Carter and Grimes are on the move to their meeting with evil arms dealer Gabriel, armed with the schematics to the McGuffin missile system. Grimes shows off his battlefield grooming skills along the way by shaving off a full beard with a pair of nail scissors, and generally tidying himself up – Gabriel, he confides to Carter, likes it high and tight. This whole escapade is deeply troubling to Mullins, who correctly concludes that Andy was a crucial part of stealing the schematics, and suspends him. Rebecca tells Andy that he did the right thing, which is easy for her to say as she hasn’t been suspended. She will for the next few minutes be interrogating Henry Donovan; the Henry Donovan who’s the father of Senator Donovan, her husband. Her father-in-law. I know we keep asking this, but does literally no-one in the TV crime-fighting world have any conception of conflict of interest? Anyway, Henry denies the confession he made to the Senator about how he was responsible for the leak of the list of sleeper cells.
Ah yes, the sleeper cells. The USB drive is proving to be a tough nut to crack, but one name is extracted out of a total of 15. Jihadi, Jr. would prefer to wait until they have all 15 – that’s what his father wanted – but some redshirt in his team goes ahead anyway, alerting the sleeper for whom they have details, and finds himself on the wrong end of a bullet from Jr. The sleeper agent is Khasan, Amira’s brother, who is busy fighting with his father, who’s turned up out of the blue to get in the way and provide a couple of minutes of plot filler.
On the way to the Gabriel meet Carter has to field a phone call from Nicole, his wife, who’s just about had enough of life chez Isaac: his reaction to being sold out by Aisha is a paranoid investigation of everyone in his team, and when Nicole intervenes he pushes her away with such force that she ends up on the floor. But he apologises, so that’s… OK? It’s yet another subplot which just doesn’t work. Admittedly Gabriel turns out to be good for something when he visits a richly-merited death on Grimes before cutting his own throat to prevent being interrogated by CTU, but it isn’t enough to save the episode. And although I’ve been moderately critical of this show until now, I feel as if I’ve actually been cutting it a bit more slack than I should, because I retain a considerable amount of residual fondness for the franchise. Thus far, though, 24: Legacy hasn’t been anywhere near good enough. By coincidence, after watching this episode I moved onto Designated Survivor, which reminded me of one of the things we’ve lost: Corey Hawkins is a decent actor, and good in the action scenes, but Carter is a very different kind of lead character, and doesn’t have Kiefer Sutherland’s compelling intensity, weariness, and desperation. On the bright side, though, the ringtone is back.