1. Is it a good idea to create a drinking game around the phrase “we’re running out of time”?
Certainly! There’s a decent chance taking a shot every time a character says this will get you tipsy, especially if you include variations like “I need more time” and “there’s not enough time.” And if you’re looking to get really sloshed, try adding both “are you with me or not?” and “there has to be another way” to the list.
Characters say all those things in this eighth episode, which mainly revolves around President Heller’s decision to turn himself over to Margot Al-Harazi and Jack’s race against the clock to gather more intel about the she-terrorist’s whereabouts before Heller is murdered.
2. Surely it can’t be a simple of an endeavor to sneak the President of the United States out of a secure government building and onto a helicopter?
Oh, but it is when Jack Bauer’s involved! The moment Jack accepts Heller’s decision to martyr himself, he goes into action figuring out how to stealthily get the President to the stadium where he’s meant to be exploded to death. All this requires is: calling a staff meeting so everyone is out of the halls, gaining access to a few security codes, and punching a lone Secret Service agent in the head. Jack whisks Heller out, ushers him onto a waiting helicopter, and expert pilots it across town with enough time left over for Heller to slip in a quick rendezvous with Olivia Pope, if he were that kind of President.
3. Is Chief of Staff Tate Donovan and Audrey’s relationship so evolved that they can communicate with their eyes?
Yes! A flaw in the structure of this show is how much time we spend watching one character explain a thing to another character, especially when it’s information we’ve already had for episodes. But when the scene is between a married couple like Mark and Audrey (granted, a married couple that doesn’t seem to be very fond of each other), we get to skip some of this word exposition and deal in eye contact exposition. So when Mark finds Audrey alone and weeping over a goodbye note from her father, all he has to do it look down at the ground with puppy dog eyes and Audrey instantly understands that he already knows what Heller has done. And add the tiniest bit of moisture to those sad baby blues and she intuits that he actually helped him escape.
Truth be told, I’m pretty sure one of his looks constitutes an “are you with me or not?” — so drink up!
4. Whoa. Did they really go there?
Yes. They went there. The “24” producers murdered the American President. In the very last minute of the episode, we see Heller standing alone in the middle of a stadium (cricket, I presume) while Margot Al-Harazi launches a missile right at his defenseless person. She hits her target and the whole stadium goes up in smoke. Apologies to those poor, poor cricket players who really might as well learn to play baseball now that their field’s been demolished.
5, But is it just a trick?
No! We know Heller is for-real dead because the promo for next week’s episode refers to “the darkest day in America’s history.” Which, well, seems maybe a little presumptuous? To say in front of your audience? Of overly patriotic Americans? Who remember another very dark day. That, I don’t know, probably involves something bad happening to a Kardashian.