Last week’s Marines vs Agent Kate Morgan showdown continues this week, and begins with Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) causing a distraction so that Agent Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) can get out of the embassy with Lt. Tanner’s flight key and communication with Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). After a brief argument with her partner, Agent Morgan has plugged in the flight key and is continuing the upload to Chloe.
Meanwhile, the now one-finger-down Simone Al-Harazi (Emily Berrington), has a not-so-touching heart to heart with Mommy dearest. Afterwards, Navid promises to do whatever is necessary to keep Simone safe, including flying the drones.
As the flight key’s information is analyzed, Adrian Cross aids Chloe in finding an over-ride code proving Tanner’s innocence and Jack’s reason for emerging from exile. It’s now confirmed, Lt. Tanner’s drone was hacked. Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) asks to speak with President Heller (William Devane) and on speaker-phone, corroborates Jack’s story, confirmed by his data analyst. President Heller has an “insert foot in mouth” moment and so does Audrey’s husband Mark. Why Audrey’s not fist-pumping in celebration of her now apparent victory is probably because tens of thousands of people are about to die in a terrorist attack. She can rub it in her husband’s face later.
President Heller orders all drones to be recalled and grounded. However, the Al-Harazi terrorist base camp is watching and is able to commandeer six drones that disappear from the screen one by one. As President Heller gets briefed on the potential fall-out, that the drones will be in British airspace within an hour, Mark admits to Audrey that his personal feelings clouded his judgment. However, there’s no time for this discussion right now. Audrey leaves to call a meeting with the British Prime Minister.
At CIA headquarters, Navarro briefs all hands on deck about hunting down Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley), and pulls Agent Morgan into his office to tell her she’s finished after the Marines at the embassy filed a formal complaint. That was fast, and is way too convenient, considering what’s coming next.
As the drones approach London, Margot Al-Harazi broadcasts a video demanding President Heller himself, within three hours, or the drones will fire down on London. As her statements about killing children are confirmed in the attack video showed to President Heller, he realizes that his staff hasn’t been completely honest with him about how things went down.
As Jack Bauer is brought in to speak with the President, Audrey catches a glimpse of him and is visibly disturbed in a hot and bothered, but sad kind of way. But President Heller gets to speak to him first, where Jack requests being put back in the field to track down an arms dealer with ties to Al-Harazi. One would think that the President would know better to trust Bauer by now, but he’s caught up in the “What would the Russians think?” line of thinking and leaves Jack to think about things.
With 14 minutes until the first drone can attack, Navid asks to see Simone and Ian mans the flying death vessels. Navid tells Simone he’s made the video traceable, has left evidence under a floorboard about his innocence, and tells Simone he’s made sure to include Simone’s innocence in the whole package. Simone seems relieved to know that there is help on the way, but let’s not forget she skewered a guy in a pub bathroom. Also, her mother is Margot.
With the CIA off to the estate address, traced in the video, Audrey comes in for some intimate nose-to-nose moments with Jack. The tension is thick as Jack asks her if she’s happy and then tells her she needs to go. They could both use a cold shower.
Meanwhile, President Heller delivers the bad news to the British Prime Minister and reveals they’ve placed all their proverbial eggs in the traceable video basket. As the satellite feed comes up and the CIA closes in, Agent Morgan feels something is awry and reaches out to Chloe for help. After an uncomfortable stand-off with Adrian Cross and Chloe’s knight-in-shining armor hacker man, it’s confirmed that the address is not exactly what they think.
Margot confronts Navid and tells him no help is coming for him. Ian takes over the drones and it’s now clear that Agent Morgan’s suspicions were correct. The first drone is headed for the estate. As Agent Morgan screams for Navarro to get his crew out now, a drone moves into place and fires, turning the estate into a giant fire-ball and sending CIA agents flying everywhere.
It’s now confirmed that her beloved son. Ian, can fly the drones without Navid so there’s really no point in keeping him around. He tries one last plea, that he’s Simone’s husband and how it will hurt her if he’s killed. Margot asks a calm and compliant Simone how she feels about that with no response. As Navid pleads with her, Margot shoots him execution style.
This was the episode needed to clear out enough CIA agents to make it crucial for Jack to truly be BACK. Next week will pair Agent Morgan with Jack and a healthy dose of what appears to be torture. This was a necessary episode for the story-line, but an episode with Jack in custody can induce some yawns. He belongs in the field.
Jessica Bauer (yes, that’s her real name) is a married mom of three, who lives in the suburbs, runs a non-profit USA Swim Club, and answers “like ‘Jack Bauer’” whenever asked how to spell her last name. She credits Kiefer Sutherland for the extra push she needed to obtain her black belt in Okinawan Kenpo and Kobudo, and dreams of writing the perfect memoir someday. In the meantime, you can read more of what she writes on her blog, Black Belt Mama (www.blackbeltmama.com) or follow her on Twitter @blackbeltmama.