|Written by:||Manny Coto|
|Directed by:||Brad Turner|
|Original airdate:||May 8, 2006|
With Graem's help, Logan decides to launch one final attempt to destroy the recording that implicates him in the conspiracy surrounding the day's events. At CTU, several agents begin working with Jack, Chloe, and Buchanan. Tensions continue to rise in Logan's retreat as the President contemplates suicide. Meanwhile, Bierko is transported to another facility, and Miles attempts to further his career by making a key decision.
- Vladimir Bierko and his crew go to the Wilshire Gas Company to release the remaining canisters of Sentox nerve gas into a central air tank that will ultimately kill 200,000 people.
- Jack and a tactical team follow Bierko to the gas company to blow up the tank before the gas is released and apprehend Bierko. As the tanks explode, Jack catches Bierko and knocks him out. Jack carries Bierko out to the parking lot and instructs Curtis Manning to get Bierko back to CTU Los Angeles alive.
- Graem tells President Charles Logan to order Flight 520 down before Jack can obtain the recording that implicates Logan in President Palmer's death and use it against them. President Logan calls Karen Hayes at CTU and demands that the plane land immediately and that Jack Bauer be taken into custody by Secret Service.
- Jack Bauer hijacks Flight 520 and phones the pilot to tell him that the co-pilot, Scott Evans, has the recording. As the pilot gets up to unlock the cockpit, Evans knocks him out. Jack enters the cockpit and Evans hands over the recording. Jack calls Chloe and tells her that he has the recording.
- Graem calls President Logan and tells him that Jack has the recording. He explains to President Logan that the plane must be shot down unless he wants to go to prison for treason and murder.
between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Scott Evans prepares to take the plane back to Van Nuys Airfield. Jack calls Karen and tells her that the co-pilot gave up the recording and that the plane will be on the ground in 20 minutes. He reminds her that, because the recording directly implicates President Logan in the assassination of President Palmer, the evidence cannot fall into the hands of anyone loyal to the President. Bill Buchanan offers to send a team to meet Jack on the ground to escort him safely back to CTU. Jack asks about Audrey, and Karen assures Jack that Audrey will be okay.
Curtis enters the medical clinic and tells Audrey that her father, Secretary Heller, survived driving his car over a cliff into a lake. He explains that Secretary Heller is in ICU at County General, but is expected to live. Audrey is relieved and delighted that her father is still alive.
Karen calls Curtis and instructs him to meet Jack at the Van Nuys Airfield and take him into protective custody. When Curtis inquires as to why Jack is on a plane, Karen explains that Jack had to commandeer the plane to secure the evidence. She stresses the importance of Jack avoiding the men that President Logan will likely send to meet the plane.
Graem calls President Logan and explains a solution that will allow the President to order the plane shot down. Graem says that his people will simulate a VCI distress signal from the hijacked plane to make it appear that the plane is going to be used as a weapon to target a structure on the ground. He tells the President that shooting down the plane is the only option, and that all he has to do is feign concern over the ethics of shooting the plane down and then give the order to fire. President Logan is reluctant to kill a plane full of innocent people, but Graem convinces him that it is the only option.
Buchanan suggests bringing Chloe back in to help, and Karen agrees. Miles Papazian approaches the two with a puzzled look on his face. Buchanan walks away to call Chloe and Miles questions Karen about her actions. She tells him that new evidence has come to light, but when he asks her to elaborate, she tells him that she does not have time to brief him about it.
Mike Novick alerts the President about a new development with the hijacked plane. Mike explains that the FAA picked up a VCI distress code from the flight that indicates that the plane is going to be used as a weapon. He leads the President to the conference room to discuss the situation on a video call with Admiral Kirkland at Point Mugu.
Admiral Kirkland briefs President Logan and Mike about the situation. President Logan acts surprised that Jack is now in control of the plane. Kirkland explains that protocol requires taking preemptive action and shooting down the plane. President Logan pretends to be shocked at the suggestion, but Mike does not believe that Jack would use the plane as a weapon. He suggests other options, but Admiral Kirkland insists that if they delay, shooting the plane down won't be an option. President Logan ignores Mike and authorizes the plane to be shot down.
Karen calls Jack and explains that a VCI distress signal has been picked up and that President Logan is ordering the plane shot down. Buchanan warns Jack that they only have 8-10 minutes before the F18 is within range. Jack asks if he can speak with the pilot of the F18, but Buchanan explains that the pilot is on a coded frequency. Jack tells Scott Evans that the plane has to land immediately, but Evans tells him that they are 100 miles from the nearest airport. Jack tells Buchanan to find a stretch of highway at least 5000 feet in length to use as a runway. Evans argues that he can't land the plane on a highway, but Jack tells him that they don't have any other choice, and that the curfew will prevent civilian cars from driving on the freeway.
03:12:02... 03:12:03... 03:12:04...
Miles and Valerie look up in surprise as Chloe walks back into CTU. Valerie asks why Chloe is back, but Miles doesn't know. Chloe enters the situation room and Buchanan and Karen brief her about the plane and ask her if she can find out exactly how much time he has before the F-18 gets within range.
Jack orders Evans to cuff himself to the flight controls. He leaves the cockpit to speak with the flight attendant, Sue. He tells her to prepare the passengers for an emergency landing. She asks for an explanation, but he assures her that everything will be okay.
Buchanan calls Jack and says that he found a strip of highway to use for a runway. Jack climbs into the pilot's seat and puts Buchanan on speaker phone. Buchanan explains that their best bet is 4000 foot stretch of the 118 freeway. Evans protests that the road isn't long enough, but Jack insists that if Evans doesn't try to land the plane on the highway, he will do it himself. Evans reluctantly asks for the coordinates.
Karen calls Curtis and redirects him to the spot on the 118 freeway where the plane will land.
Admiral Kirkland connects the President to the pilot of the F-18.
Chloe hacks into the Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar and discovers that the jet will be within missile range before Jack can land the plane. Jack demands that Evans to descend faster, but Evans argues that the plane won't be able to pull out of the dive if they increase the speed. Jack reminds him that if the F-18 gets within range, pulling out of the dive won't matter. Evans increases the speed of descent.
The passengers scream as the plane drops. The oxygen masks fall from the ceiling and Sue yells for the passengers to put them on.
Buchanan warns Jack that the F-18 is almost within missile range. Evans tells Jack that he has to pull the plane up because the aircraft cannot withstand the abuse, but Jack insists that Evans continue to descend. Jack announces that he can see the freeway from the cockpit window. He tells Evans to level the plane, but Evans cannot pull out of the dive. Jack helps him pull up.
The F-18 pilot notifies Logan and Kirkland that the plane is at 1000 ft. and leveling out. Admiral Kirkland confirms that the plane is slowing its descent and leveling. President Logan and Mike ask about the significance of leveling the plane, and the pilot explains that the plane might be preparing for landing.
Jack tells Evans to lower the landing gear. Evans resists, explaining that they are still 1000 feet about ground and moving too fast. Jack orders him to lower the gear anyway.
The F-18 pilot announces that the plane has lowered its landing gear.
Chloe announces that the F-18 is within missile range.
Admiral Kirkland explains that the plane is in a landing profile. He recommends that the plan to shoot down the plane be aborted. President Logan is furious and demands that the plane be shot down. Mike is horrified and begs the President to reconsider, explaining that the plane is obviously not a threat. President Logan agrees to abort but warns Admiral Kirkland to fire immediately if the plane does not land. He turns to Mike and orders that the Marine units in the area cordon off a perimeter and apprehend Jack.
Curtis watches as the plane flies overhead along the freeway.
Jack hands over control to Evans and tells him to land the plane. Evans touches the plane down on the freeway, and the plane screeches and skids before coming to a stop just short of an overpass.
Jack confirms with Buchanan that the plane is on the ground. Buchanan tells him that Curtis is on the way, and Jack tells him to have Curtis meet him near the overpass and send a secondary team to pick up Scott Evans for questioning. Jack exits the cockpit and tells the passengers to exit through the back of the plane. He moves to one of the emergency exits over the wing and pops the door out. He climbs out onto the wing, slides down to the ground and runs away.
03:23:34... 03:23:35... 03:23:36...
Graem scolds President Logan for aborting the plan. President Logan explains that he had no choice once the plane went into a landing profile, and reassures him that two battalions of Marines have orders to secure the area and detain Jack. He is confident that Jack will not escape again, and Graem reminds him that this is the last opportunity to apprehend Jack.
Jack hides behind one of the concrete supports for the overpass and calls Curtis to get an update on his location and ETA. Curtis tells Jack that he is approaching from the north. Jack spots the vehicle and runs towards it. He jumps a fence and climbs into the SUV.
As Jack, Curtis, and a third agent drive away, they run into a Marine roadblock. Jack ducks down in the back and tells Curtis to talk his way through the roadblock. One of the Marines approaches the vehicle and Curtis identifies himself as a federal agent. He hands over his credentials and the Marine explains that he has orders to take everyone into custody. Curtis explains that they are there to apprehend Jack. The commander wants to call in and check on Curtis, but Curtis insists that there isn't time to waste. He announces that they are leaving, and says the Marines can fire on them if they want to make that choice. They concede and let him pass.
Curtis calls CTU and tells Buchanan and Hayes that they have Jack and are heading back to CTU. Curtis says that they plan to stay off the main roads in order to avoid any further roadblocks.
Miles calls Karen and demands to know what’s going on. He is confused about why she is working with two people previously under arrest for aiding a fugitive. She tells him that she doesn't have time to explain things, and he warns her that if she won't talk to him, he'll call someone else who will give him an answer. Karen finally agrees to meet him at his workstation. Buchanan and Chloe question if she is making the right choice, and she explains that Miles has been loyal and that she has no choice but to trust him.
Karen approaches Miles at his station and tells him that she does not appreciate being threatened. He explains that he does not appreciate being shut out of the loop. He reminds her that they have worked together for many years and that he's never wavered in his allegiance. He insists that he does not deserve to be treated this way. Karen tells him to follow her.
In a deserted hallway, Karen explains that Jack secured evidence implicating President Logan in the assassination of President David Palmer. Miles asks her if she has seen or heard the evidence, and she admits that she has not. Miles cannot believe that Karen would work covertly against the most powerful man in the world without hearing the evidence first. Karen becomes frustrated and explains that Miles' behavior is a perfect example of why she was hesitant to bring him into the loop. He continues to argue with her and asks her what her plan is once they have the recording.
Suddenly, Valerie Harris appears and explains that Vladimir Bierko is ready to be moved. Karen thanks Valerie and explains that she will be out in a moment. Karen stresses the importance of Jack returning with the recording intact, and asks Miles to help her by making sure things run smoothly on the floor. Miles agrees to cooperate, and Karen begs him to keep the information between the two of them.
A heavily bandaged Vladimir Bierko is led down the hallway.
Field Agent Davis tells Karen that a two-vehicle armed escort has been arranged to transfer Bierko. Karen signs Bierko out and coldly explains to him that he is being transferred to a primary holding facility at District Headquarters. She turns to Davis and asks him to contact her the moment Bierko arrives at District.
Bierko is led away and loaded into a van. As he sits down, he looks at the driver of the van and nods his head. The driver, who is looking back at Bierko, nods his head in return. The transport moves out.
03:36:12... 03:36:13... 03:36:14...
President Logan waits impatiently in the conference room for Mike Novick. Mike walks in and explains that he was on the phone with Colonel Owens, the Marine in charge of securing the landing site. President Logan asks if Jack is in custody, and Mike apologetically explains that the Marines secured the perimeter as instructed, but that it appears as though Jack escaped. President Logan stares at Mike then turns away. Mike asks President Logan if everything is okay, but President Logan remains silent. Finally, he turns to Mike and says that he needs to be alone for awhile. Mike shoots him a quizzical look and leaves.
President Logan walks into back into his office. His private cell phone rings and rings, but he does not answer it.
Curtis and Jack return to CTU. Jack hands the incriminating recording to Chloe and asks her to prepare the electronic signature for the teleconference with the Attorney General. He stresses again the importance of protecting the recording. He asks Karen if he can take some time to visit with Audrey. She tells him that Audrey is in the medical clinic.
Audrey is asking an operator at the hospital about her father. When Jack steps into her room, she gets briefly distracted and then tells the operator to let her father know that she called and that she loves him. She hangs up and tells Jack that her father is going to make it. Jack smiles and says that he heard the good news. He kisses her and tells her that the Attorney General is going to hear the recording and that President Logan will pay for the assassination of President Palmer. He tells her to close her eyes while he sits with her. He helps her settle into bed and he sits at the foot of her bed in silence, rubbing her leg and kissing her knee.
Back at the retreat, President Logan takes a wooden box off a shelf and calls Graem.
Graem answers his phone and tells President Logan that he was looking for him. President Logan tells Graem that Jack escaped from the secured perimeter. Graem informs him of a call that the Attorney General received from CTU and speculates that the call was concerning the recording and the President. He apologizes to President Logan for the way the events unfolded. President Logan argues that they still made the decisions that were in the best interest of the country.
Graem tells President Logan that they have to continue putting the country's best interest first. He explains that that a sitting President on trial for the murder of another President would devastate the country. President Logan acknowledges that what Graem is saying is true and says that a trial would reveal certain conspiracies that should never see the light of day. Graem mentions that without a defendant, there cannot be a trial. President Logan explains that he has already thought about everything. He opens the wooden box on his desk to reveal a pistol.
President Logan assures Graem that he and his associates will not be implicated in any way. Graem thanks him, and President Logan explains that he needs to take care of some things. He trails off into silence, and Graem says goodbye. President Logan hangs up the phone and loads his pistol.
03:47:42... 03:47:43... 03:47:44...
President Logan knocks on Martha's door. He peeks into Martha's room and asks if he can come in. Martha, who is watching a news broadcast, asks him if he has something else to confess. President Logan sits down and apologizes for everything that he has done. Martha dismisses the apology and tells him that apologies are suitable for situations like forgetting a birthday, but President Logan repeats his apology, claiming that the last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt her. She closes her eyes and ignores him. He begs for her forgiveness and insists that his apology is sincere and truthful. Martha opens her eyes and looks at him. She tells him that she can't believe that she never realized that he was such a good liar. She says that if she were not so horrified by the fact that she had married him, she might be impressed. She looks away and puts her head down. President Logan's eyes tear up slightly and he leaves the room without the closure he came for.
President Logan walks back down the hall to his office silently. He sits at his desk and retrieves a bottle of Johnny Walker scotch from his desk drawer. He pours some in a glass and drinks it all in one gulp. He takes the pistol from the box and closes his eyes.
Suddenly, President Logan's phone intercom beeps. He opens his eyes and looks at it. After a few beeps, he answers it with a whisper. The operator apologizes for disturbing him and tells him that there's an urgent call coming in from CTU. President Logan informs her that he doesn't want to speak with anyone at CTU. She tells him that the caller insisted that the matter was urgent and regarded Jack Bauer. Logan has the operator put the call through.
Standing in a dark and empty corner at CTU, Miles introduces himself to President Logan and explains that Jack has just delivered a recording to CTU which Karen Hayes plans to play for the Attorney General. President Logan asks Miles about his reason for calling, and Miles explains that he feels compelled to intervene, but does not want to act without the President's approval. President Logan stammers and then confirms that he would approve of Miles taking action. A small, eerie smile creeps across President Logan's face as he explains that he will text Miles with his private phone number. He asks Miles to update him on his progress. Miles assures him that he will let him know how things go. President Logan tells Miles that he will not forget the favor, and Miles smirks and thanks the President. President Logan puts away his gun.
Split screen: Graem pours himself a drink. Logan sits in his office with relief for his phone call. Jack sits with Audrey in the clinic while she rests her eyes. Martha tries to get some sleep.
Miles walks into the conference room where Chloe is working on the recording. He stands beside her and says that Karen wants to know how long until the teleconference begins. Chloe gets impatient and tells Miles to leave. Miles claims that he is only doing his job. Chloe cannot see that he is holding some kind of flashing device in his hand, pointing it at the recording. Chloe tells him to leave again. Miles walks out of the conference room, smiling.
03:59:57... 03:59:58... 03:59:59... 04:00:00
- 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
- and Jean Smart as Martha Logan
- Jude Ciccolella as Mike Novick
- Julian Sands as Vladimir Bierko
- Jayne Atkinson as Karen Hayes
- Paul McCrane as Graem Bauer
- Stephen Spinella as Miles Papazian
- Tom Wright as Rear Admiral Kirkland
- Jenny Levine as Valerie Harris
- Stephanie Erb as Sue
- Andrew Hawkes as Scott Evans
- Eric D. Steinberg as Agent Davis
- Pancho Demmings as Marine Commander
Background information and notes
- The photograph of Charles and Martha on the table by her elbow in Martha's final scene is actually a photograph of actors Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart from a stage production they were both in, 20 years prior.
- The device with the six flashing red lights that Miles Papazian used to erase the recording was, in reality, a device that is used to locate pinhole cameras.
- In a 2016 interview for Variety, writer Manny Coto chose this episode as his favorite from Season 5.
- Schwindt, Oriana (November 6, 2016). ‘24’ 15th Anniversary: Executive Producers Pick Their Favorite Episodes.