|Written by:||Robert Cochran & Evan Katz|
|Directed by:||Brad Turner|
|Original airdate:||February 13, 2006|
Jack poses as Jacob Rossler to go undercover with the terrorists, and manages to trace one of the Sentox nerve gas canisters to the Sunrise Hills Shopping Mall. However, he goes against President Logan's orders to allow the release of the nerve gas. Meanwhile, Logan and Martha argue about his decision to cover up Walt Cummings' involvement with terrorists after his apparent suicide.
- President Charles Logan chastises Walt Cummings for getting involved with terrorists. Walt justifies himself by telling him that their plan was to detonate the nerve gas at the terrorists home base, until Ivan Erwich found out about his plan. Mike Novick considers to cover up Cummings' involvement to the media, but Martha thinks Logan should tell the truth. Later, Novick calls Logan and tells him to come downstairs to see that Walt Cummings has apparently hung himself.
- Lynn McGill talks to his drug-addicted sister, Jenny, who needs money. The two meet outside CTU, when Jenny's boyfriend hits Lynn from behind and steals his money and his CTU key card.
- Ivan Erwich tells a mechanic named Cal that he and his team needs his help cutting into the canisters. Rossler gives Erwich specific instructions on how to cut them, on the phone. Rossler tells him they need to meet and Erwich agrees to call back in five minutes.
- At Counter Terrorist Unit, Bill Buchanan tells Audrey Raines that President Logan has temporarily reinstated Jack. Chloe identifies the man from the intercepted conversation from Erwich. A man named Jacob Rossler, a software programmer.
- Jack Bauer and Curtis Manning raid Rossler's apartment and apprehend him. Erwich calls Rossler as Jack listens, and Erwich tells him he has the identification keys for the canisters. However, as they are about to move him, Rossler's female companion shoots him much to Jack's dismay. Curtis tells Jack that Rossler's was their only link to Erwich and he will call any minute.
between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Lynn McGill walks back in CTU, shaken. He stands in a corner to straighten his tie and his suit. He wipes the blood from the corner of his mouth, before fixing his hair and walking into the Situation Room. As he enters, he confronts Bill Buchanan on the situation. Bill tells him that Jacob Rossler was killed by his female companion, Inessa Kovalevsky. Rossler, who was going to give Erwich a chip that would enable the terrorist to activate the Sentox nerve gas canisters and release the gas, would've given CTU a way to track Erwich. Buchanan also tells Lynn that they put a tracker on the chip to follow Erwich. He also tells Lynn that they've picked up increased chatter from Erwich asking for help to launch nerve gas attacks on larger targets from terrorist sleeper cells in Los Angeles. Chloe suddenly interrupts them telling them that there's a call on Rossler's phone. It's Erwich.
At Rossler's penthouse, Curtis tells Jack that Erwich's calling and CTU is on the line. Jack answers in an indistinct voice as Erwich gives him instructions to meet in five minutes on the roof of a parking garage on the corner of White Oak and Madison. He tells "Rossler" that he'll send one of his men to meet him in a blue van. Erwich hangs up and Jack tells Curtis that they might've caught a break. He asks Curtis for the chip as he calls Buchanan. He answers in the Situation Room and Jack tells them he can pose as Rossler to see if they can get to the canisters. Although Lynn and Audrey think it's too risky, Buchanan gives Jack the green light. He then asks Chloe and Edgar to be ready to provide Jack with tech support to install the chip.
At the penthouse, Curtis tells Jack that the chip is genuine and will release the gas but only with the correct unlock code. He tells him the tracker is built into the chip itself. When Curtis asks Jack about his plan, Jack tells him he'll present himself non-threatening, and make the terrorists think that he is afraid of them. Curtis tells the TAC team to be ready and then gives Jack a new comm-unit so that CTU can hear within 20 feet of him at all times. He also tells him he'll be watching his back.
At Cal's Bikes, Erwich orders Komar and Polakov to go and meet Rossler, and to call him if there's any problem. He walks over to Andrei, who is working on the canisters, and asks if there is another way of triggering the canisters, in case Rossler fails them. Andrei says there may be a way, but someone will have to be on site with the canister. Erwich orders him to “get it done.”
At the Presidential Retreat, Mike Novick notifies President Logan that Walt Cummings body has been moved to the Secret Service outbuilding. Novick also tells him that they still need to release a public statement about Cummings' death, but Logan tells him to hold it until Walt's wife is notified. Novick complies, but then suggests that this turn of events brings them the opportunity to hold the statement he had prepared with Martha. He argues that, since Walt is dead, there is no need to taint his name bringing up his involvement with terrorists. According to Novick, it would be useless to do so, and devastating to the country if the nerve gas ends up being released. He says they should attribute his suicide to personal stress or related reasons. Logan notes that Martha will be upset, but Novick reminds him that it is his decision, not hers.
As Martha types the statement, her assistant Evelyn Martin walks in to bring her a glass of water. She politely asks the First Lady for more information about Walt Cummings death, since some of the staff are asking questions. Martha tells her to wait for the statement to be released, but Evelyn looks worried and upset. She asks her why would Walt kill himself and says she deserves to know why. She questions whether it was really a suicide at all, or if something more sinister was going on. After making Evelyn swear to secrecy, Martha reveals Walt’s involvement in the day’s events. Evelyn is extremely disturbed, but Martha tells her that the President just found out. She also tells Evelyn that maybe Walt didn't want to face the humiliation of a public trial, which might have led him to kill himself.
Jack drives to the meeting location, while Curtis follows closely. Bill warns Curtis to maintain his distance. Curtis sees the blue van enter the garage, and tells CTU the license plate number. Edgar runs the plate number through the DMV system. Edgar tells them that the plates don’t match the vehicle, which means that they probably stole it. The blue van pulls up beside Jack. Komar and Polakov get out and walk towards "Rossler". Jack pretends to be nervous and upset that there are two terrorists, stating that he was told there would only be one. Polakov tells him not to worry since he has his money. Jack asks to see it, but he shows them the chip first. When Polakov shows him the money, they ask him to install it.
Polakov and Komar open the back of the van and tell Jack to come closer. Following directions from Chloe, Jack installs the chip into the remote trigger. When he's finished, Polakov tells Jack that he’s coming with them, just to make sure it works. Komar punches him and throws him in the back of the van. As they prepare to drive out, Curtis asks CTU for instructions, but they tell him to wait. Audrey overhears this and is concerned. She tells Lynn and Bill that they will probably kill Jack, and they need to move in and interrogate the two terrorists. As the van drives away, Curtis insists on instructions but Lynn orders him to reassemble the TAC team for a follow operation. Buchanan agrees and tells Audrey that Jack can take care of himself.
02:13:52... 02:13:53... 02:13:54...
At the Presidential Retreat, Evelyn returns to Martha’s room and hands her the press release regarding Cummings that Laura Campbell gave her. Evelyn tells her that the statement doesn't mention anything about Cummings being involved with terrorists, but instead portrays him as a hero. Martha is furious and heads to talk with her husband.
Logan asks Mike for an update on CTU's search for the canisters and Mike tells him they are preparing an undercover operation that they hope will lead them to the canisters. Logan is upset that CTU hasn’t made progress, and tells Novick to demand results from them.
At this moment, Martha storms in the office and asks him about the statement. When Mike tries to excuse himself, Martha tells him to stay. She then tries to convince Logan that their initial decision to tell the whole truth about Cummings involvement was the right one. However, Mike argues that full disclosure would've been necessary if Walt was alive to face justice, but now that he was dead, it wasn't necessary to taint his name and humiliate his family. When Martha tries to argue with Logan, he tells her he already made a choice. When she threatens to tell the truth, Logan tells her she should begin with Walt's wife, who is on her way to pick up her husband's body. She seems hesitant at first, but then agrees it will be very painful to reveal the truth, but the right thing to do nonetheless.
Curtis follows Jack on Nordhoff Street as CTU watches. Buchanan continues to instruct Curtis to maintain his distance.
In the van, Jack asks Polakov where they are going, but he won’t say. He tells Jack that it will take as long as he makes it and tells Jack that they plan to test the remote trigger. Jack looks down as Polakov uncovers a canister of nerve gas. Jack reacts surprised and tells Polakov that he doesn’t want to be there when it goes off. Polakov insists, and Jack tries to find out the target. However, Polakov still won’t say.
Curtis suggests intercepting but McGill refuses until they have a visual on the canister. Based on where the terrorists are headed, Chloe tries to locate the possible target. As they turn north on Nordhoff, she realizes it's the Sunrise Hills Shopping Mall.
The terrorists drive into the mall parking lot, and Bill tells Curtis about the target. Curtis informs Buchanan that they will set up on the second level of the parking structure.
The van parks, as the CTU TAC team also sets on the distance. Curtis watches the terrorists get out and asks his teams to secure the perimeter of the lot. The terrorists put the canister in a gray box and tell Jack that if anyone asks them what they’re doing, they’re supposed to be working on the air conditioning. Jack, trying to stall for time, refuses to go in, but Polakov doesn’t care. Jack points out that there are hundreds of video cameras in the mall, but Polakov tells him they want Americans to know who did it. Jack continues arguing that this wasn’t part of the deal, and that he didn’t want to be caught in a terrorist act. Polakov holds a gun to Jack and tells him that he will live only if he cooperates.
Audrey tells Jack that the tactical teams will recover the canisters before they go in the mall. Jack complies and the terrorists put on jackets to disguise themselves as maintenance men. Chloe starts sending redeployment orders to tactical teams, but McGill holds the order. Audrey tells him it's the moment, but Lynn argues that if they move in now, Erwich will know something went wrong and they won’t find the other canisters.
Audrey looks at Buchanan and asks Lynn if he plans to allow the terrorist attack to go on. Lynn tells her that he is willing to risk the effects of one canister, if that allows them to find the other 19. When she tries to convince Buchanan, Lynn angrily screams that he is in charge and not Bill. Bill says that they need to call the President.
Meanwhile, Jack and the terrorists walk towards the mall with the nerve gas, while Curtis watches them from afar.
02:24:56... 02:24:57... 02:24:58...
At CTU, Chloe manages to get into the mall’s security server. They then see Jack in the cameras walking inside the mall. Jack and the terrorists walk past many people through the mall, including several children. Audrey tells Jack they're still waiting for the President to call. Jack hesitates as he sees a group of kids, but Komar forces him to continue.
Jack and the terrorists enter the security station. Polakov has Jack get the attention of the security guard. After Jack knocks on the glass, he comes out of his office. He asks them who they are and Polakov says they are there to work with the HVAC units. The guard tells them he wasn't informed, and asks for some paperwork. Komar opens his bag to draw a pistol, and shoots the security guard twice.
Polakov checks the air ducts and asks Komar if it will work. Komar says it will and they prepare to release the gas. They take their jackets off and pull out the canister, while Komar cuts open the metal paneling of the duct.
At CTU, they receive a call from President Charles Logan and Audrey patches Jack into the call. As Lynn explains the situation, Jack watches Komar opening the vent. McGill briefs the President on the situation, and Logan tells him to arrest the men. Lynn tells him that if they do that they’ll lose their chance of finding the other canisters. At first, Logan is outraged that McGill would suggest allowing the terrorists to release the canister, but Buchanan tells him that if they don’t, they risk losing hundreds of thousands more as a result of the other canisters. Logan is speechless.
As Jack listens to the conversation, he sees Komar and Polakov place the canister in the air duct. Mike Novick asks about the estimate of casualties, and McGill tells him it would be between 800 and 900. Audrey adds that many of them are children. Novick suggests evacuating, but Lynn tells him that doing so would alert the terrorists and blow their cover. Logan is afraid of the public outcry, but McGill tells him that it would be a covert decision. He knows with 100% certainty that when the terrorists leave the mall they will return to the other canisters. Logan asks for their recommendation, and McGill tells him that he and Buchanan agree the best course of action is to let the terrorists release this canister, while Audrey says they should catch the terrorists and interrogate them.
As Jack waits for a decision, Komar and Polakov are almost ready to release the gas.
McGill presses Logan for a decision, and he tells them that it is a field operation and they should be able to decide themselves. Buchanan, however, tells him that they don’t have the legal authority to make the decision; only he does. Logan, not sure of what to do, puts CTU on hold and consults with Novick. Novick tells him that CTU has laid the facts well, but ultimately, it’s his call. Logan gets back on the phone and tells CTU to allow the canister to be released. He angrily tells CTU that if they don’t find the other canisters the people in the mall will have died in vain.
McGill orders the tactical teams to pull out. Meanwhile, Komar tells Polakov and Jack to put their gas masks on. Polakov asks Jack for the unlock code on the remote trigger, and Buchanan tells him the code. Jack hesitates and then deliberately tells them the wrong code so it won’t work. McGill angrily orders Jack to enter the correct code, but Jack doesn’t comply. When the canister doesn't work, Polakov gets angry and pulls his gun on Jack. Jack says that the code is supposed to work, and there is nothing he can do. Polakov then knocks him unconscious.
Polakov calls Ivan Erwich and tells him the canister can't be armed. He asks Erwich if he should kill "Rossler", but Erwich tells him to wait until they find another way to release the gas. He then tells Polakov that Andrei might've find an alternate way to release the gas. While Komar drags the unconscious Jack and handcuffs him to the security desk, Polakov gets on the phone with Andrei. Andrei then begins to direct Polakov on how to activate the canister, while the CTU staff waits nervously.
02:37:22... 02:37:23... 02:37:24...
After several minutes, Jack wakes up while Polakov and Komar are almost done opening the canister using Andrei’s instructions. Jack tries to reach for the security guard’s corpse to find the keys for his handcuffs, but it’s too far.
At CTU, Audrey looks at the security feed and sees many children playing in the indoor playground of the mall. She asks Lynn one last time to reconsider, but Lynn replies that the President has just issued an order, and asks her if she has any idea how many people could die from the other 19 canisters. Audrey responds its only theoretical, while the people in the mall would die for sure. Angrily, she asks Lynn to look at the children on the screen, but Lynn refuses to do so, and tells her that they're in war, and there will always be casualties.
At the mall, Polakov is about to finish with the canister, and Andrei tells them to put their masks on. Polakov does so and tells Komar to kill “Rossler.”
As Komar walks towards Jack, Polakov opens the canister, releasing the nerve gas. Jack pretends to be unconscious as Komar walks right next to him. Jack then kicks Komar’s feet from under him and grabs the terrorist’s neck with his legs, breaking his neck. As the gas continues to escape into the air duct, Jack grabs Komar’s gun and shoots at Polakov. However, Polakov moves out of the way and escapes. Andrei is still on the phone, wondering what is going on.
Jack takes of Komar’s mask and puts it on himself. He grabs the keys to his handcuffs from the security guard's body and frees himself. He walks to the canister and breaks the wiring, disabling it. McGill asks Jack for a status, and Jack tells him that he stopped the flow of gas but some still escaped into the mall. He tells them one of the terrorists is dead and the other escaped, and that they should evacuate the mall. McGill has Curtis' team move in to the mall.
As Jack walks out to the mall, he comes across the mall manager and tells him that it is not a drill and that he should warn the customers to evacuate. As the manager hesitates, scared, Jack puts the gun on him and forces him to evacuate the mall. He also asks the manager where the power source for the ventilation system is, so he can shut it off.
As the intercom announces an evacuation procedure, the people in the mall begin to walk out. When Jack walks out into the mall, and they see him with his mask on they panic. Jack heads towards the food court and tells Curtis that it is extremely important they take Polakov alive. As Jack enters the food court, he starts seeing people collapsing due to the gas. He goes into the power room and shuts down all of the power.
Jack walks back into the food court and tells Curtis that the gas has concentrated in the food court, and there are at least eleven people down. He sees a little girl, lying on the floor and runs towards her. He asks her if she can hear him, and tells her to hold his mask to her face. He picks her up and runs out of the mall as fast as he can. Outside, he meets Curtis and asks a medic for a shot of atropine for the girl. As they put her on the floor, Jack injects her with it to stabilize her.
Buchanan lets Jack know that they have secured the perimeters, but they don’t know where Polakov is. Jack tells them that Polakov still had the remote trigger with him, and tells them to monitor the tracking device in it.
Chloe tracks it, and tells them Polakov is moving away from the mall, probably on foot. Jack tells an agent near him to take care of the little girl, while Curtis leaves Agent Michaels in charge at the mall. He then orders Agent Walsh's team to accompany him and Jack. They all run to the vehicles to catch Polakov.
Nearby, Polakov jumps over a fence and runs down a street. He breaks into a nearby car, hotwires the engine, and quickly drives away.
02:49:26... 02:49:27... 02:49:28...
Polakov is driving away and calls Erwich. He tells him that “Rossler, or whoever he was” killed Komar and tried to stop them. Erwich asks Polakov if he’s being followed, and Polakov says no. Erwich tells him to return to the shop to meet with him.
Chloe continues to track Polakov and relays the location to Jack. Meanwhile, McGill calls President Logan and explains to him how Jack disobeyed the order to allow the terrorists to release the nerve gas. Angry, Logan accuses McGill of being incapable of running CTU. He tells him to not use excuses and just to do his job, threatening him with replacing him if he is unable to do so.
Meanwhile, Mike Novick tells the President that the casualties in the mall fortunately weren't as high as expected, and are somewhere between 11 and 20 people. Logan is relieved but wonders what to tell the media, and Mike tells him that CTU has the media under blackout for the time being until they can come up with a cover story. Novick also tells Logan that one of the terrorists is being tracked by CTU. He then tells Logan that Suzanne Cummings has arrived to pick up her husband’s body, and that Martha is about to speak with her.
In another room of the retreat, Martha walks in to see a shocked Suzanne. Martha hugs her, trying to comfort her, as Suzanne breaks down in tears. Suzanne tells her that she doesn’t understand why Walt killed himself. Quietly, Logan listens to them from the hall. Martha tries to say something to Suzanne, but all she can tell her is that Walt loved the country and her, not being able to tell her the truth. Suzanne asks for a moment alone and Martha gets up to leave. As she walks away in tears, she stumbles upon her husband, and then walks away.
Polakov drives into Cal's Bikes, waiting to meet Erwich. Close to him, Jack and Curtis prepare to get the terrorists and retrieve the remaining 19 canisters of nerve gas.
Split screen: The teams prepare to move in. Jack and the rest of the agents put their masks on. Logan sits down at his desk. Martha walks Suzanne out of the room. Bill and Audrey watch the screens nervously. Polakov runs into the shop and discovers he is alone.
Across the street, Erwich watches from a pickup as CTU agents pull up to the shop, following Polakov. As the agents prepare to raid the building, Erwich calls Polakov and tells him he was followed. Polakov doesn’t know how, but Erwich tells him it doesn’t matter, and that he knows “what to do”. Polakov nods and pulls his gun to his head, shooting himself just as Jack enters the building. Jack screams and calls for a medic, while Curtis and the other agents check the agents to make sure there is no nerve gas. As they verify it's clean, they remove their masks. Jack is extremely upset as no one is there and they’ve lost their only lead.
02:59:57... 02:59:58... 02:59:59... 03:00:00
- Charles Logan: My wife will have a considerable problem with that.
- Mike Novick: I respect the First Lady’s moral conviction, but this is your decision, not hers.
- Charles Logan: Martha! Enough! I’ve made my decision, and I am the President.
- Martha Logan: Which means it’s your job to tell the truth. Even when it’s ugly. And if you don’t, I will.
- Lynn McGill: This is war. There are going to be casualties. If those are the orders of the President—yes, I would have to!
- Jack Bauer: Erwich is gone, the canisters are gone, we’ve got nothing here! DAMN IT!
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
- Kim Raver as Audrey Raines
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian
- Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan
- James Morrison as Bill Buchanan
- Roger Cross as Curtis Manning
- Louis Lombardi as Edgar Stiles
- and Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan
- Sean Astin as Lynn McGill
- Jude Ciccolella as Mike Novick
- Sandrine Holt as Evelyn Martin
- Mark Sheppard as Ivan Erwich
- Timothy Omundson as Polakov
- Robert Maffia as Andrei
- Alla Korot as Suzanne Cummings
- Roman Varshavsky as Komar
- Patrick Bauchau as Jacob Rossler (corpse only)
- Dana Bunch as CTU staffer
- Jesse Escochea as CTU field agent
- Chuck Hicks as nerve gas victim
- Sam Hunter as Crewcut separatist
- Greg Hutto as Agent Michaels
- Grace Moorea Phillips as gassed girl
- Kaye Wade as nerve gas victim
- Mike Wilson as Komar (stunt double)
Background information and notes
- When Jack is turning to enter the garage where he met the terrorists, some crew members are visible behind the chain link fence on the right.
- 2:00pm-3:00pm (disambiguation)