24

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Unlovely Rita

From their hiding spot at the CTU staging area, Kiefer and Turner are watching the evacuation of Fayed's building. Based on reports from agents on the ground, Turner's certain that neither Fayed nor Morris have left, which means that they're still in there. The good news comes when Buchanan chimes in on Kiefer's earpiece to say that the infrared scan now shows the building nearly empty, except for people in three apartments on the second, fourth and sixth floors. Chloe pulls up a database that quickly tells her that the second-floor tenant is handicapped and therefore probably trapped. I hope that after this is over, someone tells her that, in the event of an actual emergency, someone in the fire department would shift their ass to get her out of there. As for the fourth-floor tenant, he's a single male with a couple of narcotics priors. Kiefer figures Fayed wouldn't set up a safe house with a guy who has a criminal record, so that leaves the sixth-floor apartment. Kiefer decides it's time to move.

Inside Fayed's apartment, Morris is pretty much upright again, sitting on the couch while working with the laptop and the NukeBoy set up on the ottoman. Fayed accuses Morris of stalling, since he thinks it should only take a few minutes. Morris denies it, even though he could offer the excuse that he can't type as quickly as usual right after some asshole has taken a core sample of his left deltoid. The guy at the window says that everyone else in the building has evacuated, and Fayed realizes that means they're almost out of time. Despite knowing that he's probably seconds from rescue, Morris doesn't even slow down. I can't judge him for giving in earlier, but that moment there is a pretty poor showing.

At 1:47:37, a shotgun-wielding Kiefer leads a platoon of armored CTU agents up the stairwell to the sixth floor. They move into position slowly and quietly. (For CTU agents, I mean.)

Inside the apartment, Morris tells Fayed that he's done. "Bring it!" Fayed orders. Morris is shocked that a suitcase nuke has already been broughten. "Just one," says Fayed, and orders Morris to arm it. He gives Morris a whack on his good shoulder for hesitating. Morris finally complies, and Fayed is satisfied to see a "DEVICE ARMED" message pop up on the screen. He gets ready to leave, saying, "Kill him." Morris gets up to protest, and then gets knocked down by one of the henchmen, who tells him to get up again. Before this yo-yo game can get more ridiculous, a giant hole gets blown through the wall adjoining the hallway. Kiefer steps through the breach, shotgun blazing. CTU agents are backing him up with automatic weapons fire, shooting guys right through the walls. There's so much gun smoke and drywall dust in the air that I don't know how they can tell whom they're shooting. I certainly can't. Kiefer gets one last bad guy pinned down in a bedroom, and rather than going in after him, he simply whispers, "Now." Seconds later, two CTU agents crash through the window behind the surviving henchman and gun him down. When the dust settles, Turner tells Kiefer that they're short a corpse; Fayed's not there. Kiefer goes to the window and looks both up and down; nobody there but CTU agents, who haven't seen anything. Kiefer tells Turner to keep looking for Fayed and figure out how he got out. A medic tells Kiefer that Morris is unconscious, but alive. Kiefer relays this news over his earpiece to Chloe, but before they can celebrate, another agent summons Kiefer into the bathroom. At first, Kiefer thinks it's so that he can see Rita's body on the floor and the bloody ring in the bathtub, but no; it's the suitcase nuke, sitting on a stool with its lid ajar. Kiefer crouches before it and gingerly lifts the lid. "CTU, this is Bauer. We've got a problem," Kiefer understates. It's 1:50:52.

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24

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