WARNING: FULL SPOILERS
What a difference a week makes.
After giving last week’s episode of 24: Legacy the lowest rating I have ever given a television episode or film, I had little hope for the seventh episode. But I forgot an important aspect of the season going forth: No more terrible terrorist cell story line!
24: Legacy has its strongest outing yet in its seventh hour. The episode is light on action and continues to add some unnecessary subplots, but it features some of the strongest character moments yet. With the troubling Amira character (Finally!) out of the way, the show can focus its energy on the task at hand: The threat of another terrorist strike.
As CTU deals with the aftermath of the bridge explosion, Eric (Corey Hawkins) enlists the help of Andy (Dan Bucatinsky) in his suicide mission to repair Jadalla’s (Raphael Acloque) damaged hard drive. Locke (Bailey Chase) tries to stop them, but the two succeed in freeing Nicole (Anna Diop) and Isaac (Ashley Thomas). Eric and Andy are now in Jadalla’s hands…
CTU has their own problems as Henry Donovan (Gerald McRaney) refuses to break, forcing Ingram (Miranda Otto) to call in a black ops team to kidnap the man and force him to talk. Led by the infamous Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), the team waits for Ingram’s order. She has second thoughts as John Donovan (Jimmy Smits) realizes something is amiss and tells her to wait for him. Will Henry break before Eric and Andy are killed?
An Old Friend and A New Relationship
Tony is back!
I am glad they did not try to surprise us with Tony’s return (Carlos Bernard has been on almost all promotional material), but his entrance is still very cool. While much calmer than the last time we saw him, Tony still exudes a quiet menace. The episode does a great job using the character’s reputation both in this fictional world and in the audience’s mind. As he sits there explaining exactly what he will do to Henry, you truly believe it.
Most will be buzzing about Tony’s return, but he is not the actual highlight here. Eric and Andy take center stage in this episode, and their grim journey to give in to Jadalla’s demands provides the most compelling drama Legacy has had.
The two deal with their fate in some powerful ways. Eric is grimly accepting of his possible death, while Andy is understandably shaken. The two play well off each other as well, with Andy looking for any silver lining and Eric gently reminding him of the odds. This will be a partnership worth seeing.
Hawkins continues to excel as the driven Eric Carter, nearly breaking down when he pleads for Andy’s help. Equally as convincing is when he seemingly threatens to kill Andy if Jadalla does not give up Nicole and Eric. He can go from zero to ninety at the drop of a hat and not in a bad way; it is intense but believable. Once again, Eric is very reminiscent of the best of Jack Bauer, while also having his own character.
On the other side, Dan Bucatinsky has some great moments too, showing us how much of a well-meaning every man Andy is. When he almost breaks down and tells Locke what is truly happening you hold your breath. But when he takes a look at the carnage from the last episode, you see a subtle (But not too subtle…he is an every man after all) look of determination take over and he says a truly heart felt goodbye. You instantly start rooting for the guy after that moment.
Eric’s choice to leave CTU in the dark once again still feels foolish, but at least this time it makes some sense. Eric has always been a hard driven character, a man who does what he feels must be done no matter the cost, so when his wife and family are threatened, his response is not that surprising. It is still rash, but at least the motivation is understandable.
Speaking of rash actions, Legacy takes an interesting…and more importantly different…take on “enhanced interrogation techniques.” While the show turns to one of its tried and true tropes, it actually pays attention to the ethical concerns. It does not dive into a torture scene like the original, which did this trope so often, it became tired.
Miranda Otto’s Ingram does turn to Almeida and his techniques, but she does struggle with the ramifications of it. She knows John will never stand for it and she is willing to accept the consequences and you can see her struggling with it. Not only is she torturing someone, it is somebody she loves. It is disappointing that we have this struggle with an American rather than a suspected terrorist, but that may be too heavy a subject for an action television series.
A nice dramatic side effect of the torture subplot is how the relationship between Ingram and John will fare when the situation resolves. Will John completely lose all respect for her? Will she? Unfortunately, their relationship is one of the few that works on Legacy.
The original 24 always had something of a hit and miss record when it came to portraying relationships and the same goes here. Eric and Nicole have the best and most realistic of any of the relationships for a variety of reasons, while some of the others poke holes in what is a solid episode.
Nicole continues to prove how strong a character she is and Anna Diop has everything to do with it. Thankfully, her interaction with Jadalla is not a chance for the villain to get expository (Unfortunately, that may come during Eric’s captivity next week), but more of a stand off. Acloque does some good work as well in the scene, providing some stoic mystery to his character. It is a nice little moment that could have been filler in lesser hands.
Nicole’s scenes with Isaac are less effective. While Ashley Thomas does a good job here confessing his love for Nicole, it feels incredibly unnecessary. At first, the confession comes off as a goodbye for the character, but then he survives. So he will still be around to bring this superfluous layer to Nicole’s character.
There are some intriguing points to the relationship between Andy and Locke. Bailey Chase’s Locke has always come off as a cold man, all business and totally dedicated to CTU and that continues here. I do not know if he actually cares for Andy or not, so his character is pretty tricky. So little time has been dedicated to their relationship, so that is part of the problem. But his goodbye just before Andy leaves came off as a bit manipulative, adding an interesting layer to the character and the relationship. Is he just a straight up agent playing an asset? It has my attention, at the very least.
And then there is the weird dynamics between Ingram, Tony and his partner Sidra (Moran Atias). First of all, we DO NOT need any kind of triangle here. Why were Tony and Ingram involved in the past? You know what, I honestly do not care because it has nothing to do with the plot. The moment Sidra shows up, you could almost call a “jealous girlfriend” subplot coming. Please, Legacy…stop right there.
Almost Got ‘Em
As Nicole tearfully says goodbye to Eric, it is actually a pretty effective scene…despite the fact that we know Legacy is not killing its main character in the seventh episode. That said, this episode shows just how well this show can work when its focus is singular. Corey Hawkins is the star of your show, use him.
Legacy has its hooks in me once again, it is just too bad it made me endure some very bad subplots to get to this spot. The less said about Amira and her terror cell, the better it is for my sanity.
Seriously, don’t ever mention her name again.
SCORE: 7 OUT OF 10
24: Legacy airs Mondays at 8:00pm on Fox