WARNING: FULL SPOILERS
Oh 24: Legacy…
The show’s tenth hour has some strong moments that could have made it the strongest episode yet. Corey Hawkins continues to prove he is too good for this, bringing some serious dramatic chops to the show. Eric Carter’s dogged determination and his struggle to choose between a peaceful life and the desire to finish things once and for all make for some compelling television. In addition, some interesting twists are added for Carter to play with as the show comes to its final episodes
But 24: Legacy just cannot help itself, nearly derailing the show with the incomprehensible twist that Jadalla’s father is still alive and basically switching one kidnap victim for another as Ingram (Miranda Otto) trades places with John Donovan (Jimmy Smits). The imagination needed to revive this show is in short supply here.
A Fractured Theme
Where do I start when it comes to the Bin-Khalid reveal?
True, it is shocking to see the oft-spoken of terrorist leader, but it completely under cuts everything that has happened. Bin-Khalid reveals everything was simply a ploy to ensure Jadalla (Raphael Acloque) was completely behind the “cause.” It is a completely ridiculous reason. Did Legacy realize how terrible this twist was by placing it early in the episode? The placement of appearance is pretty telling.
It could have been an interesting father and son theme as last week’s episode saw Henry Donovan (Gerald McRaney) clashing with John regarding staying in the presidential race. Legacy is obviously a theme in the show, it is in the name after all. Normally, bringing Bin-Khalid in would be an interesting avenue, especially with what happened between John and Henry.
But how does it tie in with Eric Carter’s story?
Eric’s father is nowhere to be seen. His determination has nothing to do with his own legacy, he simply wants to end the threat once and for all. Introducing this theme so late into the season feels like a poorly thought out attempt at a shock. Legacy only has a couple of episodes to flesh out Bin-Khalid now that Jadalla is dead. This just does not feel right on any level.
And the senior Bin-Khalid’s presence completely negates any impact Jadalla or Naseri (Oded Fehr) should have. Legacy tries to escalate the danger with the reveal, but we never have any time with either of the previous villains. Jadalla has been an intriguing villain, but those terrible subplots from the first half of the season took away any development for the character. We hear why Naseri is dangerous, but we never really see it.
I know there is a prequel of sorts that shows the raid that supposedly killed Bin Khalid, but not everyone saw that. Giving him some admittedly gnarly scars is just not enough to give the villain a sense of danger. Especially when Bin-Khalid relies on the tired trope of kidnapping (THE FOURTH TIME THIS SEASON!!!) once again.
Best Laid Plans
As much as I object to Jadalla’s death, it would have been disappointing to have him slip through Eric’s hands once again. It is a bit of a relief to see Eric finally bring some closure to his hunt for redemption. This is mostly because he is one of the only characters worth rooting for here.
Eric has a lot to do in this episode and the strongest moments surround him. Some might decry Nicole’s decision to confront Eric about his future in CTU in the middle of the crisis, but it actually works. Anna Diop has been somewhat sidelined in recent episodes, but she once again gives Nicole convincing strength in this moment. I loved how she acknowledges that this is a bad time, but it is conversation that needed to happen. Nicole never sounds whiny at any point…in fact, I actually agree with her reasoning. What is Eric and Nicole’s future? He obviously cannot let the “life” go.
Unfortunately, this conversation leads to a return to the awful love triangle with Isaac (Ashley Thomas). He says he will turn things around and he would welcome her into his new life. The moment is awkwardly placed and once again feels shoe-horned…Nicole does not need to have another man waiting for her on to be “happy.” The drama between her and Eric is more than enough. I am rooting for Eric and Nicole not because it is compelling drama, but because I want something better for Nicole.
Eric has better synergy with Ingram, but not in a romantic way. The two share a dogged determination to get things done no matter the cost. In last week’s review, I groaned when it looked like Eric and Ingram were going rogue yet again. But their decision actually makes sense in this episode mostly because of the professional chemistry the two have.
When Ingram decides to trade herself for John, it starts out feeling like yet another “going rogue” 24 moment. However, I like how Eric’s decision to help her is fueled by that conversation he has with Nicole over their future. He sees a chance to end everything in one fell swoop and he jumps at it. It is so well done.
Eric and Ingram’s conversation on the way to the hostage exchange is amazingly done as well. Once again, Eric is unable to completely deny that he needs “this,” the constant danger. Otto keeps Ingram mostly subdued but supportive. There is a strength to her expression during this scene, as she simply lets Eric try to make his own decision. She never begs him to take that position in CTU.
Plus we get a pretty cool chase scene! I love how Eric dives out of the still moving truck to get the drop on the cops chasing them. It is pretty inventive, and it shows just how well Ingram and Eric work together.
Which makes Ingram’s capture even more frustrating. It sounds weird, but I would have actually liked to have seen her die in that field. It would have been a natural ending to her story, especially given her determination not to be used as a pawn in Bin-Khalid’s cause. It would have been cool to see John deal with his wife’s death. Would he go down the more “extreme” road in the name of revenge?
No, it is a simple exchange of hostages. It probably means Miranda Otto will be forced to spout cliched “Us versus Them” dialogue with the villains. Kidnapping story lines can only go so far…How many shots do you think we will get of a bound and gagged Ingram looking determined? All those shots of a tied up Donovan were freaking boring…now we are going to see that with Ingram, one of Legacy’s more compelling characters? Really?
The one good thing out of this? Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) is back in play. I was critical of the romantic past between Tony and Ingram, but in hindsight, it makes sense. The cynical former agent now has a reason to get involved.
An intriguing subplot is introduced in this episode as Andy (Dan Bucatinsky) discovers a possible link between Bin-Khalid’s men and the Director of National Intelligence Simpson (Basically the guy who has been bossing Mullins around). Add this to Naseri’s revealing that Ingram may have been involved in the deaths of several innocents, and you could have an interesting storyline.
But honestly, it is hard to care.
Knowing Legacy, it will probably be revealed that Simpson only did whatever he did because his daughter was kidnapped.
Kidnapping and torture, torture and kidnapping.
SCORE: 6 OUT OF 10
24: Legacy airs Mondays at 8pm on Fox