24
Day 3: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

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Pulling a Sherry

Latin Kiefer promo. 24. Blip blip blip blip blip blip. Previouslies. Someone dropped off a body infected with a weaponized strain of a pneumonic virus at the Health Services building in L.A. If released in L.A., it would infect nine percent of population. That's one million people, dammit. According to the terrorists' demands, they need to release drug lord Felipe Hartmano, one hammy actor, from prison within six hours. This is all being orchestrated by Felipe's brother, a drug lord himself, who's got a feisty wife who looks like Angelina Jolie and seems to fancy herself an honest woman. The virus seems to be inside a giant bag of cocaine, about to be delivered to distributors by some innocent white kid who just needs the money to help his family. Whatever. Meanwhile, Palmer is in town because he's running for reelection and is about to debate Senator Keeler, his opponent. Spawn is working at CTU. Yeah, I'll wait until you all stop sniggering before I continue…I said Spawn is working…I said Spawn is working at CTU, and she's getting it on with Kiefer's partner. Let it out. That's it. May I continue? Okay. Kiefer is hooked on heroin and trying to quit. The following takes place between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Pretty as a midsummer's morn / They call her Spawn. We open with a closeup of Kiefer's desk -- more specifically, a framed photo-portrait of Spawn in her shag-tastic glory. Personally, I feel it's eerie to have pictures of your kids at your desk that weren't taken at least six or seven years ago. I suppose I could commend Kiefer for consistently updating the picture of Spawn on his desk, but I just think that photo needs a set of headgear or something. That's just me. The camera pans over to Sweaty Kiefer, who is staring in horror over at the corner in his office where he threw his works and stash last week…I mean, "moments ago." A split screen shows us the syringe lurking under a chair, calling out to Kiefer like a siren. "Kiefer! Kiefer! I'm heroin! Do me! I will make you feel wonderful." Kiefer krawls over to the syringe and throws it away in a nearby wastebasket. Some poor office worker will have to empty that trash eventually and they're going to see a used syringe. How sad is that? However, when Kiefer comes upon an unopened vial of heroin, he holds on to it. (Does heroin even come liquefied in a vial? I thought it was a powder you had to cook up. Maybe he has access to some pharmaceutical-grade heroin that's already in liquid form for those octogenarian cancer sufferers who can't deal with the whole spoon and lighter thing due to their arthritis.) He puts the vial back into his handy-dandy heroin case next to the spare syringe and plastic tubing, closes the case, and breathlessly assumes the fetal position right there in the corner of his office.

Back out on the floor, Soul Patch, Mrs. Soul Patch, et al. are briefing Brother Palmer via videoconference on the nature of the virus, which is now officially a V-I-R-U-S. Soul Patch explains that Hector, Felipe Hartmano's brother, is threatening to release the virus unless Hartmano is released from prison. Brother Palmer asks Soul Patch how they know they are in possession of the V-I-R-U-S. Dr. Hazel Mat is patched in via satellite, sporting a Carol Brady "backflip" do. She explains in a really really tight voice that sounds like she's trying to smuggle diamonds in the hollows of her cheeks about the dead body left on the doorstep of the National Health Services building, and then shows a PowerPoint presentation to the assembled, which depicts how fast the virus will spread, complete with gory pictures of Patient Zero in all his skin-lesion-ed glory. Brother Palmer asks why he's never heard of this virus before. Dr. Hazel Mat explains that it was engineered specifically to kill ten times faster than its ordinary genotypes. "I cannot underscore enough how potentially devastating it would be if this virus were released by terrorists," says Dr. Hazel. Soul Patch asks Brother Palmer what the president is going to do about this. Brother Palmer replies that Palmer will not free Hartmano due to the "unwavering policy of the United States to stand firm against any terrorist demands." Meanwhile, somewhere in Virginia, Oliver North has just spewed a mouthful of microwave popcorn all over his television screen. Soul Patch points out that CTU only has five hours to find the source of the virus and contain it. Brother Palmer promises that CTU will have every possible resource at its disposal. Soul Patch calls for an end to the meeting so everyone can get back to work.

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