After a brief helicopter chase, Kiefer manages to escape on foot from both the Air Force and the NYPD without breaking a sweat. He leans on an old army buddy (Michael Madsen) for support and supplies. At the U.N., Ethan urges Taylor to come clean for the sake of her presidency, and she reluctantly agrees until stupid Logan convinces her to stash Dana in a black site to continue the cover-up instead. Minutes after Chloe gets the transfer order, she also gets a call from Kiefer, demanding her help. Chloe reluctantly agrees to that, but after the extraction squad led by D.B. Sweeney shows up, Chloe instead decides to use a fake address as bait to catch Kiefer. Ethan is so repulsed by Taylor's decisions that he hauls off and quits, then confronts an unrepentant Logan, for all the good either action does him. Kiefer knowingly walks right into the trap, fooling Chloe and CTU right back. That done, Kiefer recruits Cole for his rogue operation. As Dana is dragged into a torture dungeon and the waterboarding begins, Taylor gives her triumphant press conference, stubbornly deaf to what her conscience is clearly telling her.
This week in the previouslies: President Allison Taylor, President Charles Logan, Dana Walsh, and Jack Bauer, whose interrogation-room beating of Dana was pretty shortened here. Logan sure didn't waste any time filling that second-president vacuum, did he? Also, these previouslies are notable in that they're the last time we hear anyone mention Renee Walker.
Kiefer's stolen CTU helicopter swoops in over Manhattan, while he resolutely ignores Chloe's attempts to get him to talk to her from the CTU floor. Arlo says Kiefer can hear her; "Comm's on, he's just not answering." Cole chimes in to say that Air Force helicopters are closing in. And indeed, there they are, a pair of Apache CGIs, zooming in to flank Kiefer like a gunship sandwich. He can hear them on his headset ordering him to turn around. Instead, Kiefer hurls the chopper into a banking dive, his eyes on a convenient helipad that has appeared somewhere below. The Air Force pilots report back that Kiefer just landed on the "Cooper Building," but there's not much they can do beyond watching from above as Kiefer hops out of the chopper (without even turning it off, looks like) and heads for the roof ladder. On the ground, two NYPD squad cars are closing in, sirens and flashers going full blast, when what they really need is a lot more squad cars. All of them should do it. Kiefer clambers all the way to the sidewalk using the fire escape, then evades the approaching cars and helicopters by the highly advanced tactics of blending in with pedestrian traffic and ducking under a tree. He joins the crowds on the sidewalk, the only thing separating him from hundreds of New York pedestrians his purposeful stride and angry expression of resolve. And even those match hundreds of other New York pedestrians. Well, that was easy.
At CTU, Cole comes up to Chloe to ask what's going on. Chloe quickly explains to him about how Dana has proof of the Russians' involvement, and Kiefer's going to come after her to get it. Cole says that's impossible. "He'll either figure it out or he'll die trying," Chloe insists, and dispatches Cole to the field to start an interagency search for Kiefer with the NYPD. And at 10:05:23, she tells Arlo to start searching satellites and traffic cams. Chloe looks sick as she returns to her old desk, with a graphic of Manhattan and three helicopter blips still up on the big screen in the last place we saw them. She's either upset that she has to chase after her best friend, or because it looks like all the screens have frozen up again.
At the U.N., Ethan and Taylor are already aware of Kiefer's escape and the resulting search, and they're not happy. Taylor stresses, "If Jack gets this evidence and exposes the Russians, the agreement is over." Ethan gently adds that her presidency might be over as well. "You covered up the Russians' involvement. That's grounds for impeachment. Possibly a criminal indictment...But it may not be too late to step back and limit the damage." Taylor looks up hopefully from the chair she just sank into, as Ethan advises her to expose the Russians herself. "Which will effectively end the peace deal," she whines. "But it will save your administration," Ethan says. Insisting that the evidence will come out eventually, one way or another, he tries to convince her they can take another shot at the peace deal, "If not during your administration, then during the next one." Taylor doesn't believe it, but she accepts Ethan's wisdom and asks him to prepare a statement announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the peace agreement. She'll make it at the press conference coming up in forty minutes. Ethan takes her hand and tells her she's doing the right thing, and she gets up and leaves. She boards an elevator with a couple of Secret Service agents at 10:08:26, looking defeated. She rides it all the way down that way, so I'm relieved to see her not suddenly stand up straight and do something like order Ethan's arrest as soon as she's out of view.
Instead, we get the next-worst thing; waiting at the bottom of the elevator is Logan. "Madam President," he greets her. She barely gives him a dirty look before ducking into her office. The Secret Service agents posted at her door allow him to follow for some reason, and they're left behind closed doors together as Taylor tells him it's over, given the evidence that's out there. Logan says he agrees, which surprises her a bit. "I expected more of a fight from you," she says. Well, he's still here, isn't he? He says he's pragmatic, but disappointed, and Taylor wryly says he'll have to find some other way to rehabilitate his rep. "My own personal disappointment aside," Logan says modestly, "it's a loss for the world." Taylor agrees, and gets ready to call Dalia Hassan to throw herself on her mercy. "Before you do, there is one thing you might consider," Logan says. Yes, here it comes, and unfortunately, Taylor is all too receptive when he says there is a way to save things, even though it's totally evil. "Obviously you can't grant Walsh immunity. The evidence would become public record. You need to control the evidence by keeping Walsh off the grid." Taylor doesn't like the sound of that, especially when Logan gets more specific: "Classify her as an enemy combatant and incarcerate her in a private facility." Yikes, this is getting dark fast. He's even got a private security firm in mind and standing by, which is one of the creepiest things he's said so far. As they sit down, Taylor weakly protests that they can't keep Dana locked up forever, but Logan says they won't have to. "Ms. Walsh may not give up the information willingly, but she will give it up. And once we have it, it won't matter what she claims." Taylor stands back up and accuses him of suggesting "physical coercion." Without standing, Logan admits, "It is repugnant, even immoral. But isn't morality relative considering what's at stake here?" He also stands when she uses the dreaded T-word (torture), saying he's talking about "preserving a peace accord that is crucial to the security of this nation, and that can only happen if you acquire and control the evidence." He says he understands her objections. "I am trying to be as open and candid with you as I have ever been with anyone. And the truth is I regret many of my own actions when I was president. But I've also had the time and the distance to see past them, to a place of clear and deep understanding." This is some hardcore Palpatine shit right here. Mesmerized like a deer in his headlights, she asks, "What do you understand, Charles?" He answers, "Wielding the kind of power that I once had and you had now can change the world. But that often requires making impossible choices that challenge our most sacred ideals. If you're not willing to do that, you should take Ethan's advice and pull out now." Yes, by all means, listen to Logan's philosophy. Look where it got him, after all. We leave Taylor to ponder this choice at 10:12:22, but if there were any chance of her listening to the distinguished Secretary of State on her right shoulder rather than the disgraced ex-POTUS on her left, she would have thrown the latter out of her office at 10:09:11.