Poor Man's Hume Cronyn is breaking it down for Palmer, telling him what he can expect if his family scandal goes public. His popularity would take a nosedive, the media would discuss it twenty-four hours a day, and then the Democratic party would dump him. But on the other hand, PMHC reasons, if they handle this right, he could come back from it. Palmer expounds upon how awful it must look to the American public for him to have a killer as a son and a family who helped to cover it up. PMHC argues that the murder was in self-defense, and that the election is six months away, leaving them time to ride out the scandal. "The voters know how to forgive," says PMHC. "You just have to know how to ask for it." Cue the frantic mandolins. And the first thing Palmer needs to do, according to PMHC, is to come clean with the public before the Maureen Kingsley story breaks. PMHC goes on to explain that Palmer will need his family's support to do this.
Back at St. Mahk's, PMMS's chief surgeon, a tiny but wiry Japanese woman, is telling AllegedYork, Kiefer, and Bride of Kiefer about how PMMS has no spinal injuries but plenty of other skeletal fractures -- neglecting to mention the fact that she was on smack and roofies too. She walks them down the hall and gives them an improbable excuse for PMMS's heart failure during surgery. "The next six hours will be critical," says Chief Surgeon. "But I'm optimistic." Kiefer asks her if they can ask her "a couple questions." Chief Surgeon leaves it up to AllegedYork, who, after much sputtering, decides that he'll go in first to see if PMMS is "up to it." AllegedYork exits, and Kiefer and BoK walk back to the waiting room with their arms around each other, feeling newly optimistic. Kiefer promises Bride a trip to Kanada when this is all over -- a shout-out to our forum thread on the connection between 24 and all things Kanadian. Kiefer's cell rings. He answers, assuming it's Nina. But it's not. It's Ira Gaines. Cue the eerie ambient techno music. He tells Kiefer to smile and act like there's nothing wrong and "move away from the doors." Kiefer looks up at the hospital surveillance camera. "That's right," says Ira Gaines, standing over a video screen with Konfused Kiefer on it. "We're watching you." He tells Kiefer to move away from his wife or Spawn gets a bullet in her head. Kiefer backs up, tells Bride he's having interference problems -– oh, like you're even allowed to use a cell phone in a hospital to begin with, but that's a whole other tangent. Gaines tells him to exit the hospital via the north entrance, and follows his every move on his video screen.
Oh, and if that's not enough tension and suspense for you, we go back to AllegedYork and Chief Surgeon, who are making small talk about PMMS's toughness on their way to her room in ICU. Chief Surgeon offers him the chance to just go in alone -- I'm surprised she didn't just hand him a pillow or something. AllegedYork accepts her offer and walks into PMMS's room. Through her respirator, PMMS mumbles something about not knowing who the hell AllegedYork is. AllegedYork strokes her hair, then bends the mouthpiece of the respirator shut and holds the mask down on PMMS's face so that she suffocates. But here's the mind fuck: I'm watching from my couch, and I am just laughing away at PMMS's struggling and choking like it's any other bad thing to happen to PMMS in just about every other episode of 24. And I'm feeling so proud of myself that AllegedYork isn't really York as I predicted. But I'm also thinking -- unlike some very shrewd people on our boards -- that there's no way they're going to kill PMMS. She's going to pull through this. We need her to pull through. Each weekly sadistic mishap helped me through some tough times, and this is just another one of those sadistic mishaps. Right? The monitor on her life support system will sound an alarm, and some nurse or other will rush in and save her. Right? Wrong. No one saves PMMS. AllegedYork manages to kill her with this completely expressionless look on his face. Damn you, cheesy Fox suspense show, for making me laugh so hard one minute and cry so hard the next! PMMS is dead. She's dead. I can't believe it. He exits the room. The time is 5:47:37.