At CTU, Nadia is running a briefing for the upcoming military strike: the ETA for the attack helicopters at Assad's place is fifteen minutes from now. Just then, Kiefer calls in, and Buchanan takes the call, glad to hear that Kiefer's alive. Chloe actually smiles, in the background. It's weird. Kiefer abruptly cuts off the felicitations to advise calling off the air strike on Assad: "You've got the wrong man." Buchanan balks, saying that he can't override a presidential order, so of course Kiefer wants to talk to Wayne his own self. And because the Velvet is back in full force (after twenty months of silence that just ended an hour ago), Buchanan has no choice but to comply. While waiting for the call to be patched through to the White House, Kiefer commences hotwiring the car.
Buchanan conferences in the Oval Office, which currently contains Wayne, Karen, Tom, and some non-speaking others. Wayne is pleasantly surprised when Buchanan tells the room over speakerphone that Kiefer's alive, but his smile fades when he learns that Kiefer is asking that the attack on Assad be aborted. Karen thinks Kiefer must be wrong, because of course she's pretty invested in the Assad theory, what with all of her intel and her entire agency telling her that Assad's the guy. It would be kind of embarrassing for her to be wrong about this. But Wayne wants to hear what Kiefer has to say, and Kiefer is patched in on the call. Kiefer quickly cuts off Wayne's apology and repeats his request. Wayne wants to know what Assad's doing in the country if he's not doing the bombing, and Kiefer says that Assad's there to stop Fayed, the real bomber. Kiefer explains that Fayed told him everything -- that Assad wants to lay down his arms, and Fayed wants to prevent that. Karen is completely not buying this. Wayne reaches for a compromise, suggesting a ground assault on Assad instead, but Karen says it's too risky. Buchanan says that it's worth the risk if Kiefer is right. "Jack has been in a Chinese prison for twenty months," Karen points out. "His ability to assess this situation is highly questionable. I believe he's being played." Kiefer's all, "Still on the line! Totally hearing you!" But even Kiefer's addressing Karen by her first name, demonstrating that he's alert enough to recognize her voice even when she hasn't been introduced to him on the call, doesn't sway her. Tom speaks up in agreement with Karen, and Kiefer says that their only chance is to capture Assad and find out what he knows about Fayed. Considering that he was still on a plane an hour ago, he's awfully certain that there aren't any other chances, isn't he? Way to get up to speed quickly. Tom gets tired of looking at Wayne's thinky-face, and warns him not to let his history with Kiefer affect his judgment. So just to prove that that's not happening, Wayne goes along with his advisors and orders the strike against Assad to proceed. Kiefer makes one last appeal, but Wayne has made up his mind. He drops off the call.