The best thing about 24: Live Another Day is it feels like 24, with all the good and bad that implies. Another important thing about Live Another Day is it’s definitely not for new viewers. If you haven’t watched most of the previous seasons you’re not going to be lost. And even as a long-time fan of the show I’ve also forgotten certain events of Season 8. And to be fair, with such a dense mythology I think it’d be hard to have an accessible entry point for new viewers.
It’s been 4 years since the events of Day 8 and former CTU agent Jack Bauer has been labelled a terrorist. He shows up in London and is apprehended by CIA agents based in the city. But it appears that Jack has allowed himself to get caught so he can rescue former colleague Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), now a free information “hackivist” and looking like Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
The only one who suspects Jack allowed the CIA to catch him is field agent Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski). Her husband was another CIA agent who sold secrets to China and then committed suicide when he was found out. Kate’s boss Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) believes that because she didn’t know her husband was a traitor she’s overcompensating by thinking Jack has an ulterior motive. Her colleague Erik Ritter (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is set to take over Kate’s position at the end of the week and believes Kate knew about her husband’s treachery. Erik is a one note character so far- a “jerk” character that 24 likes to have on board. Ideally Erik will gain a little more depth as the series progresses.
We eventually learn that the reason Jack is breaking Chloe out of the CIA has to do with Jack needing information on a former fellow hacker of Chloe’s, Derek Yates, who is part of a plot to kill American President James Heller (William Devane), whose daughter Audrey (Kim Raver) once had a romantic relationship. Heller is in London to negotiate the lease of a military base in London which deploys drones. He’s set to meet with the British Prime Minister Alastair Davies (Stephen Fry).
One criticism I have so far in regards to the first 2 episodes is that Jack takes a backseat to several of the other characters. Jack actually doesn’t speak for most of the first episode. It’s a risky move but they mostly pull it off. The 24 universe is also so fully realized that even without a heavy Jack presence I enjoyed being back in this world.
The first two episodes introduce several intriguing plot lines, including the framing of drone pilot Chris Tanner (Attack The Block’s John Boyega), whose drone is taken over by Yates and kills servicemen in Afghanistan. Heller is showing signs of dementia, which adds tension to his visit in London. I’m also interested to see what comes of the marriage between Audrey and Heller’s Chief of Staff Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan) - Boudreau doesn’t want Audrey to know that Jack’s in London but I think Audrey is definitely going to discover that Jack's back. There’s also the appearance of Michelle Fairley from Game of Thrones as a mysterious villain- and I’m excited for her and Jack to meet face to face.