Spoiler Warning for the seventh hour of “24: Legacy,” as well as all previous seasons of the original series.
THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 6:00 P.M. AND 7:00 P.M.
EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME
The first few hours of “24: Legacy” haven’t exactly been perfect, but have managed to pull fans back into the world of “24,” with plenty of twists and turns. Now in its seventh hour, the season places itself on a new level, driving up the intensity and making the viewers care about the many different characters. However, several problems do exist in this episode, preventing it from being as effective as it could have been. The return of an iconic character from the original series does help to make up for the problems though.
With the country still reeling from the attack on the George Washington Bridge, CTU prepares for their response to the crisis. With Henry still not responding to their questions, Rebecca decides that a drastic approach must be taken; by “drastic” I mean implementing the old methods of torture that CTU used before it was decommissioned and reopened. Keith agrees with Rebecca, but they both decide to distract Senator Donovan to shield him from any blowback, should the plan go sideways. Rebecca slips away and makes a phone call to none other than Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) to tell him to initiate a plan of kidnapping Henry and transporting him to a black site for “enhanced interrogation.” Considering the last time Tony was seen was during a special feature short for the “24: Live Another Day” Blu-Ray, wherein he is shown in prison following the events of Day 7, it is truly incredible to have him back on screen. However, Tony isn’t the main focus of this episode as the narrative shifts to Eric who is concocting a plot to rescue Nicole and Isaac.
By setting Andy’s car alarm off and drawing him into the parking garage, Eric lures Andy into his dangerous plan of complying with Jadalla’s demands. The twist is that Eric doesn’t actually want Andy to repair the flash drive, but rather destroy it, effectively ending the entire crisis. This raises a red flag in Andy’s mind as he realizes that this is most likely a suicide mission, something that he isn’t fully comfortable with. By referencing the fact that thousands of lives can be saved, Eric manages to convince Andy to head back into CTU to collect the necessary materials to create a virus that will destroy the flash drive. Looking incredibly suspicious, Andy gathers everything that he needs and has a heart-to-heart with Locke before meeting back up with Eric. Seeing the aftermath of Amira’s terrorist attack is incredibly reminiscent of some of the successful attacks from the original series, including the Valencia nuclear explosion on Day 6; while CTU normally manages to stop attacks before they happen, things become really chaotic when they fail.
In an unknown location, Jadalla and his men hold Nicole and Isaac. There is a touching bit of development for Isaac as he reveals to Nicole that she made the right choice when she decided to marry Eric; he also states that he was wrong to view her as an item that was stolen from him rather than a woman capable of making her own choice. This emotional moment is broken up when a few of the terrorists come and collect Nicole to bring her to Jadalla, who is in need of medical attention for a gunshot wound on his arm (Maybe it is because of how much is going on, but I honestly do not remember him getting shot). As Nicole uses her skills as a nurse to treat the absolutely disgusting wound on his arm, Jadalla explains that he will kill Eric the first chance that he gets. Nicole stands up for her husband and states that Jadalla better not miss, because Eric sure won’t. You can go ahead and add this to the list of reasons as to why I believe Nicole is a total badass just waiting for her moment to shine; the same goes for Isaac, who totally impressed me this episode in more ways than one.
Back at CTU, Senator Donovan has a brief moment with Rebecca as they discuss the horrific attack that has just taken place. In an effort to keep him busy, Rebecca tells John that she would like for him to be debriefed again. This will hopefully keep him from realizing that Henry is being taken away from CTU to be tortured. At the same time, Henry makes a phone call to Luis to alert him to the fact that he is being released and will be home soon. Keith asks Rebecca about who she has set up to interrogate Henry, but she is hesitant to reveal the identity for fear of incriminating him. After he demands that she tell him, Rebecca states that she has enlisted Tony Almeida; this worries Keith due to the fact that Tony is technically a criminal whose actions led to several lives being lost on Day 7. There is an odd bit of dialogue where they both agree that Tony is a good choice after all because of the fact that he has no link to CTU; unless they are referring to the current organization, this is a complete factual error as Tony not only worked for CTU, but he was also the Director of CTU: Los Angeles for a period of time. In the future, I hope that the writers are aware of the full events leading up to “24: Legacy” as the hardcore fans will definitely be able to call out errors such as this.
Tony is thrown back into the action as he and his team stage an ambush on Henry’s car using some type of gas to knock him and his driver unconscious. They return to the black site where Rebecca is waiting; this seems like a major inconsistency to the timeline as Rebecca somehow managed to get to this location in a matter of minutes and before Henry, who left quite a while before her. This is just one of many cases in this episode where the “real time” aspect goes out the window and characters are able to transport from point A to point B in little to no time; while this happened several times in the original series, it is much more noticeable in this particular episode and really takes me out of the overall intensity of the moment when it happens. Still, there is a significant development as Tony and Rebecca reunite, revealing to the audience that they had a romantic relationship not long after Tony’s wife and ex-CTU agent Michelle Dessler was killed; I’m glad that we got a little callback to the great relationship that existed between Tony and Michelle before they were literally ripped apart in a tragic explosion. Tony is forced to explain his connection to Rebecca to his associate and possible lover Sidra (Moran Atias), who I can already tell is going to annoy me. After he continues his to plead his innocence, the torture of Henry officially begins as special chemicals are pumped into him. While I am against torture in real life, there is an odd sense of satisfaction that I get when the bad guys on this show feel the wrath of our heroes.
At the top of the CTU parking garage, Andy continues to work on the virus, but Locke appears and demands to know what is going on. He holds Andy and Eric at gunpoint and states that he hasn’t been blind to the shady activities that have been taking place. Andy tells Locke the plan, but he isn’t satisfied and expresses his fear that everything will go wrong. A crazy fight erupts between Eric and Locke, but Andy stops everything by pulling a gun and threatening to pull the trigger. This drastically changes the relationship between Locke and Andy, a coupling that I wasn’t too interested in initially, but now serves as a strong motivator for the actions of both characters; it no longer feels like filler material to pad the runtime, but now actually feels like a gripping and complicated dynamic that will likely continue to develop moving forward. Andy and Eric tie Locke up and decide to call Jadalla to let him know that they’re on the way. Eric is allowed to briefly speak with Nicole and Jadalla tells them of a meeting spot. Inside CTU, the debriefing becomes frustrating to Senator Donovan and he demands to speak with Rebecca after receiving a call from Luis alerting him to the fact that Henry has been released. By way of Keith, John finally gets in contact with Rebecca, who comes clean about the situation and promises to not start the interrogation until he arrives at the black site.
The sun begins to set and the nighttime hours officially begin as Eric and Carter arrive at the meet spot in a junkyard. Andy is obviously a nervous wreck, but stands firm in his decision to go through with the mission. In the back of a van, Isaac confesses to Nicole that he has always loved her and that he always will; this is him speaking as though he is about to be killed, fully opening his heart to Nicole. Jadalla arrives with his two hostages in tow, but some tension erupts as Eric pulls a gun on Andy and threatens to shoot while demanding that his wife and brother are released immediately. Jadalla complies and allows Nicole and Isaac to reunite with Eric in a highly emotional sequence, but one that drags on a bit too long, especially considering they are in the middle of a standoff; Jadalla and his men are some patient terrorists, I guess. Nicole is heartbroken when she realizes that Eric is not coming with them, but instead going with Jadalla. Eric and Isaac have a great moment together as they apologize for the years that they have lost because of their drama; Eric also asks that Isaac take care of Nicole when he’s gone. As Andy and Eric get into the terrorists’ van, Jadalla orders one of his men to track down Nicole and Isaac and kill them. Will they make it to CTU before they are killed or has Eric just made a grave mistake in trusting Jadalla? With CTU’s priority being on breaking Henry and dealing with the crisis, Isaac and Nicole may just be on their own.
THE CLOCK STRIKES 7:00 P.M.
This hour of “24: Legacy,” along with the previous episode are by far the best of the season. By further developing the characters, the viewers are actually given reason to care when they are in danger. The emotional moments among the Carter family and between Andy and Locke are some of the highlights; I am still wondering if CTU will notice that their Head of Field Ops has gone missing though. The return of Tony Almeida is the other highlight of the episode, but it seems as though he won’t be a central focus of the season, which makes me believe that he may have only been brought in to boost ratings and generate buzz. Still, having one of the original badasses back does help to put the season on a new level and make “24: Legacy” feel more like it exists in the same universe as the first nine seasons, even if the writers can’t seem to get the facts right. With the fear of another attack looming and with Andy and Eric now in the custody of Jadalla, will anyone be able to foil the sinister plots? The hope just may lie in whatever Tony is able to get from Henry. What will the 7 o’clock hour hold? Be sure to tune in to “24: Legacy” next Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX.