Carlos Bernard returns as Tony Almeida. It’s a very uninspired return, as 24: LEGACY resorts to desperate measures from all of our characters to stop Jadalla bin-Khalid (Raphael Acloque). We are seven episodes deep with still no forward momentum as we watch Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) and Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) become less and less the heroes of the show as they take some desperate measures to get what they want.
Let’s start with Eric. I’ll keep this as concise as possible, as there is a scene I wanna break down hard due to a specific moment. With no options left, Eric baits Andy Shalowitz (Dan Bucatinsky) by setting his car alarm off and grabbing him from behind as if he was either going to mug him or kill him (one of the many baffling moves Eric makes this episode). Eric explains to Andy that he needs him to destroy the flash drive of sleeper cells that Jadalla bin-Khalid has. Eric explains that Jadalla has Nicole (Anna Diop) and Issac (Ashley Thomas) and will kill them if he does not get someone from CTU to repair the drive. Eric tells Andy it’s a one-way trip and after making a small speech about the nation, Andy figures he might as well die a patriot rather than stay sidelined at CTU by Keith Mullins (Teddy Sears). Before leaving CTU, Andy gives Thomas Locke (Bailey Chase) an emotional farewell and wishes their relationship had turned out different. As Eric and Andy head to Jadalla, Andy writes the code to the virus which is taking more time than Eric thought. As they’re pulled over on the side of the road, Locke tracks them down and holds Eric at gunpoint after Andy’s suspicious actions upon leaving CTU. After Andy explains their plan, Locke is not too fond of it and holds them. Eric then attacks Locke and gets the upper hand. With Andy holding Locke at gunpoint Eric ties him up and leaves him zip-tied to a pipe. After contacting Jadalla, he gets his coordinates and heads over to him with Andy and the virus in tow. As the two men arrive, Jadalla’s people confirm that they’re alone. Jadalla arrives shortly with Nicole and Issac. Eric now holding Andy at gunpoint demands that Jadalla lets go of his family to which he complies. As Issac and Nicole escape, Eric and Andy hand themselves over to Jadalla. Jadalla then tells his men to go recapture Nicole and Issac and kill them.
Okay, so I’ve completely lost faith in Eric after he turned the gun on Andy threatening to kill him if Nicole and Issac weren’t let go first. How am I supposed to root for this guy when he’s not only ready to kill an innocent man but one who was willing to help him by giving his life away to save people who are not important to him. On top of that, Eric’s goodbyes to both Issac and Nicole were overly melodramatic and unrealistically long. I’m left wondering why would Jadalla let this play out as long as it did on top of the emotions not hitting to make the scene heartfelt rather than cheesy. Eric was able to monologue twice in what was a five-minute scene felt about ten minutes. And even five minutes is not realistic as for why would a ruthless terrorist let this play out for as long as it did. My other question was after getting Andy, why didn’t Jadalla kill Eric? I’m seriously confused as to what he benefits from keeping him alive other than the narrative deems it so as he’s the main character. With that how does Issac know where CTU is when Eric demands he goes to CTU for protection? I’m pretty sure that CTU wouldn’t have their headquarters public.
Rebecca and Keith are desperate to get answers after the attack on the George Washington Bridge. And with her father-in-law, Henry Donovan (Gerald McRaney) not confessing to the crimes he’s complicit with, she gets permission from Keith to use “enhanced interrogation” (in 24’s world this means torture, another slippery slope this show has never handled well) with Keith releasing Henry from CTU custody. Rebecca then contacts Tony Almedia, with whom she shares a past romantic relationship with. Tony and his team get Henry’s location on his way home and intercept to make it look like a rogue black ops team has him captured. Upon reaching their site Tony reveals himself to Henry who wants to know how he’s involved with the attack and Jadalla. Henry continuing to deny this leaves Tony no option but to start a painful process that he promises will only get worse.
Meanwhile, John Donovan (Jimmy Smits) is being debriefed and gets word that his father has not made it home. With Keith being threatened by John with an Attorney General visit, Keith calls Rebecca who tells him to put her husband on the phone. Rebecca reassures her husband that nothing will happen to Henry, clearly lying to John about Henry’s well-being.
My biggest question about how Tony was out and about I had to Google. Last time we saw him on this show, he was being taken away into FBI custody over the many crimes he committed during the seventh season. Tony managed to escape from prison as seen in a DVD extra on the Live Another Day release (reading all that was ridiculous by the way). In the time of his escape and from when Rebecca contacted him, he managed to assemble a team of mercenaries capable of taking down a Senator’s heavily guarded father within three minutes. He also managed to have a relationship with Rebecca while she was the head of CTU and he was known wanted criminal. I’m baffled by all of this but okay. I’m also baffled that Rebecca has Tony on speed dial seeing as he’s probably a wanted criminal. Anyways, it’s cool to see Carlos Bernard again even if none of this makes a lick sense.
Rebecca is starting to slide into unlikable territory as well. She’s lying to her husband and is about to torture a man senior citizen, even if the elderly gentleman is despicable himself. One of the means of being a hero is not stooping to the level of the villains, and 24: Legacy is having both Eric and Rebecca stoop down to their levels. I also have to mention how nonexistent the chemistry between Miranda Otto and Jimmy Smits is. They’re hugs are just as painful as me hugging an ex-girlfriend and I gotta say hour seven’s hug was very, very awkward.
Still, there have been worse episodes of this show. We don’t have to go back to Amira and high school anymore, we don’t have to cut back to badly written storyline set in the projects, even if Issac declared his love for Nicole (c’mon man that’s your brother’s wife) and best of all we cut back and forth to two interlocking narratives instead of the disparate stories we were treated to. With five episodes left, we’re getting closer to this becoming a more cohesive whole.
Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
24: Legacy airs Mondays at 8PM on Fox
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor