R.I.P. Ben Grimes — we hardly knew ye.
Well, we knew a little bit about Carter’s BFF. His weakness for drugs basically led to all his friends being killed and possibly the next horrific attack on U.S. soil. Other than that, though, he seemed like a solid guy.
The death of Ben did provide Legacy with a real “didn’t see that coming” moment. Don’t get me wrong — I thought Ben was a goner in like episode 1, and I was also convinced that Carter would kill his friend here. I mean, Jack wouldn’t have even hesitated. (R.I.P. Curtis!) But I didn’t expect it to go down like this. As a result of the unexpected twist, the young series delivered what might have been its strongest episode to date.
The action begins with Nilaa finally being vindicated. When Rebecca notifies her that she was set up, Nilaa rightfully gets a little sassy. She might be free now, but she also realizes that her reputation will never be the same. While it’s not much consolation, Rebecca does tell her that John never lost faith. Yeah, that definitely isn’t going to make her feel any better.
CTU is in panic mode trying to track down Carter. As Rebecca lies to Mullins’ face, saying she didn’t help Carter, she gets a call from the fugitive. He may be on the run, but Carter takes control, telling Mullins to have a team ready to track his location. Before the conversation is over, Mullins does his best to convince Carter that he can’t listen to Ben. Ben disagrees. “He’s wrong about me,” Ben argues. “You can trust me.” Not a great track record so far, Benny.
Back at terrorist HQ, Jadalla has gotten word that the corrupted flash drive did contain one of the sleeper cells. Kusuma thinks they should still strike, while Jadalla wants to wait for all 15 cells, declaring, “That’s how we bring this country to its knees.”
That’s a perfect segue to what is surely one of those sleeper cells. As Khasan and Amira head home after taking care of Drew, the older brother tries to cheer up his sister. “We are changing the world,” he says, though she looks pretty unconvinced. Waiting for them at home is quite the surprise — a visit from papa. As John could attest, that’s never a good thing. Amira is happy to see her father; Khasan, who’s convinced that this drop-in is no accident, is less so.
Having just escaped death, Isaac is on a war path. He thinks more people were in on Jerome and Aisha’s plan to betray him, and he wants everyone’s cell phones. Nicole is nervous, prompting a call to Carter in hopes that her husband will come to get her. The best he can do is tell her to go to Christine’s. Man, for people in witness protection, they have a lot of nearby options. Nicole is confused; she thought this was all over. Spoiler alert, Nicole: It’s never over in episode 5. Once she hangs up, one of Isaac’s guys comes in, begging her to talk some sense into him. “It was you leaving that broke him,” he tells her, laying on some super-guilt.
Papa Terrorist is enjoying some of Amira’s cooking when he asks his son how work is going. TRICK QUESTION! He knows that Khasan hasn’t been at the construction site in weeks, and there are rumors that Khasan was involved with his friend’s scheme to plant a bomb abroad. Papa T slaps his son, demanding answers. When his children are silent, he says they’re coming home with him, a plan that Khasan isn’t on board with. The men tussle, and the younger and more in-shape Khasan scores the expected victory. Despite their father’s pleas, a conflicted Amira helps her brother tie him up.
There might some terrorists on the loose, but Ben needs Carter to stop for some shaving tools because apparently Gabriel isn’t a beard guy. As he gives himself a trim, he contemplates the afterlife. “You think you get to see them when you die?” Ben asks his friend. “The people you love.” Oh yeah, we should have known he was a goner.
NEXT: Ben finishes shaving
Time for this week’s segment of “Mullins Hates Andy.” The analyst is called into Mullins’ office, where he learns that he’s being benched. But why? Well, it definitely has something to do with illegally helping Carter get those schematics. Not to worry, though — unemployed Rebecca, who seems to still be running CTU, promises she will get his job back.
Thankfully, the ride to see Gabriel is just enough time for Ben to get edged up real nice. Before they go in, Carter asks his friend if there’s anything he needs to know; Ben ignores the question, so that’s surely a great sign. Upon walking into the scary-looking warehouse, the duo is confronted by armed men. “You got some balls coming back here,” says an intimidating man. Welp, that’s sign No. 2 that Ben hasn’t shared the whole story. But Carter pulls out a glimpse of the schematics, leading the man to bring them to Gabriel.
After being guilted into it, Nicole goes to see Isaac, who is still off his rocker. This is what being a drug kingpin will do to you, kids. “If you keep going like this, they’re gonna turn on you,” she pleads. Uh oh, that’s not what you should say to an already paranoid person. He freaks out, asking who she has been talking to, and ends up “accidentally” knocking her over. That’s the last straw; she’s headed to Christine’s (whoever the heck that is). Isaac tries to convince her to stay, playing the role of your typical abuser by trying to justify his actions. “I’m losing my mind here,” he admits. Now, he’s laying guilt on her, too, confirming that hasn’t been the same since she left. Everyone seems to be reminiscing about the past — must have been pretty dope times back before she left. She agrees to stay as they get a little too close for my, and probably Carter’s, comfort.
As Ben and Carter kneel down, Gabriel makes his dramatic entrance, looking pretty damn terrifying but demonstrating great manners. “I’m delighted you decided to drop by,” he opens. Ben says that he’s here to make things right. Yep, Ben definitely did something bad. It turns out that Gabriel fronted Ben $50,000 for an arms deal, but the former ranger supposedly got robbed. “Right into your veins,” interjects Gabriel, saying what we were all thinking. In a classic 24 test, Gabriel gives Carter a gun. “Kill him,” he orders. “Then we can talk.” Ben doesn’t even resist, and we look to be headed for one of those times when the lead character must make a heartbreaking decision to save the world. We are, but Carter fails… or actually passes. By refusing to do it, Carter earns Gabriel’s respect for his loyalty — yet that doesn’t save Ben, as one of Gabriel’s men shoots the troubled veteran in the head.
The time has come to question Papa Donovan, and yet again, Rebecca gets to do the honors, even though she doesn’t work there and it’s her father-in-law. As John looks on, his father follows Luis’ instruction from last week and plays dumb. This doesn’t sit well with John, who rushes in. “You have a chance to make this right,” he screams. “Tell her the truth!” But what if she can’t handle the truth?!?!
Amira is starting to reconsider this whole terrorist thing after a one-on-one with her father, but it’s too late because Khasan has just gotten the activation code. Why now? Well, it turns out that Kusuma isn’t good at listening, and he went against Jadalla’s orders. “At least this way, we strike a blow,” he shares. Jadalla puts a gun to the man’s head; Kusuma confidently believes that this student-turned-terrorist doesn’t have it in him. Bad news for Kusuma: Jadalla has gone cold blooded, shooting his right-hand man in the head.
Gabriel has checked out Carter’s credentials and is satisfied. Upon taking a look at the schematics, he asks Carter what’s to stop him from keeping them and just killing him. “Someone who I trust told me you were a stand-up guy,” he replies, referencing his friend who literally just got shot by Gabriel’s people. Once Gabriel verifies the schematics, Carter makes his move, grabbing a gun and calling for back-up to move in.
A shootout begins as CTU arrives, with Carter having to put a bullet in Gabriel’s knee. Locke’s entrance distracts Carter, leading Gabriel to slash his own throat. And the moment Gabriel’s computer is touched, it starts to wipe itself clean. Carter rushes to put the dead man’s thumbprint on the device, hopefully salvaging some of the evidence.
What did you think? Are you happy to see Ben gone? Is the Amira story line getting more interesting or even more absurd?