24
Day 4: 4:00 AM – 5:00 AM

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Out of Time

Curtis hasn't found any files on ImhoTerror's laptop, since ImhoTerror was only using it to decode the microwave uplink. So pretty much all they have to go by is what's on ImhoTerror's cell phone, whose contents Kiefer tells Curtis to beam over to CTU. Nice of them to remember that a cell phone can be a viable source of clues again, now that we've only got three hours left in the season. Kiefer's own cell phone rings. It's the Veep, calling from the White House Bunker with Palmer and Poor Man's Hume Cronyn. Kiefer confirms that the missile has been launched, although they haven't yet been able to determine its location or trajectory. Palmer asks if Kiefer will be able to break ImhoTerror. Kiefer's doubtful. Palmer hand-washes, "I know you'll do your best. Keep me posted." Kiefer agrees and hangs up.

Palmer wants the Joint Chiefs notified, but no one else outside the "intelligence community" is to know. Which means that everyone in the Undal Office has to instantly forget. PMHC says they have to assume that the nuke's target is Washington, D.C. He wants to "establish continuity of government" and start an evacuation of government personnel from the city. Palmer agrees, telling PMHC to invite the Cabinet and the Speaker of the House down to the Bunker, and the rest of Congress and the Pentagon to the "mountain safety facility." I hope that's something they made up for this show, or the legislative branch is in for a long ride to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. ["I assumed they were referring to Mount Weather, which I didn't know was still in play. The Soviets knew about it before most Americans did, which sort of obviated the point. You can read more about it in this book." -- Sars] Also, the Senate Majority Leader's gonna be pissed. PMHC runs off to comply, but before he does, Palmer tells him to say nothing more than that it's a "category one emergency." Once the prezzes are alone, the Veep says he wants to start evacuating the cities. "Let's see what Kiefer comes up with first," Palmer says. The Veep doesn't disagree, even though Palmer doesn't explain his reasons for waiting. At least not before the scene ends.

Kiefer and Curtis have a brief conference wherein they agree that ImhoTerror will "die before he talks to us." You think? Kiefer approaches his prisoner, who is dealing much better with the bullet wound in his arm than TerrorMom did. In fact, the only concession to the fact that he was shot a few minutes ago is a sheen of sweat on his motionless face. Which brings up a related subject. I realize it's been a while since I explained ImhoTerror's nickname, if I ever did at all, and I've gotten a few questions about it. In case you're still confused, it's a reference to the fact that the actor, Arnold Vosloo, is famous for having played the High Priest Imhotep in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. And then this week I got this awesome email from a reader who asked if the nickname was based on a well-known message board acronym and if his expressionlessness had inspired me to give him a nickname that meant, "In my humble opinion, Terror." Which is even better, if you ask me.

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