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Day 5: 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM

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M. Giant: A | Grade It Now!
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We still have Logan to kick around

Speaking of Logan, he's sitting and fretting in his office when a call from Graham comes in on his cell phone. "We have a solution that will allow you to order the plane shot down," Graham informs him. "I sure as hell hope so," says Logan, which suggests that he's come to terms with the prospect. Graham says they're going to broadcast a "VCI distress code" that will look like it comes from the plane Kiefer's on. In response to Logan's Excellent Question (tm Jacob), Graham explains that it's a code indicating that a hijacker has gained control of the plane and intends to use it as a weapon. "All you need to do," Graham assures Logan, "is to appear to struggle with the ethics and then give the order." Logan jumps the gun on that first step during the long pause that ensues. "You sound...reluctant," Graham understates. Logan whines that he's about to "shoot down a plane full of innocent people." It was one thing when he was risking a relatively small number of citizens, or that of his own wife, in order to forestall a much more devastating attack, but now all he's doing is covering his own ass. That's me saying that, not him. Trying to contain his impatience, Graham tells Logan that he doesn't exactly have a choice. Logan hangs up, but gently this time. Well, not having a choice should make this easier.

At 3:06:26, Buchanan and Hayes are walking through CTU as Buchanan suggests bringing Chloe back in to the office to help retrieve Kiefer safely. As they cross the floor, Buchanan stops Hayes to express his appreciation for her help, and assures her that Kiefer's evidence will be worth it. "I don't always agree with his methods, but I trust his judgment," Buchanan says, which is good for at least half a drink. By now, Slime has noticed the two of them being all chummy, and is on his way over, an overly-groomed mass of suspicious confusion. Buchanan excuses himself, leaving Hayes alone with her underling as he asks her what's going on and why Buchanan's not in holding. Hayes just blows him off, and heads on her way with a gratuitous reference to the impending transfer of Bierko. They're transferring Bierko? That seems like a great idea while all this is going on -- to get him out in the open so he can either engineer his escape or get killed or both. Nothing but upside to moving him right now, as far as I can see.

Novick comes into the Situation Room at Not Camp David to inform Logan of the VCI distress code Graham promised, which has apparently already been picked up. Playing his role to the hilt, Logan repeats his Excellent Question for Novick's benefit, and Novick explains in more or less the same terms that Graham did, but in a tone that you use for bad news instead of good news, unlike Graham. Logan pretends to be as horrified by the prospect as he actually was eight minutes ago when he first heard about it. Novick leads Logan over to one of the big screens, explaining that an Admiral is ready to brief Logan via video conference from Point Mugu. Which I'd never heard of, of course, so when I heard Novick say something that sounded like "Point Magoo," I was very disappointed to discover that the Admiral wasn't a tiny little nearsighted man with the voice of Thurston Howell III. Instead, he's a perfectly normal looking guy in a Navy uniform. Once they're all connected, Logan fakes skepticism, asking how the plane could be transmitting the signal in the first place. The Admiral speculates that a pilot secretly activated it, which can only mean that Kiefer's in the cockpit. "What do we do, Admiral?" Logan asks, totally convincingly, and the Admiral explains in no uncertain terms that the only thing they can do is shoot the fucker down. Novick stops rubbing his head and looks up, shocked, as the Admiral says that F-18s are already scrambled and are prepared to intercept. Logan reminds the Admiral of the fifty people on the plane, but the Admiral points out the twenty million people on the ground in Los Angeles County. Which, come on, I don't think one civilian airliner's going to be able to kill all twenty million at once. It would take a while, flying really really low, and I think after the first million or two people would start to get wise. Novick argues that Kiefer doesn't seem like the type to pull an Atta, and Logan shiftily watches him debate the point with the Admiral. Novick turns to the President and suggests having the fighter jet follow the airliner until it's certain that Kiefer intends to ram something, but the Admiral rules that out, saying the time to shoot down the plane is now, while it's still over the desert, as opposed to fifteen minutes from now, when it's over pamie and stee's house. But The Admiral really cements his case when he points out that Kiefer's target on the ground might be none other than Not Camp David. That would be enough for Logan to make up his mind even if he were innocent, and he gives the order to shoot down the plane over Novick's protests. "Don't make this any more difficult for me than it already is," he tells his Chief of Staff. Typical of him, even pre-evil. I have to say, the last couple of episodes have made it a lot easier to reconcile the old, weaselly-because-he's-a-wuss Logan with the new, weaselly-because-he's-secretly-evil Logan.

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