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Day 5: 2:00 AM – 3:00 AM

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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High Jack

The whole plane jerks violently, as if some psychopath in its belly is yanking on its control cables because he's not getting his way. Up in the cockpit, the pilot reports, "Aileron conduit's been breached." The copilot reacts like this is very bad news indeed, and considering what just happened, I would have to agree. Cotter tells Kiefer he's going to crash the plane, and Kiefer again orders, "Open the hatch." Cotter declines to cut Kiefer loose in the cabin, which is weird considering what a reasonable guy Kiefer is turning out to be. "Then you'll be responsible for everything that happens," Kiefer replies, throwing the plane into another pas de deux. Cotter gives in and calls back to the galley, telling Sue the flight attendant to let Kiefer out of the hold. Sue gives a crisp "Yes, Captain," hangs up, and takes the time to throw Avila's back a dirty look. Avila sees what she's doing and tries to stop her, but she insists, "The captain ordered me to open the hatch." When it comes open, Kiefer is of course right there, his gun pointed up at them. He forces them against the wall and climbs out, preceded by his man-purse. It's 2:37:34 as Kiefer orders Avila down into the baggage hold. Unhappily, Avila complies. He's just going to be right back up when he starts hauling on the cables his own self, Kiefer. Meyer is still down there with him, and it's too bad we don't get to see the scene where Avila tries to convince the gun-shy passenger that unlike the last guy, he really is Air Marshal George Avila.

Speaking of Air Marshals, that phrase is beginning to lose all meaning for me. One could almost imagine that an "Air Marshal" is like "air guitar" or "air drums." And then it's easy to picture Kiefer spending his downtime keeping in shape not by shadowboxing, but by beating up air Marshals.

Sorry, back to the show. On Kiefer's orders, Sue locks down the hatch. He sticks his gun in her back and orders her to take him to the forward galley. What, is he afraid he'll get lost if he goes by himself? As they enter the main cabin, one passenger stands to ask what's going on. "Sit down!" Kiefer roars, brandishing his weapon. "He's got a gun!" hollers the curious passenger, triggering screams throughout the cabin. As Kiefer heads forward with Sue, he gives a standard hijacker spiel: "Do what I tell you and no one will get hurt. If you don't, people will start to die." I don't think he's going to kill anyone, but his statement is true in an existential sense. Once he and Sue reach the front of the cabin, he tells her to get the captain on the cockpit phone. She does, and before handing Kiefer the handset, she bullets to the pilot, "Sir, he's in the main cabin; he has a gun." Taking the phone, he dispatches her to herd the first-class passengers into the main cabin. Surprisingly, they all head aft quickly without demanding any extra miles or meal vouchers or anything. Now that Kiefer's on the phone, he tells the captain that he doesn't plan to hurt anyone, but he wants the plane to stay in a holding pattern to give him time to search the passengers for an item that's a "matter of national security." Cotter says that if Kiefer is really a Federal agent, then he knows that they have to land the plane. "And that is what I'm going to do." He hangs up, leaving Kiefer to awkwardly latch the phone back to the front bulkhead while still holding his gun on the main cabin. Everyone looks back at him. Kiefer has a moment to wonder whether he and Logan are really so different from one another. They're both trying to do what's best for the country, after all. And in the process, they've made mistakes, resorted to desperate measures, hurt innocent people, committed crimes. Sure, Logan has more potential to wreak havoc by virtue of his office and its nearly infinite resources and a network of conscience-free independent contractors, but who's to say President Kiefer wouldn't end up doing the same? Does either man have a line he won't cross if pushed hard enough? These are the troubling thoughts that fill Kiefer's tormented mind at moments like this. Or maybe he's just thinking, Awkward. It's 2:39:05.

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