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More grotesque behavior occurred on this week's Madmen with Ginsberg's nipple auto-removal / psychotic break than in the latest episode of 24 - Live Another Day (1pm-2pm) or 1300-1400H. One person makes a deep slice in her leg in order to effect an escape from the London Tube and another pair gets shot in the leg as Jack Bauer incites a riot in order to breach the US Embassy grounds. No explosions but much angst this week. The philosophic literature mentioned last week suggests the kind of utilitarianism at constant work in 24 as well as the notion of constrained time used in a program so dependent on synchronous telecommunication devices. The narrative forced into such a tight spot is what has made the series intriguing, even as it attempts to assemble some failed romantic entanglements that might reemerge. There's still so much story infill in order to get to the inevitable bureaucratic and diplomatic failures that this is a respite before more folks get killed. Pacing and editing proceed apace although the familiar multiple scene summary shot which is a sign to cut to a commercial break only to see the advancing clock after all the ads makes the program still too predictable. One hopes in future weeks to see a bit more messing with our expectations for timing snacks or bathroom breaks.

SPOILERS BELOW THE SQUIGGLE (Mondays at 9PM is the regular broadcast time)

(1pm - 2pm) Ford commercial's tag line: "It's 360 degrees of chaos out there"

Navarro orders the CIA tactical team's withdrawal from the housing estates where much shooting occurred last week while Jack and Chloe chase Simone, the woman who stuck her switchblade into the drone hacker, Yates, last week. Simone flees onto on the Northern Line Tube at Kensington Station heading North. Bauer follows Simone to the Charing Cross stop although the 27 minute walk to the US embassy is compressed a bit. Simone has cut herself with her switchblade, smears blood to claim Bauer is attacking her, and escapes via a side exit to be ignored by Chloe who has a depressive episode imagining that she sees her dead son and husband exiting the Tube station entrance. Jack is of course angry that she loses sight of Simone as Chole has driven ahead to Charing Cross from Kensington (also compressed time) but Chole fills Jack in on a missing portion of her life where believes she was being targeted because of her role in letting Bauer escape the season before, resulting in a hit-and-run auto death of her husband and son. Meanwhile, Audrey's husband Mark, POTUS's chief of staff drafts an executive order supposedly from President Heller to rendition Bauer with a transfer to the Russian FSB (for the prior season saving NYC from yet another terrorist plot) and forges President Heller's signature ( adevice we've seen in earlier seasons). Audrey argues with him regarding her father's fitness to address the House of Commons, not set in the regular House chambers. We learn that Simone and her mother Margot Al-Harazi have been radicalized from the targeted killing of her husband by Heller in a drone strike in Yemen, the subtext of course being the current drone war in Yemen. More suspects are introduced including Simone's husband Naveed who resents Margot's use of Simone to seduce Yates in order to secure the drone override device. Jack and Chloe arrive at Adrian Cross's hacker base with Cross complaining of Bauer's "rude habit of making requests accompanied by threat of a gun". There is a repeated mention of Lt. Chris Tanner's "flight key" or portable hard drive containing the proof that the drone that killed the troops in Afghanistan (this of course could be a McGuffin that as we saw get prematurely get destroyed and requiring a new narrative direction in earlier seasons). Chloe builds a new ID for Jack to access the US embassy since Jack continues to follow the Tanner connection to the now lost device. Parallel to this is the return to Kate Morgan taking custody of the drug dealer Basher/Bashir to further determine Bauer's motives and uses the threat of retaliation from a rival drug gang to gain more information that weaves the Tanner connection to the Afghan drone strike, and we discover Tanner is being taken to the US embassy to be handed over to the Brits. More drone demonstrations are the backdrop for the action around the Embassy as we also see the ruthless relationship Margot and Simone "we have the opportunity to change history". Back to seeing Cross messing with the validation of Bauer's ID access to the identity to try and get him arrested replicating an embassy breach like in The Bourne Identity next week suggests that Jack will be fighting with the US embassy Marine guards. In the last 7 minutes we see Simone and Naveed together with of course Naveed taking a drink (shades of 9/11) - perhaps a sign of suicide bombing ahead as they get intimate "because what we are doing is necessary and just" while being surveilled by Margot as they make love. Heller makes a Churchill quote before going into a hall to address the members of the House of Commons where Commons members heckle Heller much like the PM's question time and we see Heller like a deer in the headlights. Bauer is then seen standing in the embassy entrance line with his ID number flagged as hinky just as Jack knows he's been set up by Cross. He retreats, gets firearm from cop, and shoots a couple of demonstrators in the legs inciting a riot that charges the gate. Kate Morgan has arrived at the same time and spots Bauer running into the embassy in the ensuing chaos. On to next week in the Embassy with US Drones each carrying six Hellfire missiles waiting to be deployed.

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY is a production of Teakwood Lane Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television. Howard Gordon, Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury, Robert Cochran, Brian Grazer, Jon Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland will executive-produce. The original series, which had its last American broadcast on May 24, 2010, was created by Joel Surnow and Cochran.

Tue May 13, 2014 at 10:49 AM PT: Kill Your Television: an occasional series on television criticism (it's a title rather than an exclamation or command (even))

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