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24: Legacy - 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Review: "Inching forwards"

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24 loves death. In the 204 episodes prior to Legacy, over 16,000 people died in the series (*), and there’s a tendency for characters to be disposed of very quickly after outliving their usefulness, often even before that point.

(*) This number jumps so high due to including the nuclear detonation early in season six, which killed over 12,000 people in Valencia, and could be even higher depending on the eventual number of deaths caused by the San Gabriel Island nuclear reactor meltdown in season four.

Ben Grimes met his maker in “4:00pm - 5:00pm”, an event that was entirely telegraphed through the conversation about death he and Eric had not much earlier. It wasn’t especially shocking; Gabriel (Andrew Howard) still wanted rid of Ben, even if Eric passed the test by not killing his friend, so swiftly ending his life was inevitable. But it’s a very 24-like way to say goodbye to Ben, with his attempt to rectify his treasonous act only semi-successful, but giving CTU a glimmer of hope in the desperate effort to stop Jadalla. Killing him as a full-on traitor would have been a disservice; redeeming him fully would have been unrealistic. This is brutal and impactful for Eric - who, beyond the initial surprise, seemed mostly unmoved having seen many die before - giving him even more of an impetus to move forward, but it’s also a timely and solid jettisoning of a character who had little more place on the show.

“4:00pm - 5:00pm” continued to inch forward Eric’s quest to stop the impending attacks, true to form for the series, culminating in Gabriel’s death and the partial erasure of his laptop, further limiting the information to be yielded from this gambit. Much of it plays out as is to be expected, with Legacy clearly not yet ready to push into the home stretch of this particular arc and so once again electing to pad this out further with a seemingly endless cycle of obstacles. There comes a point where this tactic becomes tired, and despite approaching that point now, at least there is some progression across the board and it seems as if the show may only be a couple of episodes away from something of an endgame.

Ben wasn’t the only casualty: right-hand man Kusuma became Jadalla’s first kill after disregarding orders for the second time and activating the one sleeper cell the terrorists had access to. The irony’s strong here, with the pair in the same situation from the second hour with reversed roles. There, Jadalla used his heritage to dissuade Kusuma from shooting him; here, Kusuma attempts to use his position and Jadalla’s history to prolong his life. It fails, and it isn’t surprising both because of where Jadalla comes from, but also because overlooking insubordination and betrayal (*) twice from the same man would be inconsistent with what a 24 terrorist leader would do. Had he not killed Kusuma, it would be impossible to take him seriously as a threat to the United States, and it would be impossible for any of his men to take him seriously as a leader. Though he’s far from a nuanced villain, Jadalla at least now has some credibility to him beyond the familial relevance he holds, which is a step in the right direction.

(*) If Kusuma had been able to recall the activation code, Jadalla might not have killed him, which would have been a mistake since the same issue would still be there.

That activation code went to Khasan, who instantly has Amira contact Harris to bring the material, setting them up for their attack - likely next week. It came after yet another hour that showed the human, teenage side of Amira and further suggested that she may choose to go against her brother. After an unexpected visit from their father (Ivo Nandi) goes awry, the siblings have to restrain him for fear of exposure, a decision that Amira is visibly opposed to. This side of the show certainly isn’t the strongest, but these past two episodes have gone to great lengths to add depth to it, establishing Amira’s moral dilemmas as opposed to portraying her as a ruthlessly evil terrorist, a decision which would have been irresponsibly dull and frustratingly outlandish. Instead, using her brother as the subordinate mastermind and her as a willing participant with doubts makes it much more watchable. Killing Drew was a tough ask; forcing her to keep her father - with whom she clearly has a strong relationship, where her brother does not - bound may be a step too far.

Henry began his attempt to deny everything - in a scene that, on reflection, might have been better had it played out like this moment from Blackadder. While it’s true that John has no physical proof of Henry’s involvement, knowing what we know makes the whole thing frustratingly dumb when it only intends to be frustrating for John. It does, however, establish one of two things: either Henry is a coward who cares more about saving his own skin than he does the people who will die in Jadalla’s attack, or he and Luis are much more involved in this plot than he initially let on. Given the conversation Henry and Luis had last week, in which Henry said he told his son everything, it is almost certainly the former. Regardless, this is a weak plotline, and Legacy would be wise to take it the way of Ben Grimes and remove it from the equation as soon as possible.

Isaac, on the back of his near-assassination, unleashed his paranoia on everyone in his crew, forcing them to turn over their phones to ensure they weren’t working against him. It’s the first real sign of how he was in the immediate aftermath of Eric and Nicole leaving, a point once again raised here, and it’s a much more compelling side to the character. Though his feelings for Nicole remain apparent, the idea that he needs help controlling his emotions suggests a more positive outlook for a side of the show that has been little more than a stall in the five episodes so far.

Finally, Andy is one step closer to being out of a job and/or in prison, after Mullins suspects - but cannot prove - he was the one to steal the schematics for Eric and Ben. Dan Bucatinsky played the despondent side of Andy well and seeing how Rebecca manages to salvage his career - assuming she can - will be interesting.

This was a mixed bag of an episode, with the Eric/Ben plot and, to an extent, the Amira/Khasan stuff much better than what happened elsewhere. Still, there continues to be promise and the series is developing well on the whole; it just needs to iron out the aspects - like Henry - that aren’t working, and 24: Legacy could end up being pretty strong.

From the CTU Archives (connections to 24’s original run that aren’t referenced above):

Gabriel asking Eric to kill Ben is one of a couple of examples of this kind of proof of trust: Jack shooting Chase for Ramon Salazar in season three (he did); Dina being asked to shoot Jack for Marwan in season four (she didn’t, shooting Marwan instead). In both of those instances, the gun was empty, meaning that Eric’s refusal is the third different outcome to the scenario, which keeps it varied, at least.


I’ve seen many people online remark how Jack would have and did shoot a friend when placed in the same position as Eric, but it’s worth remembering a couple of things. For one, Jack didn’t share the same bond with those individuals as Eric did with Ben. For another, Eric isn’t nearly as broken as Jack was when he was asked to carry out such an act. There may be similarities between the two leads, but they are unequivocally different in many respects, so being frustrated (as many apparently are) at Eric’s refusal to pull the trigger is inane.

Time became very loosely implemented in this hour: Henry arrived at CTU over 15 minutes prior to being placed in an interrogation room; the activation code was supposedly received just over 60 seconds before Khasan is shown to receive it; Locke tells Eric that they’re interrogating Gabriel’s surviving men around 90 seconds after they raid the building. 24 has often been relatively lax in ensuring all of its scenes are realistically in keeping with the real-time aspect, but this was noticeably lazy and concept-breaking.

For the first time in a few weeks, the opening shot of the episode wasn’t immediately filled with dialogue, a change that is both noticeable and appreciated.

Whenever Gabriel was on screen, I couldn’t get the “Avengers” dialogue where Tony Stark wonders how Director Fury sees things with his eyepatch.

It’s amusing to me that Andrew Howard’s character here had only one working eye and a large scar on his face, given that his one-off Banshee character had nothing of the sort - a rarity for a show that oft featured villains who had some sort of handicap.

Alarm bells went off in my mind after Isaac said “I put my hands on you. That was wrong, I shouldn't have did that.” It fits his character, but that error is nauseating to me.

It’s hard to know if Amira’s father was lying to her about his diabetes to create sympathy, or if he legitimately didn’t tell them to prevent them worrying. Probably the latter.

What did everyone think of “4:00pm - 5:00pm”? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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