24 did not disappoint. During the waning hours of November sweeps, Fox aired its two-hour 24 prequel movie Redemption. We knew the basic premise for months now, that it was set in the beginnings of a military coup in Sangala, Africa, and we knew that in typical parallel fashion an intertwined storyline was unfolding in Washington, D.C. – a new President was about to take office. Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones – Ocean’s Twelve, The West Wing) will be the President du jour for Day Seven.
But what last night’s Redemption also revealed was how devious this connection between Africa and Washington is. President Taylor looks clean, and at first glance so does her husband, First Gentleman Henry Taylor, as well as her son Roger.
However, we see right away that a big, bad American is funding the military actions in Sangala, a Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight – National Treasure, Transformers) is having a friendly phone call with a Colonel Dubaku (Hakeem Kae-Kazim – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Hotel Rwanda). Dubaku is a cog in the coup machine, responsible for capturing and training child soldiers. Hodges offers the colonel all sorts of help, and this brings back memories of Graem Bauer, our favorite deceased Bluetooth baddie whose wireless puppeteering of all things and all people made the end of Day Five that more intriguing.
But this is not the only U.S./Sangala connection; we meet a young, jumpy broker named Chris who is reminds us of Giovanni Ribisi’s Seth Davis in the 2000 film, Boiler Room. As Chris ends a placating phone call with a client, he’s summoned to his boss’s office, and is surprised to see a stranger leaving that office; the stranger is Hodges. And Nichols, Chris’s boss, asks him to do something with some shady accounts, and leave no records. Evidently Chris was under the assumption that these accounts involved embezzlement, but he was looking the other way, as he was making some sweet coin on the management of said accounts.
So, the jittery young man calls on his good friend for advice. As it turns out, this good friend is soon-to-be First Son, Roger Taylor (Eric Lively – The Butterfly Effect, The L Word). Roger advises Chris to talk to the FBI, but Chris is hoping for some intervention from the Oval Office. Roger asks for some concrete evidence which Chris agrees to send him via email. And here’s the other connection, Roger’s assigned Secret Service agent is really in cahoots with Hodges. (An aside: one wonders if bad guys actually use that term. “So, Don Corleone, ya wanna form an alliance…I mean, be ‘in cahoots’ with me and my boys?”)