In this hour, Jack remains a wanted man whose quest for justice forces former allies to take sides — and some of their choices are surprising.
As the hour opens, the Air Force is attempting to force Helicopter Jack down — which they do, though not onto the CTU helipad they were aiming for. Landing on the roof of the Cooper Building (whatever that is), Jack manages to get down to ground level and disappear on the crowded sidewalk below.
At the U.N., Ethan Kanin is doing his best to convince President Taylor she's made the wrong call by covering up the Russians' assassination of President Hassan.
"You crossed the line, Madame President, but it may not be too late to step back and limit the damage," Kanin counsels her. "Expose the Russians, grant Dana Walsh immunity in exchange for evidence..."
"Which will effectively end the peace talks," she retorts.
"But it will save your administration," he says. That seems to seal the deal, and Taylor tells him to draft a statement announcing the United States' withdrawal from the peace talks. But wait! Consummate snake-in-the-grass Logan has a Plan B that will seemingly save the peace deal, and save face for Taylor. A "private security firm" is already standing by, which will ensure Walsh stays out of the public eye (where she could make damaging secrets known) and get the necessary information out of her without a pesky immunity deal.
Taylor balks at the implication that torture will be employed, but Logan is persuasive, as always.
"Wielding the kind of power that I once had and you have now can change the world, but that often requires making impossible choices that challenge our most sacred ideals," he tells her. "If you're not willing to do that, you should take Ethan's advice and pull out now."
Minutes later, Chloe is surprised to receive the call from Taylor, explaining that Walsh will be taken to a secure location and out of CTU's custody. She's less surprised to get a call from Jack, who wants to do a little Walsh-torturing himself.
When Chloe argues that only the President can make the call on what happens to Walsh, things get a bit ugly. "You don't wanna go against me on this," Jack advises. "Are you threatening me?" Chloe balks.
Eventually she relents, and agrees to find out where Walsh is headed. When newcomer Mark Bledsoe and his security firm compatriots arrive, Chloe manages to snag the address from a chip in their PDA.
Then Walsh is whisked off in handcuffs, pleading with Chloe not to let them take her, and that she's going to be killed — which very well may be the case, if this Bledsoe guy has his way. And somehow, I don't think too many tears will be shed over it.
After that emotional scene, Chloe makes the surprising decision to set up a sting operation to apprehend Jack, providing him with a false Walsh address, where Ortiz and a team of CTU operatives will be waiting.
But Jack arrives well-armed, having called in a favor from an old buddy, Jim Ricker (a burn-scarred Michael Madsen). And that favor is surveillance equipment, body armor and a whole lot of guns.
As Jack approaches the building, Chloe switches back and forth between giving him false information about the schematics and apprising Ortiz of Jack's whereabouts. Seems like a dangerous game she's playing — and one more two-faced than I would have thought Chloe capable of.
Jack manages to take out one of the "sentries" with non-lethal force — which apparently was all part of CTU's plan. But then, he switches things up enough to throw off Ortiz's team, sending the unconscious agent's body in on some kind of laundry hook.
Then Jack makes his move, grabbing one of Ortiz's men and holding a gun to his head while the rest are forced to disarm. Now in charge, Jack has Ortiz place a call to Chloe, telling her the operation was successful and Jack is in custody.
Not quite. In fact, he's convincing Ortiz that he can't be a part of Taylor's cover-up any longer. "I'm giving you the opportunity to make this right, to make the people that are responsible for everything that happened today accountable," Jack tells him, before sliding his sidearm across the table.
Ortiz picks it up, and he's back on the right team — which, as always, is team Jack.
Back at the U.N., Kanin is appalled to learn of Taylor's plans for Walsh, and tries yet again to make her see reason. When she refuses, he tenders his resignation, which she doesn't take all that well.
"Ethan, we are almost there. You can't just abandon me like this!" she pleads.
But he holds firm.
"I'm not abandoning you, I'm listening to my conscience. Anyway, you've got Charles Logan now. Only room for one of us," he says. Sad but true.
Then it's time for Kanin to face down Logan.
"This peace is no good. There's too much blood on this treaty for it ever to hold," he spits, before getting personal. "Allison's so far in the woods, she'll never be able to find her way out. She wasn't like you. She wasn't like any politician I've ever known."
"You're right. Now she's got teeth!" Logan declares triumphantly, and the showdown ends in a stalemate.
As the hour closes, Dalia Hassan is taking the podium before an assembly of reporters, and taking the reins of her country in order to ensure the peace agreement is signed.
But off to her side, the look on Taylor's face is hardly one of satisfaction or triumph. She knows just how much she's sacrificed to make this day possible, including her daughter, husband and now the very ideals that likely inspired her to seek office in the first place.
- It just seems so wrong to see Chloe tracking Jack and trying to bring him into custody, rather than aiding in his escape. Guess being in the big chair really does change a person.
- Nice job, 24 writers, on making the sobering point that any politician is corruptible in the right circumstances — and ultimately, there's no reason Taylor should be any different.