24: Legacy Struggles To Find A Focus

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24: Legacy, unsurprisingly, lost a lot of momentum during Monday night’s episode. 

The episode started quickly with Senator Donovan’s aide, Nilla, being questioned about her involvement in leaking the identities of the Army Rangers to the terrorists, but the episode quickly devolved into filler as the writers clearly struggled to set up a new terrorist plot for Carter and others to stop. 

In fairness, the old 24 series, often had to reset the plot and start a new story arc after several episodes. That takes time, viewer patience and creativity. Writing a 24 episodes of an action thriller, or even 12-episodes, is incredibly difficult in the real time format. Most of the time, 24  accomplished plot resets elegantly, especially in seasons 1, 2, 5 and 7.

The story’s main plot became its biggest liability. Senator Donovan learns his father, Henry, was the person who leaked the Rangers’ names to the terrorists. Henry explains that the terrorists learned his company had bought oil from ISIS and used that information to blackmail him to gain the Rangers’ names. Henry says he leaked the names and framed Nilla in order to stop his son’s campaign from imploding. That explanation stretches credulity and lacks creativity, even by 24 standards. 

Issac Carter’s drug dealing storyline continued with Nicole finally warning him about the plot to kill him. This plot, at least right now, is completely unconnected from the main storyline and serves no creative purpose for telling Eric Carter’s story or developing his character. 

Nicole got an action scene though when she held Issac’s drug associates at gunpoint to save herself. Nicole was quickly arrested immediately afterward, and in a totally totally unbelievable twist, Issac bribed two officers to let Nicole go again. That silly twist gutted the dramatic impact of her action scene. 

The episode hit a low point when Amira murdered her high school friend in an attempt to kept her terror plot concealed. In episode 2, it looked as if this subplot was moving toward the main storyline but it diverted into the needless black hole.

Back in the Eric Carter storyline, Carter arrives at CTU and proposes a way to capture the terrorists and stop the plot – using a weapons system blueprint as bait to lure the terrorists into a trap and arrest them. The proposal is straight out of the classic 24 playbook and unsurprisingly, CTU Director Mullins nixes it. As if she was channeling Jack Bauer, Rebecca Ingram tasks CTU analyst Andy with getting the plans to give to Carter and execute the capture plan. The twist is a recycling of at least one 24 story device during which Bauer obtains a list of undercover agents and uses it to lure a villain to her arrest. 

Overall, Monday’s episode dragged, had little plot progress and had no character development and reused some old 24 story devices. At the moment, the story shows no hope of recovering quickly because Eric Carter teamed up with Grimes again to recover the same list that Grimes last and failed to recover with Carter’s help over the last four episodes. 

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Author: Ryan Grannan-Doll

Ryan Grannan-Doll is a former reporter with a passion for storytelling on television. He developed a TV obsession after becoming hooked on the first season of 24. Since then, he has watched many great television series including, Breaking Bad, NYPD BLUE, Better Call Saul, Burn Notice, Mad Men, The West Wing and others.

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