This episode follows our three main storylines; Henry Taylor and Agent Gedge, along with Samanth Roth, also Jack and Tony and their mission together undercover against Emerson, and the Presidential drama unfolding as President Taylor makes some difficult decisions.
We begin with the dramatic rescue of Renee by Chloe and Bill. They uncover her well-buried body and find her not breathing. Upon unearthing her, they revive her with a shot of adrenaline to the heart, and as she comes to, they let her in on the urgent mission Jack and Tony are cooperating to carry out. Renee is shocked and confused as she comes to grip with reality, and struggles with recalibrating her focus and understanding of what’s really going on. In the meantime, Jack and Tony silently focus on each other and the mission of bringing down Emerson, and delivering Matobo and his wife to Dubaku. Jack and Tony exchange many highly charged glances and communicate the way only brothers do. Emerson is not blind to this and eventually puts Tony and Jack to the test. Grabbing Jack and putting a gun to his head, he demands to know what’s going on, and forced Tony to demonstrate his choice of where his loyalty lies. Tony of course saves Jack and shoots Emerson. There is a powerful moment where Tony tries to tend to the wound he inflicted on Emerson, and Emerson spits out his rejection of Tony utterly, then dies. Tony is left to contemplate the closing of a dark chapter of his life, which was a way of saying good bye to Michelle at the same time. The time comes quicly however when Tony must continue with his mission, and he says goodbye to the past.
Tony now must deliver Matobo and his wife into the hands of Dubaku, and Bill, Renee and Chloe are hidden out of sight. Jack is covering tony in the rafters of the warehouse with an impressive looking gun. Dark and gritty Tony meets the Dubaku gang and gives an impressive performance, demanding diamonds for the ransom. They are delivered to him and he gives up the brave and resolute Motobos. When the transaction happens, a Dubaku henchman attempts to kill Tony, but is brought down with lightning-quick speed by Jack. Tony dismisses the attempt on his life with contempt, and the Dubaku gang leave, down a few members, with the Motobos.
In the meantime, Henry Taylor has been paralyzed in Samantha Roth’s apartment by the sociopathic Agent Gedge, who is sporting plastic-covered sleeves and is brandishing some pretty awful looking kitchen knives. As Agent Gedge prepares to do away with Henry, he is also making plans to put down Samantha, delivered to her aparment by his accomplice, posing as official government security. Samantha, unawares, walks directly into the trap. She is startled by Henry on her couch, and approaches slowly as she realizes something is dreadfully wrong, Henry not able to speak, barely making a sound, trying to warn her that Gedge is immediately behind her. What follows is a particularly grizzly end to Samatha, immediately in front of Henry Taylor. Gedge then hoists Henry up the stairs to the loft, and fashions some cord into a nose which he loops around the rafters. He intends to hang Henry, after having covered the knife he used to kill Samatha with Henry’s fingerprints. He is unaware that mobility is returning to the enraged and desperate Henry, and as Gedge pulls HEnry to the railing to finish him off, Henry locks a hand around Gedge’s throat. They struggle, flling over the railing, landing on a table and Henry never once releases his hold on Gedge. The choke, combined with the fall put and end to Gedge, and leave Henry in a terrible situation.
Meanwhile, Dubaku is in a figurative arm-wrestling match with President Taylor, who is not aquiescing to his demands. IN order to demonstrate his seriousness, he employs the fancy airplane-disrupting device to guide two passenger plans to collide midair in an area close to the White House, directing the President to look out her window of the Oval Office while it happens. The cabinet scrambles to meet as the sickening reality of the situation hits all of them. President Taylor is urged many times to relent to Dubaku, but in the end, meeting with her senior staff, makes the case that if, in this moment of trial, when they are being tested, failure to hold firmly to the ideals of the nation and capitulating to hate and terror, will only sabotage future generations, and the integity of the country. She continues in her refusal to withdraw forces from Sengala, and holds firm in the face of incredible tragedy. One of her staff resigns over the decision, and she challenges anyone else to either leave or focus on the task at hand. Reluctantly, no one else leaves, and Taylor walks away from the meeting both strong in her decision, yet reeling from the loss of innocent life that happened in front of her eyes, and fear of what is yet to come. Ethan is rallying troops behind the scenes to undermine th President’s decision. It is unclear as to whether he is doing this out of a genuine feeling that Taylor is making the wrong decision, or if he is somehow compromised and is acting against the President maliciously.
This marks the end of the episode and we’re left to await the results of the Matobo situation, Jack and Tony in pursuit, and the next step of mounting danger threatened by Dubaku.
I found the first half of this episode deeply powerful and very very juicy. I think we all wanted more Jack/Tony of course, but this was only because the Jack/Tony we DID see was so damned good. The Henry/Gedge storyline was grizzly, but perhaps Henry overpowering Gedge a little far-fetched. I’m willing to accept it however, if only to see how Henry is going to react to his circumstances now. The Presidential storyline is finally heating up, and while we’ve seen our 24 Presidents in similar conundrums, I’m interested to see how Taylor will respond to difficulty, and what new facet to the decision-making drama of the Commander In Chief will be explored.
Tony’s little speech to Emerson in the van, sitting next to Jack. Tony explaining his state of mind and bond with Emerson upon being revived, calling Emerson a brother, reliving the darkness and the mourning, admitting to his turmoil and revisiting his own internal replay of this past reality, was pure 24 gold. Carlos lived in the moment so authentically, and the effect it had on Jack was palpable. Michelle was made present in spirit, and the intensity of the true brotherhood was vocalized for the first time in 24 history.