24: Legacy Pilot Review – Thank You Jack Bauer but It’s Time for Eric Carter to Shine

Corey Hawkins as the hero of the everyman.

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Jack Bauer is gone and 24 can and will survive without him. So we must say our goodbyes to the past, for Eric Carter is here to stay… at least for twelve episodes.

Corey Hawkins is officially Straight Outta Compton (sorry, I could resist), and thrust into the life of Eric Carter, a former army ranger trying to adjust to life under the Witness Protection Program after carrying out a raid of a terrorist cell lead by a man named Ben Khalid. There’s just one small problem… during the raid one of the soldiers stole a strongbox and now Khalid’s loyalists are determined to find it by any means necessary.

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The show opens up with Khalid’s men torturing and killing former members of Ben Grimes’ (Charlie Hofheimer) team and their family. The terrorists are deadly and efficient, with each death being more brutal than the last. Grimes now lives as a homeless man with PTSD while Carter has a rather conveniently built house. We are officially back in the world of 24 and the show hasn’t skipped a beat.

24: Legacy is a love letter to the franchise and the 24 universe. It lives and breathes as an extension rather than a cheap reboot (which I feared it would be). While it has been roughly nine years since the original series, Legacy is more timely than ever, taking into account people’s fears, especially with the rise of ISIS and the political climate in America. The show will tackle immigration, terrorism, race and government transparency in America. But in the first episode, it’s all about Carter and his wife’s (Anna Diop) survival.

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For those afraid that Hawkins won’t be able to fit into Sutherland’s shoes, he doesn’t. Nor is he suppose to, for this is his journey. This is the tale of Eric Carter, and Hawkins is refreshing as a hero who looks like the every man. When it comes to the action, he doesn’t disappoint. Carefully crafted and skilled, the first episode contains combat that is realistic and harsh. Carter fights with precision and the quiet desperation of wanting to live not only for himself but for his family. His wife’s no pushover either and will fight to protect herself and her husband; together they are a team.

Carter is far from perfect but he is very multifaceted. Written with a true understanding of the character, through the series the audience will see the dynamic of him trying to adjust to his life in hiding, his relationship with his wife, and his strained/complicated relationship with his drug dealing/gang leader brother who must now protect Carter’s wife and his dealings with the CTU — the same organization that failed to protect him and his team from Khalid’s men.

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Told in its classic real time manner (each episode consisting of 1 hour in a day), everything about the show is compressed which makes for stronger more precise storyline. Characters and their actions are explained and showcased from the beginning. However, if you miss a minute, it’s hard to figure what is happening in the storyline and how everything connects. From the beginning the audience is introduced to the possibility of a mole in the CTU. How are these loyalists available to find the squad members and their families so quickly, especially if the CTU is supposed to have everything under control? What is in this “strongbox”? Is America under attack? And why is actor Teddy Sears acting so suspicious (I don’t trust that Jay Garrick/Zoom/Hunter Zolomon)?

Actor Jimmy Smits (as John Donovan), a powerful U.S. Senator with higher political aspirations, is married to the smart former head of CTU, Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) who is trying to get to the bottom of the mole situation and doesn’t trust Sears either. While the show is bit heavy handed with plenty of suspicious stares, it feels real. Both characters are passionate about their careers and each other. They are a team and nothing will come between them… for now. Dan Bucatinsky also stars as Andy, a communication analyst at CTU who enjoys Rebecca’s trust (a little too much) and is unhappily paired with a bright, young, self-taught computer analyst Gia (Coral Pena).

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Appearing to be a heart-stopping complicated show, Legacy will take audiences on a roller coaster ride, where every twist is greater than the last. Every actor on screen knows they’re recreating magic and no one wants to let the fans down. Crisp writing, effortless cinematography, and crafty editing, its like 24 was never off the air. There are a lot of characters at play but under the direction of 24 veteran Stephen Hopkin (who was also the co-executive producer) and 24 veteran writers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, this expansion pack of sorts is just what the franchise needs.

24: Legacy will premiere on Sunday, February 5, 2017 after the network’s broadcast of Super Bowl LI.

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Dana Abercrombie Content Writer
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