Dudes, some bad shit goes down this hour. CTU's search for Fayed and his suitcase nuke is at a dead end, until Ahmed releases Scott's mom and she calls the cops. Word of Ahmed and his connection to Fayed quickly reaches Kiefer, and he leads his team over to Scott's place to rescue the kid and follow their only existing lead. While they're en route, Wayne offers Assad full amnesty in exchange for his continued co-operation, as Curtis gets more and more bitter about Assad's involvement. While still in detention, Walid gets wind of a possible clue in the terror plot, and decides to stay behind bars to gather more information. Brilliant of him, really. We learn why Morris and Milo can't get along: Milo dated Chloe a few times. Ick. Can we move on now? After CTU rescues Scott from Ahmed, Scott provides them with address where Ahmed sent Dad. An entirely different CTU team is sent to Fayed's HQ, for reasons that will become apparent. When Curtis hears that Assad's been given a full pardon, he goes completely off the rails. It turns out that Assad killed a bunch of Curtis's men during the first Gulf War, which explains Curtis's personal vendetta against the man. Things come to a head, and in order to save Assad's life, Kiefer is forced to kill Curtis. Bummer. Dude survived fifty-one episodes longer than I thought he would, though. Kiefer pukes, cries, and quits. Moments later, the other CTU team moves in on Fayed's HQ in Valencia. Fayed's not there any more, but the suitcase nuke is, and get this: Fayed's man detonates the fucker. So where is the season going to go from here, with a small mushroom cloud already rising over Los Angeles? Believe it or not, it has to do with Walid's clue: there are four more suitcase nukes still out there.
Buchanan is back on the phone with the soldier at the airfield, and the two of them have made use of the time afforded them by the previouslies to figure out not only that Numair has escaped, but that the jailbreak was planned well in advance. They also realize that Fayed wanted Numair free inside the U.S. The soldier figures that Numair had to have inside help, and will call back as soon as he knows more. We will, of course, never see him again. Buchanan hangs up his cell phone and asks Chloe about satellite coverage of the prison bus's route. She says that there are a few tunnels and spots with limited coverage. In other words, Numair's escape was invisible from space. Buchanan sums it up for the new viewers: "Numair is a known terrorist with possible access to suitcase nukes and he escapes in broad daylight." He bellows at the floor in general, "We have to do better then we're doing, and we have to do faster!" Minions begin scampering more urgently, not because they're scared of Buchanan, but because they don't want to end up gassed again. Milo's already got the skinny on Numair: he reports to Buchanan that Numair ran a weapons program in Frankfurt before moving to the Middle East. As for Numair's level of expertise, Milo sums up, "He knows it all, and he's up to date. If he gets his hands on the suitcase nuke, he can prep it onsite." Buchanan retreats to his office, ordering that Numair's recapture be made top priority. That call right there? That's why he's the boss.
After Buchanan leaves Milo and Nadia alone to plan their next move, they agree that the search area's too wide to make a satellite search practical. Then Milo notices Morris working at his station, sighs wearily because Morris is the only other employee in the entire building, and tells Nadia to split the grid between himself and Morris. But when he approaches Morris with the project, he gets blown off. "Chloe's assigned me a task. Please find somebody else," says Morris. Milo seems to accept that, but then he immediately flags down Chloe to ask her what she has Morris doing. Of course, Chloe has no knowledge of any such thing, and isn't smooth enough (or invested enough) to make something up. Milo angrily rounds on Morris, who quickly analyzes the situation. "You're upset," he calmly observes to Milo. That's why he's an analyst. Milo yells at Morris to quit if they can't work together. Morris nods and agrees to do what he's told. Again.
In the Oval Office, Karen's giving Wayne, Tom, and the rest of the non-speaking staff a capsule briefing on suitcase nukes. She says that they were manufactured by the former Soviet Union, and are small enough for one person to carry. Especially if it's the kind with wheels and a retracting handle. They have a maximum yield of one kiloton (or about one-fifteenth of a Hiroshima. I looked that up for you, you know). Wayne asks exactly how bad that is. Karen says that the typical kill radius is about half a mile, and puts up a helpful PowerPoint slide on the video display with a little blue circle in the middle of a map and some human-shaped icons in the upper corner. She adds that radiation expands that radius, depending on winds and so forth. Tom wants to know a bottom-line number of casualties. That, of course, depends on the population density in the area, but Karen estimates that, in a crowded city, thousands would be killed instantly, with hundreds of thousands succumbing to radiation. Now there are lots of little human icons, filling the whole left side of the screen. If you look really closely, you can almost see them vomiting, going bald, and becoming shambling mutant zombies. Wayne gazes at them and intones, promo-style, "Get me Jack Bauer. Immediately."