‘24: Live Another Day’ recap: A dangerous villain returns

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the most-recent episode of '24: Live Another Day']

With Margot and her family dead, all signs pointed to Adrian Cross as the season’s bad guy that Jack would be forced to take out. The first half of the episode seemed to be pointing in this direction as well. Once he was able to get the override device from Steve Navarro, he ditched the duplicitous agent, allowing him to be arrested by Jack and the rest of the CIA. Cross explains to Chloe that the device can be used to hack into confidential military information and he plans to release it, an act that would have catastrophic results. Chloe has some reservations about this plan and attempts to make a run for it, device in hand. He holds her at gunpoint and brings her back to his new hide out, where his team was hard at work. Surely these were the actions of this season’s true villain, right?

Not so fast. Cross and Chloe arrive to find that all of the members of Open Cell have been murdered, their bloody bodies strewn around the warehouse. That’s when Cheng Zhi reveals himself. 

Fans of “24” will remember him best as the man responsible for kidnapping and torturing Jack and Audrey and his plans this season are just as devastating. He shoots Adrian in the head and uses Chloe to activate the device. She watches in horror as he instructs a U.S. nuclear submarine to fire at and destroy a Chinese carrier, something China probably won’t be too happy about.

All hope isn’t completely lost as Navarro admits he knows where Adrian is and as long as he is granted immunity, he will give up the information to the CIA. This doesn’t sit well with Kate who knows he’s responsible for framing her husband. She admits to Jack that her husband hung himself one month into his life sentence, confessing it wasn’t the sentence that pushed him over the edge, but her belief in his guilt. Knowing Navarro won’t be susceptible to the CIA’s normal (and non-violent) approach to questioning, they take matters into their own hands. Jack bashes Navarro’s arm to bits, which sends him down to the medical unit where Kate holds him at gunpoint until he admits he installed a tracker on the device.

But things aren’t exactly looking up. The Russians haven’t forgotten about the documents Mark forged promising them Jack Bauer. After getting into an argument with Audrey about her true feelings for her ex, he explains to the Russians that while he can’t hand Jack over, he can tell them where to find him. Mark realizes too late that Jack and Kate are on their way to extract the override device from Cross.

As they drive to the site, a truck smashes into their vehicle, sending it flying. They manage to escape the accident relatively unscathed but as the episode ends, they’re stuck in a shootout with the Russians who will stop at nothing to get Jack.

Will Cheng’s actions put the United States at war with China? Will Audrey be able to retain her sanity after learning about Cheng’s return and her husband's betrayal? And most importantly, can Jack really take Cheng down with just two episodes left?