Simone (Emily Berrington) clings to life just barely, as she makes it to CIA headquarters and their doctors get started working on her. As Ian (Liam Garrigan) and Margot Al-Harazi (Margot Al-Harazi) leave their compound, fearful that Simone will give up their location, Margot says they’ll discuss her interesting proposition from President Heller en route to their new terror haven. Ian seems skeptical.
As Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) waits to speak with President Heller (William Devane), Agent Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) checks in and relays the bad news, that Simone is still not awake, and the doctors are saying she’ll die if they do wake her. The Jack who rubbed salt in the wounded finger is back as he spits at her, “We need Simone awake. If she dies, so be it.” For 24 groupies who disliked the betrayal of the apology last week, here’s an indication that Jack won’t stray from the expected character again.
Across town, the “cleaner” is in hot pursuit of Agent Jordan Reed (Giles Matthey), and there’s no bag of dry rice available for Jordan to get his phone functioning again. With a trail of blood left behind for the goon, things are going to go bad for Agent Reed quickly.
As Jack hears President Heller’s plan, to surrender himself to Margot Al-Harazi, Jack reminds him that the “US does not negotiate with terrorists.” Ah, how 24 always seems to weave the current political landscape into the show is brilliant. Jack is adamantly against President Heller’s plan until he reveals his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Jack is hesitant, but agrees to help get the President to Wembley Stadium in complete secrecy. They just need one more trust-worthy staffer to help clear the halls and arrange for the car and helicopter. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine who this person will be, as Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan) is brought into the plan. These two will make an unlikely delivery team, and one that will surely break the heart of Audrey Boudreau (Kim Raver) once and for all.
As waking Simone up NOW becomes even more imperative, Jack tells Kate what’s going on and tells her to “Wake the bitch up.” No more character betrayals here, 24 fans. This is the last ditch effort to save President Heller’s life, and Kate knows it’s as serious as Jack does now. Using a little firearm persuasion for the doctor, Kate demands an alert Simone and begins to question her. Whether it’s the brain swelling, or the multiple drones that threatened to wipe her clean off this Earth, Simone volunteers an address, and Naveed’s secret hiding place for that under-the-floorboard disk that would have saved them both before he met an early demise. Kate sends a tag team to investigate and gives Jack some hope that he can prevent President Heller’s death. As he prepares to go, President Heller stops in for a visit with Audrey that is absolutely heart-wrenching, knowing what’s coming.
Jordan finds the only phone booth still functioning on the planet and phones Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) and delivers his location so Navarro can turn right around and notify the cleaner. I had a bit of a “Come on Agent Reed!” moment here. The guy may be the IT geek at the CIA, but he still had to be a trained agent. He wasn’t shot in the head; there’s just no excuse for this neglect and lack of connecting the dots.
Before leaving Heller’s compound, Jack performs a little surgery and removes the transponder from the President’s arm. After Boudreau’s staff meeting, Jack only needs to knock out one staffer on his way to the street with the President. As the car pulls up to the waiting helicopter, another staffer now knows the truth and is asked to stay quiet, as Jack and President Heller lift off in the chopper for Wembley Stadium. Ten minutes until touchdown.
Perhaps my Agent Reed moment was a bit premature, as Jordan redeems himself heftily by knocking out the cleaner with a crowbar and taking his gun. However, I may be correct in my frustration as the cleaner is able to knock Agent Reed off his game by questioning him about the safety on the gun, just long enough to attack him with a knife. Wouldn’t a CIA agent, even a geek agent, know enough about guns and safety locks to avoid looking insecure? Jordan ends up stabbed on the floor, but is able to accomplish two shots through the torso before bleeding out on the floor and going unconscious himself. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Jordan yet though. He’s the male Chloe and Chloe’s don’t go out like that.
Jack and President Heller have a solemn flight to Wembley Stadium as the tag team moves into the Al-Harazi home, finds the disk and gets the contents to Chloe when Jordan is determined to be MIA. Kate starts questioning Navarro about his whereabouts and Navarro feigns concern. He should be concerned. This is going to come back to haunt him.
As Ian and Margot set up at their new location and get back online, it’s pretty obvious that, at least for the time being, Margot plans on keeping her word about flying the remaining drones into the English Channel once the President is dead. Ian’s acting shady though, and something tells me those terrorist women breed betrayers.
As Jack and President Heller stand in the under-belly of Wembley, he gets a call from Chloe, hoping she’ll save the day. But it’s only an update from her new working location in a rowdy pub. There are so many firewalls that she’s having trouble. She fields a call from Adrian Cross (Michael Wincott), who has just been assured by Navarro that Jordan Reed is no longer a problem.
Meanwhile, Audrey has been allowed in to President Heller’s now vacant office and she’s found his letter. Not only does she know what’s happening, but she now knows that Mark helped plan it. As she screams and yells “at least I could have said goodbye,” she further questions her husband. She determines that Jack is now with her father, and the revelation hits her like a brick wall. All three men she has loved have now betrayed her as part of a solitary plan. There are jackets without free-moving arms in Audrey’s future. How does one come back mentally from this revelation?
Back at Wembley, President Heller tells Jack he has laid the groundwork to have Jack pardoned for all previous actions and his current ones. Another call from Chloe comes through. She’s making progress, but President Heller determines that it’s “game time” and begins to walk to the center of the illuminated field. There’s nowhere to hide now.
As Ian flies the drone to the stadium and zooms in, the facial recognition software tells them President Heller has kept his word. Margot insists on taking the controls herself. She hesitates only a moment before obliterating President Heller into dust. Next week: a healthy dose of redemption, Bauer style. I’m sure of it.
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.