Kiefer and Driscoll are still butting heads, but now it's over how best to get Devane and Daughter back. Driscoll reluctantly sends Kiefer into the field. The TerrorFamily continues carrying out whatever mysterious plan they're running, but all of the intel and all of the equipment and all of the training represented by CTU is actually less of a threat to them than the teenage son's clingy, clueless girlfriend. Devaneâs pinko son, the only surviving witness to the kidnapping, is at CTU for questioning, and it doesnât look like anyoneâs real committed to being particularly nice to him. Kiefer's operation to try to bring in Potato Face's friend goes south for the same reasons these things always go south, i.e., People Not Listening To Kiefer. The internet threat turns out to be connected to Devane's kidnapping, because the bad guys succeed in hijacking the entire internet and webcasting the announcement that Devane is going to be tried live, online, for war crimes against humanity. What. Ever. Devane and Daughter's only hope is Kiefer, who finishes the episode in hot pursuit of the guy who grabbed Potato Face's Hacker Friend, the only existing lead in the entire case. How are we going to survive the suspense until the next episode starts in twenty-two hours?
Previously on 24 (quite a bit less previously than usual, in fact, since in North America the previous episode just ended three and a half minutes ago, but just in case you're that guy from Memento): Someone robbed a train, sort of, by blowing it up and then stealing a briefcase. In the wake of the bombing, CTU searched for TerrorTurk. Who, in turn, coordinated the delivery of the briefcase to the TerrorFamily. Potato Face had a friend from Hacker School who spotted the makings of a major internet attack. He alerted Potato Face; then people came and killed his coworkers, but he got away. Kiefer told his girlfriend that he didn't miss his old job, but less than an hour after arriving at CTU on totally unrelated business, he had TerrorTurk bleeding out through his femoral artery and confessing to a plan to target Kiefer's boss, the Secretary of Defense. Said Secretary of Defense tried to browbeat his peacenik son into bailing on a protest rally, and then got kidnapped by extraordinarily well-organized terrorists, along with his daughter, Kiefer's girlfriend. Shit got blowed up real good. One previous episode. Over two minutes of previouslies. You do the math. By the end of the season, there won't be any time for the actual episode.
The following takes place between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM. It would kill this show to get a nice long title sequence that I wouldn't have to recap every week?
The LAPD are already on the scene in DiCK's shabby neighborhood, drawn by the burning car and the pitched gun battle. One can imagine someone giving directions to the 911 dispatcher: "No, the other burning car. Two blocks over. And one block up. No, the other one, on the east side of the street. Yeah, that one. No, wait." Anyway, the fuzz go into DiCK's house, presumably because it's the only one with an open door, and find DiCK cowering against the refrigerator. "They took my father and my sister," he reports weepily. And his shampoo, apparently.
In a garage somewhere nearby, the brown van carrying DaD and DoDder pulls in. The abductees are rushed from the vehicle to a white van in seconds, and everyone's back on the road almost immediately. It's very Grand Theft Auto.
Down CTU way, someone has kicked over quite the anthill of activity. Kiefer has commandeered a phone and is calling the Secret Service down on the scene of the kidnapping. I have no idea who, specifically, he's talking to. Presumably it's the poor, unsung people in some call center in Bangalore that's dedicated to taking exposition at the top of every hour. Their jobs must suck. Driscoll takes the floor to announce DaD's abduction to the assembled CTU minions. We also learn that DoDder's actual job title is "Senior Policy Analyst." Which is why she runs his schedule and takes his calls, but whatever; Potato Face is supposed to be CTU's top computer genius, and she does that stuff too. What the hell's the point of getting promoted in the 24-verse anyway? You still have to do scut work, and your risk of death is significantly elevated. Driscoll says something about interagency protocols and puts everyone to work. Special Agent Breck dashes over to Lispy Skip, telling him to "move off that page" and go to the Secret Service Channel. Secret Service Channel? That right there is a powerful reason to get satellite TV. Lispy Skip complains that he's locked out of the Secret Servers because the rest of the Cabinet is being sequestered. Special Agent Breck tells him not to worry about that, and to hack in if he has to. This little exchange is never mentioned again, at least in this episode. Curtis gives Potato Face a bunch of orders in technobabble, but she's already carried them out. He gives up and says, "What haven't you done?" Potato Face technobabbles some more and Curtis says, "Do it." Potato Face is on her way. Seems like Curtis could have saved some time by just cutting to that last question, but that myocardial infarction that just dropped him to the floor kind of renders my criticism moot.
Kiefer gets off his cell phone and addresses Driscoll, who's already headed his way with a pair of redshirts in tow. Kiefer reminds Driscoll that DaD is his responsibility and he needs Driscoll to reinstate him provisionally until DaD is safe. Driscoll has a better idea: she's going to have Kiefer detained, turned over to Division, and probably arrested "for torturing a suspect and rendering him useless for questioning." Kiefer defensives that they weren't getting anywhere with TerrorTurk and that Kiefer got him to tell everything he knows. "You better hope so," Driscoll says, and orders the guards to escort Kiefer to a vacant office. "You're making a mistake," Kiefer says as he goes with the guards. I don't see why he doesn't just take command of CTU again and reinstate his own damn self. He used to do stuff like that all the time. Lispy Skip appears in front of Driscoll with the news that President Keeler wants to talk to her. Potato Face watches all of this, potato-facedly.