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M. Giant: B+ | 1 USERS: A
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Manning Down

In the Oval Office, the video screen has automatically switched to an aerial satellite view which shows that, from above, Fayed's warehouse has turned into a huge, glowing cauliflower that gets bigger with every frame refresh. How very, very embarrassing. Everyone in the room gapes in shock. To Wayne's credit, he's the first to recover, telling them to alert all first response teams in the area and to put them in touch with the military: "Tell them the resources of the entire nation are at their disposal." Karen manages to pull herself together, and leaves to carry out those of Wayne's orders that she can remember.

The CTU Situation Room is also silent with shock, until Milo enters with a message from the FBI. It's Walid's Arabic phrase. Milo hands the paper it's written on to Nadia. It's sad that I'm expected to believe that, of every law enforcement and counterterrorism official in the greater Los Angeles area, Nadia is the only one who speaks Arabic. It's even sadder that I believe it. After being transmitted through Allah knows how many intermediaries, the message should be completely unintelligible, but Nadia easily translates the phrase for everyone: "It means 'five visitors.'" Interestingly enough, if I run the same phrase through enough languages on Babel Fish and then back to English, it comes back as "Oh my Dog yous is so very fuckeded." Buchanan realizes, "There are four more of these things out there." But how can Fayed make them work unless he has four more trigger components, four more Numairs, four more Ahmeds, four more credulous white families, and four more violent rednecks?

The last image of the episode is that of the mushroom cloud continuing to rise high into the sky, less than twenty miles away. This is no distant horizon-hugger we're looking at. In your face, Jericho. It's 10:00:00.

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