Sentox nerve gas conspiracy
|Profession:||White House Chief of Staff|
|Died:||Day 5: 1:30pm|
Hanged by Sentox conspirator
(framed as suicide)
|Played by:||John Allen Nelson|
|First episode:||"Day 4: 11:00pm-12:00am"|
|Last episode:||"Day 5: 1:00pm-2:00pm"|
At the end of Day 4, Cummings was the driving force behind the decision to have Jack Bauer killed in order to prevent him from possibly exposing secrets to the Chinese. During Day 5, Cummings was exposed by Bauer as a member of a conspiracy within the United States government, and believed (falsely) that he was the leader of the plot. Shortly after, Cummings was killed and framed as a suicide on the orders of President Logan and Graem Bauer to protect their involvement.
Before Day 4[edit | edit source]
Cummings worked for Logan for fifteen years before Day 4, often doing dirty work for him. Logan entered into a system of accepting this and looking the other way.
Day 4[edit | edit source]
When Logan took over the acting duties of President after John Keeler was no longer able to perform his duties once Air Force One was shot down by Mitch Anderson, Cummings went to the White House to assist Logan. Cummings became increasingly concerned with Jack Bauer after Bauer led a raid on the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles to track down Chinese national Lee Jong, who had extensive information about the terrorist plots of Habib Marwan. During the raid, the Chinese Consul Koo Yin was killed as a result of friendly fire (CTU fired no shots during the raid), which outraged the Chinese and resulted in a serious diplomatic problem. China wanted to extradite Bauer and hold him responsible for the death of the Chinese Consul. The United States initially resisted this idea but eventually capitulated to the demands of the Chinese and agreed to hand over Bauer.
Cummings was worried that the Chinese would be able to extract important National security information from Bauer that could one day end up harming the United States. Cummings ordered Secret Service Agent Dale Spalding to kill Jack Bauer once he was in CTU custody. However, Cummings' plan was foiled when Presidential advisor Mike Novick overheard Cummings' phone conversation with Spalding. As a result, Novick went to former President David Palmer, a long time friend of Bauer's, to figure out a way to save Bauer's life. Palmer immediately went to President Charles Logan's office and warned him about Cummings' plot to kill Bauer. Logan refused to intervene, claiming that he had already set Cummings straight and that Cummings would not take action (Palmer assumed that in actuality, Logan simply believed that it wasn't his problem and that Cummings was doing the right thing). Palmer called Jack and warned him that he was a target for assassination.
After Day 4[edit | edit source]
After the events that took place in Day 4, Walt Cummings met several times with Audrey Raines, mostly business related meetings. They both ended up in the same hotel one evening and they decided to share the same room. Giving that Cummings had separated from his wife Suzanne, they slept together during one of their meetings, but Audrey broke it off, as she had not finished mourning the apparent death of Jack Bauer and Cummings couldn't replace him in her heart.
Six months before Day 5, Cummings was approached by James Nathanson, who was recruiting "like-minded individuals" for a conspiracy that would increase America's oil interests in Central Asia. Since the plot had communications with terrorist factions, it would be considered treason by many federal courts. Members of the plot were Alan Wilson, Graem Bauer, President Charles Logan, Christopher Henderson, and James Nathanson. Nathanson served as a middleman, so Cummings wouldn't know about Logan's or any of the high level conspirator's involvement.
Day 5[edit | edit source]
During the opening moments of Day 5, Walt Cummings was briefing President Charles Logan and Mike Novick on the preparations for the day. As Mike took a call, Logan asked Walt about his wife. Walt assured him she was okay and that he had been in contact with Dr. Hill for any eventuality. As they were about to walk away, Mike informed Logan and Cummings that President David Palmer was assassinated in Los Angeles. CTU Los Angeles briefed the president on the news and requested for him to postpone the Anti-terrorism treaty signing with Russian President Yuri Suvarov, but Logan refused.
When First Lady Martha Logan was late getting to a press conference, Cummings decided to see what was going on. After knocking on her room, he asked her assistant, Evelyn Martin. After she told him about her state, Cummings asked Evelyn if she had told Martha about Palmer's assassination. Evelyn told her she hadn't, and Cummings dismissed her to tell her himself. After Evelyn left, Cummings broke the news about Palmer's death to Martha, who was very close to Palmer. After hearing about the assassination, Martha realized that it might have something to do with her. She quickly ran outside claiming she had to speak with her husband. Cummings quickly told Agent North to inform Agent John not to let her reach the stage. As Martha tried to get past John, Walt and Mike arrived and calmed her, convincing her to wait until Logan's press conference was over.
After Logan talked to Martha, Walt asked him if everything was ok. Logan told him that Martha was having another one of her delusions of conspiracies. When Walt asked him what to do, Logan told him to do nothing. ("Day 5: 7:00am-8:00am") However, Martha kept insisting to Walt about Palmer's call and his warning of national security. Walt went to the President and informed him of these. Although Logan tried to dismiss the matter, Walt offered to investigate the call arguing that it might help bring Martha back into reality.
At this point, Logan received a call from Audrey Raines informing him that Jack Bauer was the main suspect in Palmer's assassination. As they stood in disbelief, they asked why would Jack kill Palmer. Audrey informed them they were still investigating, and Walt argued that Bauer did had a history of insubordination, erratic behavior, and even heroin addiction. Audrey contested that Jack had also a history of serving his country. She then recommended Logan to postpone the summit, but he again refused. Walt then asked Logan if he should warn Suvarov about the possible threat, but Logan told him he wanted everything to remain a secret.
Walt then went to Martha's room to ask her about Palmer's call. As he questioned her, she asked him if Charles still didn't believe her. Walt refused to answer, but Martha realized he didn't. Walt then left and looked for the recording at the communications center. He then managed to alter it to hide any evidence about Palmer trying to warn Martha. After that, he brought the tape to President Logan.
At around 8:45am, Walt and Mike Novick tried to convince Logan to postpone the summit, after CTU told them about a growing threat in the next minutes. Logan still refused to do so and ordered Mike to make sure that law enforcement did their job to ensure their security. Some time later, Walt contacted James Nathanson and informed him that he had managed to alter Palmer's call to hide any evidence of his warning to Martha. Nathanson then informed him that the Ontario Airport was already secured and that Logan would soon receive their demands. ("Day 5: 8:00am-9:00am")
After President Suvarov and his wife Anya arrived at the retreat, Walt and Mike were informed about a hostage crisis at the Ontario Airport. They approached President Logan to inform him while he was talking with Suvarov. After they did, they told him that CTU Los Angeles was waiting to brief him on the situation. They were in the Situation Room when Anton Beresch, leader of the terrorists, started transmitting a live broadcast from the airport presenting his demands. After hearing that Beresch wanted him to repudiate the treaty, Logan angrily told Mike and Walt to solve the situation.
After some minutes, Walt was with Mike and Logan at the Situation Room were Bill Buchanan gave them the details of the situation. Logan informs Bill that he refuses to back down from the treaty and angrily tells Bill to fix the situation. When Bill tried to negotiate with Beresch, he ended up executing a hostage in front of the camera, as Walt, Mike, and Logan looked in shock.
Later, when news started reporting of an explosion inside the airport, Logan called Bill to see what was happening. Bill then revealed they had an inside man in the airport. Jack Bauer, the suspect in Palmer's assassination, was in the airport at the time the hostage crisis began, and had been sharing his intel with CTU. As they all stood in disbelief, they started arguing about Jack's involvement in Palmer's assassination that morning. However, Bill told them that there was evidence that might indicate he had been framed.
After this briefing, Walt called Nathanson and informed him of Jack's position at the airport. He also told him that Jack had a connection with one of the hostages, a 15-year old boy called Derek Huxley. As he finished with Nathanson, Aaron Pierce approached him and told him about Martha Logan being in the archives room looking for some transcript. Walt thanked Aaron for his help, and went to the archives room to see if she had discovered any evidence of the recording he altered. After checking the archives, he realized Martha might have found the evidence. ("Day 5: 9:00am-10:00am")
Shortly after 10:00am, Cummings, Novick, and President Logan witnessed another statement by Beresch, after which he executed a second hostage. As Logan began to waver and consider walking away from the treaty, or at least postponing it, Walt encouraged him to stay his course. Twenty minutes later, Cummings went to Martha Logan's room to accompany her to the ceremony. As he waited for her, Walt asked Evelyn Martin if she knew anything about what Martha had found at the archives room. Evelyn was reluctant to speak, but Walt threatened to fire her, and she told him that Martha had the evidence tucked under her blouse. Cummings then walked out to the podium with the President and his wife, as the treaty ceremony was about to begin.
After the treaty ceremony finished and the hostage crisis at the airport was resolved, Walt waited until Martha went into her room and then attacked her from behind, leaving her unconscious. While she lay there, he retrieved the evidence of Palmer's conversation from her blouse and left. ("Day 5: 10:00am-11:00am") When Martha was found, Walt went with President Logan to check on her. Although Martha claimed she was attacked, Logan seemed unsure of her story. Walt suggested that Logan send her back to the rehabilitation clinic in Vermont where she had stayed before. Logan vacillated, but Walt offered to handle the arrangements. Walt then walked outside and took a call from James Nathanson, assuring him that the situation with Martha had been handled. When Nathanson brought up Jack Bauer, Cummings also assured Nathanson that he had a man inside CTU who could help them get rid of Bauer.
Walt returned with Logan and convinced him to withhold the information about Martha's condition until after he had enjoyed the success of the treaty. At this point, Mike entered and informed them of the theft of nerve gas at the airport. Cummings then left to meet with the Homeland Security teams to assemble evacuation scenarios. However, he also contacted his man inside CTU - Spenser Wolff - and asked him about Bauer's location. He then told Spenser to clear an entrance for someone to enter CTU. Spenser complied and they hung up. Walt then sent Hank, a professional hitman, to CTU to kill Bauer.
As Logan was about to tell Martha that she was going to Vermont, Walt was with him, and assured Logan that Dr. Hill was on-call in case Martha overreacted to the news. However, they were shocked to realize that Martha had escaped from the retreat through the bathroom window. ("Day 5: 11:00am-12:00pm")
After the hostage crisis was over, Cummings intercepted a call from Jack Bauer to Mike Novick which revealed that his cover had been blown. He then played a recording of the conversation for Nathanson, who told him that his hitman had failed and that he was compromised. Cummings then approached President Logan and told him about his involvement with the terrorists. He tells Logan that he had leaked the location of the canisters to the terrorists, but had plans to detonate them through satellite once they reached the terrorist base. As Logan is enraged, Cummings assured him he did it on patriotic purposes, to justify military presence in the region and guarantee the flow of oil into the US. When Logan threatened to call security, Cummings told him that his involvement damaged his presidency as well, and convinced him to detain Jack Bauer instead.
Logan had Secret Service take Bauer into custody, but Aaron Pierce released him, out of respect to David Palmer. Bauer confronted Cummings in front of Logan, demanding to know the location of the nerve gas. As he denied it, Jack started beating him. After threatening to cut Cummings' eye out with a knife, he gave up the location. A CBP TAC unit was sent to the location, but the gas was already gone. Jack asked that Cummings be brought. As they told him that the canisters weren't at the specified place, Cummings assured them he had given them the right location. However, he saw in the live feed that his contact, Schaeffer, had been killed by the separatists. At this point, Ivan Erwich contacted Cummings and told him he knew about Schaeffer's involvement. Erwich was furious and told Cummings the US government would pay for the betrayal of Cummings and Nathanson.("Day 5: 12:00pm-1:00pm")
Following the call, Cummings confessed to Jack and President Logan the extent of his involvement with the terrorists. He told them that his contact was a former CIA agent named James Nathanson. President Logan chastised him for dealing with terrorists, but Cummings kept claiming that their goals were patriotic and in the best interests of the country as they would've gained a partner against terrorism and ensured a stable flow of oil for the US. When they tried to contact Nathanson, they got no signal. Cummings told them that he probably knew something had gone wrong and had gone dark. Logan then had Aaron Pierce take Cummings away.
A little after 1:40 pm, Novick called Logan and asked to meet him in the hallway. President Logan and Martha then learned that Cummings had hanged himself.("Day 5: 1:00pm-2:00pm") In order to spare Walt's wife Suzanne any pain, Mike and Logan agreed to cover up Walt's involvement with the terrorists.
Later that day, President Logan was exposed as the high-ranking U.S. government official behind the day's events, authorizing the assassinations and the selling of the nerve gas. He authorized Bauer's framing but did not authorize David Palmer's death. Knowing that Logan would object, Graem Bauer secretly ordered and paid off Christopher Henderson to hire assassins to kill David Palmer. Cummings had co-conspired and arranged this with Nathanson. After a conversation with Henderson, it was Logan who had one of his men kill Walt, at the request of Graem and his associates. Therefore, Cummings was selected from the start to be the scapegoat to conceal Logan's involvement if the conspiracy was uncovered.
Memorable quotes[edit | edit source]
- David Palmer: Jack Bauer would never compromise national security.
- Walt Cummings: As much as I'd like to believe that, everybody breaks.
- David Palmer: What you believe is irrelevant. ("Day 4: 6:00am-7:00am")
- Walt Cummings: (to President Logan) Suppose something happens to Bauer. Suppose he has an "accident".
- David Palmer: That's an obscene suggestion! ("Day 4: 6:00am-7:00am")
- Walt Cummings: No, Mr. President, I am a PATRIOT! ("Day 5: 12:00pm-1:00pm")
- Walt Cummings: (last lines) I don't want this weapon deployed on US soil any more than you do, but Nathanson cannot help you now and neither can I. These terrorists are operating on their own. ("Day 5: 1:00pm-2:00pm")
Background information and notes[edit | edit source]
- Cummings shares many parallels with Jamey Farrell. Both characters were moles and were confronted by their bosses (Nina Myers and Charles Logan respectively) who themselves turned out to be moles. Both characters had no idea that the person confronting them was also a mole. Both characters were murdered an hour after they were exposed and both murders were made to look like suicides.
- According to writer David Fury, they didn't know Cummings would be the traitor until after they started filming.
Live appearances[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
|White House Chief of Staff||Succeeded by:|