|Written by:||Howard Gordon|
|Directed by:||Jon Cassar|
|Original airdate:||January 14, 2007|
Following a series of devastating terrorist attacks that have killed 900 people in many different cities over eleven weeks, many Americans have become suspicious of Middle Easterners, and amid a feeling of being 'under siege', President Wayne Palmer has arranged for a prisoner exchange bringing Jack Bauer back from China, as part of a deal between him and Abu Fayed, who will provide Palmer with the location of Hamri Al-Assad if he is given Jack. Meanwhile, at CTU Los Angeles, Morris O'Brian and Milo Pressman are in the midst of a personality conflict, and the Wallace family attempts to help Ahmed Amar.
between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
A group of people are watching a news broadcast, which is describing the events of the last eleven weeks; a wave of attacks has devastated America, the latest of which occurred in San Antonio.
A Middle Eastern man joins them, and gathers furtive and suspicious glances, just as the newsreader announces that evidence points to Islamic militants as being behind the attacks. He sees his bus pulling away, and runs towards the bus attempting to get the driver to stop. However, the driver ignores him, and the bus pulls away. Inside, a young East Asian man is sitting with a bag, holding an MP3 player. He presses a button and the bus is swallowed by a series of massive explosions.
At the White House, Karen Hayes and Tom Lennox are arguing over whether or not the new President, Wayne Palmer, should set up 'detention facilities,' which Hayes calls a euphemism for 'concentration camps,' to detain the American Muslim population, in order to stop them committing terrorist acts.
Blake Simon tells President Palmer that there is precedent to this sort of action, citing Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the American Civil War, and Franklin Roosevelt's internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two.
Palmer shoots this option down, and Hayes is handed a folder by an aide. She examines it, before informing Palmer that there has been another attack, this one in Los Angeles. Palmer asks how many casualties, and Hayes tells him that there are 23 so far, including the suicide bomber himself. Palmer turns away in sadness, and picks up a folder, featuring a photograph of a man named Hamri Al-Assad. Palmer asks if they are sure that Assad is behind all these attacks.
Hayes says that he is, and that without him, his entire organization will fall apart. Lennox retorts that this is all hinging upon CTU finding, and eliminating, Assad. Blake says that CTU is calculating their probability of successfully finding Assad at 75%.
When Lennox gripes that this is being optimistic, Palmer asks if he is anticipating failure. Lennox says that he is not, and is just fervently advocating having contingency plans. Palmer reminds him that contingency plans are all well and good, but reminds him that CTU has to eliminate Assad, saying that that is all there is to it. He finishes by saying that they are paying a high enough price to get him.
At the Counter Terrorist Unit, Los Angeles, Milo Pressman is reminding Morris O'Brian that he shouldn't send out a report without a certified header on it, mentioning that he has said it twenty times. Morris retorts, saying that Milo should update his count. Milo asks Morris if he ever opens his mouth without sarcasm just spilling out. Morris asks if they are done, and Milo tells him that he was just trying to give him a friendly warning. Morris says that Milo is settling in well in middle management. Milo asks Morris what his problem is. Morris says that he liked Milo as an analyst, and thought that he was very good, and tells him that as a boss he is a bit of a bore.
Milo walks away, and Chloe O'Brian asks him what is going on. Milo tells her to ask her boyfriend. Chloe confronts Morris, saying that he promised her that he would try to get along with Milo. Morris tells her that that is a promise he can't keep. Chloe tells him that she had problems when she first started but that she learned how to fit in. Morris says that that is because she is a pretty lady, and he attempts to grope her.
Chloe reminds him that they are at work and that it is unprofessional. Morris asks her if she is saying that she does not like it, and Chloe says that she isn't saying that at all, and that she has come just to see if he got a request from Homeland on his priority channel.
Chloe goes to ask Nadia Yassir about the unusual request, saying that they want her to set up a channel according to military specs. Nadia says that she is cleared to do so, saying that CTU is coordinating an assault along with helicopters from Camp Pendleton. Chloe asks when, and Nadia tells her in 30 minutes. Chloe is confused, and asks who they will be attacking.
Nadia tells her that their target is Assad. Chloe, incredulous, says that CTU does not know where Assad is. Nadia says that they will soon, as they have a lead. Chloe responds by saying that if they did she would know about it. Nadia tells her that they have found a way to get Assad's location. Chloe asks how, and Nadia reluctantly says "Jack Bauer".
Chloe, confused, says Jack is in a Chinese prison. Nadia informs her that the President negotiated his release two days earlier. Chloe asks if Jack is coming back, and Nadia says yes. Chloe asks why the Chinese would let him go, but Nadia says that she can't talk about it, not yet. When Chloe asks in frustration why not and asks if Bill Buchanan, CTU Los Angeles' Director can. Nadia says that Bill is meeting Jack at Point Mugu Naval Air Station. Nadia tells Chloe to open the military channel and put it through to the conference area.
A plane taxis along a runway, as several armed men leap out of a jeep. Bill Buchanan and Curtis Manning watch the plane, flanked by armed soldiers. Curtis remarks that it must have cost the President a lot to make this happen, and Bill says that he wishes Jack could come back under different circumstances. He tells Curtis that that they don't know what Jack's state of mind will be. They walk towards the plane, Curtis with a hand on his gun, while the soldiers move to flank the plane.
The rear cargo hatch lowers, and Cheng Zhi, followed by a pair of Chinese guards steps out. Curtis and Bill look into the plane, as Jack Bauer is brought out. He is unkempt and ill-looking, but alive.
Cheng tells Bill that he needs his signature on a release document. Bill ignores him, and demands that Jack's handcuffs be removed. Cheng orders one of his men to do so. Jack's handcuffs are removed, revealing horrendous scars. Curtis tells Jack that it is okay, saying that Jack should come with him. Jack follows him, his eyes locked on Cheng.
Cheng tells Bill to convey to Palmer that Jack did not break his silence, and has not spoken a word in almost two years. Cheng emphasizes that Palmer has paid a high price for Bauer's freedom. Jack takes a seat inside a hangar. Bill informs Bauer that Wayne Palmer is now President.
Bill begins to explain the events of the last eleven weeks, saying that buses, trains and shopping malls have all been targeted. Bill shows Jack an image of Assad, and tells him that one of Assad's men contacted them, demanding Bauer and 25 million dollars for information on Assad's whereabouts. Bill tells Jack that it is Abu Fayed, saying that Fayed wants revenge for "what happened in Beirut". Bill says that they offered him alternatives, did everything they could think of to change his mind, but he would only agree to give up Assad for Bauer. Curtis explains that he has CTU's surveillance protocols, which means that they can't track Bauer once he is in Fayed's custody, and cannot risk an extraction.
Jack attempts to speak, clears his throat and asks if Audrey Raines knows if he is back. Bill says that she does not. Jack then asks if his daughter knows of his homecoming, and Bill assures him that she does not know either. Jack tells Bill to keep it that way. Curtis tells Jack that he can go and freshen up. Jack limps away to a wash basin and surveys himself in a mirror.
06:13:24... 06:13:25... 06:13:26...
A woman walks into Palmer's office as Karen makes a phone call. Bill Buchanan is on the other end. He tells her that they have Jack. Bill tells her that Jack is much worse than he expected. Karen looks at her wedding ring, telling Bill that she wishes she were with him. Bill says that she is where she needs to be. Karen says that she misses him, and Bill tells her that he misses her too. Bill says that he has to leave and take Jack to the drop point.
At CTU, Chloe is watching a news report that explains the Department of Homeland Security has taken the terror alert level to red, the highest it has been since the department's inception. Nadia is speaking to a CTU worker, when Chloe confronts her, demanding to know what is happening between Curtis, Bill and Jack. Nadia reminds her that she cannot talk about it, and Chloe tells Nadia how much Jack means to her. She also tells Nadia that sooner or later she will find out. Chloe blackmails Nadia, threatening to go to Division and report a mistake that Nadia made when she first started working at CTU, leaving the Jarvis firewall unsecured. Nadia reluctantly tells Chloe all about Fayed, and explains why Fayed wanted Jack so badly.
In 1999, Fayed's brother was a part of the terrorist cell that bombed the US embassy in Lebanon. Jack was sent in to grab him and interrogate him for the names of the other cell members. She says that he died under Jack's custody. Chloe muses that now Fayed wants Jack dead.
Chloe asks if Nadia is really planning to just deliver Jack over to Fayed, and Nadia says that they need to stop Assad. Chloe asks why CTU isn't organizing a rescue, and Nadia explains that Fayed has the resources to detect their surveillance. Nadia says that he won't give them anything until he is clear with Jack.
Chloe says that she is calling Karen, and says that she will talk to the President. Nadia says that Karen already knows and that the President authorized it. Nadia apologies about Jack, and she says that there is nothing she can do.
Morris sees an upset Chloe, and calls her workstation. However, Chloe does not respond. Milo tells Morris that he was expecting upgrades to have been completed. Morris assures him that he will get them, and starts to walk over to Chloe. Milo tells Morris not to expect Chloe to run interference for him all the time. Morris ignores him, and asks Chloe what was going on between her and Nadia. Chloe explains Jack's situation.
Now daylight, Jack is sitting in a car with Bill and Curtis, staring out the window. Bill hands him a phone, and Jack has a discussion with President Palmer. The President apologizes for everything, and Jack says that he understands what is expected of him. Palmer gives Jack his word that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Jack thanks Wayne, and then hangs up.
In the Oval Office, Wayne explains to Lennox his apprehension over the events of the past eleven weeks, saying that he thought he understood how to do this after serving with his brother as White House Chief of Staff. Wayne goes so far as to wonder if he is the right person to lead the country. Lennox tells him that it doesn't matter. He has to lead the country, Lennox reminds him, saying that he is the President. Wayne wonders if he actually should order Jack's death. Lennox reminds him that he has to, and says that David would have done the same thing. Wayne says that that doesn't make it right, and Lennox agrees with him, but says that it is their only option.
As he leaves the room, Lennox is confronted by Karen, who says that she has heard a disturbing rumor: Lennox has authorized the Army National Guard to set up detention facilities at convention centers and sports arenas in Los Angeles, Detroit and Philadelphia. Lennox says that it is correct, and he denies Karen's assertion that he is going over the President's head. Karen says that they are receiving complaints that government agencies have been given too much leeway.
Jack, Bill and Curtis walk towards a metal grate on a concrete wall. Bill's phone rings. He answers, only to find Fayed on the other end of the line. Fayed instructs Bill to handcuff Jack to the grate. Bill asks where Assad is, but Fayed says that he only give them the location of Assad if they handcuff Jack to the grate and drive away. Fayed reminds Bill that he is watching them. Bill threatens him, but Fayed hangs up.
Bill explains to Jack what has to happen. Jack tells him to do it. Curtis hands Bill a pair of handcuffs, and Bill walks over to Jack, before handcuffing him to the grate. Bill says that he does not know what to say. Jack explains that the only reason he fought so hard in China was because he did not want to die for nothing, and that today he can die for something. Jack tells him that it would be his way, and his choice, before telling him that it would be a relief. Bill tells Jack that he is sorry, but Jack tells him not to be, and reminds him that he has to go. Bill and Curtis turn and walk away.
06:30:52... 06:30:53... 06:30:54...
Standing in her kitchen, Jillian Wallace is watching a news report on a mosque being firebombed in Culver City. The report says that members of the mosque are calling the incident a retaliation for the suicide bombing earlier that morning. Her husband, Ray Wallace is also watching the report, and he remarks that their son, Scott, should not be going to school. Jillian reminds him that Scott has a geometry test. Ray says that the schools should be closing down, because LA has just been hit.
Jillian turns off the television. She tells Ray that she doesn't want to scare their son, and she doesn't want Ray scaring him either. Jillian says that she wants to keep living their lives as normally as possible. Ray reminds her that there is nothing normal about what is happening. Jillian asks him if they are supposed to hide inside their house for the rest of their lives, and Ray begins to respond, as Scott enters the room.
The family goes to a window, in time to see Yusuf Amar put into a car by a trio of FBI agents. Ahmed is following them, saying that they can't just arrest someone without a reason. The FBI agents ignore him. Ahmed insists that his father is not a terrorist, and that he is innocent. A pair of men are watching the goings-on. Ray says that there has to be some reason, and Jillian remarks that she is sure there has been some misunderstanding. The car drives away, and Ahmed sees the two men watching him. Ahmed tries to get back inside his house, as the two men run towards him. Jillian says that it is a contractor from down the block, named Stan Miller. Ray says that he is calling the police.
However, Scott walks towards the front door. Jillian asks what he is doing, and he tells her that he is going to Ahmed. Jillian attempts to placate her son by saying that Ray is calling the police. Scott says that the police won't do anything, and says that he isn't going to hide because his father is afraid to do the right thing. Ray says that he will handle it. He goes across the street to Ahmed's house, just as Stan kicks down the door. Ahmed, who is holding a chair to defend himself, is backed against a wall, but Ray manages to intervene just in time, telling Stan that even though he is scared, they should leave Ahmed alone. Stan backs off, but warns that it isn't over. Ray tells Ahmed to come to his house. Ahmed tries to argue, but Ray insists.
At CTU, Nadia is given a phone, and told that it is Bill Buchanan. Bill explains that Jack is at the drop point, and asks if the military is ready. Nadia says that they are. Bill reminds her that Jack is giving his life for the operation, and he tells her that he wants Assad taken out with 'extreme prejudice'. Nadia says that he will be, as soon as they get his location from Fayed. Bill asks to be patched in to any conversation with Fayed if he calls before he gets back, and Nadia explains the situation with Chloe. Bill says that he'll talk to her when he gets back.
Morris meets with Chloe, and tells her that he has access to a satellite off of the government's grid, that Fayed won't be able to track. Chloe asks how he got it, and Morris explains that he did work for an energy consortium who need an aerial survey of some oil fields.
Morris repositions the camera, and tells her to find out where Bill Buchanan left Jack. Meanwhile, Jack is at the metal grate, when Fayed's van pulls up. Two men get out and remove him from the grate. Fayed meets with him, and tells Jack that he's been waiting for this for a long time. Jack is punched and thrown in the van. Fayed gets a phone call from one of his men. This man tells him that a satellite is being repositioned to his sector. Fayed tells the man to connect him to CTU.
Chloe and Morris are looking over the satellite feeds, when Nadia, who is explaining the operation to get Assad, gets a call from Fayed. He tells her to redirect the satellite, but Nadia tries to convince him that they don't have a satellite. Fayed says that they have thirty seconds, and Nadia asks Milo to find where the satellite is being controlled from.
Milo tells her that it is coming from somewhere in the building. Nadia asks to know where, and Milo reveals that it is coming from Chloe's station. Nadia runs towards her and Morris. Chloe sees this and warns Morris. Nadia orders them to redirect the satellite, but Morris tries to convince here that he has it under control. Nadia orders him to, saying that Fayed tagged the transmission, adding that they may have lost their only way of finding Assad. Nadia then tries to convince Fayed that it was a rogue operation, and she tells him that they are now redirecting the satellite. Fayed counts down ten seconds, but Morris manages to disrupt the feeds in time. Fayed reneges on their deal, and when Nadia tries to appeal to his honor, he hangs up. He drives away.
Bill arrives back at CTU. Nadia tries to explain what happened, but Bill says he already knows. He yells at Chloe and asks what she was thinking. Chloe explains that it was her fault, and tells him to fire her. Bill says that he would fire them both, but he says that he can't afford to lose the man power. Bill tells Chloe to look at him, but she says she'd rather not. He demands it and she turns to him. Bill explains that he also cares about Jack, and says that that may be their only option. He says that they may have sacrificed Jack for nothing.
06:46:07... 06:46:08... 06:46:09...
Karen calls Bill, and asks him where they are in relation to Fayed. Bill tells her that Fayed has not called, and that he may try and renegue on their deal. Karen reiterates the orders; that Fayed should have had a clear field. Bill says that he knows what the orders were, saying that Chloe thought there was a way to get around them. Karen chastises him, saying that he should have kept a tighter leash on Chloe. She says that if they don't find Assad, certain people within the Palmer administration would be willing to 'tear up the Constitution', saying that the country would never recover. Karen apologizes for her outburst, but Bill tells her not to worry about apologizing, as they are all under stress. Karen hangs up.
In Fayed's hideaway, a pair of men working at computers look up as Fayed enters, followed by two men dragging Jack between them.
Fayed asks if they have found anything, but one of the men tells him that they are clear. The man says he sure that CTU is leaving them alone, and the money Fayed demanded has been transferred. He asks if they should call CTU, but Fayed says that they won't, yet, and he walks away, followed by the two men carrying Jack between them. They enter a torture chamber, and Jack is cuffed to a chair. Fayed looks at a selection of tools, as Jack is hooked up to a heart monitor. Fayed says that the Chinese did not leave him much to work with, but warns Jack that he will feel what Fayed's brother felt. Fayed mentions that he saw his brother's body; he knows what happened to him, what Jack did. He speaks in Arabic, and one of his lackeys holds Jack still. Fayed then tortures Jack, forcing a knife into a nerve cluster. Fayed stops, and walks over to a table, picking up a jug of liquid. He pours it onto Jack's wound. Jack screams in agony as the monitor goes wild. Fayed admits to Jack that it is he, Fayed, not Assad, who is behind the attacks—and Jack will die for nothing.
Fayed calls CTU and discloses Assad's location, while Jack memorizes the coordinates. CTU contacts General Bowen to mobilize helicopters to attack the location and cut off Fayed's access to their surveillance, while Chloe starts crying and Morris tries to console her. "It's for the greater good," he says.
Split screen: Chloe buries herself in Morris' shoulders, sobbing uncontrollably. Ahmed looks out the Wallaces' window. President Wayne Palmer thinks to himself in the White House. A helicopter takes off from the desert.
Fayed is informed of a call for him, and he takes it, and talks to Ahmed. As Fayed leaves, Jack bites the neck of one of Fayed's men, killing him. Jack takes the man's keys and unlocks himself. As Fayed returns from his call to Ahmed Amar, who informed him that he will be able to deliver "a package" soon, the terrorist notices the dead body and sees an open vent. He sends his men into the vent to chase after Jack, who used the vent as a trick to send Fayed's men there; he actually hid in a grate underneath the room he was taken to. Wiping the blood of the dead man from his lips, Jack escapes into the sewers.
06:59:57... 06:59:58... 06:59:59... 07:00:00
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian
- DB Woodside as President Wayne Palmer
- James Morrison as Bill Buchanan
- Peter MacNicol as Tom Lennox
- Jayne Atkinson as Karen Hayes
- Carlo Rota as Morris O'Brian
- Eric Balfour as Milo Pressman
- Marisol Nichols as Nadia Yassir
- Roger Cross as Curtis Manning
- Michael Angarano as Scott Wallace
- Megan Gallagher as Jillian Wallace
- Tzi Ma as Cheng Zhi
- Adoni Maropis as Abu Fayed
- Kal Penn as Ahmed Amar
- Raphael Sbarge as Ray Wallace
- Eric Bruskotter as Stan Miller
- Steven Schub as Sabir Hussain
- D. C. Douglas as USOJ Blake Simon
- Ruben Pla as Yusuf Amar
- Kahlil Joseph as Middle Eastern Man
- Marci Michelle as Marcy Reynolds (as "CTU Worker")
- Benito Paje as Young East Asian Man
- Scott Burn as Stan's friend
- Jeff Cadiente as car driver
- Steve Davison as pedestrian
- Fahim Fazli as Fayed's terrorist
- Michael Hilow as the guard Jack bites
- Steve Lanza as Danny
- Robert Duncan McNeil as FBI agent
- Dustin Meier as pedestrian
- John Meier as pedestrian
- Stephen Merchant as CTU worker
- Laurence Todd Rosenthal as Hasim
- Erik Stabenau as car driver
Background information and notes
- International airdates:
- For the season six premiere, the cast and crew had a viewing party at Mary Lynn Rajskub's house.
- First episode in a 4 hour, 2 night premiere. This episode is the season premiere of 24's sixth season.
- This season, only Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub and James Morrison return to the main cast, but they have been joined by DB Woodside, Jayne Atkinson, Carlo Rota and Eric Balfour, who have been upgraded from recurring status.
- The story line begins and ends at 6:00am, but since Wayne Palmer, Tom Lennox, and Karen Hayes are on the east coast, theirs begins and ends at 9:00am.
- Eric Balfour as Milo Pressman, last seen in "Day 1: 3:00pm-4:00pm," holds the longest absence of any returning 24 character at 104 episodes.
- There are two new additions to the main cast: Peter MacNicol as Tom Lennox and Marisol Nichols as Nadia Yassir.
- The exact price Wayne Palmer's administration paid (described by Cheng Zhi as a "very high" one) for Bauer's freedom was never specified.
- Roger Cross has been downgraded from the main cast to a guest star.
- Stephen Merchant, the British co-writer and director of the English version of "The Office", has an uncredited cameo appearance at the seventh minute of the episode as a CTU Worker.
- Kiefer Sutherland is not credited for this episode on the standalone DVD of the sixth season premiere.
- The distinctive Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by architect Frank Gehry, appears at the beginning of the episode.
- The Opening with a Bang featurette from the Season 6 DVD explores the making of the opening scene.
- A CTU phone seen at approximately 6:45 a.m. reads 8:11 a.m. and gives the date as November 11, 2004.
- Jack Bauer makes an appearance at 8 mins and 45 secs into the episode—the longest of any season premiere.
- This is the final season premiere of 24 to feature L.A CTU.
- The news says that the Department of Homeland Security has raised the threat level to red, the highest level since the department was formed but in Season 3 they also raised the threat level to red.
- 6:00am-7:00am (disambiguation)