Okay, this was actually kind of stupidly awesome. President Taylor kicks off the hour by receiving a message from Colonel Dubaku, telling her that actual terror attacks are imminent unless she pulls U.S. forces away from Sangala. She refuses to be intimidated. Meanwhile, Tony is brought safely back to the FBI's Washington Field Office, but there remains the question of who the Bureau's mole is, which causes Janis to quietly freak out. She briefly thinks Sean is the culprit, although he turns out to have an innocent if not entirely by-the-book explanation for his activities. And when Henry Taylor returns to the White House from his little Sam-baiting expedition, Ethan breaks the news to him that Roger did have a reason to kill himself after all: a pending SEC investigation. Henry's about to let the whole thing drop until Sam calls him back to set up a meeting and tell him why she thinks Roger was murdered. Hmmm.
But all this is window dressing compared to the main event, which begins when Kiefer and Walker actually convince Moss to let him be the one to interrogate Tony. The interview goes badly, until Tony slips Kiefer the phrase "deep sky." This turns out to be a phone code that puts him in touch with none other than ex-CTU boss Bill Buchanan, who's operating out of some Bat-cave with none other than ex-CTU social retard Chloe O'Brian. Turns out Tony's been deep undercover after all, working with Buchanan and Chloe on a mysterious and apparently freelance plan to root out widespread government corruption. Without fully explaining, Buchanan somehow gets Kiefer to agree to help bust Tony out of the building. This calls for Kiefer to knock out both Walker and Moss, and for Chloe to walk the reunited friends through their escape by hacking into FBI-DC's surveillance systems (triggering the first of what I'm sure will be many Janis/Chloe confrontations, even if this one takes place only via computer terminals). Kiefer and Tony make a daring escape to where Buchanan can act as their getaway driver. It may be unlikely, even preposterous, but it sure as hell isn't boring. This is the kind of 24 I like.
"Where's Almeida now?" demands Taylor. Well, good evening to you, too, Madame President. In the Oval Office with her, Ethan explains that Tony's currently on his way to the FBI's Washington Field Office. Taylor wonders why they don't have the CIP device if Tony was the one running it. Right on cue, Secretary of State Stevens is ushered in to deliver a very strong topic sentence: "Almeida's working for the Juma regime." He slaps an action glossy of Colonel Dubaku on Taylor's desk and says Dubaku sent the State Department an audio message about five minutes ago, which he now plays for Taylor on a digital recorder. We can clearly hear Dubaku's voice, really working that accent hard, since we can't see him. "We have the ability to keel taahns of thousands of Americans." He's demanding that Taylor withdraw her carrier group currently positioned off the coast of Sangala to west of the 23rd meridian by this time tomorrow, which pretty much confirms my theory that Sangala is on Africa's west coast. And Dubaku further wants confirmation of the order within the next three hours, to make sure she's on track for meeting his deadline. "Don't sacrifice your fellow countrymehn, Madame President. Allow the people of Sangala to determine their own destiny." If "determine their own destiny" means "get killed by us." Message ends. Ethan tells Taylor she was right about the timing, but she's in no mood to gloat. In fact, she's pissed off, and isn't about to be dictated to by the likes of Dubaku. The problem is that there are still 2,500 civilian planes in the air over the U.S., and while the timeline for reprogramming the firewall has been shortened, it's still going to take six days. So Taylor gives the order to issue "restricted alerts," only to first responders so as not to start a panic. As her visitors leave, she tells them to have the FBI hurry things up. Another thing we learned from this scene: Dubaku's nickname is "The Butcher of Sangala." We also learn that his name isn't "Ike" as I previously thought, but Iké, which is pronounced like E.K. Which is good. Ike is too friendly and informal a name for the butcher of anywhere other than the Piggly Wiggly.
That black helicopter that appeared at the close of the last hour is now coming in for a landing on the rooftop of the FBI-DC. Moss gets out first, followed by a handcuffed Tony, then Walker and Kiefer. Counting the pilot, it's like a clown helicopter. It's 10:05:37 as the helicopter lifts off again for some reason. Is it due back at the Hoover building or something? Tony is sent on ahead with a guard to be prepped for questioning. Now that it's just Moss, Walker, and a tousle-haired Kiefer up there on the roof, Moss angrily demands an explanation for why Walker went after Tanner without telling him, sans backup, no less. As if Kiefer weren't more backup than anybody would ever need against a mere four armed guys. Walker starts to explain about the FBI mole. Moss is doubtful, and even more pissed when Kiefer steps over to help out. "Excuse me! This is private," Moss snaps at Kiefer, like he's talking to his girlfriend (he wishes, I think). Kiefer presents his case with a bit more sarcasm than is really necessary, and Moss reluctantly realizes that given the circumstances of Tanner's escape, it must be true. Of course, it's all predicated on the idea that Tanner really was the shooter, which, I doubt he's been convicted in a court of law yet. Pretty much the only evidence of his crime is that he knew where Tony was and doesn't wear FBI shoes. But anyway, Kiefer advises Moss to keep things tight around Tony if he wants to get the CIP device. Somewhat placated, Moss agrees to implement level-four security clearance, and answers his cell phone while Walker looks like she's been spanked. And not in a good way. After making them listen to his side of a brief conversation, Moss grimly boasts, "That was the White House," and then yells at them both not to do anything else without telling him first. As he stomps off, Walker tells Kiefer they had to tell him. "You trust him?" Kiefer asks her. She says there's no one she trusts more. Kiefer lets it go. He hasn't known her long enough to tell her that on this show it's the people you trust most that you have to worry about.