As promised by the final scene of last week’s episode, we open this season finale with Almeida vs Carter. And it’s quite the fight. The two of them punch each other almost to a standstill, then Carter breaks Almeida’s arm, and it looks as if the grand old man of the 24 franchise is going down. Until, that is, his moll pulls a gun on Carter. But, just in time, Senator Jimmy Smits manages to get through to Almeida, tells him that Ara, Asim’s daughter, is still alive, and that she can be traded for Rebecca. Obviously with Rebecca’s life in the balance Almeida agrees not to go through with his task, and he withdraws, presumably to have an awkward conversation or two with his current partner.
Meantime, Rebecca’s complicated and time-consuming execution is being streamed to a worldwide audience. But – yes, again, just in time – Carter gets through to Asim, offers to trade, and Asim saves Rebecca. When Carter and Asim finally do the deal, though – a process which probably takes more time in a season-ender than it should – Ara is deposited safe and well in the Jordanian Embassy, while Asim and Rebecca take bullets from bin Khalid, who is also shot. Rebecca is taken to hospital, but gets the trademark 24 silent clock of doom. Oh dear. She was a terrific character.
And that’s more or less it. Donald Simms kills himself. Senator Smits mourns his wife and decides to keep on running for the Presidency. Daniel Pang is presumably under a desk somewhere in CTU. Carter tries to leave his wife because he’s decided that the life of a CTU agent – which has no room for families, etc. etc. – is the life for him, but Nicole won’t hear of it. It’s not the best episode, but it’s good enough. If 24: Legacy is to be renewed, though, it’s pretty clear that the Almeida-infused second half of the season was measurably better than the first. I’d start the contract negotiations there. As to whether it should be renewed: I think it did just about enough, creatively speaking, to warrant another season. But it’s the ratings that count, and we should find out shortly whether they’ve been sufficient to lead to a renewal.