Last week's "24" ended with a missile being fired directly at the president. Or did it? In the first few minutes of this week's episode, we learn that President Heller's death was just an elaborate hoax concocted by Chloe and Jack to trick Margot into destroying the drones she still had control over. This move initially felt like a letdown, like the showrunners had gotten cold feet and decided to keep one of their few ties to the original series alive a bit longer. Not to mention the fact that the closing minutes to last week's 200th episode now pack a whole lot less punch.
Perhaps no one is more disappointed by this development than Margot herself, who quickly realizes she'd been duped. She has her son change the course of the one drone she hasn't destroyed to target Waterloo Station, where thousands of people are swarming to get out of London. It's only then that the "trick" by the writers begins to pay off. Heller betraying Margot ups the stakes and gives us one of the best actions sequences of the season.
The CIA and Jack manage to track down the Al-Harazi hideout, leading to a shootout with Margot's men. Shots are fired, grenades are tossed and Jack lands a helicopter on the roof before scaling the walls of the building to find the family of terrorists. As luck would have it (and as is often the case on "24"), the bad guys have bad aim and the good guys are surprisingly adept at dodging bullets. None more so than Jack Bauer himself, who manages to avoid the bullets Ian Al-Harazi sprays at the glass Jack is hanging in front of before reaching in, grabbing Ian by the collar and tossing him right out the window.
He puts a bullet in Margot's shoulder before taking control of the drone and firing it into the water. She tells him it doesn't matter, that hundreds have died today, and the responsibility is all on him and President Heller. Jack responds by throwing Margot out the window, letting her plummet five stories to her death. It's a wild scene that never would have been possible had Heller perished in the drone strike.
With the Al-Harazis now most assuredly dead, where else is there to go? For one, Audrey seems extra grateful to Jack for saving her father's life. Mark is looking increasingly ineffectual and with Heller alive, his forgery of the president's signature is sure to come out. It's only a matter of time before his wife kicks him to the curb and reunites with her terrorist-tossing old flame.
But that's not all, Jordan's body has been found, along with that of his killer. Steve Navarro knows the deaths will be linked to him soon enough. When Navarro calls Adrian Cross to find a way out of this mess, Adrian instructs him to steal the override device Margot had been using to control the drones. Jack gets distracted by a phone call from Audrey (come on Jack! You're better than that), giving Navarro enough time to grab the device and make a run for it. Jack puts it all together and is hot on his trail, but its too late. Navarro's gotten away.
Also complicating matters? Chloe tells Jack she's grateful for all he's done for her, but she's finished working with him. The episode ends with Chloe going back to Adrian, kissing him as she gets in the car. How long before she realizes her new man is up to no good? Is Adrian officially the season's new bad guy? And most importantly, will Jack find a way to dispose of him that's even half as cool as the way he got rid of Margot?
We have three episodes to find out.