24: Legacy is slowing improving and seem to be getting back to basics.
Last nights episode ratcheted up the action, pace and energy over the series to a level not seen in the first two episodes. In fairness though, the first few episodes of the original series were sometimes bumpy and slow because it takes a while to build the foundation of a great story. It also takes a long time for viewers to becomes emotionally invested in new characters.
Despite the better story and character development,the writers are continuing to delve further into the dreadful high school plot.
The episode resumed with Eric Carter trapped inside the police station, cutoff from CTU support and looking for an escape route. Carter showed some ingenuity and creativity by using the breaching charge he made to escape the police station. Carter continued to establish himself as a unique character living outside the shadow of Jack Bauer when he peacefully talked his way out of the short hostage situation with the police after escaping the evidence room.
However, the show continued to rely on forced plot turns, which were too frequent in the old series, to advance the high school/terrorist plot. While the overall idea of this subplot was not believable, it did show signs of life and importance during the last episode. Reviving the deceased student seemed forced, uncreative and not necessary to ratcheting up the pressure on the characters to follow through on their terrorist goals.
The strongest moments of the episode came with the Carter/Grimes/sleeper cell list plot, which gave viewers the deepest emotional and creative moments of the series. With Carter continuing to pursue the sleeper cell list from Grimes, we see the pair rekindle their emotional bond, in an authentic way, while riding the train to the metro station. The conversation has the two friends recalling the strengths of their bond and feeling the tension of their frayed relationship.
The Senator Donovan storyline is developing in a creative, satisfying way. The writers previously led us to believe Donovan’s campaign manager is a terrorist, but it turns out that was a misdirection of the kind 24 loves to do.
Also, the show ended with a fantastic action scene with Carter and CTU agents attempting to recover the list from Grimes inside a metro station. One of 24’s greatest strengths has always been elaborate action scenes. The episode ends with the list in the hands of the terrorists and Grimes injured.
One gripe with the final action scene – a few camera shots of Carter pursuing the terrorists outside the station were poorly edited. The director was obviously trying to show off a unique cinematography method but edited the shots together too quickly.
Overall, 24: Legacy is beginning to feel like the better parts of the old series – multiple storylines advancing separately with a mix of creative action and intrigue that keeps viewers hooked.