– by Anthony Esteves

Courtesy of Guy D'Alema/FOX

Courtesy of Guy D’Alema/FOX

Henry isn’t talking. Amira’s truck bomb kills over 100 people on the Washington bridge. On top of all that, Nicole and Isaac have been kidnapped and unless Eric finds someone to repair the flash drive, Jadalla promises to give them a slow and painful death.

Tick-tock, Agent Carter. Tick-tock.

Yet, there is more to this episode. We, the audience, get a flash from the past. 24 fanatics like myself have been waiting for this day. The day a 24 legend makes his triumphant return to this anxiety and tension-driven series.

Let us not get ahead of ourselves.

CTU is trying to respond to the attack on the bridge while attempting to keep their emotions in check. Andy offers his services once again, only to be shot down again by Keith. Rebecca, upset over the bombing, angrily discusses to Keith how Henry’s refusal to admit what he knows is what lead to this attack. She then quietly offers the assistance of her enhanced interrogation squad; a squad that is kept off the books. Keith agrees and the two confirm that they must keep John in the dark on this. Rebecca finds a quiet corner and makes a phone call. On the other end, we hear the voice of… TONY ALMEIDA!

Courtesy of Guy D'Alema/FOX

Courtesy of Guy D’Alema/FOX

Yes, THAT Tony Almeida. Jack Bauer’s best friend turned rogue agent. Following her orders, Tony agrees to locate and interrogate Henry Donovan. During all this, Eric corners Andy in the parking lot and seeks his assistance with Jadalla. The two agree on a suicide mission that would involve erasing all information on Jadalla’s drive using a virus.

When Keith asks Rebecca who she’s using in this operation, he’s less than thrilled to hear Tony’s name. Tony is a criminal, responsible for the lives of many. Rebecca agrees, but informs Keith that Tony has no connection with CTU, making him the perfect option. As Andy has a last goodbye moment with Thomas, Henry’s car heads down the road, only to be cornered by a black van and subject on a motorcycle. Some incapacitating gas, a few anti-lock door devices, and Tony and his crew have Henry in their possession.

Nicole and Isaac are locked up in the terrorist hideout. Isaac is able to have a few minutes with Nicole, where he tells her she made the right choice in choosing Eric and that this may be the last moment he’ll have to tell her. It is then where henchmen grab Nicole, bring her downstairs and have her stitch up Jadalla’s bullet graze on his arm. He tells her that Eric will do as he’s told and then he will kill him. Nicole responds by telling Jadalla that Eric won’t stop until Jadalla is dead. Meanwhile, Thomas catches Eric and Andy off guard, holding them at gunpoint. After a disarmament, a few hits and blocks and a retrieval of guns, Eric holds Thomas at gunpoint as Andy handcuffs him. Once done, Andy continues with creating his virus for Jadalla’s drive.

Courtesy of Guy D'Alema/FOX

Courtesy of Guy D’Alema/FOX

Henry is seated and tied to his chair and table in a room. Outside the room, Tony is greeted by Rebecca in his black site. After swearing not to go too far on Henry and learning that John is unaware of this, Tony moves in. He gives Henry his options: tell the truth or be given some very painful serums. Henry, of course, refuses to talk, and those moments from past 24 days are on the way. 

Carlos Bernard fits smoothly back into the role of Tony Almeida. He’s older, he’s battle-hardened, he’s tarnished due to his dark past, but it’s the same attitude and delivery we grew accustomed to over his many seasons alongside Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. Watching him return to his most recognizable role is a welcome addition to this new take on the series. 

From here, things take a slight turn. John finds out his father is in the hands of Rebecca’s “special ops”. She tells him over the phone where they are and promises they won’t touch Henry until John arrives, which is a lie since Tony has already started. Eric and Andy pull up to the location and meet with Jadalla and his men. Eric holds a gun to Andy’s head, telling Jadalla to let his family go or the only hope of recovering their drive dies here and now. Jadalla agrees and lets Nicole and Isaac go. Eric tells them both to get in his truck and drive away. Overcome with emotion, the two agree, get in his truck and drive off. Once they are gone, Eric and Andy allow themselves to be captured and placed in Jadalla’s van.

As Eric and Andy are placed in the van, well out of listening range, Jadalla tells one of his men to recapture Nicole and Isaac… and kill them.

And the clock ticks down to 7:00pm…