"Open the door," Taylor orders Kiefer, but he's not about to do that. "I can't!" he finally yells at her. Taylor reminds him that she's already lost a son. Oh, and don't forget that her husband's fate is pretty much up in the air too. "Have you any idea what it's like to lose a child?" she asks. Yes, but she keeps turning up again. Kiefer tells her he's sorry, but there's nothing they can do. "Do you have children, Jack?" she asks. He says he has a daughter. "Could you do what you're asking me to do? Just stand by and watch her butchered?" Kiefer admits that he couldn't, "But I am not the President of the United States." Which is a pretty polite way of saying, "Sucks to be you." Taylor once again tells him that as President, she's ordering him to open the door.
And then we're in a rather cursory splitscreen. Kiefer looks at the monitor, where the combined pressures of Juma's hand and knife are contorting Olivia's already frightened face into some rather inappropriately hilarious expressions. Buchanan, Mayer, and Aaron watch helplessly from among the hostages. Finally, Juma says, "You're running out of time," and prepares to take one of Olivia's eyes. But then the doors slide open, revealing Kiefer with his hands clasped behind his head, and Taylor behind him. I guess he didn't destroy the door panels entirely. Juma's men take Kiefer's gun and radio, and put him with the hostages. "Dammit, Bauer, what have you done?" Mayer asks him. Taylor faces Juma and tells him that now that he's got her, he can let everyone else go. Juma strikes her across the face, causing all the hostages to gasp in shock at the spectacle of the leader of the free world getting bitch-slapped. As she looks at him defiantly with a hand in her hair and blood at one corner of her mouth, he says, "You don't give orders to me." Taylor's meetings at the White House with the other Sangalan leader certainly do tend to go better than this one is so far. He tells his men, "Get the camera ready for the statement." "What statement?" she demands. "The last one you'll ever give," he answers. Well, then, let's hope it's better than her previous one. It's 8:00:00.M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter (mgiant), or just e-mail him at M.Giant[at]gmail.com.