24

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Play Nice

It's Doyle on the other end of the line, reporting to Nadia that Audrey isn't in any shape to talk. Nadia tells Doyle to have her brought back to CTU so that District can send a psychiatrist to take a look at her. Are there any psychologists up at this hour who specialize in anything besides sleep disorders? And isn't any such shrink likely just to diagnose Audrey with sleep apnea and make her wear an oxygen mask to bed? Moving on. Nadia asks Doyle what Kiefer was thinking. Doyle explains that Kiefer had wired the building to explode as soon as Audrey was safe. "And his plan would have worked if I hadn't intervened," Doyle self-flagellates. Nadia says that Doyle saved Kiefer's life, but Doyle is angry at himself for losing the component. "Jack went against a direct order from the White House," Nadia points out. "This was no one's fault but his." Doyle clearly disagrees, but he lets it drop for now. Let's not get into the fact that Doyle was close enough to the building that the explosion would have killed him too, hmm?

At 1:05:42, Doyle walks out of the building, telling his men to come along and bring Audrey with them. As the helicopters start warming up to fly everyone back to CTU, (instead of, you know, pursuing the bad guy with the stolen nuke component), Kiefer sees Audrey emerge from the building, and starts running in her direction and screaming her name. Just what she needs right now. Doyle runs to intercept Kiefer and assure him that they're all going back to CTU together. Well, okay, not together, since Kiefer and Audrey will be in different helicopters. Kiefer begs Doyle for a couple of minutes to talk to Audrey. He argues that he knows Audrey, and understands what she's been through, and that he might therefore be the only person who can reach her. And if that doesn't work, he can just choke her. But Doyle has his orders, and the ex-lovers are heading back on separate choppers. Kiefer watches the one carrying Audrey lift off at 1:06:33. Amazing how much can happen in fifty seconds, isn't it?

Back at the White House, Karen and the Veep have apparently been able to tear their attention away from their respective personal situations now that they know the component is in Cheng's possession. In the Oval Office, Karen is going over all the measures in place to prevent Cheng from leaving the country. She admits that they won't work forever, and that the best they can hope for is that Cheng will be slowed down long enough for CTU to find him and retrieve the component. Karen's about to leave the room with the Veep's signature on her papers, but the Veep stops her to talk about how things went with Buchanan earlier. "Not well," Karen says shortly, and turns to leave again. This time, the Veep comes around the desk and says that while he knows they've had their differences, he appreciates Karen's sacrifice. Karen actually appears affected by the Veep's sentiments. Sucker. Tom mercifully interrupts this tender moment by coming in and saying that the Russian President wants a sit-down in the "TelePresence suite." He's already heard the news about the component? The Veep nervously gathers his two Viceroys to his side and heads out of the room.

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24

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