24: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episode 7 (5PM-6PM)

After a four year absence, 24 is returning to TV in the form of a “limited series.” Shortened seasons for broadcast shows are in right now. Big-network programs like Hannibal, The Following, Sleepy Hollow and Under the Dome are taking a page out of the British/Premium Cable model, offering shortened seasons of around 12-15 episodes without the traditional option of extending the season. 24 is embracing this model as well, cutting Jack Bauer’s “day” in half to (theoretically) tell a tighter story and keep costs down. How well 24 translates into 12 remains to be seen, but there is no denying of the excitement of having Jack Bauer back on the small screen.

As a limited run companion piece to our series-spanning Dead Series Discussions we – Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix -will be posting reactions to each episode of Live Another Day as it airs. These “ReJacktions” are not as long or formal (ha!) as our other posts on the series, but instead give us a chance to add some reflections and observations for each episode. Once the season has ended, we’ll give Live Another Day a proper Dead Season Discussion before bidding farewell to 24. At least until Jack comes back again.

This week’s ReJacktion is focused on Episode 7 of Live Another Day, “Day 9: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.”

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time.

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Patches
“I just hate these people”

It’s the first character development we’ve seen from Jack Bauer since he chatted with Senator Mayer and Larry Moss in Season 7. As Jack apologized to Agent Morgan for some “enhanced interrogation” with Simone, he says “I just hate these people…for thinking there could be anything that would justify what they’re doing.”

Every conversation Jack has ever had about ends and means has been coldly rational. They’ve been about the calculus of one tortured man versus one prevented nuclear detonation. They’ve been about the needs of the many weighed against the needs of the few.

But what if this was the real Jack Bauer the whole time? What if every “I need to do this or thousands of people will die” was just a rationalization for “I fucking hate terrorists?” An angry man inflicting unto others the pain and suffering done unto him?

You guys, THIS (potentially) CHANGES EVERYTHING WE THOUGHT WE KNEW ABOUT JACK BAUER.

Also interesting: There seems to be a disconnect in Jack’s mind between the terrible things the terrorists do to achieve their goals and the terrible things Jack does to achieve his goals.

Then again, I doubt anyone thinks they are a terrorist…

In other news… I weirdly like what the graphic violence has done for LAD. They’ve done a nice job using the violence to show the seriousness of the terrorist threat, its consequences, and to elicit an emotional response. And they’ve taken great strides to integrate it into the plot, so it doesn’t come off as manipulative or shock for shock’s sake.

By the way, do you guys remember when Saving Private Ryan came out and everyone was like “HOLY SHIT THERE’S LIKE LIMBS BLOWN OFF AND STUFF” and it was the most graphic movie in the history of graphic movies? That shit’s on network TV at 8 central now.

In addition, Jack outfoxing the drone was the best car chase this show has ever done. I don’t know enough about directing or cinematography to explain why it was so good, but I can tell you it felt faster and more intense than any other chase on the show.

Torture!Jeff
Sounds like you liked this one, Patches? Better than last week maybe?

I think I can tentatively agree with you on the car chase, though I’ll admit I found drone vs. car a little silly (but not quite this silly). Of course, I’m not a drone expert like Patches, so a part of me worries it’s terrifyingly realistic too.

What I didn’t like about the car chase was the return of the GODDAMN UNDERPASS. ARGH! Sixth season in a row! They twist it nicely by having Jack send the dummy car out, and subvert that nicely by having Margot see it was empty. But why do we need another underpass?! and Why couldn’t the drone still track their new car? Did they just get away while Margot was watching instant replay?

As for Jack’s “I just hate these people” mindset, I’d trace it to S8, probably. After that, he’s got no home, no country and no friends or family (except when it’s convenient to bring back Kim or Chloe). It makes sense that he’d go “freelance terrorist hunter” when he’s no longer bound by any government rules (not that he ever really was before).

As for my other thoughts on this episode, I think it should be titled “Bad Hitmen.”

Ian can hit a hospital (where’s Curtis Manning when you need him?), and an empty car, but he can’t kill Jack. Margot’s hospital hitman is the worst at blending in (even if he’s good at conveniently overhearing conversations). Steve’s hitman has no idea how to properly finish a job, turning Jordan into Jason Bourne.

I’m intrigued by a lot of what this episode sets up, though.

Jordan’s (potential) storyline feels kind of Henry Taylor’s 70’s conspiracy thriller arc in S7 (a storyline I quite liked, to a point). I hope he unravels the Steve-Cross-Adam(?) connection.

Mark promises Ambassador Mustache that he’ll deliver Jack eventually.

Someone warns Chloe to get out of her new hideout…and she goes to a pub.

Heller is totally going to give himself up and try to take out Margot at the same time, right?

And who knows what Belcheck is up to? (probably wondering why Erik is a regular cast member and he isn’t, considering their similar screen-time)

Not quite as good as last week (for me), but not a big drop off either. Keep it up!

The ole overpass-brick switcheroo Oldest trick in the book vlcsnap-2014-06-13-10h45m16s29Zach

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

I would agree with Jeff that this episode was a step down (in excitement? enjoyability? I don’t know, I’m not that careful with my words) from last week’s, but overall a good continuing step. I thought the hospital attack was perhaps the most graphic (and therefore realistic?) depiction of an attack we’ve seen on 24, with only the displaying of people dying in the Chandler Plaza really in the same ballpark, but that could just be my limited memory.

I thought that the interactions between Kate and the

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

young girl were interesting. On one hand, I remember similar interactions between Jack and children on 24, and how forced and awkward they always seemed — I assumed that was actually Kiefer’s failing more than anything else — but Yvonne pulls it off well. It is nice to have that dynamic available: simultaneously showing real tenderness for the injured while attempting to extract time-sensitive information. It has become kind of rote with nearly-dead adults and betrayed lovers. Still, I’m perhaps irrationally worried about sexism on this show, and I did have a moment of eye-rolling “thank god there’s a future mom here” reaction.

I thought the car chase was a little over-the top, but for only two reasons, in retrospect: One, Margo TennenBOMB must have amazing infrared vision, because I don’t think I knew that was Jack, Kate,

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

and Aunt Death, and I had just watched them get in the car. Two, the Michael-Bay-esque explosion shots distracted me from what was otherwise, I thought, the point of the chase — London’s tight streets requiring extremely tense precision on every single decision. The chase itself was well choreographed, but bracketed and interrupted by ridiculousness.

Finally, Heller’s decision to turn himself in is real-world-preposterous but 24-world-interesting. I imagine he will have Jack chauffeur him there but tell NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD, and when Audrey and Boudoir and the PM all agree that Heller has just gone senile and Jack MUST be working with the terrorists etc etc etc we could have that time-tested Jack and the Prez v. the world dynamic back. That isn’t the interesting possibility. The interesting possibility is

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

that Heller actually does start experiencing dementia. The dynamic of him trying to remember why he’s doing what he’s doing while under Jack’s protection could lead to a lot of interesting and tense moments, I think. Or it could turn into Take 2 on Teri’s In Search of Lost Time in S1, and provide an unintentionally hilarious bracket to the series.

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

vlcsnap-2014-06-13-10h42m50s80PARTING SHOTS

Patches
Alzheimer’s. There, 24. I said it. See? It’s not that difficult.

Two dick pics later...Jeff
Yeah, network TV can be pretty violent (ahem, Hannibal). But it would be more effective if they could linger on it, and if they didn’t have to show the same armless woman twice in 5 seconds in shots that suggest questionable continuity. Speaking of wacky arm injuries, the EMT clearly says that Simone has a compound fracture of the right radius. That’s a fracture where the bone should be sticking out through the skin of her right forearm. Funny how that’s not a problem when Jack grabs her by the right wrist and hauls her out of the hospital.

vlcsnap-2014-06-13-10h36m52s104Zach
Who the eff drives AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER with the steering wheel on the left side in downtown London?

THIS WEEK’S REJACKTIONS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AN AMERICAN CHRYSLER

vlcsnap-2014-06-13-10h41m09s121

 BONUS SCREENS

And that little girl grew up to be Dina Araz

And that little girl grew up to be Dina Araz…

The most unecessary punch in the history of 24

The most unnecessary punch in the history of 24

That beard was so well-kempt it was suspicious

Hmmm…. That beard is suspiciously well-kept…

OLD MEN YELLING!

OLD MEN YELLING!

Who the fuck is this guy

Who the fuck is this guy?

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More 24:

Season 1 Season 2Season 3Season 4
Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8
Live Another Day ReJacktions Live Another DaySuperlatives

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