24

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Putting The "Curt" In "Curtis"
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Kiefer dashes through the streets near the still-unbombed Union Station. True to his word, he quickly finds Assad, because their blossoming love knows no obstacles. Assad pulls the stolen Echo up to the curb and opens the passenger door for Kiefer. Which he can pretty much do by shrugging. Kiefer hops in and confirms that Fayed's man is still in sight up ahead.

Said man gets a call on his cell phone from Fayed, who wants to make sure the Handler is still on schedule. "There was some traffic around Union Station," the Handler excuses. Gee, whose fault is that? Fayed tells the Handler there's been a change in plans, and that he needs him to make a stop in Newhall: "I'm making the call."

Buchanan's on the line with the Oval Office, giving the latest casualty figures from the morning's attacks from around the country, and things sound pretty grim. Even worse, the site of the Chicago bombing has somehow been relocated to St. Louis, no doubt leaving a path of destruction and severe confusion in its wake. On the bright side, they've confirmed that Kiefer stopped the L.A. subway bombing, and that he's working with Assad. Of course, they haven't been able to contact Kiefer since they didn't listen to him earlier. "I didn't listen," Wayne corrects bitterly. Nobody bothers arguing with him, even though Tom and Karen are in the room, too. Bill learns from Nadia -- and relays to Wayne -- that Fayed just happens to be calling right now and wants to talk to the President. Wayne takes the call.

Fayed does the expected gloating about how he's proved what kind of mayhem he can accomplish: "But I'm prepared to offer you a cease-fire if you meet my demands." Wayne, to his credit, points out that meeting Fayed's demands hasn't worked out that well for him up to now, but he asks what Fayed wants anyway. Fayed demands that 110 "enemy combatants" currently being held at Palmdale Military Facility be on a non-military plane and in the air by the end of the episode. Wayne angrily says that's not enough time, even if he wanted to, which he doesn't especially, but Fayed's like, take it or leave it, dude, and hangs up. Wayne asks Karen if this is really what the attacks have been about all along, and she's quite doubtful that this is really Fayed's end goal. Wayne tells Buchanan, who's still on the line back at CTU, to contact Palmdale and see what it would take to comply with Fayed's demand. I'm thinking it would probably take most of the day just to find that out, but this is 24, after all. After Wayne hangs up, Tom remonstrates with him, saying that Fayed can't be trusted. Plus the thought of more Muslims on the streets makes Tom all bunchy. Wayne agrees with Tom about Fayed, but hopes that going along with it will buy them enough time to find Fayed and stop the attacks. Even Karen calls the Palmdale prisoners "extremely dangerous terrorists," and says it's a bad idea to cut them loose. Wayne replies, "Unless we find Fayed, I may be forced to." It's nice to see him being decisive, at least.

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24

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