Dan Bucatinsky
April 17, 2017 AT 09:00 PM EDT

Every week, actor Dan Bucatinsky, who plays CTU analyst Andy Shalowitz, a.k.a. the new Chloe O’Brian, will take EW readers behind the scenes of the action-packed 24: Legacy with his blog. Here, he takes us into the season finale, “11:00 PM – 12:00 AM.” But first, make sure you check out an exclusive deleted scene from the episode above.

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FINALE — IN A NUTSHELL: We pick up where we left off with Tony Almeida storming the farmhouse. At CTU, Andy is in the pilot seat in front of a computer screen. He is able to break into Director Simms’ phone and call off the kidnapping operation. Bin-Khalid orchestrates what looks like Rebecca’s public execution, live streaming for the world to see. Andy takes his place at CTU’s main computer station and tearfully dictates on the phone to Carter what appears to be transpiring. Seconds away from her execution, Andy reads the translation of the terrorist’s rant against “the war criminal, Rebecca Ingram.”

But Carter uses Naseri’s daughter, Ara, to call her father and prove that she is, in fact, alive. They make a deal. Per their arrangement, Naseri prepares Rebecca for a hand-off to Carter once his daughter lands safely at the Jordanian embassy. But before Rebecca and Carter can leave, Bin-Khalid gets his hands on a gun and in a furious rage shoots blindly, taking out Naseri and seriously injuring Rebecca as she blocks the bullet from Carter.

Rebecca gets rushed to the hospital; Sen. Donovan is in a panic, Carter is in disbelief, CTU is on edge, and Director Simms loses it completely. When Rebecca flatlines, everyone is distraught; too many good people have died. For those left behind, the day’s events have solidified a commitment to the betterment of their country, which for Eric means taking a position at CTU. His wife, Nicole, is committed to making their marriage work — as long as they keep no more secrets. And for John Donovan, devastated over his wife’s death, he finds a newfound resolve to continue his campaign towards the presidency.

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HERE’S MY TAKE ON THE SEASON: The season is over! As is this long, dramatic, edge-of-your-seat day where Eric Carter enlists Rebecca Ingram to help stop a ring of terrorist sleeper cells that were triggered as a result of her covert operation in Yemen to take down the terror mastermind Bin-Khalid. Carter’s fellow army ranger, Ben Grimes, is the one who stole the flash drive with the list of cells, and he’s out to trade it for major cash. That doesn’t really work out. Over the course of the day, the George Washington Bridge blows up, and presidential candidate John Donovan discovers his own father was complicit in leaking the names of the fallen army rangers to the terrorists. Bin-Khalid’s son, Jadalla, became the new terrorist threat — until we discovered that his father’s No. 2 man, Naseri, was on the ground to walk in Bin-Khalid’s footsteps, until those footsteps were filled with, yes, Bin-Khalid himself, who was, in fact, still alive and out to bring down Rebecca Ingram for her own “war crimes” (merely the abduction of Naseri’s 10-year-old daughter, Ara, who was used as a point of leverage for Naseri to turn over Bin-Khalid). And who collaborated with Rebecca on those crimes? The Director of National Intelligence, Donald Simms. But once he was found out? The pressure led him to take his own life. But he wasn’t the only casualty of this wrong-side-of-the-bed, all-kinds-of-awfully-s—ty day. In the end? Army Ranger Ben Grimes? Dead. Jadalla? Dead. Naseri? Dead. Bin-Khalid? Dead. And sadly, Rebecca Ingram herself? Dead.

In other words: Everyone dies.

Okay. I’m exaggerating. Not EVERYONE. Carter and his wife, Nicole, and his brother Isaac are very much still alive. As are Andy, thank goodness, and his colleagues Keith and Mariana and CTU field agent and ex-boyfriend Agent Locke.

In looking back over the entire 12-hour season-long day, it occurs to me that some themes seem to have emerged in the telling of this nerve-wracking, heart-pounding, and often violent story. Themes of marriage and the sacrifices that are often made in a marriage when one or both members of a couple are also feeling the calling to public service. Eric Carter begins the first episode of the season pulling his wife towards him and longing for them to start a family. But within minutes, he’s pulled into a plot to save the country from terrorism. Ultimately, it’s a loyalty and attraction to this kind of work he chooses OVER his own relationship. I don’t know about you, but as much as my kids often act like little terrors, I couldn’t possibly throw myself in the line of terrorist fire over, say, a weekend at my son’s baseball game or taking the family to see Boss Baby for the third time. So much safer — and so many more refreshments. (Seriously. Over the course of the entire season, have you EVER seen anyone take so much as a sip of water on 24: Legacy?) Likewise, Rebecca Ingram’s commitment to her “higher purpose” — and her work at CTU — is what ultimately undid her. John Donovan’s desire to run for office is what led his father to want to make a deal with terrorists.

This brings me to the next theme I feel was a sort of canopy over the entire season: fatherhood. It wasn’t only the obvious link of Jadalla to his seemingly fallen, terrorist father Bin-Khalid — and the ultimate reunion of the two in the final episodes. It was John Donovan and his relationship with his father, Henry. It was Amira and her brother, who ran from the draw of their father and country in order to commit to what they believed to be a more noble calling: acts of terror against the U.S… Those moments where Amira was torn between helping her diabetic father (whom she helped tie up, I might add) and executing the plans she and her brother had devised to blow up a major, New York bridge. We know who “won” in that little contest.

And finally, let’s not forget this unspoken tension we feel from the beginning of the first episode of the season where Eric Carter expresses his desire to become a father. But ultimately, the duty to his country — and his own internal thirst to be a hero — seems to suppress all his paternal instincts in the end.

Okay. That’s my little Psych 101 analysis of the season 1 plots, characters, and themes.

For a little extra credit, I’ve decided to include a scene I loved from the original script of the finale episode which had to be cut for time (as is often the case on shows like this).

Andy, from the very beginning of the season, has a friendship and loyalty to his old CTU boss, Rebecca Ingram. You get the sense there’s a long history there. But you never learn too much about it. In the final moments of the episode — when Andy is doing what he can to control the traffic lights across the city so Rebecca’s ambulance path can be as smooth as possible — Andy confides his backstory with Rebecca to his work frenemy, Mariana.

Here is an EXCLUSIVE LOOK at this deleted scene [Editor’s Note: The scene is embedded at the top of this post]:

Dan Bucatinsky
Dan Bucatinsky

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