24: Legacy Season Finale Falls Flat


24: Legacy ended as a shell of its original self last night.

Overall, the season finale lacked depth, tension, emotional impact and was rushed to make the 12-hour time jump the writers had promised.

The episode picks up with Eric Carter protecting the young daughter of Naseri as Tony Almeida attempts to recover her. The pair eventually get into a brutal fist fight. Senator Donovan calls Almeida and convinces him to help CTU get Rebecca back.

Sadly, the fight scene was the only highlight of the episode. The call from Donovan to Almeida was a creative and unexpected turn of events, but the lack of credible emotional buildup to persuade Tony to help CTU undercut the impact of the twist. Throughout the season, viewers had a couple of hints that Almeida cared about Rebecca, but we did not have the details and context to support the phone call twist.

Also, why did the writers remove Almeida, a skilled operative who could help Carter recover Rebecca, out of the action? His role this season has been minimized and left the show with one less engaging character to which viewers could connect.

The showdown between Carter and Naseri, which lead to Rebecca’s death, felt almost insignificant in its execution and somewhat comical. After confirming the girl was safe at the Jordanian embassy, Naseri gives Rebecca to Carter. Bin-Khalid, whose presence has felt unnecessary this season, conveniently grabs a gun and shoots Rebecca. Carter then guns down Naseri and Bin-Khalid and escapes to bring Rebecca to a hospital.

Rebecca’s comical death felt like something out of a bad action comedy. The scene glossed over the main enemies of the season with a quick few bullets and Carter escaping. 

At the hospital, Donovan, obviously is devastated by his wife’s death, but Carter, who had a strong connection to her, seems unfazed. Carter’s muted reaction was out of sync with the connection writers wanted viewers to believe Carter had with Rebecca.

The finale ends with rushed wrap ups of each character’s fate. Carter and his wife discuss what they want out of their lives and whether he can be a CTU agent and handle the stresses it places on a relationship. Senator Donovan, meanwhile, after seeing the horrible lengths to which his wife went to fight terrorism, decides to stay in the presidential race. 

The Carters’ scene attempted to address their relationship issues but it was recycled material from old series – can a CTU agent have a healthy personal life? The first three seasons of the original show posed this question, and answered it in a dramatic, cathartic way. 24: Legacy not only recycled an old theme but failed to execute it well. 

Senator Donavan’s story, meanwhile, ended somewhat thoughtfully. As he learned more about the lengths to which his wife went to do her job, he faced the question of whether to continue his presidential run. Donovan decides to continue his campaign, but we don’t get any dialogue from him explaining why. I believe maybe he wants uphold the ideals and morals he stands on instead of letting people like his wife continue to erode them in the fight against terrorism. 

The time jump was badly executed. All of the dialogue that occurred after the jump could have been done before it. The jump served no creative purpose or plot advancement. It felt done purely to satisfy the 24-hour time format of the show. 

Other Thoughts

-Issac Carter never got a real sendoff scene, probably due to the time constraints of the episode. 

-The time jump graphic was not consistent with the style and tone of the show. The graphic depicted a clock fast forwarding 12 hours as the sun moved over the horizon. This feels like something a comedy show might do, hokey and comical. A simple, “12 hours later” graphics in the font of the show’s clock would have been perfectly fine. 

-The young girl seemed to suddenly know a lot more English when she was talking to Carter about the trees.



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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