Turns out Kiefer decided not to quit CTU after all, which is kind of a shame. See, after torturing ImhoTerror's location out of Prado, he heads up the operation to grab the bad guy. But the Veep's so pissed at Kiefer for defying him that he sends Secret Service to arrest Kiefer, and they end up blowing the operation. On the plus side, now that Kiefer's lost ImhoTerror for the fourth time in eight hours, he's finally got someone else to blame.
The Veep, realizing his mistake, throws himself a little pity party and seems about ready to step down, until Poor Man's Hume Cronyn decides to call in his old boss. Yes, Palmer's on his way back to the White House. Let's hope the Veep will be in good hands.
The stolen warhead, meanwhile, is in Central Iowa and being prepped for something or other under the watchful eye of Angel's Keith Szarabajka (I swear, the ways this show finds to get back at me). The Middle Eastern Missile Tech working with Keith Sarbajakza has a Middle Eastern girlfriend back home in L.A. who's starting to get suspicious, so she calls CTU to report a bunch of hinky encrypted files she found on her man's laptop. Buchanan sends a very reluctant Potato Face over to the house to check into it. And her agoraphobia proves to be well-founded, because Keith Slallablallah has sent a hit man to "take care of" the girlfriend. Poor, panicked Potato Face and her informant are besieged by Keith Salmahayek's incredibly determined assassin. How do they get out of it? Two words: Potato Gun.
And two more: Keith Szbzkjkzkjrjzba. Damn you, 24. Damn yoooouuu!
Previously on 24: An Army convoy carrying a nuclear warhead was ambushed and robbed of its atomic payload in the backward, jerkwater Midwest, where we have no telephones, internet, satellites, or highway patrol. One of ImhoTerror's henchmen was about to get nabbed along with Joe Prado, who killed the henchman before CTU could move in. Prado said he was innocent, and had a lawyer protecting him. The Veep (who's finally identified as the President in his freeze frame this week, not that I care) put off the decision as to whether to torture Prado. Kiefer decided to take matters into his own hands by asking Buchanan to accept his resignation and release Prado. Kiefer broke Prado's fingers until Prado gave up ImhoTerror's location, and then Kiefer thanked him by clubbing him unconscious. The following takes place between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM.
However poorly Kiefer may have treated Prado in the parking lot, the folks at the CTU clinic are more than making up for it. In the two minutes and fifteen seconds since Kiefer knocked him unconscious, he's been uncuffed, brought into the clinic, revived, and had his hand splinted up. He's even got a hot young doctor or nurse daubing his head wound. This is ridiculous. Wheeling him past the camera unconscious on a gurney would have had the same effect without completely flouting the real-time format. Not that we're done doing that for tonight, either. Buchanan's in the clinic too, trying to get Poor Man's Hume Cronyn on the phone. Just then, DoDder marches into the room, takes one look at Prado, and grabs his medical chart. Damn, lady, it's not enough that he just got his Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights stomped on, you gotta go and violate his Fourth? She puts down the chart and confronts Buchanan, who just says, "Prado talked." DoDder insists on knowing what happened, in her capacity as a representative of the DoD. Might as well be the SecDef herself, given Devane's absence from the past several episodes. Buchanan says Kiefer did it. "It was the only way to get him to give up ImhoTerror's location," he lames. Okay, we're going to be hearing that a lot for a while now, and it's not any more true than it was last week, but I think I covered that in last week's recap. I'll just refer Buchanan there. DoDder seems surprised to hear that the Veep gave clearance to use torture. Buchanan says the Veep didn't. "Where's Kiefer now?" she demands. Buchanan says he's prepping a team to go after ImhoTerror. So I guess Buchanan didn't accept Kiefer's resignation after all. Or he tried to, and it didn't work because Kiefer already doesn't work there anyway. Wonder if that'll bite anyone in the ass soon. Like, potentially the entire country. DoDder glares at Buchanan for a minute, then stomps off.