Well, Kiefer's doomed, suicidal rescue attempt succeeds in the first act, which leaves the question of what to do with the rest of the season, and indeed the rest of the episode. DaD finding out about Kiefer and DoDder? DoDder's soon-to-be-ex-husband showing up? TerrorTeen literally digging his own grave? Kiefer and Driscoll kissing and making up? A joyful reunion between DaD and DiCK which ends with DaD authorizing the continued torture of his son? The discovery of the real terror plot, from which DaD's abduction and trial were only a diversion, a plot to remotely take over every nuclear power plant in the United States, a plot that AIIIEEEE!sha appears to be in on? Sounds like a pretty decent season. Except I'm just talking about this one episode. Which rocked.
Going by the previews, I was expecting this to be the easiest recap ever: "Shooting. Commercials. Shooting. Commercials. Shooting." And then I was watching it, and so much other stuff happened and I was really digging it, and then I remembered that I was going to have to recap it all, and I said, "Shit." But still, I enjoyed this episode so much that all the stuff I usually nitpick about? I'm just going to let it go.
Previously on 24: TerrorTeen was all pissy about TerrorMom having killed Deaddie because he didn't have the stones to do it himself. Deaddie's mom came looking for her daughter, but the TerrorFolks blew her off. TerrorDad sent TerrorMom to follow her. Potato Face got fired and left without squealing on Lispy Skip. Curtis leaned on DiCK. Team DoD tried to gas themselves. The Briefcase was "very strong." Team DoD was hauled out of the gassy cell in time. DoDder recognized TerrorGringo when she came to. Kiefer was ready to go in after Team DoD, but Driscoll ordered him not to bother, what with the place being slated by POTUS for destruction from the air. Kiefer did the opposite of what Driscoll told him to, because that's how it is with them. Also, this isn't in the previouslies, but DoDder didn't want to tell DaD that she and Kiefer are shtupping, because she kind of sucks. The following takes place between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM.
Inside the TerrorDome, masked Poor Man's Robert Davi is still holding court, if you'll pardon the expression. POTUS & Pals watch aboard Air Force One. And Kiefer? Kiefer's inside the TerrorDome fence, snapping some dude's neck and then using one silenced, long-range shot from his handgun to take out the guard who saw him do it. He slides on his ass down the grassy slope to an entrance, managing not to rack himself on any hidden stones.
On Air Force One, Keeler asks his Washington Post guy how much longer it'll be before the missile finally shuts PMRD up. Driscoll calls POTUS while Kiefer takes out a third guard. She wants the Prez to abort the missile strike because Kiefer went in alone. Keeler will only call it off if Kiefer succeeds in rescuing DaD. Driscoll asks how much time Kiefer has. The answer? Seven minutes. Damn. It takes me seven minutes just to find the cordless phone sometimes.
Kiefer knocks down a guard in a hallway. While pinning him to the ground and pressing his gun against the guard's head, he holds up the guard's GameBoy, which is showing an electronic map of the TerrorDome. He demands to know where Team DoD is being held. The guard, because he's not on the "martyr" career track, points at the little screen. Kiefer thanks him by brutally pistol-whipping him into unconsciousness and probably permanent brain damage. Now he's on the "Wal-Mart greeter" career track (kidding! Don't have your grandkids e-mail me!). Kiefer continues moving through the TerrorDome, looking pretty vulnerable with his little, silenced handgun and his man-purse. Driscoll rings through on his headset with the news that Keeler isn't going to call off the missile strike, Kiefer has less than six minutes, and the thermal scan indicates about sixteen "hostiles" inside. You suppose that includes the four that are dead or unconscious? Those guys are probably still warm. It sounds like she's got more to say. "I'm not turning back," Kiefer interrupts. Driscoll rolls her eyes and says, "Understood. Good luck." You can just see her thinking, Worst case scenario: this'll be the last time he ignores me.
DoDder's pleading with the guard outside her cell to stop the trial. The little observation hatch is still open, presumably to let the place air out a bit. Until the guard in the hallway gets tired of listening to her and shuts it in her face, instantly becoming some viewers' favorite 24 character ever. But by this time, Kiefer has already heard her voice while passing through a hallway. He follows the familiar sound of her whining to the outside of an air vent in the back of the cell. Not sure why that air vent didn't work last hour, but never mind. I'm letting it go. Kiefer gets her attention. DoDder tells Kiefer to get DaD first. Kiefer makes a pained face so his girlfriend can see how hard it is for him to abandon her, and then slips a switchblade to her between the wires of the vent grate. "Use that if you have to," he whispers. "I'll be back for you. I promise." Hurry, dude. You've only got four minutes. It's 12:06:55 and that missile's getting launched at around 12:11:00. It takes me four minutes to button my shirt sometimes.