Fighter planes! Blowing stuff up! And it's a good thing too, because (a) Special Agent Charlie Brown and Spawn talk about Their Relationship, to which Tater Tot is less of an obstacle than Potato Face's prying nose; and (b) the Byzantine stupidity of the Lady Mac plotline spirals to new depths and the Brothers Palmer make their dumbest move to date. And I don't say that lightly. Kiefer catches up to Soul Patch in short order and takes over management of the Spawnders/Bitchelle exchange. Bitchelle fakes affliction by the V-I-R-U-S to escape, but Kiefer, suffering a temporary attack of Palmeritis, tells her to let herself get caught again. At the swap, Spawnders loses her nerve and breaks into a sprint, Saunders breaks cover, and an army of CTU agents breaks everything. Even so, it looks like Saunders might get away at the last minute, but Kiefer is able to nab him. And you know why? Fighter planes! Blowing stuff up!
Previously on 24: The Brothers Palmer found out that Lady Mac had met with Palmer's challenger, Senator Keeler, but they didn't know why. But we knew her purpose was to offer Keeler the chance to blackmail Palmer over a murder she'd committed. It's even dumber than it sounds. Kiefer was suspicious of Soul Patch, and relieved him of command. Saunders had Bitchelle, and wanted to force Soul Patch to trade her for Spawnders. Soul Patch led a suspicious Spawnders out the back door of CTU. Potato Face figured out what Soul Patch was up to and she told Kiefer, but by then it was too late. Soul Patch called in to tell Saunders he'd gotten Spawnders out, and Kiefer found out that Soul Patch and Spawnders were gone. Nobody said a word about a V-I-R-U-S. The following takes place between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
We catch up with Kiefer in mid-frenzy. He orders Potato Face to cue up the last ten minutes of security camera footage from every exit, and Adam the Woman Hater to tap into the California Department of Transportation's traffic surveillance system. I'm sure Soul Patch is too smart for that. Special Agent Charlie Brown appears with this news break: "I just heard Soul Patch took Spawnders out of the building without authorization." Kiefer confirms it, and explains about the swap Soul Patch plans to make for Bitchelle. Charlie Brown reminds the audience that Spawnders is the only leverage they have, and Kiefer cuts him off. Hey, did anyone tell Special Agent Charlie Brown that he could stop covering the back entrance of the Nebuchadnezzar? Potato Face finds and plays the footage of Soul Patch and Spawnders leaving, and Kiefer reports to Adam that they're in "a silver SUV." He can tell that from a black-and-white image? He's good. Kiefer orders Special Agent Charlie Brown to prepare a tactical team and be ready to go. Adam, meanwhile, has already found the Soul Patch-mobile a half-mile away, based on Kiefer's oh-so-precise information. Wow, Adam's good, too. And I guess I was wrong about Soul Patch being too smart to get caught that way. Kiefer books.
Soul Patch's silver SUV -- a conspicuously non-Ford model -- barrels down the street. He nearly rear-ends another vehicle at the traffic light. I say it would have served the other driver right for just sitting through an entire yellow light without moving, but Spawnders asks if Soul Patch is okay. He tries to blow it off, but her Spawn-dar is going crazy.
At Saunders's Lair 2.0, he approaches the minion guarding Bitchelle (who, now that I'm looking at him again, kind of resembles a poor man's version of Will Sasso from Mad TV) to let him know that the swap is on and he's going to need to be ready to move. Bitchelle watches this through the window into her room, looking pissed off. After Saunders is gone, she bangs on the grid and lets the guard know what's up: "At least eight hundred people are dead or dying at Inn Fection…you'll be infected along with everyone else! Whatever Saunders is paying you, it's not worth losing your life!" I don't know, that might depend on the health plan. Bitchelle delivers her speech angrily and with a complete lack of fear or desperation, and it's awesome. I wonder if the V-I-R-U-S is less scary than the thought of having Bitchelle mad at me.
At CTU, Special Agent Charlie Brown, not rocking his kevlar vest nearly as well as Kiefer rocks his, flags down Spawn, who's just moseying by as if she doesn't have a job to do. He explains that he's on standby until Saunders turns up, but before he has to go he wants to talk to her -- "about us." Fine, let's get it over with. Spawn seems to agree with me, going by her closed-off body language. Among other things, she's worried about the issue of Tater Tot, and that Special Agent Charlie Brown's job means he's likely to be as crummy a father as Kiefer was. Special Agent Charlie Brown offers to transfer out of Field Ops. Spawn admits that she wants to stay with him, and that she's willing to raise a child with him -- after only three months together, even -- but she won't raise one for him. Best Spawn line ever.