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

1:55:14. It gets worse; Chloe's going to be walking Kiefer through the defusing process over his earpiece. Seriously, does Kiefer really have to do everything? His TAC team doesn't include a guy who knows how to defuse bombs? On a mission where they're trying to recover...you know, bombs? The component inside the case that we need to worry about -- aside from the nuclear charge itself, of course -- is a small glass case that looks like a French press, inside which two metal plates shaped like parentheses have a long screw threaded between their centers. The screw is turning, and this is causing the plates to move closer to one another in unnerving little jumps. And Kiefer can't force his way into the case without triggering the bomb. Chloe says that when the plates touch, that's when the nuke detonates. I don't know why super-advanced computer engineers are needed to reprogram the electronic trigger when the mechanical component is so Rube Goldberg-ish. Kiefer tells Chloe that the plates are about three inches apart. Chloe says that gives them about three minutes. Milo sets a digital timer for that interval on his computer screen as Chloe starts giving Kiefer his instructions. She has him unscrew a small metal box inside the bomb case, and he reaches into a handy bomb-defusing tool kit. Because again, they have tools for this, but not a guy. While Kiefer's fiddling around with the nuke's guts, Agent Turner has found Fayed's escape route: a tiny hole in the closet leading to a ventilation shaft with a knotted rope hanging inside. He reports this to Kiefer, adding that the shaft leads to the basement and thence to the sewer tunnels. Kiefer asks about the perimeter, but Turner says that they got reports about a helicopter taking off from nearby about five minutes ago. "It appeared to be a medevac chopper so it got through our net." "Dammit," Kiefer hisses, as if this is a surprise, and returns his full attention to the one-kiloton explosive device he hasn't stopped fucking around with during this little distraction.

Once Kiefer gets inside the little box, it reveals a circuit board and a bit of clockwork. Those metal parentheses take another jump closer to one another as Kiefer tells Chloe that they're running out of time. Dude, she was waiting for you. She has Kiefer short out some wires, which stops a gear, which gives Kiefer access to a row of tiny little dipswitches. Using his left hand to steady his shaky right, Kiefer uses a bitty little eyeglasses screwdriver to depress the two dipswitches Chloe tells him to. Nothing happens, except that the plates are still getting closer together. Chloe gets "an updated schematic" and tells him to flip two different switches. "Are you sure this time?" Kiefer growls. Chloe says she's as sure as she's going to get before it goes off. While the clock ticks down past fourteen seconds, Kiefer gets the right combination of dipswitches. The glass case pops open, and Kiefer jams the rubberized screwdriver handle in between the plates. And then shits himself. Wait, sorry -- that was me. Kiefer collapses against the bathtub, and as CTU's timer shows less than two seconds, Kiefer tells them over his earpiece that it's done. After a moment, he gets up and goes out to the front room.

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