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24: Live Another Day S09E07: "5:00 PM-6:00 PM"


Let's talk about drones. This isn't the place for a politically charged discussion of any country's policy regarding drones and drone warfare, but I do think it's safe to discuss the morality of a world filled with these insanely advanced killing machines. Obviously, much has been made over the years about 24's politics, its portrayal of torture, and ultimately, its supposed influence over the American people in the aftermath of 9/11. But it's worth talking about how Live Another Day has used drones, particularly after "5:00 PM-6:00 PM" really doubled down on the drone-aided explosions and destruction.

24 has frequently pulled from current events to create a familiar(ish) world for Jack to roam around in. However, I never expected that the scenes featuring the mass protest of drones in the first few episodes of Live Another Day would result in a meaningful conversation about how much control we're ceding to these machines and whoever's controling them. But as this week's admittedly entertaining episode progressed and Margot decided that the best way to handle her daughter's possible betrayal was to blow up a hospital with a drone missile, I realized that Live Another Day's casual use of drone attacks is just as uncomfortable—if not more so—than the show's deployment of torture over the years.

The problem with this hour, and the season's treatment of drone warfare altogether, was how... casual and detached it seemed. Jack torturing one person in a small room? That's very personal. But using a drone to obliterate a hospital and firing off additional missiles in what appeared to be nothing more than a residential area? That's impersonal—and the feeling was only intensified by the show's framing of the explosions through Ian Al-Harazi's computer screen (which was surely done for budgetary reasons). In a few short hours, drone attacks have become just another plot device, which isn't too surprising. But the degree to which 24 has used the device—and the damage that it's caused—is kind of awful. 


In some ways, "kind of awful" could be the point that 24 is trying to make. Much like the aftermath of the safe house attack a few episodes ago, this week's post-explosion scenes honed in on the damages, the severed and bloody limbs, and the pure horror that accompanies any huge disaster. But those scenes lasted, what, 25 seconds? They were, as they always are on 24, just brief interludes to illustrate that the show isn't entirely blind to the consequences of the stories it tells. As this episode proved, drone attacks are almost too easy not to use to raise the stakes and to put characters in danger. But while the show certainly shouldn't drop everything just to lecture the audience about the dangers of drone warfare (or any kind of terrorist attack), callously and repeatedly using said warfare as a plot device doesn't work either.

ANYWAY, end rant. I know that a lot of you are going to tell me to just shut up and enjoy the show for what it is, and you know what? This was an enjoyable hour of 24, despite my queasy drone feelings. The last 20 minutes, which were primarily driven by the aforementioned drone attacks, were well-paced and well-edited. The scene chugged along with a purposeful speed, and director Jon Cassar and his team made good use of the street locations. Details like the narrow streets gave the sequence an extra shot of adrenaline (while presumably limiting the damage to human life). You'd have to be dense to not see Jack's car swap and brick-on-the-gas-pedal trick, but hey, apparently Ian and Margot are exactly that!


Plus, how can I be that disappointed in any episode of 24 that includes, by my count, FOUR utterances of DAMMIT? Big ups to the writers for keeping the D word locked down in the early episodes. Making us wait for that kind of classic Jack Bauer behavior was the right choice. This installment also managed to incorporate that vintage shot of Jack jumping out of a car and strapping on his bag before going into battle, as well as a very brief scene where Jack kinda-sorta tortured Simone by preying on her mangled finger; there were times when I felt like it was 2005 all over again. 

While 24 has failed me a bit with the drone stuff, Live Another Day continues to at least try to make some of the prototypical 24-y stuff less awful than it could be. Last week's reveal that Navarro was involved in framing Kate's husband for selling state secrets to China—and is thus our first mole of the season—came out of nowhere. However, this episode did some solid maneuvering to A.) explain what the heck is going on, and B.) show us that Navarro doesn't feel especially great about what he's done. 

Relatively early on, we learned that the mysterious voice on the other end of Navarro's phone calls is none other than Adrian Cross, the leader of Open Cell. It's still unclear to me exactly what Cross's role is in Navarro's dealing with China; did he help Navarro complete the sale as a way to hurt the U.S. government? Is he simply more corrupt than we initially thought? I'm not sure. (Maybe you guys understood the scene better than I did, and if so, let me know in the comments.) 


Nevertheless, Cross informed Navarro that tech dweeb Jordan was digging further into Kate's files, which meant that Jordan had to go, and Navarro had to set up the execution. What I liked about this series of scenes was that Navarro appeared to feel some regret about leading Jordan to his death, and perhaps even for his role in framing Kate's husband. Navarro could've easily been a sniveling villain, but Live Another Day and Benjamin Bratt have done a nice job of adding some extra shading to the character. Of course, Jordan survived his execution, so there's still time for a full-blown heel-turn from Navarro as early as next week.

If only 24 would treat its use of drones with the same decent level of care to these stock character types, right? I guess there's still time for a turnaround there, too.



COMM & CLASSIFIED FILES

– It's too bad, but William Devane and President Heller are a bit hamstrung by the character's health issues. This episode gave us that solid scene between Heller and Stephen Fry's Prime Minister, but we've probably gone far enough with the "You're sick!" "I'm fine!" banter.

– The Prime Minister made the call to let the public know about Margot's reign of terror, so I'll be curious to see whether that plays any real role in the story going forward. How do people react to multiple drone attacks in a random neighborhood?

BIG week for the DAMMIT TRACKER; I think we're up to five now, but let me know if that's wrong. The KILL TRACKER didn't increase this week, and Jack seemed generally sad that MI5 agents died in the raid with Rask. 


What'd you think of this hour? What's your take on the drone stuff?


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Hey Cory (this review's author), this is a damn ("-it!") fictional series not a documentary or a reality show, so just enjoy those parts you like. Yes, I know you said you didn't want this reply, but this is the way it is, not the way we want it or not. Thank you very much anyways for your review.
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Can anyone tell me what kind of automobile Jack is driving when he is escaping the missiles that the drone is firing at him and the two women?
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He arrives at the warehouse with Kate in an Audi A6. The car he grabs to leave there is a Chrysler 200 (the new one). That is abandoned in traffic after leaving the hospital, and they grab a Mitsubishi Shogun. That gets the brick on the throttle and destroyed by the drone, Jack et. al. carjack a Ford Focus C-Max.
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When I watched a show like 24, I do not really think about the political impact or whether the show has any message. Its 24. It is like one of the those summer action blockbuster movie.

Anyway it was interesting to bring it out to discuss.

This episode was just as good and the story is flowing forward nicely and I like shows who flows forward nicely. Again the shorter season is good. I do hope we get it again next summer. More of Yvonne is always welcome.
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I'd argue that the impersonal and nonchalant use of drone strikes by Margot, and by extension the show runners, is entirely intentional and sorto of the whole point of the argument against their use. It's called subtext. It doesn't have to be all crowds protesting in the streets, you know.
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There were actually six DAMNITs if you count non-Jack utterances, including one very British rendition from Ian.
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After I was done rolling my eyes at Navarro being the "mole" and Cross being the "middleman" (it just had to be someone we were already familiar with), this episode continued as another thoroughly entertaining hour, not short on adrenaline and thrills.

I like that Jack has the support of both US and British governments for his operation, as it allows us not to waste time on his redundant squaring off with the law. Plus Bauer just comes across stronger when he can exercise a position of authority.

I fully expected that Jordan would be quickly disposed of, but what do you know (awful, awful hitman that). This might lead somewhere interesting.

I certainly don't think Wiliam Devane needed any health issues to plague his character in order to achieve emotional depth (at times they just achieve the opposite) - the man has a great screen presence as is. Hope his cooperation with Jack continues, regardless of whether Boudreau really proves duplicitous or not.
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I think the health issues are there more to get him to the place we are at now. I think he will hand himself over as he knows the illness is getting to him.
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But doesn't that kind of cheapen his decision and potential sacrifice? "I am sick anyway, my state will eventually deteriorate, so might as well? " I just think Heller could be more than that.
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I have to agree, good point. Especially if you stack current Heller up with the man who drove into a river in season 5 and backed Jack up during his own rescue in season 4.
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I enjoyed this episode, has with this whole season so far.
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"It's still unclear to me exactly what Cross's role is in Navarro's dealing with China"

It's not clear to me that he had any role in that at all. It was one of his guys who hacked the drones for Catelyn Stark-Al-Harazi. Maybe they were working together, and hacked the CIA too as they were setting things up. They could have discovered the truth, and are simply blackmailing him.

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Worst.Hitman.Ever
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What kind of ratings is this version of 24 getting? I am totally enjoying the comeback, and the shorter, tighter episodes. Maybe Fox will bring back The X-Files as a 12 episode show. Maybe a whole bunch of shows can comeback as 12 episode series? Can't wait for the final 24 shows and hope they do this again.
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I think the ratings are not too bad and I got a feeling they just might do it again next summer if Sutherland is keen.
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Great episode! We had DAMMIT's, a car chase, missiles, some torture and back door dealings (Both Heller and Mark). I've always been a fan of how 24 can cram so much in an hour television. Keep up the excitement.
There were a couple of "name drops" in this one for possible future characters to show up.....

The Vice President and "Middle-Man"
-Will we see this VP?
-Will we see Cross' Boss?
-If we do see both of these will they be new characters or someone we have seen in the past?
-Who would you like these characters to be if it is characters from the past?

My vote is going to be for Tony Almeda for Cross' boss and for VP Aaron. :) Aaron is highly unlikely but I still wouldn't mind seeing him pop up!

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I heard that a time jump is occuring between episodes 8 and 9 so I think we'll find out who Cross' boss is in episode 8 and the Vice President will show up in the back 4.
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Aaron *has* to turn up in some capacity or other. He's appeared at least once in every season since the start!
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I don't recall him being in season 8. Could be wrong though.
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Is Tony alive? I don't remember what happened to him.
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He is alive. He was being arrested at the end of season 7.
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Of course Cross is a villain. Come on just look at him! He's ugly and creepy. I never trusted him.

I also like Navarro because of his ambiguity. He went from possible victim who almost died heroically to dirty mole and murderer.

Simone is hopeless. I never thought I would dislike such a beautiful woman so much, but I really can't stand her. She has to go.

Michelle Fairley is really giving enough gravitas to her Margo Stark-Al Harasi character. A show like 24 really needs a vicious, nonredeemable villain played by a serious actor, and Michelle does the job beautifully.

I really prefer the new Jack, respected as an agent (as far as it's possible for someone with his past), working with a partner and grieving over unnecessary deaths. The finger torture scene was kind of ugly, but still bearable, since he has done much worse.

Next, I suppose we'll see Jordan teaming up with Kate and Jack while they all go rogue... Let's see how that develops.
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Jack and Kate double team continues.
This episode did good work tightening the story again after last weeks slight mess.
Finding the subplots to be pretty good this season, maybe because they all revolve around the main plot.
Navarro and Cross are intriguing and of course there is ANOTHER person in the shadows pulling their strings. Cross seems happy to be the middle man whilst Navarro seems to realise that its going to end badly for him eventually and he is resorting to desperate measures.
Mark has gotten himself into quite the hole and it will be interesting to see how he maneuvers himself around it. Russian dude is amusing. We all remember what Jack dished out to the russians and this guy seems to mean business..He also has a spectacular moustache thing going on.

When the drone hit that hospital i thought it looked familiar and realised i live 5 mins away from it. Decided to troll through all the previous 24 episodes of this season and realised that many locales i have been to or live near to. Should have tried to be an extra when they were filming.. DAMMIT


I understand your points concerning the drones but after seeing nukes, torture and presidential corruption it didn't bother me in the slightest.
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I appreciate the comments on the drone stuff guys. It's an interesting conversation to have. I think the show knows that this is bad, but too often 24 just uses this stuff as a way to create terror. It's not really a conversation, it's just "Here's this bad person doing this bad thing."
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Dudes...did Cross have a role in the death of Chloe's family?? I get the feeling that she's been on his radar for quite a bit. Maybe he's always been a hacker for hire. I mean whom else could have figured out who Chloe was, where she lived, where her kid played soccer...and then sold it to the Russians? Cross that's who. So back then he sold stuff to Russians...and then to Chinese folks...
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Interesting idea. Now I'm thinking that the writers didn't really have to kill off Morris and the kid unless they were going to do more with it than what we've seen already.
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how did jack learn of the threat of drones and Margo alharzi?who killed chloe's family?
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It seems like the reviewer is complaining about the thing that the writers intended - to make the audience feel uncomfortable about the drone attacks. It's a constant threat from high above, pretty much like real life.
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The handling of the drones as been excellent, I'm very curious where the stroryline with Cross is going I have never trusted him, but I agree with @Coodookie the he warned Chloe, now Navarro made a mistake, Jordan is no dummy he will put 1 2 3 together, the only question will he survive? again another EXCELLENT HOUR of 24!!!!
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I think the way they've handled the drones so far has been brilliant. A constant hovering threat and to me they've shown enough of the devastation they cause and even a little of the aftermath.

I'm curious as to who warned Chloe to get out (whilst the smart money would be on Cross I wouldn't put it past the writers to spin it somehow).

I personally don't think Heller is going survive the season though :(
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I think you have it wrong. The 'impersonal'ness you feel is what they were trying to convey. When a drone pilot fires a missile, that's all he gets to see, that is exactly how detached he is. I thought it was supposed to make us uncomfortable.
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great episode all round, no complaints here, cant wait for episode 8 as the story unwinds i bet we are gonna see some crazy events coming up in the next hour
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I don't know. I think it's... okay. 24 has always been entertainment first. Political undertones are always there, but they never get in the way of the story. That's how it is here. To somebody unaware of drone politics, this would still be really entertaining (the show's first responsibility). As a mirror for our times, it's still a pretty frightening indictment of the technology. Just framed in an entertaining way.
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I thought steering wheels were on the right hand side in England? How come Jack was driving a car with a left hand steering wheel? Other cars were left hand drive, do they really have both in England?
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It was not an English car. Rask (spelling) had a warehouse full of them. It was a stolen American car, you see Jack finding the keys inside it.
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i noticed this. no they dont. they have right hand steering, if they wanted left hand steering, theyd have to import it. maybe they mirrored the scene thinking we wouldnt notice, or just had a lefthand side car? most people also dont drive automatic in the uk.
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They have both in every country.
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Not good although there was a LOL moment when the drone controller dude had a fist pump moment when he blew up that brick. Was he celebrating because he actually hit the truck or because he thought he killed his sister that he was just trying to protect like 5 minutes before? And how exactly is the destruction they caused trying to kill Pinky Stub any different than what they were threatening to do all along?
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I think they are handling the drone thing excellently. A drone is a tool used remotely to attack targets on the ground.... and it did exactly that. Not seeing how that is an ineffective plot device, it works perfectly, and when the pilot of said killing machine is the family of the target, it gets extremely personal. The acting is top notch (not much Chloe in this episode sadly), but Yvonne makes an EXCELLENT addition to Jack's world, and Kiefer is doing his typically perfect job as Bauer. My only complaint is that there will only be 12 rather than 24 episodes, but hopefully successful ratings and reviews will show Fox that Jack needs a 10th FULL LENGTH season.
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I personally never understood the drone debate. It's true that drones can cause damage but so can planes with pilots in them. There's concern that drones can be hacked but I'm not sure if that's ever happened in real life and I haven't heard anyone claim that it's easier to hack a drone than to physically steal a regular plane. The only difference is that if you shoot down a drone no one dies. I understand people who are anti-war, but people who oppose drones specifically are really just pro-dead pilots.


As for Cross, it's pretty clear that he pretends to be anti-government and pro-freedom of information (whatever the hell that means) in order to attract pretentious pseudo-intellectual hackers to his cause but he's really just using them to get government secrets that he can sell to the highest bidder.
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As far as the concern of drones being hacked goes, it is a remote possibility, which is why U.S. defense contractors are currently developing autonomous drones, which wouldn't require controllers. Autonomous drones would not be subject to hacks, or time-lags, which occur under the current system of piloted drones, they would respond to threats automatically, both from the surface, and in the air. So no more hijacked drones, simple! On the other hand, have these contractors never seen the 'Terminator' films???? We're doomed!! Unless that's all part of the plotline for the next season of '24'!.
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While I never believed the Terminator movies were meant to be taken seriously, letting machines decide for themselves when to blow stuff up does seem like a bad idea. However people who protest drones never seem to say, "I'm fine with our current system just don't make the drones autonomous" they're opposed to even the current system of piloted drones, which to me sounds like they want pilots to die, or at least be placed in grave danger of dying. But thank you for (unlike the other guy who replied to this comment) giving a rational and informative reply.
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you never understood the drone debate, bombs are dropped in villages to kill terrorist what about the aftermath? terrorist deliberately live in areas that are high populated and where innocent kids play thinking that will deter the government but they still drop the bombs why not just send in troops? ''anti war'' their is no war in Iraq & Afghanistan they are assisting the Iraq and Afghanistan governments it is more like a ethnic cleansing under the pretense of freedom.
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How is anything you're talking about different as a result of using drones instead of regular planes with pilots in them?
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Drones built to kill,Planes built for transportation
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I guess it comes down to the terrorist are ok with innocent people getting killed, I mean they have no problem killing innocents.
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Jack: "Your Mother is targeting you with a drone."

This tells you everything you need to know about 24
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My understanding of the Navarro/Cross conversation is that Cross is a middle man, and therefore, working for some one else. Navarro was basically hired by Cross to provide a service/information.

Anybody want to start making bets on who won't make it out of this season alive?
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I thought this episode was pretty good. Though for a moment I feared the person Navarro was talking to was Charles Logan and I am glad it wasn't. On a side note I would like to see the return of Tony Almeida for one last hurrah.
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Tony could be Cross' boss! I'm holding out for Tony return as well.
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Maybe Cross is working for Logan? It's just ridiculous enough to make perfect sense.
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I'm guessing Logan is dead/in jail after putting a bullet through his chin at the end of Day 8. Cross did mention that he was a middle man, but I think it's for the Chinese/Russian government rather than someone like Tony.
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In season 6 they blew up a nuke and then just moved on like nothing happened. The drone attacks in this episode didn't feel out of line and in fact they made it slightly personal by showing the few wounded/casualties you spoke of. But if they dwelled on that, it would have been out of character. The show 24 has never really been about making a point about politics, just presenting them. Just showing the horrors that exist in the world, and how Jack can somehow elude any of them. Expecting more than that from 24 is expecting every season to be framed in a way the "Redemption" movie did, and even that mini-movie fell short of the subject matter. It's 24. Enjoy it for what it is, or don't. That's my opinion at least.

That said, this was a pretty fun episode but it wasn't quite as tense as I was hoping. I'm just glad there isn't any filler storylines, though. It's all relevent and exciting.
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Be prepared for Kim to show up just to be kidnapped before the season is through! LOL j/k.
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Or stuck in a tree possibly!
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Jeez. What, did she get stuck on a merry-go-round?
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