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Jack Bauer returns from Ground Zero after Mason's dying deed to CTU. A recording from Syed Ali's apartment implicates three Arab countries, and when Ali is questioned, he denies it. A conspiracy thickens when Ali is assassinated on his transfer to Guantanamo Bay and Bauer tries to stop President Palmer from lauching a retilatory strike by finding evidence that the recording is a fake. Meanwhile, Kim runs into trouble at a liquor store.

Episode Guide

Previously on 24

  • Jack speaks to President David Palmer that the nuclear bomb will have to be flown out of the city. NEST loads the bomb onto the Cessna. Lynne Kresge tells Palmer that Ground Zero in the Mojave is a very specific location to dispose of the bomb. Mike conveys to Palmer that the pilot will go down with the plane. It's a suicide mission to save thousands of lives. Palmer finds out Jack is flying the plane. After this, Palmer orders his staff to prep Air Force One to L.A. much to Lynne and Mike's dismay.
  • Yusuf Auda arrives at CTU. Michelle tells Tony Almeida that Auda and his country's government helped CTU seize Syed Ali's apartment. She hands him a hard drive containing a recorded conversation of Ali and three high-ranking Arab leaders in Cyprus on April 5th. This indicates that these three Arab countries supplied Ali with the bomb.
  • Kim Bauer is in the car with Anne, and she talks to her dad, Jack. He divulges that CTU found the bomb. But the bomb is impossible to diffuse so Jack must fly it out to LA. Kim cries and Jack reassures his love for her.
  • Jack Bauer senses movement behind on the plane and finds George Mason in the rear. Mason gives Jack a parachute and talks Jack out of flying the plane. Mason ends up flying the Cessna. Later, Jack covers his head and hides behind a slope as light flashes on him. The bomb explodes into a nuclear mushroom cloud of powerful kilotons at Ground Zero...

The following takes place between 11:00pm and 12:00am


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Tony watches the nuclear blast on the monitor.

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Palmer watches the nuclear blast on Air Force One.

CTU personnel watches the nuclear explosion on satelliate imaging and infrared. Tony, Carrie, and several others all react emotionally to the averted disaster billowing on the monitors. Elsewhere on Air Force One, President Palmer looks at the small mushroom cloud in the distance from his window. Lynn comes in and her and Mike watch Palmer's expression. Thinking Jack is dead, Palmer looks depressed. Somewhere on the southern LA streets, Kim sees the mushroom cloud in the distance. She's sitting down on the curb, crying. She steps down, now sitting on the streets and cries some more, thinking her father is dead.

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After lighting up the flares, Jack sees the chopper.

Safe from Ground Zero and in the middle of the Mojave, Jack sets off three flares and throws them in a triangle position. Suddenly, a CTU helicopter emerges. Jack watches his hair from the wind and is picked up by the chopper. Inside, Bauer requests the pilot alert Tony at CTU that he made it and to tell his daughter, Kim, he's still alive. The pilot tells him that radio transmissions are a no-go as well as cell phone becaues of the nuclear blast. Jack understands. The chopper flies to CTU.


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Tony delivers his speech.

Over at CTU, Tony tells the staff that due to George Mason's sacrifice, they still have a lot of work to do. Saying this was a hard-long day would be an understatement, and now the Cyprus recording is their primary investigative objective. After Tony's speech, Auda approaches him and inquires why he's been excluded from the investigation. Auda leaves after Tony brushes him off, and tells Carrie that Michelle Dessler is interrogating Syed Ali in custody. Beacuse of this, he asks her to take care of audio authentication of the Cyprus recording.

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Michelle interrogates Syed Ali.

Syed Ali sits in his chair in custody. In his bloodied clothes, he listens as Michelle plays the Cyprus recording. In the Arabic conversation, the leaders tell Ali he'll receive payment funds through discussed channels and that what they're doing will change the world. Michelle stops the tape, and shows him the pictures of the three male Arab leaders.

But Ali denies this. He says that he was in Berlin, prepping the operation. Michelle tries to intimidate him that if he doesn't confess, the interrogators at Guantanamo will press him harder. Ali points out why would he lie about this when he told the truth about the nuclear warhead. Michelle suggests he's trying to protect his country. But again, Ali confirms that the bomb was a Second Wave operation only. He has never meet these men. Michelle leaves.


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Tony Almeida consults with Agent Gibson about the Cyprus audio.

Tony comes into the briefing room and consults with the technicians. Agent Gibson discusses with Tony about the verification of the recording. Thier discoveries tell them that the evidence is real and no splicing artifacts that would indicate it's fake were found. Tony points out a question that maybe the recording might've been doctored in a way intelligence agencies wouldn't detect. Gibson says anything's theoratically possible but confirms to Tony these Mideast leaders conspired with Ali to detonate a nuclear warhead on US soil.

Michelle enters the room and conveys to Tony that Ali denies this situation. Since he could be telling the truth, Michelle asks they further the investigation. Carrie interrupts in disagreement and chides Michelle for not having appropriate interrogation skills. Tony stops their argument, and says he'll present both sides to President Palmer.


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President David Palmer asks for a declaration of war from Congress.

Aboard Air Force One, Mike Novick briefs President Palmer on the detonation and the lack of casualities execept of the pilot. Mike then tells him that Jack Bauer got off the plane, and George Mason took over. Lynne informs Mike and David that CTU confirmed the recording is authentic. As expected, she tells them Ali is denying this accusation and the tape. Given the powerful evidence, Palmer is forced to retaliate and to respond. He gives an order to send a statement about the blast. He then wants to call for an emergency session of Congress in which he will ask for a formal declaration of war.

11:14:05, 11:14:06, 11:14:07...


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At CTU, Tony asks Michelle about the hostility between her and Carrie. Even though Carrie was right about Michelle's inexpereince in interrogating, Michelle still has reasonable doubt warranting Ali's further questioning. Tony says Guantanamo will take care of it. But Michelle thinks by then it'll be too late.

President Palmer meets with the Joint Chiefs via video conference aboard Air Force One. Genral Bowden, who's aboard the plane, tells him they can be ready to initiate a rolling start with strikes the same day. It'll take 8 to 10 weeks to get ground troops into the Mideast.

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Palmer and Barghouti talk over the phone.

Kresge interrupts with the Deputy Minister Barghouti on the line. Lynne say if Palmer doesn't answer the call for the second time, the minister will possibly jump to conclusions. Palmer exits the room while the video is muted. He takes the call. The minister pleges full support against Second Wave becuase his country have tried to capture Ali for several years. He asks Palmer not to respond against his country. Palmer says they're gathering evidence for the time being. Barghouti appreciates Palmer's candor, while Palmer appreciates Barghouti's solidarity. Palmer hungs up as Mike smiles.


Ali is carried out by a TAC team toward CTU's exits. Jack enters the building, and as he passess, Ali curses at him in Arabic for killing his son. The team keeps him under control, and Jack speaks to Tony. Tony's glad Jack's back. Jack heard the news of Tony's promotion to Director. Tony scoffs at that amazing event. Almeida gives Bauer the telephone number of a San Jose sheriff officer who's waiting for Kim at Aunt Carol's house.


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Bauer listens to what Dessler has to say.

Jack puts on his jacket and walks to a phone station desk. Jack talks to the police department on the phone. Michelle hears his voice nearby and looks at Jack. As he finishes, Michelle says it's good to have him back. Bauer thanks her. She then asks Jack for his help. She believes Palmer is planning a military action based on the Cyprus audio tape. She isn't sure if Ali is telling the truth. Because Jack broke him and can read him better than anyone, she asks him to to question him before the transfer. Jack obliges, tells Michelle to call the San Jose number, and he goes after Ali.


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After Ali is assasssinated, Bauer secures the area.

Armed tactical agents guard the back entrance of CTU. An agent signs a a transfer document on a pad and commands the team to let Ali out. Ali is taken out, and is led to the van. Jack catches up to the agents and tells them he wants to talk with the prisoner.

Jack walks toward Ali, and confessess that they didn't kill his son. They staged it. Once at Guantanamo, he'll be able to speak to his family. Bauer wants to know if the Cyprus audio is real. Ali tells Bauer that what he told Michelle was true. Jack thanks Ali and walks away. Suddenly, Ali's head flings back from a single shot to the temple. He falls down dead. Jack holds the agent back and tells him to contact CTU, that Ali is dead.

They have a shooter on the south section of the area. Bauer and the agents scan and secure the area to discern where the shot came from as the agent calls in that the prisoner is down.

11:26:55, 11:26:56, 11:26:57...


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Tony and Jack discuss the situation at the CTU back entrance where Ali was shot. Forensics cover his body. Tony asks how anyone knew CTU was moving Ali. Jack tells him the leak could have come from any intelligence community because they all know about the transfer.

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Almeida and Bauer discuss the suspects in Ali's assassination.

Tony concludes the three implicated Arab countries arranged this assassination, but Jack is starting to believe a third party did it because Ali was killed so therefore, he might have been telling the truth. Tony and Jack debate over this, and Tony turns hostile about responsibilty, considering how Jack operates. Jack asks why Tony's talking to him like this, and Almeida points out that he doesn't want to be told how to do his job.

The agent near them keeps interrupting their argument with an urgent call from a police director. Tony becomes relentless, and tells Jack to find his daughter and let CTU do their job. Bauer agrees and leaves. Tony takes the call.


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Kim Bauer arrives at a liquor store and tries to use the payphone.

In a desolate civilian area, Kim Bauer walks toward a liquor store under the night sky. She sees a pay phone and walks to it. She tries to call someone, but the lines and circuits are all busy. Suddenly, Frank Davies, the liquor store owner, comes up from behind her. As he asks what she's doing there, Kim tells him she wants to use the lavatory in his store. Davies lets her in the store, and ominously locks the door behind him.


President Palmer continues his meeting with the Joint Chiefs. General Bowden debriefs them on scenarios. Bowden predicts 10 to 30,000 casulaties in case the Arab countries would most likely retaliate aganist U.S. opposition. Palmer asks if Russia and China would takes sides in the war against America. Bowden responds that the Russians and the Chinese will likely want to control their oil fields before choosing sides.

Lynn interrupts with a call from Jack Bauer at CTU. Palmer takes the call in the next room. Palmer is glad to hear Jack's voice, but he's busy right now. Jack responds with the importance of this converstaion. He informs Palmer that Syed Ali was assassinated, and they don't know who did it. Jack thinks the Cyprus audio is not genuine.

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Bauer talks with Palmer about a potential conspiracy.

Palmer says that because Ali was killed, it doesn't mean the audio was forged. Jack knows that, but because of Ali's denials, Bauer's worried that someone may be manipulating Palmer into taking the military responce he's about to take. Palmer becomes skeptical, so Jack asks how much time he has to secure evidence that the audio is fake. Palmer says he has up until the bombers release their payloads, so he better find it quick. Jack understands and hangs up. He then leaves his station to find the evidence.

11:37:14, 11:37:15, 11:37:16,...


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Bauer calls Dessler about the recording and information. She replies that a foreign intelligence officer from one of the alleged implicated Arab countries, Yusuf Auda, is here at CTU. Jack askes why he's here, and Michelle says it's because of a intelligence agreement between America and that country. Jack tells her he'll look up his background and hangs up.

Jack goes to a computer station as Kate Warner, led by Agent Baker, walks from behind him. As Jack works, she calls out his name. Clearly suprised, she's shocked to see him alive and askes how's he doing. Jack's fine and so he asks how she's doing. Kate's fine, but her father, Bob, is still worn out and shooken up from today's events. She's relieved that the bomb was detonated safely.


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Palmer evidently is disturbed by his conversation with Jack Bauer.

Novick comes to President Palmer with good news. General Bowden has reduced the list of American casulties. But Palmer remains unfazed. He admits a conversation with Jack Bauer keeps playing in his head. Novick assures him that the recording was authenticated by every intelligence agency.

Palmer replies everyone execept CTU agent Bauer. Novick says Palmer's analyzing perrsonality is his greatest assest and his greatest liabilty. But Palmer asks Novick, who sides with the facts, if he is sure that the Cyprus audio is real. At the moment, Novick is unable to respond.

Back at CTU, Auda washes his hands in the men's bathroom. Jack walks in, discreetly. After making sure the room is empty, he introduces himself to Auda. Auda is persistant because he's excluded from the investigation. Bauer asks whether it's possible the Cyprus audio in Ali's house was compromised.

Because it incriminates his country, Yusuf wants to know what Jack knows. But Jack confirms that he's not at liberty to disclose infromation. Auda and Bauer are not even supposed to be talking. Since Jack is asking too much, Yusuf leaves.

Suddenly, Bauer's phone rings. He answers. An unknown man identifies himself as the man who was in Cyprus on April 5th; who planted the bogus tape in Ali's apartment and assassinated him to be quiet.

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Bauer talks to an unknown informant, who wants Kate Warner.

He confirms he's the one who killed Ali because he saw Jack and Ali talking outside the back entrance, but he couldn't kill Jack because he moved at the last second. This man is dying to know what Ali and Jack were talking about. Bauer asks what he wants. This man wants Kate Warner, and tells Jack to meet him with Kate at Studio City on Moorpark and not involve CTU.

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The informant is a member of Coral Snake.

Bauer says he needs more time, but the man hangs up. As the man drives toward Studio City, he drops his phone. It's revealed on his right forearm, that he has a distinctive coral snake tatoo. He's a member of Coral Snake.

11:48:13, 11:48:14, 11:48:15,...


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In the bathroom of the liquor store, Kim watches her face and her hands. After staring at herself in the mirror, she hears someone banging on the door.

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Ramon Garcia.

The man, Ramon Garcia, wants to be let in the store as he demands for supplies. Davies tells him the store is closed and to find another store down the street. Kim comes out the bathroom and sees Garcia at the door. He becomes threathening and Davies calls the police.

Kim ominously says it's starting, and Davies asks her what she meant. But she dismisses it. Suddenly, Garcia throws a shopping cart throw the door, shattering it. He charges at Davies and grabs him by the throat. Bauer pulls out her gun and fires a shot. POW!

Garcia is startled and Kim tells to let go of Davies. But when Garcia isn't afraid and walks toward her, Kim relents. Garcia takes the gun away from her and loads his grocery bags.


At CTU, Bauer calls Dessler for her help this time. Jack says there might be another way to prove the Cyprus audio was forged.

At the liqour store, Garcia offers to pay for the goods. He wants to fend for his pregnant wife whose in the car outside. He tells them he's not a criminal. After Garcia tells Davies to turn on the news, they see FOX reports of the nuclear blast. He conveys a friend of a cousin overheard scientists talking. The scientists confirmed it as a nuclear explosion. Davies becomes suspicious of Kim and asks whether she knew about this all along.

Just then, the LAPD arrive at the store. They draw weapons on the car holding Garcia's wife inside. Garcia calls out to them, but Davies attempts to retake the gun away from him. After a fight, Garcia accidently shoots him in the stomach. The cops order Gacia to come out. Seeing no alternative, Garcia grabs Bauer and takes her as a hostage.


In CTU, Agent Baker briefs Warner on the incident when Syed Ali had kidnapped her and killed her private investiagtor. Kate knows a little Arabic, but she got the impression that Syed and his associate knew each other really well when they embraced each other before Syed went to the mosque.

Dessler walks in and interrupts Baker's debriefing saying that he's needed somewhere else. Kate sits innocently as they leave but then Bauer walks in. He convinces her to come with him, and they leave. Yusuf and Carrie sees this occur.

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As Tony is suprised by Carrie's notation, split screen commences.

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Final Split Screen.

Seconds later, Baker walks back in to find that Warner is gone. Carrie phones Tony, that unless she's reading the situation wrong, Jack Bauer is taking Kate Warner away from CTU and Michelle is possibly helping.

Final split screen: Tony in his office suprised, The terrible sitaution at the liquor store, Michelle looking around, and Palmer on Air Force One seriously contemplating his war decision as the projector screen shows the bomber planes nearing their targets in the Middle East.

Jack and Kate meet an associate at the door entrance to the parking lot. He gives Jack the keys and walks away. Jack and Kate run for the entrance but are stopped by Tony. Tony asks what's he doing. Bauer can't explain, so Tony suggests he should as he pulls a gun on him.

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Bauer and Warner head for the door to leave CTU.

Jack knows Tony wouldn't shoot, but then again, he punches him. Tony falls sprianing his ankle as Jack holsters the gun and grabs Kate, running. Tony calls out his name as Bauer and Warner leave the building.

11:59:57, 11:59:58, 11:59:59, 12:00:00

Memorable Quotes

  • Tony Almeida: You talked to Michelle.
  • Jack Bauer: No, I talked to Ali.

  • Jack Bauer: I know it's asking a lot.
  • Yusuf Auda: It's asking too much.(leaves)

  • Kim Bauer: It's starting.

Dramatis Personae


Guest Starring


Notes and Trivia

  • During filming of this season, Carlos Bernard had sprained his ankle playing basketball and was using crutches. To compensate for this, the writers had Tony sprain his ankle during Jack's escape attempt to make his use of crutches be believable.
  • As a bit of irony, in Day 2 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Jack said to Ali that "the only way he was going to die is if he killed him." He is killed, but instead of it being by Jack, Jonathan Wallace sniped him.
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Day 2 12:00am-1:00am

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