Spoiler Warning for the third hour of “24: Legacy,” as well as all previous seasons of the original series.
THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 2:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M.
EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME
After a very impressive start, “24: Legacy” kicks things into high gear, delivering its best episode thus far. I would even go so far as to say that this episode is better than some of the less innovative episodes of the original series’ later seasons. The third hour delivers several shocking plot twists, while building on and developing the well-established characters. This fast-paced episode manages to evoke a feeling of intensity throughout, even in dialogue-heavy scenes. As the clock continues ticking, the mission to save the country from terrorists just became more difficult.
Following the arrests of Rebecca and Andy last episode, Keith and Mariana work to uncover the truth. When its discovered that Andy is telling the truth about Rebecca’s undercover operation, he is released and allowed to return to his workstation. At the police station, Eric formulates an escape plan after realizing the entire police force will be making their way into the evidence lockup room momentarily. One of the officers that he took hostage explains that there is an exit behind the wall of the room. Eric removes the bomb from the officer’s back and attaches it to the wall, detonates it and escapes with one of the officers. The SWAT team outside rushes into the room and tracks Eric to a hallway in the police station. After a brief standoff, where Eric holds the hostage at gunpoint, the lieutenant arrives and orders the officers to stand down after receiving a call from Rebecca and CTU. The lieutenant hands the phone over to Eric, allowing Rebecca to update him on the fact that Keith was cleared from being the mole. Keith tells Eric that a CTU tactical team will provide backup for his meeting with Ben. Eric warns against CTU being involved, but he ultimately complies and leaves for the meet.
This episode features CTU being fully involved in the crisis for the first time since the day began. While this will ultimately aid in the attempts to stop the terrorists, it could also hinder it if there are other double agents. Keith orders all of the staff to make stopping the attacks be their first priority and Andy has a small moment with Locke, confirming a romantic relationship between the two that fell apart at some point prior to this day. Over at his house, Isaac prepares to leave for his drug deal, but not before apologizing to Aisha for their problems. Isaac and his crew head out for the deal, leaving Aisha and Nicole together to work out their issues. A relieved Nicole receives a phone call from Eric, allowing the two to reconnect and update each other on their respective situations. Nicole alerts Eric to the fact that Aisha might be up to something shady; Eric tells Nicole that CTU can retrieve a recording of Aisha’s phone conversation. Near the meet location, CTU has set up a staging area where Eric arrives and asks Keith to deal with the Aisha problem. He also collaborates with Locke to come up with a plan for dealing with Ben; Eric obviously wants Ben to survive, but Locke states that he will do whatever it takes to complete the mission. One odd part of this CTU operation is the fact that Keith is out in the field and actively part of the action; unless policies have changed, CTU Directors aren’t normally involved in tactical field missions. This leads me to believe that Keith will be killed at some point during the day due to his active role in the action.
Meanwhile, at the Donovan Campaign fundraiser, John explains to his father what Nilaa had to say about her involvement with the radical mosque. Rebecca calls Senator Donovan and gives him a heads up that she is on her way to question Nilaa, who is currently being taken into Secret Service custody. When Rebecca arrives, Senator Donovan shares what he has learned about Nilaa’s past. In a bedroom, Nilaa tells Rebecca that she has an alibi for the time when the identities of the Rangers were leaked to Bin-Khalid’s people; she states that she went for a jog when the information was leaked from her computer in the campaign headquarters. Not fully convinced, Rebecca states that she will need to verify Nilaa’s claim. This side of the story is definitely some of the most interesting, especially considering it directly connects to the main plot with Eric and the trouble that he is currently in.
Significant developments arise in the subplot at the high school where Mr. Harris and Amira try to cover up the “murder” of Drew. The situation becomes further complicated when another student wishes to enter the classroom and go over some questions; Mr. Harris is able to send the student away, but when he returns to the spot where Drew’s body lay, it is missing. Drew didn’t actually die, but rather was knocked out, managed to regain consciousness, climb out a window and run into the woods. Mr. Harris and Amira chase after him, but he makes it to the soccer field where he collapses behind the bleachers; the two try to move his body, but one of the soccer players kicks the ball over and spots Drew on the ground, prompting everyone to come over and inspect the scene. About 15 minutes later (is that really how long it took for an ambulance to respond to a serious injury at a school?), paramedics arrive and prepare to take Drew to the hospital. Amira tells Mr. Harris to finish making the compound before joining Drew in the back of the ambulance to “finish the job.” This particular storyline is also incredibly gripping, mostly due to the fact that it has been filled with twists and will likely continue to intensify as the terrorists become more powerful.
As Eric, Keith and Locke prepare for their mission in the field, Andy and Mariana hold things down at CTU. Andy helps Mariana locate the recording from Aisha’s phone to pass along to Nicole. There’s also a moment that clarifies why Andy and Locke broke up; Locke ended things because he believed that being in a same-sex relationship would hinder his chances at moving up in his career, a strong statement that touches on the issue of LGBTQ workplace discrimination in this country. Nicole is sent the recording, but is confronted by Aisha, who takes away her phone after becoming suspicious that she may be on to her. This prevents Nicole from being able to warn Isaac that he is walking right into a trap. Back in the field, Eric makes his way into the Metro station and calls Ben, who tells him to get on the train; he complies, but Locke follows closely behind and Keith’s tactical team drives alongside the train. On the train, Ben confronts Eric and checks to see if they’re being followed before sitting him down and attempting to persuade him to move away from D.C. with him to an area with glaciers. Eric reminds Ben that even if they do run away, they will never escape the mental difficulties associated with being a soldier; yet another powerful statement that addresses mental health, PTSD and the other issues that troops face after returning home.
Back at the Donovan mansion, Rebecca shows Nilaa ATM footage of her in a reflection near the campaign headquarters just moments before the information was leaked. Nilaa claims that the woman in the footage is not her, but Rebecca does not believe her. Henry meets with his brother-in-law, Luis (Daniel Zacapa), to discuss the fact that their plan to frame Nilaa has been successful. Yes, the mole is in fact Senator Donovan’s father and uncle and they doctored the ATM footage; talk about a plot twist. However, this is unusual as Henry seems to feel extreme guilt for what he has done, opening up the possibility that someone may be forcing his hand; typically conspiracies in the original series would keep expanding and revealing other players, think of Russian nesting dolls. While I initially believed Nilaa was innocent, this episode managed to change my opinion on her twice, reminding me of the fact that no one can be trusted. I also have to mention how thrilled I am that Gerald McRaney appears to be playing another political villain; his portrayal of Raymond Tusk in “House of Cards” still gives me chills.
After the train arrives, Eric and Ben make their way through the station to a secluded area where Eric demands that he hand over the flash drive. Ben removes the drive from a hole in the wall, but a group of hostiles arrive and begin shooting. Ben knocks Eric to the ground, grabs the money and runs down to the train platform as the CTU tactical team rushes in. Locke gets shot and Eric pursues Ben, killing some of the hostiles; there is one point during the gunfight where Eric shoots a terrorist multiple times even after he is on the ground, possibly confirming Nicole’s worry that Eric is missing the violence and killing. He makes his way down to the train platform, but Jadalla has arrived and stolen the drive before fleeing into the train tunnel. Eric follows and is forced against the side of the tunnel when a train comes roaring into the station. After the train passes, Eric follows Jadalla and his men out into the street where he dodges several cars, but is eventually hit by a vehicle and thrown flying to the ground, losing track of the terrorists.
THE CLOCK STRIKES 3:00 P.M.
The third hour of “24: Legacy” is definitely the most fast-paced and shocking, but also impactful. The characters are quickly becoming more riveting to watch as their development continues. Eric Carter once again proves that he is worthy of the title of “hero,” even with his own flaws and imperfections mixed in. I do hope that the writers have bigger things planned for Nicole besides sitting inside and dealing with Aisha’s shadiness; as more time passes, I get the feeling that she may get the Teri Bauer-treatment. The inclusion of CTU and its players helps to further develop the characters and give us insight into their personal lives; while I’m not crazy about Andy essentially being a male version of Chloe O’Brian, I do find his private drama with Locke to be an important aspect of the overall story. My major negative resides with the actions of Ben and his carelessness with the flash drive; some of this feels like overused plot devices to further the terrorist plans, making Ben seem more stupid than he probably is. Still, many questions leave me wanting to see more. Will Eric and CTU be able to retrieve the drive? Will Nicole be able to warn Isaac before it’s too late? Will Senator Donovan find out about his father’s betrayal? Be sure to tune in to the next episode of “24: Legacy” on Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX.