|Written by:||Howard Gordon & Joel Surnow |
& Michael Loceff
|Directed by:||Jon Cassar|
|Original airdate:||January 11, 2009|
Jack Bauer is being interrogated at a Senate hearing dealing with the disbandment of CTU and possible violations of civil rights. However, he is subpoenaed by FBI Agent Renee Walker to help with a series of technological thefts that allegedly involve Jack's former friend, Tony Almeida, who was thought to be dead. President Allison Taylor has to choose if she wants to go on with her plans of invading Sangala, even with the surging threat of a breach on the CIP firewall.
between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Events occur in real time.
On a street in Washington, D.C., a man and his young daughter are in a car. Out of the blue their vehicle is slammed by a full size van. Another van plows into their car, and heavily armed, masked gunmen exit. One of them jumps on top of a taxi cab and fires shots in the air to scare away civilians. The others open the car door and kidnap the motorist. As the vans peel away, Latham tells his kidnappers that he will pay them and begs them not to hurt his daughter. One of the masked men says he doesn't want his money. Instead, he is needed to "fix" something for them...
A Senate hearing is being conducted in the Russell Senate Office Building to examine human rights violations committed by the disbanded Counter Terrorist Unit. Senator Blaine Mayer, the speaker, calls Jack Bauer and questions him about his torture of Ibrahim Haddad in 2002. The two men have a tense verbal back-and-forth until FBI Special Agent Renee Walker enters the court room and interrupts. She informs the Senator that the FBI needs Bauer on a matter of urgent national security. Renee and the Senator go back and forward but ultimately she convinces Mayer and Jack is excused.
Walker and her partner Agent Teller walk with Jack to a car, and Jack is told he will be briefed at the FBI office. Agent Walker speaks on the phone with Janis Gold, and learns that their investigation has taken an unexpected turn. Janis has an uncomfortable exchange with Sean Hillinger, who is delaying his responsibilities.
FBI head Larry Moss is briefing Mark Dornan and several other agents, and informs them that Michael Latham was the man who was abducted ten minutes earlier. Latham not only worked on Homeland's firewall project, but he designed it. The kidnappers are the same people they have been investigating.
Latham is fixing a device for the terrorists so they can hack past Homeland's Firewall as Renee prepares to brief Jack.
Renee briefs Jack about a matter of national security that has gone critical. She also reveals that one of the men behind the attack is someone he knows. She shows him a surveillance photo which slowly loads to show the face of Tony Almeida. Jack simply doesn't believe that Tony is alive, but Renee states that she had the body exhumed from Tony's grave and its DNA was not Tony's.
In a darkened room, two men try to hack into airport coordination computers. Their hardware fails. Latham is told by Tony that the device they forced him to work on has stopped functioning, and if he doesn't fix it, they won't need him anymore.
08:16:55... 08:16:56... 08:16:57...
In the White House, President Allison Taylor is watching the news on CNB, and the narrator is saying that 300,000 Sangalans have been murdered by General Benjamin Juma and this number will rise unless America gets involved. Ethan Kanin suggests involving the U.N., but Taylor tells him they're too afraid, and America will have to act, alone if necessary if they're to stop Juma. Kanin tells her they only await her orders to stop him. She asks if the Joint Chiefs are present; he tells her they've arrived in the situation room.
Henry Taylor, the President's husband, enters. He says that Kevin Aldridge is preparing another piece for CNB about why not to pull American troops out of Africa and offers to meet with him in the Press Room to get him to reconsider; Kanin advises against that, but Henry insists that his wife has enough on her plate already. Kanin excuses himself to answer his cell phone. President Taylor tells her husband to dissuade Aldridge if he can do so. Kanin gets off his phone and tells the President that the Joint Chiefs are ready. "Wish me luck," she says as she leaves.
In the elevator, Kanin argues against Henry's mental state. Taylor disagrees and supports her husband, saying he lost a son; "So did you," says Kanin. She explains she's not being resilient, but only that she can't grieve while she's going to send the nation to war.
In the situation room, Taylor calls the conference to order. Among those in attendance are General Allan and Dee Mansano. She begins by saying what a difficult decision it is to stake American lives in this.
At Tony Almeida's hideout, Latham states that he fixed the device; it was overheating. Tony takes the device to the system and installs it; Masters says it's working fine now. Just then the airport control system they're hacking into notices what's going on, but it appears to go away and they dismiss it.
Walker continues to tell Jack that Tony is definitely working in a terrorist organization that's seeking to destroy the infrastructure. Jack suggests that Tony may be working undercover, but Walker states that he couldn't be; they've checked all the local government agencies. Jack asks if there isn't some other explanation. Walker says there is: Tony is seeking revenge for the loss of his wife because of a faction working in the government. Jack argues that everyone involved was punished for that, but Renee contends against that, saying that sentencing Charles Logan to house arrest was hardly fitting for his crimes. Jack doesn't think Tony would be capable of revenge in this manner, but Walker says he would. She tries to get Jack to empathize, since he had lost his own wife, but Jack says he would never go that far, claiming there's an explanation. Walker tells him to help them find Tony and ask him what that explanation is. Jack asks for access to their sources, and Renee tells him he can get that access on the computer. She leaves to answer a call while Jack continues to stare at Tony's picture.
Renee answers the call in person, and they tell her that someone has been discovered to be hacking into the airport system. She asks if it might be Almeida's crew behind it; they say it's likely, as the only about this is with a CIP firewall. They call the White House.
Up in the air, a plane abruptly changes course. One of the flight attendants credits it to the weather. The passengers start to worry.
Jack is walking to the main room and discussing the situation with Walker. She assigns him to analyst Sean Hillinger and tells him about Tony interfering with air traffic control. Jack goes to work.
President Taylor's advisers are telling her they're ready to attack General Juma as soon as she gives the order. She tells them she lacks only Secretary of State Joe Stevens' post-invasion report. She senses hesitancy and asks if there's a problem. He states that she already knows what it is, but she reminds him of the dilemma they're facing and threatens to replace him if he can't do his job. Suddenly she receives word that she is wanted by Tim Woods from Homeland for something urgent, so she adjourns the meeting for later, and tells Stevens to get her the report.
Woods briefs Taylor on the situation with the CIP firewall and the air traffic control. Taylor suggests grounding the flights, but Woods states that's out of the question, as it would take at least 12 hours and cause panic. He suggests instead grounding the flights slowly, and then offers a real-time update on things. Allison asks if this has any connection with their intervention with Sangala. Woods claims ignorance, saying this invasion into their system is caused by a home-grown terrorist group. She asks if they'll be able to stop them from doing anything serious, and he claims the FBI has all their resources poured into it. Taylor accuses him of not answering the question, and he flatly agrees, saying nothing more.
08:33:14... 08:33:15... 08:33:16...
Henry and Kevin Aldridge are discussing the situation about Sangala. Kevin is unconvinced that an invasion of this country is wise, but Henry asserts that the genocide must be stopped. Henry offers him an exclusive look at the president's post invasion report, but is interrupted when his Secret Service bodyguard Brian Gedge announces a phone call.
The call is concerning the accusations of Roger Taylor's death. The private investigator, Chuck Toland, says that Roger's girlfriend received a large sum of money in an offshore bank account a week after Roger died. Henry asked if it is possible if she had anything to do with the incident. He says it's possible. Henry wants to meet her at the brokerage firm she works at. He tells Gedge he wants this off the manifest after he's done with Aldridge. Henry asks Gedge for his opinion on whether Kevin is taking advantage of him or not. Gedge says that they worked out the details on what happened to Roger.
Janis and Renee are looking at a socket and Renee assures her everything is all right. Sean and Jack are looking through the different files until Jack spots Gabriel Schector's name, and explains Schector was a supplier that had dealings with Tony and Jack. Larry then orders Schector to be brought into custody and prepares to contact judge Simons for a warrant. Jack says that's a bad idea and that Schector will stall. This gets Larry into a heated argument with Jack until Renee convinces Moss that he will be kept under control when they go to interrogate Schector.
Larry is hesitant but still gives her permission. Renee tells Jack that they're going and that he is doing this her way.
08:45:02... 08:45:03... 08:45:04...
Renee and Jack are on their way and they talk for a minute about Tony's relationship with Jack. Jack isn't yet convinced that Tony is now corrupt, but is aware that Tony is involved in dangerous activity and needs to be found. Renee informs her partner Teller to wait outside.
At the White House situation room, Joe Stevens is finally delivering his post-invasion report about the Sangalan capital Mali Baso. He outlines how US forces will rendezvous with those loyal to Ule Matobo. President Taylor tells him to remind General Wagner that the streets are to be kept orderly and that rule of law is paramount in the capital after Juma is removed. She also apologizes for dressing him down in front of the Joint Chiefs, and Stevens is appreciative, promising to keep his issues to himself in the future. Ethan comes over and updates the President about the domestic terrorism investigation, and that the FBI is already going to question a person of interest.
Jack and Renee arrive and knock on Schector's door. The bodyguard, Ari, answers, and eventually Schector arrives and says hello to Jack. Schector is only mildly assured when he learns that only Renee, not Jack, is FBI. Renee starts asking questions, but Schector stalls. After a tense confrontation, Ari grabs Renee; weapons are drawn, but Jack and Renee have the upper hand. It turns into an interrogation where Jack is ordered to do whatever it takes.
Schector, threatened with facial injury by Jack, agrees to reveal information about Tony, but before he can do so, he is shot by a sniper through a nearby window; his bodyguard is also killed. Jack spots the shooter briefly and immediately realizes that the FBI has to be compromised because of how the shooter arrived so quickly. He then gets a call from Tony telling him to stay out of this. Jack attempts to reason with Tony, but Tony ends the call.
Split screen: Jack yells at Tony on the phone as Renee watches him worried. Henry Taylor is preparing to meet with Samantha Roth. Joe Stevens is briefing Allison Taylor and Ethan Kanin on the invasion reports. Tony Almeida prepares for the first attack. Larry demands to know what is going on with the Schector incident.
Air Traffic control is guiding Flight 117, but suddenly they are blocked by Almeida's group. The pilot is now given orders and to change course and head to JFK International airport with new directions: it is a collision course. Tony's partner expresses incredulity.
08:59:57... 08:59:58... 08:59:59... 09:00:00
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
- Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor
- Annie Wersching as Renee Walker
- Colm Feore as First Gentleman Henry Taylor
- Bob Gunton as Ethan Kanin
- Jeffrey Nordling as Larry Moss
- Rhys Coiro as Sean Hillinger
- with Janeane Garofalo as Janis Gold
- and Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
Special guest star
- John Billingsley as Michael Latham
- Tommy Flanagan as Gabriel Schector
- Mark Derwin as Secretary of State Joe Stevens
- Frank John Hughes as Tim Woods
- Nick Chinlund as Masters
- Maximiliano Hernandez as Donnie Fox
- William O'Leary as Sid Paulson
- Ryan Cutrona as Admiral John Smith
- Warren Kole as Brian Gedge
- John Rosenfeld as Kevin Aldridge
- Murphy Guyer as Chuck Toland
- Chris Williams as Phil
- Vic Chao as Mark Dornan
- Dameon Clarke as Alan Tanner
- David Grant Wright as Gus
- Jill Remez as 1st flight attendant
- Elaine Kao as 2nd flight attendant
- Lou Glenn as Pilot
- Jonathan C. Williams as Co-pilot
- Benjamin Burdick as James
- Hayley McFarland as Emily Latham
- Zachary Gordon as 8 year old boy
- Chris Flanders as Todd
- Dana Bunch as Agent Teller (as "FBI Agent #1")
- Doc Duhame as Ari
- Henry Kingi, Sr. as car driver#
- Michael Kurtz as Richard Horton
- David Robert Lewis as Charters or Turner
- Manny Oliverez as Senator
Background information and notes
- International airdates:
- This is the first season premiere since "Day 3: 1:00pm-2:00pm" to include the "Events occur in real time" title card.
- This is Carlos Bernard's first appearance as Tony Almeida since Day 5: 8:00pm-9:00pm exactly 2 years, 10 months and 1 day later.
- This is the first season to spotlight two main cast members with the "and" credit: Janeane Garofalo and Carlos Bernard. When both are featured in the same episode (as in this one), however, Garofalo´s name appears first, receiving a "with" credit instead. This also marks the first time a "with" credit is used for the regular cast.
- This season is the first in which an actor, Carlos Bernard, receives an "and" credit in the main cast having appeared before on the show. Dennis Haysbert, William Devane, Jean Smart and Regina King have all been spotlighted in this manner since their first appearances and throughout their entire stint as regulars.
- The gun Tony uses in this episode is the AA-12 (Automatic Assault 12) Shotgun.
- Only four characters in this episode appeared in a prior season: Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida, Ethan Kanin and Admiral John Smith.
- This episode was originally supposed to air in January 2008, but due to the 2007-08 Writer's Guild of America Strike, Fox decided to delay the airing until January 2009 so that the whole season could air together.
- The original "Jack in Africa" draft of the first three episodes cut between the story of Jack in Africa, the White House plotline, and Renee Walker and the FBI, setting her character up ahead of time before Jack returned to the US.
- In the other unused version of this season premiere, a stocking masked man breaks into Chloe's house, and we later learn that the identity of the invader is Jack Bauer.
- According to Jon Cassar in the DVD audio commentary track for this episode, many of the remarks Senator Blaine Mayer makes are either direct references or allusions to remarks made by critics of the series and its politics.
- According to Carlos Bernard in the DVD audio commentary track for this episode, actor Kurtwood Smith's involvement with this season started with a couple of FOX parties where Kurtwood Smith, at the time starring in the FOX sitcom "That '70s Show", told Carlos Bernard that he was a huge fan of the show. Things were sorted out later so that Smith could appear in the recurring role of Senator Blaine Mayer.
- Writer/producer Manny Coto brought former "Star Trek: Enterprise" showrunner/writer Brannon Braga onto the show personally.
- The first seventeen minutes of this episode were included as a special feature on the 24: Redemption DVD.
- Despite the surprise of Tony Almeida's reappearance, Carlos Bernard is credited, likely due to the fact that his character's reappearance was spoiled in a press release issued by the show in the summer of 2007, over a year prior to the actual airing of this episode. Tony appears, masked, in just over one minute into the episode, but his name is not spoken until the twelfth minute.
- Tony Todd appears, uncredited, as Benjamin Juma in news footage at the White House.
- This is only opening episode of a season not to show an explosion of some kind.
- Continuity errors:
- Bob Gunton as Ethan Kanin says the name "Henry Aldridge", instead of Kevin Aldridge, mixing up the correct character name with "Henry Taylor".
- Alan Tanner fires three shots into the room yet four bullet holes are clearly visible in the window. The holes were also clearly made by a projectile normal (perpendicular) to the window, while the shooter was at an appreciable angle. As the final hole is made in the window, debris can be seen exiting on the outside of the window, which is the opposite of what would happen if a bullet were fired in from the outside (though this is presumably done for the actors' safety). Also, considering the final shot hit a different man, the spread pattern of the bullet holes would not be so close together.
- The marksman's firing is also inconsistent. The first two shots are clearly semi-automatic, while he is then shown to be operating a bolt before firing the final shot. If it were a bolt-action rifle, he could not have gotten the second shot off as fast as he did.
- When Renee tells Jack to do whatever it takes to get Gabriel to tell them where Tony is, she doesn't say "torture him if you have to," like she does in the Season 7 promotional footage.
- In a 2016 interview for Variety, co-creator Robert Cochran and writer Howard Gordon chose this episode as their favorite from Season 7. Gordon noted how after Season 6, he felt the pressure of "coming up with a story that worked" and how this was a "do-or-die proposition", that in the end "got the show back on track".
- Schwindt, Oriana (November 6, 2016). ‘24’ 15th Anniversary: Executive Producers Pick Their Favorite Episodes.
- 8:00am-9:00am (disambiguation)