Spawn's back at CTU, and she's got her sketchy new shrink boyfriend with her. The Bauers have an emotional if not joyous reunion. Which gets cut short so that Kiefer can go torture Henderson for a while. Also at CTU: Bierko's henchman, Fucked-up Accent Guy, who gained access by reprogramming McGill's key card. And he's sneaking around the ventilation system with a big briefcase, which can't be good. As for President Logan, he gets yet another chance to fold before the very next person who wants him to do something. In this case, it's Vice President Leland Palmer, who's all gung-ho to preemptively declare martial law. So a worried Novick manages to get the Logans talking again to try and head off that nonsense. Presumably we'll see how that plays out in a later episode. Despite some tastefully filmed agony, Henderson's still not talking, aside from saying a bunch of stuff that only makes Kiefer want the goods even more. But all that gets put on hold when the planned nerve gas attack on CTU...succeeds! The ventilation fans blow deadly Sentox throughout the building before they can evacuate, killing dozens. The only ones who survive are those who make it to sealed-off areas in time. These rooms include the clinic, where Henderson and Tony are; the upper office, where Buchanan holes up; and the Situation Room, which contains Kiefer, Spawn, her sketchy boyfriend, Audrey, Chloe, and a handful of extras. Oops, did I forget Edgar? Well, so did they. And so the big guy gets the old Silent Clock Salute at the season's midpoint. Farewell, Edgar; we hardly understood ye.
The most interesting thing about this episode's previouslies is that one of the scenes is actually from two episodes back. That never happens. But I guess they wanted to get their money's worth out of that exploding limo shot.
Fucked-up Accent Guy is finishing up his business inside McSibling's apartment. Now dressed in a dapper suit, he picks up McGill's keycard off the table, collects his spent casings, and walks out, careful not to touch anything else. As he leaves the building and climbs into a parked mega-jeep of some sort, I notice that Elisha Cuthbert's name isn't in the credits, either as a regular (like Carlos Bernard) or as a guest star (like Jude Ciccolella, a.k.a. Novick). It's either an oversight, or someone decided that "credit" is the wrong word. Inside the mega-jeep is a little computer terminal of some kind. Fucked-up Accent Guy feeds McGill's keycard into a slot on the front, and calls Bierko as he gets ready to do his thing. Bierko says that couriers are delivering canisters as they speak, and he plans to launch further attacks after Fucked-up Accent guy is finished at CTU. They hang up, and it only takes a moment for Fucked-up Accent Guy to PhotoShop his own head onto the electronic picture of McGill that's stored on the keycard. Well, that was easy. I can see why Fucked-up Accent Guy didn't have twenty grand to give to Loser Boyfriend after springing for that computer unit.
Logan and Novick are getting yet another teleconferenced briefing from CTU. The President's glad to hear that the hospital attack was thwarted, but not so glad that he doesn't get all pissy about the lack of progress in seeking the remaining eighteen canisters. Buchanan informs the prez that Henderson has been recaptured and is on his way back to CTU now. Novick recognizes Henderson's name as a former CTU employee. Buchanan says Henderson's not cooperating, but is being brought in for "further interrogation." That phrase gives Logan pause, but he's clearly grown a pair since last season, because he just tells Buchanan to keep him posted before signing off. He'd obviously much rather say, "Keep me in the dark," but that wouldn't look too good.
Buchanan turns around to see Carrie waiting for him in the doorway of the Situation Room. Okay, so I was wrong about us never seeing Carrie again, but not by much, as you'll see. Anyway, she tells Buchanan that Tony wants to see him -- which Buchanan blows off -- and informs Audrey that Kim Bauer has arrived. Which means the place is due to get blown up at any moment. I'm kidding, but again, not by much. Audrey stands and looks across the floor at the giant head of blonde hair that's just entered, next to a tall, thin, goateed dude. They're in the distance now, so I'll save further observations for later. Audrey tells Carrie to park Spawn of Kiefer in the Field Ops office. The music gets sad. Not as sad as me, though. It's 6:04:55 as Buchanan gives Audrey an opening to clue in new viewers by asking, "What's Kim Bauer doing here?" Audrey says Kiefer asked her to bring Spawn in. "Does she know?" Buchanan asks. "Not yet," Audrey answers. Buchanan asks who Spawn's date is, and Audrey says she'll find out, dialing her cell phone as she leaves the room.
The call rings through to Kiefer's cell phone as he's driving Henderson back to CTU. Presumably Mrs. H. is enjoying the ambulance ride that Kiefer arranged for her. And arranged for her to need, as well. Audrey tells Kiefer that Spawn's in the house, and that they haven't talked yet. "Good," Kiefer says. "I want her to hear it from me." Audrey, speaking from the experience of this morning, thinks it might be easier for Spawn if she hears the news before she sees Kiefer for herself. Kiefer reluctantly agrees. Which is too bad, because that's a scene I would have liked to see: