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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
The Final Countdown
med and placed in an alley, but still, you can't be too careful when it comes to recovery. Kiefer asks the EMT for a moment, saying that Dr. Macer can wait. Once Walker's alone with him, she says that Wilson's denying everything and claiming there's no case against him. "Is he right?" Kiefer asks. Walker thinks maybe, which, if true, gives him no reason to roll over on anyone else. "But I can make him talk," she offers. "If we don't find these people, one day they will launch another attack, and I don't see how I can live with myself knowing that there was something I could have done to stop it." Uh, why don't you try giving it more than ten minutes, Agent Impatient? Jeez. You are signed on for Season Eight, you know. She's basically asking Kiefer for advice, but he doesn't have any for her. "I've been wrestling with this my whole life," he says. And losing, I might add. "I see fifteen people held hostage on a bus, everything else goes out the window. I will do whatever it takes to save them, and I mean whatever it takes." Yes, we've noticed that about you. He admits that he was really trying to save himself. Walker asks if he has any regrets from today, and he can't think of any. Which may just be a sign of more severe short-term memory loss, a symptom that up until now seems to have been afflicting the writers more then Kiefer, because they keep forgetting to put that in there. Oh, but Kiefer's talking about something else. He says, "Then again, I don't work for the FBI." Unlike Walker, who "made a promise to uphold the law." CTU agents don't have to do that? No wonder they always had so many guys. He warns her about crossing the line: "before you know it, you're running as fast as you can in the wrong direction, just to justify what you started in the first place. These laws were written by much mater men than me. And in the end I know that these laws have to be more important than the fifteen people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind, I know that's right." Well, duh! Have I not been saying that this whole time? "I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with that," he says. Walker's eyes are filling with tears as Kiefer concludes, "Try to make choices that you can live with." Well, thanks for nothing. Walker doesn't know what to say. He gently touches her face and whispers, "Don't say anything at all." The EMT returns, and Kiefer is wheeled away. It's 7:32:55, and how touching and sweet that Kiefer's last words to Walker were basically "shut up."

At 7:37:22, Taylor is surprised to enter the residence and find Henry sitting up in a chair in his robe, and Olivia pacing around the room unhappily. She knows right away that something's up, and it's not just Henry. "Olivia wouldn't say until you got here," Henry says gravely. As Olivia gestures for her mom to sit down, she prefaces by saying she hopes they'll understand. "It's going to be hard enough to say once." Taylor calls her Livvie as she asks what's up. "Jonas Hodges is dead because of me," Olivia says slowly. Taylor's upset enough when she merely thinks that Olivia just leaked the info, but Olivia says it's even worse: Fighting tears, she says, "He killed Roger. Hodges killed my brother. And then you agreed to put him into Witness Protection." So really, this is Taylor's fault. "And the thought of him getting away was too much for me. So I called Martin Collier." They both react somewhat to that name, because as we know, everybody knows Martin Collier=evil. "He had once told me he knew someone who could do this kind of thing." Taylor thinks she's saying Martin hired a hit man, but Olivia has to say she did it herself. Taylor's eyes close in anguish as Olivia starts babbling about having tried to call it off, but it was too late. Henry asks who else knows, and Olivia tells them about Ethan and his recording of her and Martin, and how he's leaving it up to Taylor. She doesn't mention that Aaron knows as well, and of course we all know about Aaron's poor record of covering up for people in the White House. Instead of deciding what to do right now, Taylor grabs her daughter by the shoulders and shakes her, demanding, "How could you do something so stupid?" Well, Madam President, look at her birth certificate. If the date on it is less than thirty years ago, then there's your answer. It used to be that everyone under twenty on this show was automatically an idiot, but then Spawn got older and raised the bar. Henry tells Taylor to quit yelling at Olivia, and reminds her that Hodges killed their son. "If anyone deserves to die, it's him. All you should be thinking about now is how to protect our daughter." In other words, he wants her to destroy the recording. "And cover up a murder?" Taylor says incredulously. Henry tells her to cut the crap. "You're Olivia's mother." "I'm also the President of the United States," she reminds him. "And our family's already paid a steep enough price for that," Henry says. Ooh, dick move. "Your job cost our son his life." Taylor says she couldn't have done anything to save Roger, so Henry says she can save Olivia. "For God's sakes, Allison. We've already lost one child." Olivia's just staring pathetically at Taylor this whole time, which, if she were my kid, I'd ship her off to jail just to get her to knock that shit off.

Just then there's a knock on the door, and in comes Tim Woods, not getting very far into the room with a report on news from the FBI before reading the totally janky energy in the room and ducking out as quickly as he can. "Good news," he adds on his way out. Taylor promises to be right there. After he leaves, Henry tells Taylor to go ahead. "But so help me," he says with tears on his face, "Destroy that recording and save what's left of this family." Taylor goes. After Aaron closes the door behind her, Olivia sobs, "Dad, what did I do?" He manages a "what are you gonna do?" shrug and promises that they'll "figure it out." Good luck with that. Hey, maybe they should be discussing who of the other ten people who knew about this they should frame. After all, it's not like Kiefer has any long-term plans.

At 7:42:42, Tim is on his way out of the White House, planning to go to FBI-DC to pick up Wilson himself, at least according to the phone conversation he's having with Janis. He says he'll be there in twenty minutes, which is going to be too late if he wants to get there before the end of the season. After Janis hangs up, she goes over to Chloe, who has her coat on and is ready to leave. Chloe says she'll come back later or tomorrow for the debrief. "I want to be here for Jack," she explains. Janis nods, and thanks Chloe for her help. "Yeah, it was interesting," Chloe says. "Given what you have to work with, you're doing a pretty good job." Janis smiles and accepts the compliment, such as it is. "Good, that's what it was meant to be," Chloe says, and walks out, smiling to herself at having delivered one last passive-aggressive dig before taking off.

Taylor sits in the Oval Office alone, looking at the family photo of all four Taylors standing in that same room, looking dressed for an inaugural ball. Which is weird, because we know that before last night, Olivia hadn't talked to Taylor since getting fired from the campaign. And if this was taken during the campaign, it seems a little presumptuous for a photo op. A tear spills down Taylor's cheek, because in addition to this horseshit with her daughter, now she's going to have to fire someone in the prop department.

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