Carter gets arrested... on purpose

By Derek Lawrence
February 06, 2017 at 09:00 PM EST
Tina Rowden/FOX

Well, America got the hero we all needed last night… Tom Brady.

Oh, and Eric Carter, too. I apologize — I had to get in a mention of my Patriots’ epic comeback. But after Brady cemented his status as the G.O.A.T., Carter and 24: Legacy introduced themselves. The revival made its splashy debut/return in the best possible television slot, premiering immediately following an all-time game that was watched by 113 million people.

Although, going in, the reboot faced a big threat: the critics. EW’s own Jeff Jensen gave the show a D, calling it, “laughably ludicrous.” As a die-hard 24 fan, I had a hard time arguing and gave the premiere a C+. But fan reaction seemed to be more generous. I’ll be interested in seeing the response to this second episode, which featured one of the franchise’s most ludicrous plans and maybe the worst scene they’ve ever done. The clock is ticking, though, so let’s get into it.

The second episode kicks off with a fairly extended “Previously on,” especially since it’s been only 24 hours since the last episode and they’ve only got one hour of plot to reference. The action picks up with Carter still on the run. He ditches his jacket (that will throw them off the scent) and dials up Rebecca to fill her in. While Andy and Carter both search for Ben, Rebecca visits her tied-up successor. “Have you lost your mind?” asks a rightfully agitated Mullins. After telling him about the rangers being murdered, she convinces him to give up his overrides so she can find out who the mole is. Cater still isn’t having any luck tracking Ben — until his troubled friend gives him a call. In exchange for the flash drive, he wants $2 million. Why that number? “Because it’s the most I can carry,” says Ben, giving an honest and fair answer. If Carter doesn’t come through, then Ben will ring up Khalid’s people for the same deal. He gives Carter one hour to find the money, which Rebecca deems impossible. “I have an idea,” Carter tells her. “I’ll get back to you.” Uh oh. Anytime Jack made a similar statement, he was about to do something crazy.

While Carter is off coming up with plans to save the world, his wife and brother are catching up. Nicole is worried about Isaac, who’s going through some classic drug dealer problems. But he’s sure that his upcoming business with the Dominicans will put him back on top of the game. He steps out when he gets a call from his brother. Apparently, Carter’s genius idea was to get the money from him. Isaac doesn’t have the money, joking about who does have that kind of cash. “Ain’t nobody got more money than the cops, so try them,” he suggests. He proceeds to tell Carter about a major bust the cops recently made. Color Carter intrigued. Trying to talk his brother out of it, Isaac brings up a personal conversation he had with Nicole. “Be careful Isaac, because it almost sounds like you care,” Carter retorts. I can relate; my brother and I talked like that to each other when we were 11.

It’s episode 2, so it’s about time that we check in with the terrorists. The man in charge is Jadalla bin-Khalid, the Oxford-educated son of the fallen elder Khalid. He’s new to the more hands-on side of the family business, which means he’s getting lectured by one of his father’s lieutenants, Kusuma. Later, the underling continues his resistance to his new commander, trying to rally the men to abandon their current plan and take out a mall. “One attack won’t change history,” interrupts Khalid. He won’t let them leave, causing Kusuma to pull a gun on him. The student-turned-radical shows no fear, earning the respect of all his men, including Kusuma.

Speaking of budding terrorists, Amira is trying to work her magic on Drew and convince him to drop his suspicions. She says that she met a guy online back in Chechnya and only said that stuff because she thought it’s what he wanted to hear (been there). She’s quite the actress, turning on the charm. “I know you only did this because you care for me,” she says, moving in to passionately kiss him. SUCKER. With that business handled, Amira calls up the gullible Mr.Harris, who is in full-on panic mode. She insists he must continue mixing the explosive, as they need to be ready when called upon.

Carter catches Rebecca up on his plan to get the money, which she also believes is crazy. She’s verified that the money is at the police station but insists they bring CTU in on this. “Everything that’s happening is on me,” he admits, acknowledging that he should have pulled Ben off of the Khalid mission. Considering that, he feels like he has to be the person to fix this. What’s his plan? To get arrested, of course, but how?

“Look, I’m a black man standing on a corner on 3rd and Decatur,” he says with a straight and serious face. “Trust me, it won’t be that hard.” Apparently, in the world of 24, when you need a racist cop, you will get a racist cop within seconds. Obviously and unfortunately, there have been plenty of recent (and not-so-recent) instances of racial profiling by police, but it comes off as cartoonish here. A police car happens to be driving by and gets suspicious of Carter, pulling up next to him. The older cop immediately starts getting rough as he questions this person who was literally just walking down the street. It’s a bad move, as Carter goes classic Bauer on him, knocking both officers down and taking their guns.

NEXT: Jimmy Smits in the building!

Now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for: some Jimmy Smits scenes! Years after winning the presidency on The West Wing, Smitty is back at it. His 24 candidate, John Donovan, arrives for a fundraiser at his father’s house (Dr. K!). His dad and uncle need to share some troubling news with him: The rival campaign is set to launch an attack ad, accusing Donovan’s campaign manager Nilaa (Sheila Vand) of having attended a radical mosque. He doesn’t want to believe it, but his uncle verified the information with photos. Donovan decides to give Nilaa a chance to explain herself. She admits that it’s true, reasoning that she went there to speak against radicalism. Upon being offered her resignation, Donovan rejects it, insisting they can survive this. “The hit I can take. It’s not swinging back that bothers me,” he declares. He’s got my vote!

Amira goes to check on Mr. Harris, who’s clearly jumpy. Having already worked her magic on Drew, it’s time to do it again. She reminds him why he’s doing this — all of those student accusations that cost him his marriage. To be fair, considering their current relationship, his wife probably made a good call. To calm him down, she begins kissing him, soon making her way below the belt. Just at that moment, Drew walks in, so shocked that he delivers one of the worst written, acted, and delivered bits in 24 history. “Oh my god, he was the one you were texting,” he squeals. “God, Amira. You are sick.” Mr. Harris attacks Drew, igniting a struggle that results in Drew’s head being smashed in.

Carter has begun to put his crazy plan into action. He somehow had the materials to create an explosive that he strapped to the racist cop’s back, and he forces the officers to take him into custody. They arrive at the station, with the officers walking their “prisoner” to the evidence room, but the plan is put in jeopardy when the racist cop is summoned to talk to Internal Affairs, further validating his already validated status as a bad guy. Knowing this is a problem, Carter causes a tussle, leading the commanding officer to realize that they’ll need two cops to book this criminal.

He isn’t the only member of the Carter family gearing up for some major illegal activity. Isaac is prepping for his meeting with the Dominicans. But Aisha, eavesdropping as always, overhears Isaac say he’s done with her. I predicted that she would be a problem, and guess what? Aisha is about to be a problem. After using her sexuality on one of Isaac’s men, she calls up the Dominicans to convince them to work with her and kill Isaac. Nicole gives Aisha a little bit of her own medicine by listening in.

Aided by Andy, who hacks into the station’s cameras, Carter finds the money, and luckily, he convinces Ben to give him some more time. But the operation hits a snag when Locke, the head of CTU field ops, arrives at the office. He’s supposed to meet Mullins, so Andy has to distract him. It’s brief, but there seems to be some romantic tension between the two. Locke isn’t suspicious until new Stiles shows up to say that Mullins has been missing for almost an hour.

Back upstairs, Andy has had a breakthrough. He’s figured out who the mole is. The information was obtained by a CTU director’s code. Not Mullins’, though — Rebecca’s. Andy manages to trace back the login to a computer at her husband’s campaign headquarters. It was Nilaa! I take it back; Donovan’s not getting my vote. Just as they find this crucial piece of intel, Mullins and Locke bust in to shut them down. This is really bad news for Carter. They’re no longer tapping into the security feed, so upon trying to exit, he takes on heavy fire from officers. Barricaded in the evidence room, he screams into his phone, “Can anyone hear me?” Depends — does he have Verizon?

What did you think? Did this second episode improve on the premiere? How is Carter stacking up so far?

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