The final two episodes make several classic "24" moves while setting the stage for a second season.
Spoiler Warning for the final hours of “24: Legacy,” as well as all previous seasons of the original series.
THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 10:00 P.M. AND 11:00 P.M.
EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME.
First off, I would like to apologize for missing last week; end of the semester duties take precedence over “24: Legacy” unfortunately. This review will cover the final two episodes of the season. What an uneven 12 hours this has been, starting off strong before fizzling out in the middle and dragging to an explosive final few episodes. The longest day of Eric Carter’s life has been filled with many twists and turns, but also speed bumps and random events. While the show’s future is still uncertain, the first season is plenty of fun even with its problems.
Following the climactic showdown at the abandoned football field, Eric and Senator Donovan come to terms with the fact that Rebecca has been abducted. John confronts Eric about his inability to keep Rebecca safe, clearly in shock from the traumatic past few hours. Without any real lead, Eric enlists the help of Andy and CTU to see if there is any way to track Bin-Khalid. Of course, some drama arises, when Director Simms phones Keith to tell him that a man named Daniel Pang (C.S. Lee) will be arriving to oversee CTU’s operations. This obviously bothers Keith, but his hands are completely tied; that is until Andy pulls him aside to alert him to something shady he has discovered. Andy has worked his skills and found a link between Director Simms and Naseri; the daughter of Naseri is being held in a house somewhere in the DC area, apparently in an undercover operation commanded by Simms. Eric heads up the operation to investigate Simms with the help of Senator Donovan, because of the small fact that Simms works in the Pentagon; Eric obviously realizes that he can’t just stroll into the Pentagon, but John has special access as a Senator.
At CTU, Andy and Mariana quickly come up with a cover story and manipulate an identification card to allow Eric to disguise himself as a Secret Service agent. There’s some tension as Eric’s newly forged ID doesn’t work right away at Pentagon security, but he ultimately gets in. Before Eric and Senator Donovan arrive, however, Director Simms puts in a call to Tony, asking him to collect Naseri’s daughter and transport her away; this is part of Simms’ plan of removing himself from his failed operation. Eric and John enter Simms’ office only to pull a gun on him and hold him hostage, demanding answers and the location of Naseri’s daughter. Director Simms doesn’t budge, but Eric is able to find out where the daughter is being held. With Naseri linked up with Bin-Khalid, Eric reasons that he will be able to trade the daughter for Rebecca, effectively revealing where the terrorists are holed up. This is still “24” though and nothing every goes as planned.
Meanwhile, Rebecca isn’t in the best position as she is thrown into the back of a van, bound and gagged. Bin-Khalid holds steady on his plan of executing Rebecca live on the Internet, even though their first attempt failed and Jadalla was killed in the process. Rebecca knows that she cannot allow herself to go down like that so she takes matters into her own hands (literally) and uses glass from a broken bottle to slit her wrists. Naseri and the others quickly find Rebecca bleeding out and do everything they can to save her; I don’t know how, but she actually survived this seemingly fatal wound. This is what separates this kidnapping storyline from those in previous seasons; Rebecca isn’t a victim, but rather a soldier, one that is willing to commit suicide rather than being used as a pawn in the evil games of the terrorists.
Eric manages to locate the house where Naseri’s daughter is being held; he takes down the two guards and finds the young girl in a makeshift cell inside the house. Of course, this rescue operation isn’t as easy as it seems and the arrival of a crew of gunmen complicates the situation. This is complicated even further when it is revealed that the gunmen are led by Tony, who is carrying out Simms’ orders. The episode wraps up with everyone stepping up to the plate; Senator Donovan holds Director Simms at gunpoint and demands that he end Tony’s operation, but he refuses and John knocks him out. Back at CTU, Keith realizes that Daniel is about to discover the undercover mission that he is manning and knocks him out as well. A cliffhanger ends the episode as Tony yells at Eric to give up Naseri’s daughter.
THE CLOCK STRIKES 11:00 P.M.
THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 11:00 P.M. AND 12:00 P.M.
EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME.
Well folks, we’ve finally reached the last hour, actually the last thirteen hours, of “24: Legacy.” Eric Carter is racing to stop terrorists, all the while receiving help from CTU as the clock ticks on. This finale just might be the best of the season and perfectly sets up the next day, should FOX choose to renew the series. Will the bad guys win or will good conquer all?
Following the dramatic cliffhanger at the end of last episode, we finally get to see the showdown between Tony and Eric. This places the viewer in a difficult position; do we root for our current hero or one that we’ve been following for ten seasons now? Of course, Eric’s success is crucial to the nation’s security, but I couldn’t help wanting Tony to win, or at least not die. While I have made it clear that I believe Tony’s role in “Legacy” has been complete fan service, I will say that this fight scene definitely added to his return; seeing Tony kick ass really is quite epic. Meanwhile at the Pentagon, Senator Donovan repeatedly demands that Director Simms call off Tony’s operation to no luck. John decides to call Tony himself and explain the situation with Rebecca, utilizing the clear feelings that Tony still has for her. John is hit with a bombshell when Simms reveals to him that Rebecca was heavily involved in the kidnapping of Naseri’s daughter. Tony allows Eric to leave with Naseri’s daughter before exiting the series himself; Tony’s storyline this season comes to an end in a rather anti-climatic fashion.
The monitors at CTU are plastered with images from Bin-Khalid’s live broadcast of Rebecca’s impending execution. There is clear terror as Andy, Keith and the others watch their beloved colleague being put through this ordeal. Thankfully, the situation takes a turn as Naseri’s daughter tells Eric her father’s phone number; I have absolutely no clue why he would still be using the same phone number considering he is on the run from the law. Eric dials the number and Naseri answers, moving away to a quiet area as Bin-Khalid continues to read off Rebecca’s crimes. With Naseri’s daughter as leverage, Eric threatens to take drastic measures if he doesn’t comply. A flip is switched inside Naseri and he interrupts the live broadcast to kill some of the terrorists and subdue Bin-Khalid. Eric and Naseri get back in contact and set up a plan that includes the daughter being turned over to the Jordanian Embassy and Rebecca being freed, but Eric knows this is his final chance to eliminate the combatants, once and for all.
This is where the situation really escalates quickly as Eric meets up with Naseri and Keith flies the daughter to the embassy. One of Naseri’s demands is that he is allowed to view his daughter’s safe passage into the embassy via video chat; once she is safely in Jordanian custody, he releases Rebecca to Eric, but Bin-Khalid’s wrath has one final deadly result. Using a gun, Bin-Khalid fires several shots, hitting Naseri and prompting Rebecca to cover Eric, only to be shot herself. Eric finishes Bin-Khalid off before tending to Rebecca’s chest gunshot wound. An ambulance arrives to the scene and transports Rebecca to a local hospital; Eric rides along and Rebecca offers some moving advice, encouraging him to do what he loves and follow his heart. Word gets to Senator Donovan, who lashes out at Director Simms, telling him that his involvement will see the light of day soon. John rushes to the hospital as Rebecca is wheeled in; he reunites with Eric as doctors and nurses treat Rebecca, but they are ultimately too late. John and Eric are completely shell shocked as Rebecca flat lines; the signature silent clock appears to honor Rebecca as the heart rate monitor rings out.
Much like “24: Live Another Day,” the real-time aspect is abandoned for the final ten minutes as the story fast-forwards twelve hours to around 11:50 a.m., complete with a picturesque sunrise to ring in the new day. Senator Donovan sits in the morgue with the now deceased Rebecca. Nilaa interrupts John’s mourning to remind him about his phone call with the party leader. She also tells him that Henry has arrived and wishes to see him; following a bumpy twenty-four hours, the father and son are reunited, although under somber circumstances. Henry explains that John’s poll numbers have increased and that he should consider staying in the race, but John realizes that this is likely only the result of Rebecca’s death. Henry takes a few moments to share his guilt for the deaths and chaos he contributed to, even offering to turn himself in if John wishes. In a last minute twist, an FBI agent arrives to tell John that Director Simms committed suicide in his office, not long after he left; this opens up the possibility of a major scandal storyline for Season 2, especially considering John chooses to remain in the presidential race. The day comes to an end in an uplifting way as Eric reunites with Nicole and explains that he wishes to stay in this line of work. Nicole really surprises me in this moment as she states that she is willing to make things work and stand beside Eric, so long as they both promise to be honest with each other moving forward; thankfully they didn’t go they predictable route of making Nicole leave Eric or die, like I originally predicted. The Carter Family seems to be okay, but will Isaac throw a wrench into things next season?
THE CLOCK STRIKES 12:00 P.M.
“24: Legacy” is not a perfect season, but it really is an enjoyable ride that maintains the classic feel of the original series, even if it doesn’t do much to separate itself. These final two episodes prove that the show can be great if the focus remains on telling gripping character stories while delivering pulse-pounding action. I have enjoyed Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter and I truly believe this actor and character were the right choices to carry the franchise into the future. The death of Rebecca is heartbreaking, but necessary for the future of the series; this finale loss is similar to the death of Jack Bauer’s wife Teri in the first season’s final few seconds. Miranda Otto brought a lot to the character and the season and her presence will definitely be missed. Other strong characters include Andy and Mariana, both really impressing me these past few episodes; I do hope that they are given more to do moving forward. At the time of publishing, FOX has yet to make a formal announcement about the future of “24: Legacy.” Based on the first season, I definitely believe the series should be renewed, especially with the twelve-episode format. Once the decision is made, this post will be updated, but until then, the clock rests.