|Written by:||Michael Chernuchin|
|Directed by:||Jon Cassar|
|Original airdate:||March 12, 2002|
Senator Palmer is at CTU demanding to speak with Jack. He gets his way to Jack, but finds Jack was acting in Palmer's best interest. At the safehouse, Teri is shocked to find out that she will be a mother again. Jack & David pull up the file on Operation Nightfall and uncover a shocking revelation that sheds some light on the assassins' motivations.
Right now, terrorists are plotting to assassinate a presidential candidate. My wife and daughter are in danger, and people that I work with may be involved in both. I’m federal agent Jack Bauer, and this is the longest day of my life.
The following takes place between 2:00pm and 3:00pm on the day of the California Presidential Primary.
At CTU, Senator Palmer threatens to go over Tony Almeida's head if he can't see Jack Bauer now. Tony leaves the room and calls Chappelle, telling him he can't stall Palmer much longer. However, Chappelle doesn't want to put those two in the same room together.
Milo tells Tony that they have new information about the threat. He says that Alexis Drazen is connected to the two other shooters.
Alberta Green continues to question Jack at CTU, but when he finds out that Kim and Teri were moved without his knowing, he refuses to continue.
Senator Palmer calls a friend in the Pentagon to help him get clearance to question Jack. Chappelle tells Palmer that when an agent is under internal investigation, protocol is to keep them isolated. Almeida walks in and hands Chappelle the phone. Alan Optican from the Pentagon tells Chappelle that Senator Palmer is to get whatever he wants. He thanks Palmer for helping him get through the red tape. Palmer asks for all recording devices to be turned off during the conversation with Jack.
Jack walks into the conference room, and to his shock, David Palmer is waiting. Palmer insists that the reason Jack wanted Palmer dead was revenge for the deaths of Jack's men in Kosovo, and he asks Jack who he's working with. Jack says that he blames himself for the incident in Kosovo, and that he did not want Palmer dead and explains to Palmer that his family had been kidnapped. He also told Palmer why he went for the Secret Service Agent's gun—to get him out of the room. Senator Palmer then realizes that they were both targets. Palmer goes on to explain that he was the head of the Senate sub-committee that authorized Operation Nightfall.
Teri and Kim arrive at the safehouse. Nina tells Agents Ted Paulson and Jeff Breeher stand on guard. Nina lets them get settled in and clean up before they start. Teri decides to take the pregnancy test.
Senator Palmer and Jack put the pieces together. They figure out that they are both targets as retaliation of the Victor Drazen mission. Senator Palmer explains how Victor Drazen was a monster. His tortures, massacres, and ethnic cleansings drove the sub-committee to plan a covert operation to eliminate Drazen. That mission was led by Jack Bauer. The mission went horribly wrong, and Jack was the only one to survive. Palmer remembers that the mission was coordinated by an NSA operative named Robert Ellis, whose job it was to ensure a level of plausible deniability in case Jack or his teammates were captured, and deduces that Ellis's life may be in danger as well.
NEW ORLEANS. At a bar in the French Quarter, Ellis is playing dice with a man named Lenny when he receives a call from Senator Palmer. Jack and Palmer apprise Ellis of the situation, and Ellis agrees to look up the files on Victor Drazen and his associates, though it will take some time.
Teri sits in disbelief, as she finds out that she is pregnant. Nina tells Teri that she put clean clothes on the bed.
At the Palmer HQ, Sherry Palmer tells Elizabeth Nash, that they might not be going to Nevada. Nash calls Alexis to tell him they might not be going. She will call him back soon to tell him where they will be.
Kim Bauer sees the pregnancy test. Her mom confirms that it was a precaution. Kim shakes her head, saying, "You scared me." Teri stops her. After a moment of silence, Kim figures out that her mom is pregnant. Kim storms out of the room, mad that they were trying to have a child and didn't tell her.
Palmer is talking with Ellis, when Milo walks into the room. Palmer tells him that he is cleared to be there. Jack tells Milo to give Ellis his login and password. After initiating the search, Ellis gets some partial results. Palmer says he will call back soon.
Kim and Teri are eating in the kitchen. Kim apologizes for questioning her about the pregnancy. Teri decides to call Jack right now, and tell him about the pregnancy. Teri gets a hold of Tony at CTU, but he tells her that Jack is busy and can't be disturbed. Nina comes in and says they need to start the debrief. She starts with Teri. Kim calls Rick, to try to talk him into turning himself in. Rick tells Kim to not tell CTU anything about him.
At CTU, Palmer says how he is amazed that all of this has nothing to do with him running for President. Sherry calls asking where David is. He said he is trying to find out who's trying to kill him. Palmer tells Jack how he noticed today, that he wasn't always there for his son. Palmer asks about Jack's family—Jack says he doesn't know.
Milo brings Jack and David a copy of Ellis' report. They come up with several terrorist names, including Rene Bonniere. They discover that Drazen's wife and daughter were killed in the attack. Jack now knows that his wife and daughter are still in danger. Palmer asks Chappelle to add security to Jack's family.
Nina questions Teri about her kidnapping. She asks about Rick. Nina mentions that Jack talks about Kim at work. Teri starts to suspect that Jack and Nina had a personal life. She asks Nina if she if still sleeping with Jack—Nina says it's over.
Palmer receives a call from Novick. Palmer says that he can't wait for Ellis to call. On his way out, Palmer tells Chappelle to reinstate Jack on a temporary basis, and Chappelle reluctantly agrees. Palmer decides that he will stay in California to try to flush out the Drazens. He also apologizes to Jack for misjudging him.
At the safehouse, Nina is questioning Kim. She asks about Rick and how he was involved. Kim defends him. During the interview, Jack calls. He tells Nina that two other teams are coming over and that Teri and Kim are targets. Jack talks to Teri, but she can't find the strength to tell Jack that she is pregnant.
Bob Ellis calls Jack and tells him that the file was erased deliberately. While Ellis is in the bathroom, a man walks in and garrotes him with a choke wire from behind.
Split Screen: Jack yells Ellis' name into the phone. David Palmer has a drink in his limousine. Andre and Alexis embrace before they leave the restaurant.
Exhausted, Teri collapses on her bed.
- Jack Bauer: You know about Operation Nightfall?
- David Palmer: I authorised the mission.
- Jack Bauer: And you think I want revenge?
- David Palmer: Yes I do.
- Jack Bauer: With all due respect, Senator, I almost died today trying to protect you. And if I blame anyone for the death of my men in Kosovo, Sir, I blame myself.
- Bob Ellis: If you could read what's in my eyes, you'd crawl under a rock and cry.
- David Palmer: What's incredible to me is that none of this has anything to do with me running for president. It has nothing to do with...the primary. It has nothing to do with my being black. It's just revenge for taking out Victor Drazen.
- Jack Bauer: I'm sorry this is happening to you, Sir.
- David Palmer: (astonished) You've been detained. Your family's been kidnapped. And you're concerned about me.
- Nina Myers: Look, I realize this is a terrible time for you to discover all this.
- Teri Bauer: When do you think a good time would be, Nina?
- David Palmer: Jack. I'm sorry that I misjudged you.
- Jack Bauer: Thank you, Senator.
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
- Leslie Hope as Teri Bauer
- Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers
- Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer
- and Dennis Haysbert as David Palmer
- Tamara Tunie as Alberta Green
- Željko Ivanek as Andre Drazen
- Daniel Bess as Rick Allen
- Misha Collins as Alexis Drazen
- Paul Schulze as Ryan Chappelle
- Kara Zediker as Elizabeth Nash
- Eric Balfour as Milo Pressman
- Wade Andrew Williams as Robert Ellis
Special guest stars
- Kevin Ramsey as Ted Paulson
- Logan Alexander as Lenny
- Nina Landey as Amanda
- Sam Ayers as Jeff Breeher
Background information and notes
- During the "Previously on 24" segment, the scene of Elizabeth Nash arriving at Alexis Drazen's hotel room is shown with her commenting, "I can't stay long, Alexis." However, in the previous episode, she left out his name.
- Milo's login "LFN" is likely a reference to La Femme Nikita, the show on which Jon Cassar, Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow worked before 24.