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

While still riding with Curtis and Assad, Kiefer answers his cell phone. Wayne warms up by asking if they have any leads on the suitcase nuke yet. Kiefer says that they're working on one. The small talk thus dispensed with, Wayne says that he wants to come to an agreement with Assad. Kiefer hands the phone back to Assad, saying, "The President wants to speak with you." Curtis is silent as Assad takes the phone and calmly answers, "Yes, Mr. President," but his eyes are rolling around in his head like those of a panicked horse. Wayne gets right to it, offering Assad protection and a full pardon, under certain conditions: namely, that he continues looking for Fayed, and commits to a broader peace. In other words, stuff Fayed was doing already. Wayne asks whether Fayed is cool with this. "In principle, yes," Fayed answers, but asks for the deal in writing. Curtis is silently freaking, even without being able to hear Wayne tell him, "You'll have it within the hour." Without being told, everyone else leaves the Oval Office to go look for one of the several hundred Pardon Pads located at strategic spots throughout the building. I suspect they can be found near all fax machines, exit signs, and fire extinguishers. Wayne tells Fayed to give the phone back to Kiefer. Wayne pretty much begs for Kiefer's approval of his decision. Kiefer allows, "I'm glad it's a call I didn't have to make, sir." Of course, if he strongly disagreed, he wouldn't be going along with it, so this faint assent is good enough for Wayne. After Kiefer hangs up, Assad asks Kiefer whether he thinks Wayne is honorable. Kiefer considers a number of responses, but it's really just a yes/no question, so he simply goes with the former. Curtis still hasn't said a word, but he's clearly having his doubts.

Tom's in Wayne's secretary's office when she notifies him that Sandra is calling to talk to Wayne. Tom insists on taking the call himself, on his cell phone, and the secretary transfers it to him while he's out in the hall. Sandra's calling from her car, and she's not happy about being put off from talking to Wayne. Tom asks if she's calling about Walid. She says she is; Walid's still in custody, more than an hour after being arrested! Can you believe the nerve? People who haven't been allowed even to see a lawyer for the last five years would scoff bitterly at this scene, except they're probably not allowed to see this show, either. Sandra lectures Tom about civil liberties, and he blows her off, but she has one closing thought: "I will do whatever it takes to protect my client. If it embarrasses the administration, so be it...I am holding you personally responsible for whatever happens to Walid." I'd like to take a moment now to thank 24 for creating a character whose ideas and principles I generally agree with, and then making her completely grating and obnoxious. Kudos.

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