24: Legacy – Pilot Review

24: Legacy premieres tonight, February 5, right after the Super Bowl in all time zones, on Fox.

When I first saw headlines about a new 24 series, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was a huge fan of the original series (who wasn’t?). It’s a shame that Kiefer Sutherland will not be reprising his role as the iconic Jack Bauer, but in the age of TV reboots, I was optimistic.

From the start, Legacy was going to have to choose: will this be a sequel to the original story, or a completely new one? After viewing the pilot, it’s clear the show’s writers have chosen the latter. Aside from Carlos Bernard’s return as Tony Almeida, there is almost nothing connecting 24: Legacy to the original eight seasons (aside from “the clock”). Fans can decide for themselves if this is for better or worse, but I certainly miss the former cast, and watching this revival got me nostalgic for that unmatched Jack-Chloe dynamic.

The pilot begins with a gory scene, which the 24 franchise has become synonymous with. It’s only only a precursor for what’s to come.

24: Legacy stars Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter, and while he is certainly no Jack Bauer, Carter is a very solid lead. He’s an ex-Army Ranger leader, whose squad took down mega-terrorist Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Bin-Khalid’s men go on a witch-hunt to find 6 ex-Rangers in search of a strong box which was stolen from Bin-Khalid’s compound. There are only 2 Rangers left: Carter and paranoid junkie Ben Grimes.

After a close encounter with the terrorists, Carter enlists the help of former CTU Director Rebecca Ingram. Although she no longer actually works for the CTU (her husband is a senator, who is now running for President), she sets up shop within the CTU, working under the nose of the new Director, Keith Mullins. Carter and Ingram cannot trust anybody else within the United States Government because of course, in typical 24 fashion, there’s a mole.

There is also an eerie side plot set in a high school, with a student planning a terrorist attack.

One of the best parts of the episode was when we find out that a member of the Stiles family (Edgar’s niece, Mariana) is once again working in CTU. “My cousin was Edgar Stiles, one of the best analysts CTU ever had. He taught me more than you could ever learn at Stanford.” Here’s hoping that she isn’t the mole. (Please don’t do that to us, 24.)

In terms of the freshman season’s big picture, it will be interesting to see how 24: Legacy will adapt to a shortened series. Rather than the traditional 24 episodes (each one an hour in real time) this show’s story will be condensed into 12 episodes.

To my surprise, 24: Legacy was actually very good. While it is certainly not the “genre-defining” show the original was, Legacy is very entertaining television and I could feel my heart thumping when I first heard the clock. But ‘damn it,’ I miss Jack.

I give 24: Legacy an A-.