Warning: This contains spoilers for Episode 10. Not seen 24: Legacy? Catch up with our spoiler-free review of Episode 1 here.
With only two more episodes to go, 24 Legacy enters the final stretch, but just as the spin-off really begins to blossom into its own series, Episode 10 sees the show stumble back into the shadow of its predecessor.
The programme picks up with its third hostage situation in as many hours, as Naseri and Jadalla kidnap John so they can lure out Rebecca Ingram and kill her, in retaliation for the mission that killed Jadalla’s father, Sheikh Ibrahim bin-Khalid.
Two unsurprising things happen as a result. Firstly, Rebecca tells Henry, who, fresh from pretending to know nothing in the face of interrogation from Tony Almeida, admits that deals were made with the terrorists and that his brother, Luis, was the main contact. Ordered to keep Luis in the house until CTU can arrive, he naturally confronts Luis instead, only for John’s uncle to attack Henry with a blender (classic Luis) and end up escaping. Once again, great job, Henry. Secondly, Rebecca tells Carter that Jadalla has John – and that she wants to take the bait to rescue him, but on one condition: Carter goes there and skulks in the shadows with a sniper rifle to take Jadalla out. An unofficial mission that involves going rogue off the books, but damn it, will do the right thing? You betcha Carter says yes. And so, for the umpteenth time this series, our heroes head off to a hostage situation without CTU’s permission.
The good news is that Miranda Otto and Corey Hawkins have a good enough chemistry to make them a likeable double-act. The bad news is that this means they’re a more engaging couple than Carter and Nicole, whose subplot with Isaac is swiftly becoming the weakest part of the story – not least because her having a go at Carter about the letter offering him a job at CTU in the middle of a terrorist crisis doesn’t quite ring true. After having an impressive opening to the show, Eric’s wife is gradually becoming reduced to being exactly that: Eric’s wife.
Meanwhile, Mullins quizzes Andy about where Ingram and Carter have gone too – and this time, Andy genuinely doesn’t know anything about it. But they know they have guns. And they know that Tony Almeida and Rebecca once had a thing. So Mullins calls Tony and asks him to help find Ingram. Because once you’ve brought back an old face for a cameo, you might as well get the most out of them.
All of this sets the scene for an impressively daft – yet commendably stripped-down – climax, as Ingram walks towards Jadalla in an empty playing field in the middle of the night. He holds a flare in his hand and points a video camera at her, asking her to record a confession. But as Ingram buys herself and Carter time, Eric gets a clean shot and takes Jadalla out. At which point the flare hits the ground and we’re informed that it’s all been covered in gasoline.
The result is a wonderfully old-fashioned set piece, as Rebecca attempts to outrun the flames that are chasing after her across the field. If it’s old-fashioned thrills you want, though, 24: Legacy then goes one step further into the past, by revealing that bin-Khalid is actually still alive. That may give us a chance to admire to the seriously impressive burn make-up on actor Eli Danker’s face, but it’s also a twist straight out of the 24: Season 1 playbook. Add to the fact that we now have our third Big Bad of the season, which renders the first two mildly redundant, and you have a surprisingly unsatisfying reveal, just at the point when the prospect of a good-guy-versus-bad-guy showdown in the final two episodes should be getting more exciting, not less. We’ve only just got to the point where Jadalla has started to have some depth and already, he’s been dispatched.
Rebecca manages to get on the phone to CTU (and Carter) just in time to tell them that Bin-Khalid isn’t dead, although some digging around by Andy brings up a connection between the terrorists and the DNI (Director of National Intelligence). A mole inside CTU just in time for the finale? With its last two episodes, 24: Legacy looks set to use another classic trick from the franchise playback, while still finding the time for Ingram to likely be kidnapped too (our fourth hostage situation in as many episodes). That probably means that Nicole will get it too. In that case, though, repeating past glories may not be such a big thing after all.
24: Legacy is available to buy and download as a box set on pay-per-view VOD.
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