24: Legacy took an unfortunate trip down memory lane last night.
Despite the episode’s unoriginal plot development, it was a small improvement over the previous episode. Overall, it was well-paced and slowly built to the action-packed climax. However, the show’s problems remain, including little use of Tony Almeida.
Back at the interrogation site, Tony Almeida had little to do, which again highlighted his notable lack of screen time. As I have said before, bringing back such a big character to a successful series requires a good story, filling in background gaps and enough screen time to do that. However, Almeida has had few lines and little use. In this episode, we see him tell Rebecca, with whom he was previously involved, to take care of herself. This seems to be a set up to something larger in a future episode. But, viewers need to know the Tony/Rebecca background BEFORE whatever climatic moment is coming.
At CTU, Jadalla Bin Khalid is subjected to a forgettable interrogation. It is soon revealed that Naseri has kidnapped the girlfriend of a CTU security officer in hopes of using that to break into CTU and recover Jadalla. This storyline presents a few problems. The promo for this week’s episode gave away the attack on CTU and left little to be thrilled about. Also, this plot device of attacking CTU has been used many times before on 24, including season 2, 5, 6 and 8. I rolled my eyes at this.
The setup to the entire Naseri plot to date has been sudden and incoherent. After the terrorists capture Donovan, Naseri tells Jadalla that he was a top aide in the Khalid organization. But, there is no emotional motivation for Naseri’s insertion into the plot and no stated terrorist goal. The writers just conveniently inserted him into the plot after Jadalla was captured.
This episode was a perfect example of the season’s problems. The show has failed to find its core purpose that the original series had – Jack Bauer’s constant battle to keep his humanity while protecting the country from terrorist attacks. 24: Legacy has failed to structure the threat plot and emotional engagement enough around Eric Carter for viewers to feel truly engaged with the show.
Anybody catch the name of the company the terrorists used to get into CTU? Terradyne. That was the name of the subsidiary that was used to make the nerve gas in season 5. Connection to 24: Legacy? We’ll see.
-This season has featured a few moments that are described with dialogue but not seen on screen. It’s a device the writers are obviously forced to use to meet the constraints of the 12-hour format. Still, it may be jarring for viewers and make them believe they missed a moment of the episode.
-The scene during which Senator Donovan is kidnapped was staged badly. The physical reactions of Donovan didn’t look like a man who was trying to avoid gunfire and kidnapping after his security guards are killed.