As always, SPOILERS ABOUND:
- Split screen! We’re in the CIA’s London HQ, which looks a lot like the CTU HQ. Dark, no windows, it even has the same three restrooms: Men, Women, Moles.
- And those restrooms are never, ever used.
- We see Ben Bratt as Steve Navarro, CIA section chief and this season’s resident unyielding bureaucrat, plus Yvonne SheUsedToBeOnChuck as Agent Kate Morgan, and she’s already in trouble over something. Navarro is overseeing an operation in London (did they ask the UK for permission to stage an operation?) to track down a guy in a hoodie – and said guy then beats up half the CIA team! Yes, it’s Jack Bauer! Jack makes a run for it through the open market while the armed CIA agents wave their guns in pursuit. YEAAAHHH, that happens every day in London. But wait, Jack gets caught?! Jack never gets caught!
- Dissolve to ... the “24” logo! And... “Events occur in real time.” AHHHHHHHHH....! Welcome back.
- Back at HQ, Kate Morgan thinks there’s something fishy. Jack’s been missing for 4 years, and now he’s caught so easily. Naturally, no one believes her. She is going to be the Jack of this unit!
- We meet President Heller (William Devane), whom you may remember as Defense Secretary Heller from Days 4-6. He’s in the UK to negotiate a deal with the Brits that would extend the U.S.’s use of a Brit base for its controversial drone warfare. He says to his staff, “In return, we must prevent the Kardarshians from ever stepping foot in Britain.”
- Unfortunately, President Heller is starting to mix up details. Immediately, he becomes the frontrunner for new Script Editor of “24.”
- Tate Donovan (best known as Jennifer Aniston’s pre-Brad boyfriend, which is kind of sad) plays White House Chief of Staff Mark Angryglare, who hears about Jack’s capture. He orders that no one else be told of this, not even the president, and he orders the CIA to turn Jack over to the Dick Cheney Torture & Needlepoint Division. (I don’t doubt that a Presidential Chief of Staff has that sort of clout, which is kind of scary!)
- Why does Mark hate Jack so much? Because he’s married to ex-Coma Girl Audrey! Boy, Audrey knows how to pick ‘em: First she was married to Paul Raines, who was nipple-shock-tortured by Jack, then she was with Jack himself (which is downright disturbing, when you think about it), and now this guy?
- A short time later, Mark speaks to Head Lackey: “What if Bauer were to ... disappear?” Lackey: “You mean magic? Like David Blaine?” Mark: “No, I mean what if we MADE him ‘disappear’?” Lackey: “OHHHH, I get it. We do the magic, not Bauer.” Mark: “No, Lackey! I mean ... dis-KILLKILLKILL-appear.” Lackey: “Ah, okay. Hey, isn’t that illegal?” Mark: “I lost Jennifer to Brad. I won't lose Audrey to Jack!”
- Back at CIA No-Windows HQ, Steve Navarro tries to interrogate Jack, but he just stares ahead, thinking about the two brief seasons of “Touch.” He doesn’t even twitch when Steve tells him that his daughter, Kim, has had another kid! Here’s a photo. I’m suspicious.
- Over at the Dick Cheney Torture & Needlepoint Division, which is somehow in the basement of the basement-level CIA HQ, we see ... Chloe! And she’s being tortured?! Wow, all her sexual fantasies with Jack are coming true in the worst way possible!
- P.S. Chloe is now an information hacker who was once locked up for helping Jack escape surveillance in the series finale. She’s also gone goth. She looks like the Winter Soldier, but she doesn’t have the metal arm. Or DOES she?
- Kate is convinced that Jack wanted to be captured, but still no one believes her. One team member, Eric, is a major whiner and crybaby, and her boss Steve thinks – EXPOSITION! – she’s just acting out because her husband spied on them all for the Chinese and she didn’t know about it. Frustrated, Steve takes her ID card and secret decoder ring.
- By the way, when do you think Kate’s husband will pop up? You KNOW it’s coming. I say Episode 7 (the 4 p.m. hour).
- Change of scenery: Lowly lieutenant piloting a drone over Afghanistan and getting picked on by his commander. Nothing to see here, right?
- One of the challenges of each season of “24” has been “What variation of the Jack Bauer Sleeper Hold will we see this year?” And we get our answer as Jack takes out the CIA guys transporting him to the torture room: Sleeper Hold – while handcuffed! Well done, Jack.
- Jack yells at the guy who’s been torturing Chloe, but the guy cracks back, “Nothing you haven’t done! And hey, can you autograph my Jack Bauer Torture Trading Cards? I’m a big fan!”
- Kate, while being escorted out of the building, tasers her guard, grabs his gun and ID card, and drags him into a closet! Just like Jack! She then gets her tech pal, Jordan, to be her Chloe and send unauthorized info to her. Wow, she IS the She-Jack!
- Jack gets Chloe out of CIA HQ, thanks to Convenient Serbian Dude on the outside who blows a hole in the pavement with a bazooka. Kate, pursuing, is upset: “CIA HQ! No sunlight allowed!”
- Jack releases Chloe so they can temporarily split up. Ah, but Jack is secretly tracking her. Convenient Serbian Dude: “I thought she was your friend.” Jack has a sad face. “I don’t have any friends.” Cue the Furious Blinking! Oh, Furious Blinking, how I’ve missed you...
- You know what’s cool about Kate? Unlike some of the female leads on “24” over the years (Audrey, Renee), she doesn’t seem to have major emotional or psychological baggage. Which is nice! It won’t last, but it’s nice!
- Remember that drone we saw in Afghanistan? It goes rogue! It fires a missile at the US/UK convoy! Who’s behind it? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos chuckles evilly and ... oh, sorry. That’s MY version. Here, hacker dude Derek Yeates sits back from his console, satisfied at the destruction. Major Threat #1 is underway – probably to be replaced by Major Threat #2 in six hours.
- The great Stephen Fry pops up as the British Prime Minister. President Heller receives the info about the “friendly fire” drone attack – which killed four, including two Brits – but before he can inform his counterpart, the PM gets dire news from his own troops: The Kardashians have landed at Heathrow.
- Chloe hooks up with her team of hackers, led by a Julian Assange-wannabe named Adrian Cross. If he looks familiar to you, that’s because he’s played by Michael Wincott, who was the top evil henchman in EVERY SINGLE ‘90s ACTION FILM. Jack and Convenient Serbian Dude did indeed follow Chloe, and Jack demands the location of Derek Yeates, who used to be in Adrian’s hacker group but got kicked out for inviting too many people to play Farmville. Chloe agrees to help Jack, but she’s pissed. “You’re my friend, Jack. You could have just asked.” Zing! What’s that about having “no friends,” Jack? More blinking!
- Jack does an exposition dump, telling us he’s heard that Yeates is targeting President Heller and he wants to stop it. Chloe scoffs, “Why, Jack? Do you think you’ll be welcomed back? It’s because of Audrey, isn’t it? My little Jacky-Poo wants to hug that skinny tramp while his Chloe Bunny is RIGHT HERE.” “What did you say, Chloe?” “I said, I ate some wacky food that’s giving me stomach cramps but there’s some Pepto-Bismol RIGHT HERE.” “Oh.”
- We get a better look at hacker Yeates, who is safely holed up in the not-so-strong stronghold of a drug dealer, alongside Yeates’ Russian gal pal who just wants to do the Sexy Time while Yeates negotiates payment with the mysterious woman Margot who wants to buy his drone hacker.
- Soon, Jack gets that location and he’s off – and Chloe wants to come along and provide surveillance support. Jack doesn’t deserve you, Chloe! Jack then ditches Convenient Serbian Dude like sloppy seconds.
- Meanwhile, Kate the She-Jack uses Bauerian logic-stretching science to determine the location of Jack and Chloe. CIA squads also head over to the not-so-strong stronghold.
- Jack, being Jack, gets past the guards and right into the main room of Drug Dealing Guy. Four guys face off against Jack! Best scene of the night: Jack tells them to hand over Yeates and they might walk out of this alive. The drug guys scoffs. Jack calmly says, “Look I can tell you consider yourself a pretty intimidating group. You probably think I’m at a disadvantage. I promise you I’m not.” Fight! Jack kicks ass! Yeates and Russian gal pal head out the back window – with the drone tech! Jack grabs a thumb drive from what’s left of Yeates’ system.
- And THEN Kate and the CIA team show up! Doofus Eric holds up a photo of Jack to the fleeing Yeates and Russian gal pal. Yeates says, “Yeah, he’s up there! He’s crazy!” And off Yeates goes, right past the unquestioning CIA team!
- Jack has to run and hide in the building’s darkened parking level. He then grabs Kate and pleads with her to listen to him and go after Yeates. Kate tries to break free and attack. Jack growls, “That was a mistake.” Head butt!! YES! He gets out of the building and is picked up by Chloe, who hot-wired a car. Jack seems impressed, which I don’t understand since we’ve known not to underestimate her ever since this – one of “24’s” top 10 moments.
- Meanwhile, Yeates thinks he’s been sold out by Mystery Margot, so he tells Russian gal pal that he’ll find another buyer ... at which point, Russian gal pal stabs him in the ear with a stiletto! OWWWW! Yep, she’s working with Mystery Margot. In fact, as she drops the wig and the fake accent, we learn that she’s Mystery Margot’s daughter!
- And hey, about that wig? So it never came off before? Did she and Yeates NOT have sex? Take showers? Play Strip Twister? Well, he was British....
- Once Chloe starts looking at the thumb drive’s schematics of Yeates’ drone hacker, the files begin to disintegrate! There’s one of those darn self-destruct virus thingies built into it! Jack yells: “Chloe, save it!” “I can’t! All I could save was a piece of a schematic and Yeates’ invitation to play Bejeweled Blitz.” Jack: “DAMMIT!”
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