There's Finally A Woman Jack Bauer

JACK BAUER HAS FINALLY MET HIS MATCH..

Meet Kate Morgan, a steely CIA agent who has almost immediately elevated herself to the role of co-star on .24: Live Another Day, bringing the type of raw energy and all-around skills that her colleagues seriously lack. She's smart and ruthless—"She's good," Jack confesses to Chloe at one point—and perhaps most importantly, she's the only character with enough brains to LISTEN TO EVERYTHING JACK BAUER SAYS.

In last night's episode—2pm-3pm—Morgan finally declares her devotion to All Things Bauer by Not Listening To Authority (for the 14th time in four hours) and sneaking through an air vent Deus Ex-style to reach Jack and convince him to let her help. By the end of the hour, she's a co-conspirator. She's all-in with Bauer, which, as we all know after eight seasons of Jack and his antics, is typically good news for The World and bad news for a person's health, sanity, and immediate family members.

By the end of this day, it's likely that A) Kate will be dead; B) Kate will be a mole; C) Kate will replace Jack Bauer, who has died saving the world, and she will carry on his legacy torturing terrorists and shooting strangers in the knee.

Or. OR. Maybe Kate and Jack will team up, make out, and travel the globe, spending the rest of their lives fighting terrorists and government agencies that Just Don't Get It. If I had a magic genie lamp, my first wish would be for this show to happen. I really need a 40-minute weekly show of Jack and Kate simultaneously telling people that they're out of time.

Still. Kate might be the breakout star, but 24 is still Jack's show, and the bulk of this episode takes place inside Britain's U.S. embassy, where Mr. Bauer needs to upload Important Information to Chloe so he can convince everyone the president's being targeted before it's TOO LATE. In order to do this, Jack puts on a jacket that says "Federal Agent" and then shoots two marines and takes three hostages, who he somehow expects to believe his promises that they won't get hurt even though he's just invaded the U.S. embassy and shot two marines.

MEANWHILE, in the Terrorist Mansion, which is basically a cross between Guantanamo Bay and the house from The Real World, Catelyn Stark is once again letting her children suffer. Terrorist Daughter's Husband thinks he can just ditch the whole plot on the DAY it's supposed to happen, and Terrorist Mom thinks that's super rude, so she cuts off one of Terrorist Daughter's fingers and tells Terrorist Daughter's Husband to shut the hell up and get back to the drones before his wife loses more important bits. This whole thing could have been avoided if he had just given two weeks notice like any polite terrorist. Terrorist Son-In-Law sucks.

The purpose of Terrorist House Subplot is clearly to characterize Terrorist Mom as a villain so ruthless that she'll cripple her own daughter if it serves THE CAUSE, which is interesting, because in previous seasons, Jack has often used the threat of violence to terrorists' family members as a way to get hostiles to cooperate. So it'll be fun to see how he deals with this new baddie, as boring as her weird creepy sex house might be. Terrorist Mom also stands out because Michelle Fairley is an ice-cold badass while her supporting cast are... subpar, to say the least.

Also, somewhere between 2pm and 2:30pm, President Heller somehow mollified British parliament, a group of rowdy hooligans that couldn't let him go one sentence without screaming about terrorists and American drones and how Downton Abbey is way better than this. We don't get to see this magical speech that entranced the hoodlums, but we do get to see Heller and Bauer talk for the first time since season 6, when the former Secretary of Defense told Jack never to talk to Audrey again. This chat is as fun as expected. ("I never thought I'd have to hear your voice again. I liked it that way.") Heller is such a prick.

At the end of this episode, the drones are set, and, as always, everyone is screwed because they didn't listen to Jack. Everyone except Kate Morgan, that is. I hope the next eight hours is just Jack and Kate saying fuck it and going off to Hawaii, where they can chill on the beach and shoot surfers in the knee.

Stray observations:

  • Kate Morgan's sheer badassness (and Yvonne Strahovski's excellent performance) is a striking contrast to Renee Walker, who just kinda sucked in general. Remember when she stabbed Jack?
  • Audrey has also gotten more badass over the years. That coma was good for her spirit.
  • Mark, the president's chief of staff and Audrey's husband, is TOTALLY TERRIFIED that Jack is gonna steal his wife, which, like, of course. You'd be terrified too. It's Jack Bauer. He exists to fight terrorists and steal wives.
  • I love all these little hints and tidbits about Jack's relationship with his Serbian thug pal. Can't wait to hear the whole story of what homeboy has been doing for four years.
  • "I don't think you understand. You're not getting out of there. It's over. They're gonna put you in prison." Chloe. CHLOE. I realize it's been four years, but come on, how long have you known Jack again?
  • Speaking of which—Chloe, darling, you need to ditch the makeup and go back to being you. I get that you're upset about the murder of your husband and son, but come on, we need Snarky Chloe back.
  • "Sir, whatever differences we had, I never lied to you. I always told you the truth."

Mole Count: 0 (Though I GUARANTEE you that the CIA agent analyst dude (Jordan?) is gonna turn out to be one.)

Jack Bauer Kill Count: 0 :(

Jack Bauer "Dammit" Count: 0 =[

Ridiculous Jack Bauer Quote of the Week: "I barely grazed them, sir."

"How do you know that?"

"Because I pulled the trigger."