24

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Walsh Out
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

In the previouslies freeze frames this hour: President Allison Taylor, President Charles Logan, Dana Walsh, and Jack Bauer. Plus a lot of that helicopter chase, because even though it's not strictly relevant to what happens this hour, filming it was too expensive to show only once.

Dalia Hassan is addressing the press conference at the U.N., and she's pretty good. My favorite part is where she gives President Taylor a big sloppy rimjob for her "integrity and moral courage," and the fact that "she is someone on whom my husband built an absolute trust." Taylor manages not to burst into flames right there behind her on the podium. With a final shout-out to Hassan and the peace process, Dalia concludes, "On this, the last day of his life, may the world prove that he was right." Applause. Watching from his office, Logan dreamily says, "What a magnificent woman." I refused to check him for tenting four years ago and I'm refusing again now. Logan's horny reverie is interrupted as his assistant, Jason, gets off his cell phone. The caller was Bledsoe, who didn't have good news regarding Dana's interrogation. Logan says they were expecting that, but there's something else: "Bledsoe wanted confirmation." Tapping his fingers on the desk for a long, expectant moment, Logan finally asks, "About what?" About what to do with Dana after they're done with her, of course. Logan thought that was covered and impatiently wonders why Bledsoe's asking, and Jason says he was double-checking "that we're committed to the same outcome." Which Jason said they were. "Not that I have any idea what you're talking about, you understand," Logan says seriously. Awesome.

Dana's waterboarding is still underway. Katee Sackhoff claims to have actually submitted to this, and it certainly looks real. Perhaps she's under the impression that getting waterboarded on camera = automatic Emmy, and I'm not one to argue. Bledsoe calls a momentary halt, and Dana's cranked upright. Bledsoe gives her a tip: "Take short and shallow breaths. You'll recover faster and then we won't have so much downtime between sessions." Just what she wants. He again asks about the evidence, and she chokes out that she was lying to Kiefer earlier when she claimed to have evidence, bluffing and stalling for time. Unconvinced, Bledsoe says, "We begin again in ten seconds." He counts all the way down to six before Dana says, "Bring it on, you son of a bitch." That shortened her reprieve by about a second, and the torture begins afresh. And I know I've bitched about the torture on this show, but it's pretty insidious that after some of the sadistic crap it's shown us in the past (and will again next week, according to the previews), this looks relatively tame by comparison. And of course Katee Sackhoff not faking it doesn't help. Seriously, they couldn't have found her a little rubber sheet to hide between the folds of that towel or something?

Kiefer is scoping out the exterior of the building, and is lucky enough to notice an open alley gate. Returning to the rain-spotted CTUmobile he came here in with Cole, he reports the sentry on the roof, and the ones in front they can sneak past via that alley. Cole asks what they do once they have Dana. Kiefer says they have to make a deal: let her go for the evidence. Cole hates the idea. "Cole, we both lost friends today," Kiefer reminds him quickly. "Dana had a hand in that, but only a hand." He wants the people in charge. Just then Cole's cell phone rings. It's Chloe, and Kiefer tells him to answer it or she'll know something's wrong. "If she doesn't already," Cole says, making the common mistake of overestimating Chloe. Has she even bothered to check that CTUmobile's GPS tracker?

When Cole picks up, it turns out that Chloe's just calling to get an ETA and some free therapy. Cole provides both (ten minutes, and "you did the right thing, Chloe"), but the news that Kiefer threatened Chloe for the first time seems to give Cole a bit of pause. The call ends with Chloe unaware of anything being wrong, and Cole tells Kiefer not to be too hard on her, like he's ever going to see her again. "She was only doing what she thought was best for you." Kiefer says he knows. He reaches into his jacket for something he almost forgot: "You're going to need these," he says, holding out a magazine of ammunition. Cole pulls out the gun Kiefer gave him at the end of the last hour and checks the clip in it: blanks. Kiefer apologizes about as sincerely as you'd expect, and as Cole takes the live ammo, he calls him a son of a bitch. Kiefer nods in agreement, "Yeah, I know." Time to move. I think the most upsetting part of that whole exchange was the part where Kiefer "almost forgot." They head across the street and into the alley at 8:08:23, through a pissing rain that doesn't show up on camera but that makes Kiefer squint and button his 70s leather jacket. They break into a jog as soon as they're clear of the street, and look nothing at all like a couple of dudes sneaking into an alley for a tryst.

At CTU, Arlo is on the phone with somebody about CTU's security for the signing ceremony (oh, that) when he gets a call on his headset from Chloe, high above him in her office. He switches lines and they look at each other through her glass wall as she asks him who the psych officer on duty is. Arlo says that's Melissa Anderson, who did all the grief counseling last night. Which was apparently so arduous that she's still on shift well into the next morning. Chloe wants her to check Kiefer out when he arrives. "You really think that's necessary?" Arlo wonders. Chloe says she wouldn't order it if she didn't. Arlo's on it. This is all very interesting and totally moot.

But it gave Kiefer and Cole enough time to ascend to the roof, which is fortunately uneven and cluttered enough to allow them to avoid being seen by the rooftop sentry. The bad news is that the access doors are all locked from the inside. Staying out of sight, Kiefer climbs up and hides behind a large A/C unit long enough to overhear a security check. "Command, this is unit four, roof's clear," Kiefer hears the guard say into his walkie-talkie. Kiefer quietly signals to Cole, who throws something and ducks back down out of sight. While the sentry comes over to check it out (instead of taking the fire escape and getting into a cab to LaGuardia, as anyone should do in this situation), Kiefer sneaks up behind him and gets in a brief fistfight which results in the sentry being hurled off that level of the roof. The unfortunate man plummets an entire half-story, which knocks him out cold. Even better news: Kiefer spots an open access door, to which they now have a clear path. This is going smoother than shit through a goose.

A minute later, they're both inside and quietly making their way down the stairs, remaining unseen and seeing nothing suspicious. Until a few levels down, when Kiefer can spot at least four shadowy figures who for some reason are standing where they can't see the door. Kiefer and Cole duck into a hiding spot where they can regroup and plan, and Kiefer comes up with this: "You make that cover, I'll draw them out." He ducks further back and speaks quietly into the walkie-talkie he stole off the sentry, telling "Command" that he's taking sniper fire from across the street and needs backup. The guy running the laptop in a separate room, whom I shall cleverly call "Command," orders all units to the roof, despite the fact that unit four's voice now sounds totally different and the fact that if anyone were to storm the hideout, sniping at it from a neighboring building would be about the dumbest way to do it. Kiefer and Cole stay hidden until everyone runs for the stairs, then continue their exploration. Once all the bad guys are on the roof (save Bledsoe and Command), one of them reports back that it's quiet and there's

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