24: Legacy S01E03 Recap: "2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M."
The first two hours of 24: Legacy quickly proved that this isn't a show unwilling to lean into the tropes that made 200-plus hours of the original series such a classic. The one aspect it has adapted successfully from its most recent predecessor, 24: Live Another Day, is that the action needs to up the pace in order to justify the reduced episode count and to trim any potential filler that would usually come with a full-length season.
While last week's episode seemed a little slower than it needed to be, this week, "2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.", remedies that with a fast-paced hour that quickly gets through the hoops the show had set up for itself, all while giving us a handful of excellent set-pieces before moving the plot along to the second stage of whatever terrorist attack Sheik Bin Khalid's son is planning.
Most notably, Legacy bucks the trend of CTU agents having to work rogue by quickly getting Director Mullins and Rebecca on the same page. Keith decides to trust her and her judgment since they've worked together and chose him to run CTU in her absence. That saves us from the same old mole plots we've seen so many times, frees CTU up to help Carter and Rebecca to move on to the plot with the Donovans and their own supposed mole.
Which is the other thing that moves sort of quickly in this episode. Last week, we left off with Rebecca suspecting Nilaa of being in league with the terrorists after she found out that Nilaa's computer was used to access CTU's database. We also found out that she had been photographed at a radicalized mosque in her youth. Rebecca confronts her with all this and she appears to be guilty of being the leak, however by the end of the episode, John's father Henry reveals that he's been plotting with his brother-in-law Luis to set Nilaa up. It seems as if they did it to get Nilaa off the campaign, however considering the lives they've put at risk, it seems as if this is unlikely his endgame.
Still, we end the episode with two big reveals, between Henry's culpability and the young Bin Khalid getting his hands on the drive, developments aided by the show's willingness to move things along quickly and not fall into the show's past traps, even if they embrace the kind of stuff we all know and love 24 for.
And Bin Khalid getting his hands on the drive is what drives most of the action this week. First, Carter has to escape the police station with the cash. He convinces the younger cop to help him by telling him the truth in a very Bauer-esque moment, and just when he's cornered by the cops Keith pulls through and gets them to stand down. He then meets up with Ben on the subway, they have a conversation about why he's doing this, and before you know it, it's a shootout in the subway between Ben, Eric, CTU and Bin Khalid's men, before they get their hands on the drive and escape after Eric gets run over by a car.
While my biggest takeaway from the episode is the show's willingness to quickly jump through hoops, it's all grounded by how Eric is written. He's basically just Jack Bauer redux, willing to go to great lengths to help his country and incredibly influential on the people around him when the situation is dire, but I buy his character as a modern version of that. The writing taps into his status as a veteran, helps us understand what he's going through and that he gets what people like Ben are going through as well. And the writing conveys this even though most of his scenes in this episope are plot or action related.
That being said, there are still multiple side stories worth scoffing, and it wouldn't be 24 without at least a few of them, so here's what happens in Subplot City this weel:
- I'm suddenly all on board for the school story. This week it took a turn from eye-rollingly boring to completely ridiculous when the kid the teacher seemingly killed last week suddenly sprung to life, jumped out a second-story window, walked through the woods and collapsed near a soccer field. Now Amira is going to kill him in the hospital while the teacher finishes the bomb. When the camera panned back and the body was gone I literally laughed out loud. Never change, 24.
- Nicole is still suspicious of Isaac's girlfriend, so she gets Eric to ask CTU for a transcript of the conversation she was snooping on earlier, but it looks as if she's about to get caught. I really hope they find a way to tie all this Isaac and Nicole shit back to the larger plot, otherwise this is a giant waste of time. Also why wouldn't Eric get a CTU team to pick up his wife, who , I'll remind you, he left with a gang?
- There's still sexual tension between Andy and Locke, I guess. Although we find out that Locke broke up with Andy.
"2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M." is a marked improvement over last week's episode, and an action-packed hour worthy of the title this show bares. For that, it gets 8.5 diffused hostage situations out of 10.