The hour begins with a festival of awkwardness and ends with a series of bangs. Morris and Kiefer return to CTU, the former wracked with guilt over succumbing to torture, and the latter wracked with guilt over his brother's death. After CTU learns that Gredenko (the Russian ex-general who delivered the nukes to the U.S. in the first place) is here in L.A., Buchanan actually confronts Kiefer over his actions during Graem's interrogation. For once, Kiefer's ready to accept the consequences, even when Buchanan offers to help cover it up. At the White House, Wayne continues to work with Assad, and takes a haranguing phone call from the Veep while Tom agrees to provide Chad Lowe with Wayne's itinerary so that Wayne can be taken out (presumably with a deadly barrage of weasel-words). With the search for Gredenko and Fayed at a dead end, Kiefer decides to follow up the only lead they've got: a vague memory of a house Marilyn followed Graem to months ago. But while Kiefer and Marilyn are on their way there with Milo and a tactical team in tow, Marilyn gets a call from Dad saying that he'll kill Josh unless she leads Kiefer astray. So Marilyn steers Kiefer into the trap Dad laid for him. The house blows up, nearly killing Kiefer, while Milo and Marilyn make a desperate attempt to escape Dad's henchmen. The episode ends with a burning house and a burning van, and something tells me that's just for starters.
This episode's previouslies are unusual in that they include scenes from not just the one previous episode but the one before that as well. Also, they include Fayed telling Morris, "You will do it. The question is how much pain will be inflicted on you before you comply." Which never happened. But then, they don't have an audio clip of Kiefer saying, "Never, on 24."
Fayed's still in a helicopter, flying low over L.A. The chopper sets down in some wide-open industrial-utility space I don't recognize. The red van from earlier in the season is also there, as well as a panel truck. As Fayed's henchmen offload the three remaining suitcase nukes from the van to the truck, Fayed makes a cell phone call. A scraggly, bearded old Russian answers. Fayed gives the Russian the good news that he now has a functioning NukeBoy, and the bad news that they're down to three nukes because he needed to cover his escape. The scraggly Russian guy complains that the original plan is for "five nuclear detonations at five high-priority targets." But now that's 40% in the crapper. "More than enough for our needs, Gredenko," Fayed assures him. Wait, so Dmitri Gredenko, the Russian ex-general who delivered the nukes to Graem and Dad's company, is in cahoots with Fayed? Okay, whatever. It just seems to me like if the Russian liaison wanted Fayed to have the nukes, and the American decommissioning company wanted Fayed to have the nukes, and Fayed wanted Fayed to have the nukes, maybe they could have figured out a way to secure more than one engineer who knew how to arm them. But you know what? We're moving on. Fayed reminds him that it's Gredenko's job to make sure "the delivery system arrives on schedule." Gredenko tells Fayed, "The trucks have left Nevada and they'll reach the location within two hours." They're going to put the nukes on reverse-engineered flying saucers from Area 51? Awesome! Fayed tells Gredenko to use that time to reprogram the targeting software, and they hang up, both men totally exhausted from keeping the conversation too oblique to give anything away ahead of time. Fayed gets into the truck with the nukes (and God knows what else) in it, and the red van drives off.
So while a terrorist is running around with nukes, CTU is responding decisively, with an hourly briefing. Buchanan, running the meeting, says that the FAA couldn't track Fayed's chopper (of course not, because with all civilian air traffic grounded, they sent everyone home, right?), but they assume that he landed outside the perimeter. As if it matters. However, they do have one lead: Milo was able to pull an email fragment off of a laptop recovered at Fayed's apartment. The email appears to be from Gredenko. Milo reminds us how Gredenko has fit into the story so far, although Nadia realizes this means that Gredenko is more involved than we thought. As for why Gredenko would help Fayed, Buchanan explains that Gredenko is "an ultranationalist. His desire to harm this country, economically and otherwise, is in sync with Fayed's." Well, then, what better gent for the Russian government to put in charge of transporting nukes to the U.S.? This raises the question of where Gredenko is now. Interpol has reported that he's not in Moscow like he's supposed to be, plus the email fragment looks like it was sent from inside the Pacific time zone. Buchanan dispatches Chloe to find out how Gredenko got in the country. Hey, has it even occurred to you that he might be in the Yukon? Chauvinists.