In the aftermath of Hassan's murder, it looks like it's going to be all over but the cutting loose of the delegates. But then Taylor and the IRK minister ask Dalia to take over the country and his place in the peace process, not 20 minutes after her husband's death. She accepts, over Kayla's objections. Still, the Russian delegate isn't convinced, and backs out of the peace agreement. Reluctantly, Taylor agrees to talk to the one person who might be able to help with President Suvarov: Ex-President Charles Logan. Logan proposes a shady, secret deal whose details he declines to share with Taylor, which she agrees to.
Samir survived being shot, only to be secretly murdered by a Russian operative using a delayed poison. Apparently he was working with the Russian delegate, and since he's worried Walker might have recognized him, he follows her and Kiefer home to be sure.
At CTU, Hastings is relieved of command, and Chloe is put in charge. Her first crisis to deal with as interim director is what to do when Samir kicks it.
Kiefer takes Walker home, and they finally do it, watched by the Russian assassin. When Chloe calls to tell Kiefer and Walker what happened, Walker stops a bullet from the assassin's sniper rifle. Will she survive? Well, the second episode in a row closes with a silent clock, so that should give you the answer.
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Previouslies freeze-frames: President Allison Taylor, CTU New York, the late President Omar Hassan, and Jack Bauer. Notice how Taylor's the only one on that list whose very existence hasn't been threatened this season. And Hassan's, as you'll recall, is already over. Seems like that was the climax of the season right there, but we've got eight hours left to wrap up the whole series, so let's get to it.
Having somehow extracted herself from dealing with the bereaved Hassan women during the previouslies, Taylor stares morosely out the window of her borrowed office at McGuire Air Force Base until Kiefer's call comes in from the apartment where Hassan was just murdered. He says he's sorry, but she isn't mad at him, assuming he did everything he could. "I failed you, ma'am," Kiefer says softly. Taylor reminds him it was Hassan's choice. "Don't put this responsibility on yourself." Kiefer lets it drop, because it's not like he can resign, and he advises her to keep after the peace agreement, but Taylor says there's nothing she can do with Hassan dead. Even when Kiefer literally warns her against literally letting the terrorists win. She says goodbye and hangs up before he can bust out another cliché.
Out in the fourth-floor hallway, Samir is laid out on a gurney and is now wearing an oxygen mask instead of the skiing kind, so it looks like Kiefer only mostly-killed him. Cole asks an EMT attending the suspect how he's doing, and learns that he should live. Cole gives instructions to have Samir transported to CTU Medical, and Samir is left alone with a different EMT, who looks like Jack Kerouac. This fellow produces a syringe and injects it into Samir's neck while no one's looking, then he heads down the stairs, presumably to wander off the scene just like a real paramedic. On the way down, he passes Walker on her way up, who looks at his back after he passes like there's something off about him, or maybe she can just hear how the music got all sinister the moment he appeared on the screen.
She enters the apartment, where Kiefer pulls out his earpiece and tells her that the peace process is as dead as Hassan. She's sad, but tells him he did all he could. "Wasn't enough," he grumps. Walker says they should get back to CTU, and Kiefer mutters, "Why? The fuel rods have been recovered, peace conference is over, everyone responsible is either dead or in custody." But there are eight hours left in the season. Kiefer goes out to the hallway, finds Cole, tells him to stay with Samir, and hands field command over to him. "We're going home," he declares. "We're done." Cole says Hastings will want a debrief, and Kiefer says he knows how to find him. At least until he gets on that plane to L.A. Kiefer shakes Cole's hand and tells him he's a good agent. "I wouldn't be standing here without you. Thank you." They say their goodbyes, and Walker follows Kiefer out like the obedient female she's suddenly become, having never said a word since coming out of the apartment. That borders on character assassination.