending on your investment in Jack and Audrey's relationship, probably worth the wait. Kiefer Sutherland and Kim Raver share an interesting but good chemistry, and even though I'm not entirely concerned with Jack and Audrey the OTP of 24, it's always nice to have characters who keep Jack tethered to his humanity. 

Live Another Day is bound to get nuttier as the clock ticks toward a conclusion. However, if 24 continues to turn in episodes like this one for a few more weeks, the nutty stuff is going to be much more satisfying. 



COMM & CLASSIFIED FILES

– Goodbye Naveed, our sweet, conflicted prince. Never underestimate a sociopathic terrorist's ability to convince her young daughter that it's a good idea to execute said daughter's husband by shooting him in the face. 

– The aforementioned explosion at the fake safe house looked... okay. Scenes with drones flying in the sky and dropping missiles are never going to look good on TV budget, but the mix of CGI and practical effects in the explosion was also a bit rough. Speaking of that, who do we think made it out alive? I think I saw Erik moving around, but I could be wrong. Is Navarro a goner?

– Jack really hammered home that the mysterious dude he wants to work with is super dangerous. What are the chances that this person is someone we already know? Is it Tony?

– Our DAMMIT TRACKER and KILL TRACKER have stalled out. I don't want to say we need more murder on this show, but would it, uh, kill Jack to give us the one word that we want? I choose to believe that this is all part of Live Another Day's strategy of early restraint. It's the only thing that keeps me from weeping over the lack of DAMMITs. DAMMIT. 

– If you haven't yet, please check out edshrinker's episode-by-episode .GIF parties for Live Another Day. They're fun. 


What'd you think of Episode 5? How'd you feel about Jack and Audrey's reunion?


Comments (80)
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Jun 01, 2014
"24 will never be Mad Men" It doesn't aspire to be a character study like Mad Men. Why is it that people have a snobbery when it comes to comparing adrenaline fueled shows like 24 to character studies like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and True Detective?? It really boils my piss. I think a 24 fan should review 24 on TV.com instead of Cory because he really has no idea what he's talking about.
I'm fine with critiques, but i'm sick of snobby TV critics thinking that every other show on TV aspires to be as good as shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad in terms of building characters like those do.
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Jun 01, 2014
As late as this is, I have to say this: To ALL network execs who have been following the ratings for the quote-unquote 'renewal' of 24: If Fox don't want to continue it, then, for the love of god, TV ratings, and money...PICK UP THIS SERIES!!!

I can't understand how, but this series, and, specifically the writers and actors/actresses, make one of the most entertaining TV series on the planet, along with Sleepy Hollow and Supernatural, and I suspect that Supernatural is nearing its end, leaving two.

For ALL that is good, and just, if Fox don't pick this up, then another network better, and DAMN YOU ALL if no network does...I'll be relying on piracy from then on!!!
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May 30, 2014
So....i have a theory...about Kate's hubby...so with all the mention about how she didn't see he was a spy and she is supposedly a world class agent with awesome instincts...could it be that he wasn't a spy? that it was one amazeballs frame up job and he killed himself rather than drag his family through the drama and clusterf**k of a long miserable trial to prove his inncence?...maybe that tech guy who clearly has an unhealthy attraction to her framed her husband to get him out of the way...maybe i'm just overthinking it and he was a spy...but meh what else am i gonna do until monday??...
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May 28, 2014
Best episode of the season so far love the crazy family of Margot who are ranking as the most batshit family in TV against the Lannisters. I liked the moment between Jack and Audrey nice also I agree with the review above the season is less on Jack and better for it . Actress who plays Kate does a better job on this then dexter she was wasted on that , I am not sure how they can string out the drones for seven more episodes I suspect their are more twists to come. Keep up 24 best thing on telly with GOT!
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May 28, 2014
Naveed should've known his wife allegiance was more to her mother than him when he blabbed to her the first time. It's good to have an action adventure show back in tv programming and 24 delivers all the time. Never been a fan of Jack and Aubrey, but that was a very good scene between them and I like the fact Jack didn't hide from what he did, he admitted it. I want to believe Kate and Navarro are legit, but the history of 24 makes me suspicious of CTU/CIA agents in general. Love Chloe's loyalty to Jack
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May 28, 2014
Frankly, I am glad they went with the shit crazy insane degenerate Big Bad that is Margot and not the more simplistic Islamic, White Supremacy or whatever big baddies are usually made off. I know she is a white widow to an Islamist, although even that point is not entirely clear and of course there are the innocent children who died from that drone attack.
The drones military use is a very immediate issue to me and I am glad it is raised here.Unfortunately, this is not a political forum and we shouldn't get into the heated arguments that are bound to be ignited by such a discussion; but the series is, again, doing a good job on that subject.
But we can , I hope, discuss the control that such drones are subject to and whether these do not make it easier to make more collateral damage than the accurate targeting they claim. Can these programs be hacked, and the answer is an undeniable yes. Any software, given the means and effort, can be hacked. Knowing that, and whatever arguments favorable for its use, should these be used as innocent lives are more than less at stake? I personally think not.
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May 28, 2014
Could they have simply gone Manchurian Candidate and make Audrey the mole? Nah! ;-)
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May 28, 2014
So far this season has been really great. I'm excited for next week!
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May 28, 2014
Hey gang! The hour 5 Party is now up: Kate's 24 GIF Party (Hour 5)

@TVcom_Editorial has not promoted it yet, but you can find it at that link!
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May 28, 2014
The raid scene was dumb and not well written ,if they have satellite feed doesn't this satellite have an IR technology to determine if there are people inside the house or not ? and the strike team of supposedly professional CIA agents doesn't find it odd that there isn't a single guard to be seen on the ground or on the roof ? and they didn't even use an under the door cable camera to see inside before storming in.
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May 28, 2014
I'm calling out right now, its kate's partner that is the mole.
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May 27, 2014
Does Heller's dammit count?? hehe.
I've liked it so far.
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May 27, 2014
Jack-Audrey scene was just magnificent well acted and thoughtfully written. Anything else would have been out of character for these two people. Navid's death is gonna come back to bite Margo. I don't think it will go down well with her daughter . Good looking couple and so in love. I really wish they could make Jack happy its not too much to ask. All the things he has done. No one has asked why he keeps doing them . The prsident should be man enough to pardon him and say to hell with it.
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May 27, 2014
Is this still 24? Did I just watch an episode where the characters actually started acting maturely? Admitting mistakes, being reasonable and giving each other the benefit of the doubt? It was a big change from the status quo and I'm so relieved, it made this episode particularly effective even though not too much happened. They could have very easily kept the truth from the President until the second last or last episode, like how in Season 2 Jack spent the whole second half of the season getting one piece of evidence to President Palmer to stop a war (and him being deposed under the 25th amendment of course). But they wisely decided not to drag it out. Now we have all the (nominally) good guys up to speed and working together and that's much more satisfying than stalling and dismissing.

No love on the DAMMIT tracker but there was a hit on the Kate being trivialised due to her dead husband tracker. Bratt is doing everything he can to make this ridiculous, overly-repeated contrivance endurable.
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May 27, 2014
Am I the only one who has noticed that Tanner hasn't been released? You'd think that there is enough evidence now that supports the fact that his drone was hijacked and that he isn't responsible for the deaths of the four soldiers. Has anyone figured out why everyone is still stuck on Kate's missing her husband as a spy, when she consistently being proven right about Jack?
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May 28, 2014
Tanner is totally getting Behrooz'd this season. You know it has to happen to someone!
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May 27, 2014
She isn't always right, did you know she was wrong about her husband?
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Jun 06, 2014
You sound like the others at CTU. Now we know who's legit.
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Jun 06, 2014
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the CTU mole and don't even know it.
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May 27, 2014
Kate is this seasons MOLE (A Russian plant). Mark my words. The constant alluding to how she was tricked by her husband(who sold secrets to Chinese i believe), yet the constant showing that she is the most capable and competent agent after Jack. Something doesn't add up. Unless she was the mastermind and just pinned the crimes on her husband. She also seems to have some kind of indirect link with Jack. (Maybe one of the many people Jack has ended over the years had a daughter or sister). Or maybe im just completely wrong..
Either way its been pretty good so far.
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May 27, 2014
Another strong episode. This season is probably one of my favorites of the show right now.
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May 27, 2014
Wasn't sure how the Audrey-Jack reunion would go, but the breathy voice meter went above 10 for Bauer, and then me! http://tvruckus.com/2014/05/27/jack-and-audrey-still-hot-on-24-live-another-day/
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May 27, 2014
It's good they are moving certain things faster. When Navarro asked to speak with the President directly, I thought Mark was going to stall, saying that the President was busy and he had to deal with Mark, who dean would not relay the message and Heller wouldn't talk to Bauer. But I also thought that Naveed was going to realize his wife had been brainwashed by long years of abuse by her mother and he would stop confiding details of his plans to her and would stop trusting and counting on her for her own good. But in the end he was a sap.
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May 27, 2014
Oh I doubt we have heard the end of Navid and Margo's daughter , those two are in love. If the mother can love so fiercely why does she think her daughter will love someone any less.
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May 28, 2014
Well, if you saw this episode, you know what ultimately happened to Naveed and why he won't be making any further appearances. Oh, well, you can still the actor in "In The Flesh." As for the daughter, she is a major Stockholm Crisis case, compounding with a Mommy Dearest's daughter disorder... I think she may eventually react violently, though, or back-stab her mother just in the right moment for her to pay for all the evil she has done to her daughter and everybody else.
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May 27, 2014
This is another good episode. Episode 4 and 5 are the most exciting. I am really glad Navarro believed Kate. That probably saved his life too.

I am always happy when TV shows do not drag things out. We are at episode five and we already got a drone strike. That is a good sign. On other seasons, it might take 10 episodes before anyone believe Jack.

I am glad we have this in a week when there was not much on TV. Even GOT is taking a break.
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May 27, 2014
DAMMIT!!!, Jack doesn't say "DAMMIT!!" enough
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May 27, 2014
DAMMIT! I need some more DAMMIT!
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May 27, 2014
@CoryBarker1, I appreciate you mentioning @edshrinker's gif-parties. Thank you.
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May 27, 2014
she was doing this all to make up for her traitorous husband . As we have heard of him so many times he will be back (please apply Arnold voice). The question is when and where.
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May 27, 2014
24 will never be Mad Men. Oh Cory, @patsully will love and acknowledge that.

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May 27, 2014
Does he mean 24 is never going to be "boring as hell"?
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May 27, 2014
Oh, absolutely, was that ever in question?
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May 27, 2014
Happy Memorial Day to those of you from the States (and happy Monday to those of you who live abroad). In the Netherlands we remember on the fourth of May all the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. We also remember the US soldiers. Their graves are well looked after by our community. We owe them!.
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May 27, 2014
You do that on Star Wars day?
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May 28, 2014
Indeed and on May the 5th (almost the second Star Wars day), we celebrate our freedom with festivals, fireworks etc. all over the country.
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May 27, 2014
Regarding the Al Hazari's - has anyone ever seen more Aryan looking Muslim terrorists?
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May 27, 2014
Regarding your ability to watch this show, did you skip the part where they explained that they are converted to the Islam, and that she took her late husbands name?
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May 27, 2014
It's still a white washing, though.
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May 27, 2014
Thanks for the nod, Cory! Very cool. I shall have what I remember from this party up shortly.
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May 27, 2014
I better get he pony keg tapped!
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May 27, 2014
You better bring some booze too. Some non-beer drinkers here.
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May 27, 2014
Somehow it never gets old, the "Oh my God Jack was right and if we had listened to him we could've saved people!" look on the faces of people who doubted Jack. And Jack's empty promises to turn himself in to the authorities when this is over. Righhhhhht.
So the daughter goes along with killing her husband after losing a fingertip to keep him alive? WTF!?
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May 27, 2014
Dude Margot is CRAZY! Love it! Jacbrey scene was sadly sweet! Kate rocks! I would like Chloe to wash her face I think all that eyeliner is a little distracting. Jack Bauer Plan (tm) lol! Also
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May 27, 2014
You almost made a coherent comment, but I agree with you :-)
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May 27, 2014
Hahahaha! Well I was going to finish my "also" but then I got attacked by my toddlers. Totally need an edit button for comments. Anyway I was going to give Cory a shout out for mentioning ed, but then I saw you took care of that above!
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May 27, 2014
lol when Jack says "You're married. are you happy? is he good to you?" i half expected him to add "he better be cause i'll kill him"...also "it's complicated, I killed those them"...only Jack...and maybe Kate cause damn it she's awesome.
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May 27, 2014
So with all the attention being brought to the fact that Kate didn't 'see' her husband was a spy it actually reminded me of Nina. Jack couldn't see she was a spy either. God knows how long she was stealing information from CTU right under Jack's nose...parallels. These two are world class badass agents of awesome.
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May 27, 2014
Nice parallel.
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May 27, 2014
Did we find out what Kate's husband did yet that was so bad? And can I get even odds on Navarro being the one who actually did this bad thing?

And yes, great episode.

Though Stephen Fry as the PM is like super wanky.
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May 27, 2014
He supposedly sold secrets to the Chinese.
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May 27, 2014
Awesome episode, Awesome Jack, awesome 24, and awesome analyzation...
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May 27, 2014
If Navajo is a goner, will Kate be in charge?
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May 27, 2014
that wouldn't be the first
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May 27, 2014
Instead of using their cheap cgi technology why didnt they just change the screen to the black and white interface thing that they have with smart bombs
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May 27, 2014
the scene with jack and Audrey was poignant so Margo thought her daughter was blaming herself after SHE cut her daughters hand off Margo says she loved her husband I do not think she was ever capable of love

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May 27, 2014
I have technology that hacks into advanced american drones but the government tracked my location from a video's ip adress are they truly this inexperienced
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May 27, 2014
To be fair these guys are the ones that developed the technology, they stole the technology from another hacker and killed him.
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May 27, 2014
So we are in this mess because someone didn't do a double tap during a drone strike, even when they had direct confirmation there was still someone alive. I hope someone is sack for that decision!
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May 27, 2014
Drone attacks are war against terrorism. Terrorists do worse. Terrorist have family and friends too and sometimes they are collateral damage. Not sure why or how people think you can wage wars without those. At least in the case of the military they make good faith effort to keep those down ( sometimes too much I think).
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May 27, 2014
all episode are great and the long awaited scene between Jack and Audrey. Jack left lovely Audrey for some reason in the past season. am glad shes doing well and VERY MUCH HOPE SHE IS THE RIGHT ONE HE WILL SETTLE WITH i.e (Jack and Audrey) they have both been taken by the china government, they have both felt pain. they belong to each other
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May 27, 2014
24 isn't a great show for shipper gratification.
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May 27, 2014
It was mostly a slow filler episode until its ending that was predictable. It wasn't bad.
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May 27, 2014
Been waiting seven years for that scene between Jack and Audrey....
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May 27, 2014
Love Michelle Farley but she and her kids didn't convince me as a fanatical Muslim widow wating revenge. It would bemore realistic if she was leader of any British extremist group like 'IRA' or some Neo-Nazi lunatic separatists.
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May 27, 2014
Yep I get that vibe too. 24 terrorists have always been mad scary. Am not getting that from her and their small operation. Hope it improves.
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May 27, 2014
(rant warning)

I'm a network admin professionally, and this episode of '24' is one of a long line of TV episodes whereby tech people are obnoxiously portrayed.

Why?

Because they're not "technical people", they're "advance the plot" people. It's like every tech person ever exists solely to facilitate the plot of the main, nontechnical character, in the correct timescale needed for the story.

Before Chloe became "alt Jack", she was the one at the computer who was invariably able to do exactly what Jack needed, just because he asked. Now of course, Chloe knows not to go against one of the Jack Bauer Plans(tm), but whether it's "the computer person", "the lab tech", or similar science-y person, they rarely get more screen time than is necessary to explicitly advance the plot, at which point the focus shifts back to the people with guns.

Now I do understand that 1.) you do need to advance the plot, and 2.) the tech stuff needs to be kept simple. It's for these reasons I usually 24 a LOT of slack for how they portray tech stuff...but the tech guy is always complicit, never has a crisis of morals, and infrequently has an interpersonal relationship of consequence (think Kate and Tech Guy are going to pair up by the end of the season? Me neither).

I like the series as a whole. I just wish that the tech people that make what the nontechnical people do got a /smidge/ more realism and were considered actual characters and not merely plot-advancing tools.
(end rant)
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May 28, 2014
Well, we had Edgar and his friendship with Chloe way back when, but then his brain melted....
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May 28, 2014
Or lungs, rather. I forget what kind of gas that was.
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May 27, 2014
Cheer up, they only show tech people at all because they're necessary for dei ex machina. At least they are shown a fair bit, that's better than most jobs.
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May 27, 2014
I enjoyed your rant 24 and other TV series and movies always have the tech person in a secondary or inferior position it's as if a villain cannot be a tech person just look at ed snowden haha
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May 27, 2014
I could of course point towards Chloe's group :p
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May 27, 2014
jack is the main character you misinterepreted my commentary do not let it happen again
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May 27, 2014
another stellar episode!! I might be in the minority, many fans had problems with later days, or later seasons!! well I have not, I actually enjoyed every season/day has for supporting characters in past days no issues plenty of support, background or whatever!! as for Jack's and Audrey reunion just as I expected!! Adrian and Mark admitted they were wrong, kinda had no choice as for the trust factor I still don't trust them both!!
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May 27, 2014
We still don't know who the required mole is. They have given us few clues although some of Kate's colleagues are most likely to be.
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May 27, 2014
If there is anything I've learned from watching past seasons of 24 it's...don't get attached to people who are likable and you really can't trust anyone.
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