I had a dream the other night that I was fleeing from an angry Kiefer. I kept tripping, as one does in dreams, and it turned out I was wearing these huge shoes. They had "PROPERTY OF GUSTAVE" written on them. What do you suppose that's about? In other news (using the term loosely), due to some graphic violence, viewer discretion is advised. And a shout out to MNE for the recap title.
Previously on 24: Bitchelle told Soul Patch over the phone that the poor doomed bastards at Inn Fection shouldn't have to die like Gael did. Soul Patch broke out CTU's supply of suicide capsules, with Chappelle's blessing. Kiefer and Special Agent Charlie Brown got shot at by a helicopter. Kiefer retrieved a hard drive full of juicy Saunders-related info just before MI-6's Los Angeles office blew up around him. Chappelle followed a money trail. Saunders ordered Palmer to have Chappelle killed, or he'd release more of the V-I-R-U-S that's wreaking havoc at Inn Fection. Thank God for those previouslies. This is the first episode I've watched all season and I feel completely up to speed. The following takes place between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
In a conference room, Palmer and Brother Palmer argue about whether Palmer should order Chappelle's death, with Brother Palmer taking the "pro" side. Brother Palmer insists that sacrificing Chappelle is necessary to prevent the deaths of millions of people, many of whom are probably not weasels. Palmer says that in addition to having a moral issue with ordering a man killed, he isn't too keen on letting Saunders hold the country hostage indefinitely. Brother Palmer says that Saunders has proven that he's willing to carry out his threats, and they have to do what he says until they catch him. So we're talking, like, seven hours, max. Don't be such a baby, Palmer.
CTU. Kiefer walks into Chappelle's conference room/remote office setup and they debrief (yay!) each other on what they're doing to find Saunders. Kiefer has the IT lab searching the hard drive he got from MI-6, and Chappelle is still following the money trail. Potato Face comes in looking like she's expecting a smack upside the head and tells Kiefer he's got a call from Palmer, who wants to speak to Kiefer "in private," which in this case apparently means "in the middle of the CTU floor." Kiefer takes the call on some random phone. While Brother Palmer watches from the next room, Palmer tells Kiefer about Saunders's demand that Chappelle's body be delivered to "the train yard downtown" by 7:00. Kiefer's confused as to why Saunders has suddenly come over to his side. No, wait -- Kiefer seems to think this is bad news. Instead of capping his boss on the spot and hitting the road like many, many, many people would do in this situation, Kiefer expresses the hope that they can find Saunders before the deadline expires, but Palmer is doubtful. Palmer never exactly says the words "Kiefer, kill Chappelle," but his meaning is clear: he needs Kiefer to handle this one way or the other. They hang up. I'm thinking that Saunders seems like a fellow who would be prepared enough to have people in place to release the V-I-R-U-S even if he does get collared, but perhaps I'm complicating things too much. Kiefer lassos Potato Face as she's shlumping by and tells her to drop what she's doing so she can search for clues to Saunders's whereabouts in the financial records. Potato Face wants to clear it with Chappelle first, but Kiefer nixes that. Potato Face balks: "Chappelle's mad at me for, like, twelve things. I'm not going to add that to the list." Heh. Kiefer busts out the velvet, and Potato Face folds. Obviously he can't tell her that the project he's giving her is necessary to save Chappelle's life, because if he dies that's twelve fewer things that somebody's mad at her about.
Inn Fection. Hazmaticians are herding bloody-faced hotel guests behind a plastic curtain and into an isolation area while Bitchelle's on the phone with Soul Patch. He promises that the suicide capsules will be there soon. I guess that means they're not having Health Services drive them over. Bitchelle tries to bring up her poor chances of appearing in Season Four, but Soul Patch doesn't want to hear it. They have a little moment -- Bitchelle even says "sweetheart" -- and then they disconnect and spend a few seconds struggling not to lose their respective shit. At CTU, Kiefer comes up to Soul Patch and asks whether Bitchelle's test results are back, but we won't know whether she's caught the V-I-R-U-S for another hour -- excuse me, "until next week" -- excuse me again, "until Tuesday." I guess it's too much to ask that the test for a deadly virus burn up less than ten percent of a victim's life expectancy.