F-18s? Still on their way. Buchanan has managed to get Cheng handcuffed and strapped into the back of the CTU chopper. He pops the helicopter's headset back on (Feedback! Aaah! Okay, no, not really) and asks Nadia for confirmation that they've still got two minutes. Nadia only gives him ninety seconds before the fighters are in range, and says they need to get the hell out. Buchanan turns just in time to see Josh running up to the helicopter, and asks the kid where Kiefer is. "He's with my grandpa!" Josh yells over the noise from the rotor blades. Buchanan tells Josh to get in, then starts unspooling a canvas ladder out the helicopter's left passenger door. Good thing Cheng's handcuffed, or he could make things pretty awkward for Kiefer in a minute here.
In the White House Situation Room, SecDef is on the phone as he reports that the F-18s have the platform in range, and have achieved missile lock. "Take it out," the Veep says. SecDef relays the order.
Buchanan lifts off from the helipad as Josh protests that they can't leave Kiefer behind. Buchanan responds that they're not leaving, but he says it in this "keep your hair on, kid" tone that's pretty hilarious under the circumstances. He radios to Kiefer that he's coming around the south side of the platform, and tells Kiefer to "meet" him on level three. Kiefer climbs up onto an exterior railing, where he can see Buchanan's chopper coming around for him with the ladder dangling below.
The two F-18s launch their full complement of missiles, at least four per plane. It's about to get very hot where Kiefer's standing. Dad waits for the inevitable, wondering if China can still be his future somehow, like if his burning remains fall deep enough into the oil well below. Kiefer leaps for the canvas ladder dangling in front of him, and he makes it, just before the first missile hits and the platform starts exploding. Josh watches in amazement as Buchanan calmly pulls the chopper away from the conflagration that sends burning wreckage into the sky in every direction. Nice flying for someone for whom it's "been a while."
And now the obligatory scene at CTU, where Nadia and Morris try to raise Buchanan on the radio while watching the platform burn on the satellite screen. Finally, Buchanan responds, saying he's got Josh, Kiefer, and Cheng, and they're all flying back to CTU. Nadia nearly collapses in relief, and even Morris is smiling quietly to himself. It's kind of weird. The quiet part, I mean.