Photo Credit: Steve Dietl/FOX

“10:00 PM – 11:00 PM” Plot Summary:

With Rebecca (Miranda Otto) being held by the terrorists, Eric (Corey Hawkins) and John (Jimmy Smits) go to the Pentagon in pursuit of a lead. Back at CTU, Mullins (Teddy Sears) and Andy (Dan Bucatinsky) must contend with interference from the Director of National Intelligence, Donald Simms (James Moses Black).

Eric and Tony (Carlos Bernard) finally share a scene together! It’s about time! Except it looks like we’ll have to wait another week to see how their fateful encounter will end. Tony has been on the fringe of the narrative ever since he was introduced this season, and I think many of us had the feeling that Tony would inevitably redeem himself by assisting Eric or further damn himself by opposing Eric. For this week’s episode to get us so close to definitely answering which route Tony will take before ending on a cliffhanger is understandable but disappointing, especially considering how much time “10:00 PM – 11:00 PM” spends on characters driving and unnecessary developments like Simms sending a crony to CTU. Ultimately, Tony’s storyline could have been resolved in this episode, but 24: Legacy is more concerned about setting up its finale than anything else this week.

For many television shows, the episode preceding the season finale serves the important task of setting up the climax of the season, but this job is less apparent in some series than others. 24: Legacy, on the other hand, does very little to disguise its setup. Following the buildup to Rebecca’s kidnapping last week, the lack of progress regarding her capture makes it feel as if the show is biding its time and putting off the resolution as long as possible. You’d think that Bin-Khalid (Eli Danker) would have more immediate plans for Rebecca after organizing the trade for her and wouldn’t let her condition stop him from getting some sort of revenge for his son. Instead, the terrorists and the audience have to wait until next week to see what will become of Rebecca.

One plot point that is addressed in this latest episode, though, involves Director Simms’s connection to Asim Naseri (Oded Fehr). Having members of the federal government take part in immoral or morally gray activities usually makes for compelling television, but this particular storyline doesn’t appear entirely thought out. What exactly was Simms trying to accomplish by keeping Naseri’s daughter as a hostage even after Naseri betrayed Eric’s unit? Once it was revealed that Naseri was participating in the day’s attacks, why didn’t Simms try using the terrorist’s child as leverage again? As a means of putting Eric and Tony at odds and giving Eric a bargaining chip, the introduction of Naseri’s daughter is rather effective, but the logic behind her continued imprisonment is rather thin.

Thankfully, there are some positive developments amongst the setup. After all the drama that has erupted recently in the show’s primary relationships (John and Eric’s marriages), seeing John and Eric interact is a nice change of dynamics that gives both men an opportunity to reevaluate their relationships. Likewise, John’s distraught reaction to his wife’s capture gives Jimmy Smits a chance to show off his acting skills without yelling. As much as I criticized last week’s episode for leaning too much on plot points from the original 24, I wouldn’t mind having John and Eric develop a Jack Bauer-David Palmer bond; perhaps such a relationship is in the cards if Legacy returns for a second season. Actually, now that the season is about to end, many of the characters have suddenly grown on me (especially Andy, with his dry sense of humor). But if 24 has taught us anything, it’s best not to get too attached to characters (particularly romantic interests heading into a season finale).

“10:00 PM – 11:00 PM” may not be the most eventful hour of the series, but the episode efficiently accomplishes its primary objective. With all of the pieces in place, next week’s season finale should make for some exciting television.

RATING: 7 OUT OF 10

Josh Sarnecky is one of Pop Break's staff writers and covers Designated Survivor, Volton: Legendary Defender, and Stranger Things. His brother, Aaron, is the site’s TV Editor, but Josh is the family’s reigning Trivial Pursuit: Star Wars champion.

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