When I first began this blog, I asked whether the reboot of the show could tell new stories of battling terrorism with a fresh batch of characters?
While I have not yet made an assessment as to whether this has been a successful reboot of the original 24, this episode, when viewed without any connection to other episodes, was a strong argument that a creatively successful reboot could be done.
This was the best and most thrilling episode yet with tense drama, high stakes and an original, unexpected twist. It felt like the first season of the original 24 where every major character had something to lose.
The episode picked up with Eric Carter speaking to Senator John Donovan at the football stadium where Rebecca Ingram was abducted by the terrorists. Carter updates Donovan on what the plan was at the stadium and what actually happened with both men feeling the weight of the situation and the coping with the idea they could both lose somebody they love – Rebecca. The scene carried a lot of emotional weight and made me feel more invested in the character’s fate. Carter and Donovan team up to recover find and recover Rebecca.
Back at CTU, Andy Shalowitz finally digs up information on “East July,” which later turns out to be that the Director of National Intelligence had Naseri’s daughter abducted and is keeping her in a farmhouse. The reason (I think) – to exchange the daughter for Bin-Khalid. The old version of the show was known for unexpected twists and tonight’s was certainly out of the blue and rather original. It also took an interesting step that the original show rarely did – it presented the actions American agents would take to defend the country as reprehensible, instead of trying to find a logical justification for it. (Of course, there is no logical excuse for kidnapping any child)
To get confirmation and details on Simms’ actions, Carter and Donovan decide they need to get into the Director’s office computer.
This was the low point of the episode and felt familiar like the many times Jack Bauer had to slip into a very secure place and force information out of somebody. But, once in the office, Carter, with Shalowitz’s help, discovered the girl’s fate. Donovan, who has mostly kept his composure during the show’s long day, finally, showed some great character and emotional depth as he helped Carter and confront Simms.
The highlight of the episode was the mounting standoff between Tony Almeida and Eric Carter as they race to recover the young girl from the farm house. Carter arrives first and gets to the girl but Almeida quickly arrives forms a plan to take Carter down. Finally, Almeida got some good dialogue, screen time and an action scene! The scene set up what I hope will be a great action scene between Almeida and Carter.
Overall, this episode was energetic, fast-paced and emotional and ended with a cliffhanger where I truly have no idea how it will end. I think the major improvement can be attributed to the writing focusing on the basics – focused progressing plot, weaving character attachment to the plot and good acting. Notice how this all happened when the sillier parts of the show had been stripped away, such as Eric’s drug-dealing brother’s subplot along with the Shalowitz fractured romance story. In other words, the writer’s kept it simple and small tonight.
-I really wish Ibrahim Bin-Khalid had not been alive. His character is cartoonish, his makeup is bad and his involvement in the plot is minimal.
-I think the writer’s will kill Tony Almeida. However, before they do, viewers need to know the circumstances surrounding his release form prison and what he has been doing since he was.