A uniformed guard tells Hastings that Kristin Smith from Justice is already there. Hastings walks over to the power-suited woman with the visitor's badge and the accordion file to introduce himself, with even less charm than usual. "Mr. Weiss warned me you might have issues with this," Smith acknowledges. "With hanging a brave woman out to dry? Yes, I do," Hastings affirms. Smith claims she just wants Walker to straighten out the discrepancies between her statement and the forensic reports, the latter of which sure got done quickly. Then she asks Hastings to restrict surveillance access of her meeting with Walker, but also asks for a video of it afterwards. She does naughty things to herself while watching them in private, you see. Hastings agrees to both, and starts to lead her over to Medical.
Chloe enters the room where Walker is waiting, and hands her a transcript of her statement to review and sign. They talk about how soon Kiefer is expected to return, which will be significant very soon. In fact, at that moment, Hastings leads Smith into the room and says it's time for Chloe to leave. Chloe reluctantly obeys, and Hastings leaves Walker and Smith alone in there. In another splitscreen window, Chloe and Hastings are in the hallway outside as Chloe asks what that's all about, since Chloe already did the debrief. Hastings tries to play it off, and even flatters Chloe for her protectiveness toward Walker, but refuses to let her be in on the interview. "We have nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists. And I need you back at your desk, focused on that." "Yes sir," Chloe pouts, and mopes off. Look at that focus!
At 12:19:17, Farhad is in the shotgun seat of Josef's van as his sidekick, Samir, drives it into a huge warehouse that he says is owned by a sympathetic businessman. Farhad says they need to find another way to get the rods out of the country, and soon. Samir quietly points out, "They already know what we're trying to do...If we go near any airfield or harbor now, the radiological detectors will spot us." Farhad doesn't have an answer for that. The van pulls up next to an open truck and stops, as everyone gets out. Farhad doesn't fail to notice that there's a whole other group of guys standing around the other truck, and asks Samir who they are. Samir explains that they're his recruits, and are going to unload the rods so they can ditch the van. "Then what?" Farhad demands. Samir tells him to rest, which is about the least relaxing thing Farhad could possibly hear right now. Finally, one of the other men, a guy named Ali, says, "We can't get the rods out of the country. So let's use them." Farhad asks what he means by that. Well, they'll build a dirty bomb, of course. "We'll show the Americans how strong we are." Or how stupid. Farhad is shocked, saying this will trigger an American invasion of their country. Samir says that an invasion will happen anyway, as per Hassan's peace agreement. "They're trying to turn us into another corrupt Mideast regime with your brother as dictator, kept in power by American guns and money. Isn't that what we came together to prevent?" Er, not exactly. But a long shot of the grouping is rather telling: there's a dozen guys in this locked, empty warehouse, and the only one of them who doesn't love the idea of cobbling together a radiological weapon is the littlest guy in the place, and not coincidentally the most wanted man in two countries. Farhad looks around and asks if there's another way. Samir softly says, "Remember, my friend, even a giant can be toppled by a single stone. We need to make them fear us." Clearly Samir didn't see how that worked out for the terrorists in Season Six. Farhad nods and says he's with them. Right on cue, a forklift pulls in to pick up the case and pull it out of the van as Farhad watches, his face grave. It's 12:22:43, and if it takes a forklift to move those rods, how did Josef manage it? Even if he got the two guards traveling with it to help him out before he shot them? I guess we'll never know, because even if Josef was more powerful than a locomotive, he was a good deal slower than a speeding bullet.
At 12:27:02, Hastings is using the one active video monitor in the place to watch Smith talk to Walker, asking if it's correct that Walker killed Vladimir in self-defense, like it said in her statement. "Yes, that's why it's in my statement," Walker nods. Saucy! Smith brings up Walker's history with Vladimir, which Walker admits to. Smith points out that when Vladimir tried to rape her years ago, she was able to fight him off. Walker says she also ended up in the hospital, but Smith acts impressed that Walker was able to manage it at all. "But this time when he attacked you, you didn't fight him off." Walker claims she couldn't, as Vladimir was strangling her. Which he was, earlier in the evening, but at the time she killed him he was pummeling her instead. Just thought I should make that distinction. Smith gives her a little more rope, and Walker concludes her story by saying she stabbed Vladimir in self-defense. "You stabbed him in self-defense fifteen times," Smith says, whipping out a few crime scene photos, leading off with a close-up of Vladimir's wrecked eye. "First blow alone could have stopped him," Smith says. Or at least made him start running around in circles. "But you didn't stop." Smith asks what Walker, an investigator in her own right, would think in Smith's place. "I acted in self-defense," Walker maintains in a weak whisper. Smith presents her own theory, which goes way beyond what actually happened: "You used an operation of unparalleled importance to seek revenge against the target without any regard for the final outcome." She says CTU shouldn't be brought down because of Walker's actions. This possibility clearly never occurred to Walker, possibly because it is ridiculous. My guess is even Smith doesn't believe it; she's just using that Cold Case tactic where you accuse the suspect of something really heinous to get her to defend herself and end up with an admission of something more understandable but still really illegal. I just hope Smith stops doing it before Walker morphs into a younger version of herself and we all find ourselves listening to the top hits of 2004. Walker doesn't speak, but her eyes are filling up. Smith reminds Walker that this isn't her first berserker rage: "You almost killed Alan Wilson. That's why you got fired by the FBI, isn't it?" That, Walker admits to. Now switching to a sympathetic act, Smith tells her to let it all out. "You killed Vladimir Laitanan because the thought of him touching you again was intolerable." Walker doesn't speak for a long time, even as Smith leans on her to confirm or deny.
Not a moment too soon, and a few too late, Kiefer's CTUmobile pulls into the entrance tunnel at 12:31:02, tires squealing, with the vehicle carrying Bazhaev right behind it. The weird thing is that it seems to have come around a corner from off the left edge of the screen, which I could have sworn was a solid wall at the beginning of the season. "Put him into holding," Kiefer orders the uniformed guard who pulls Bazhaev out. "No phone calls, no communication." Bazhaev asks to see his son's body, but Kiefer says it hasn't been found yet. Then maybe Bazhaev could at least get Oleg's cross necklace back? Oh, right, we last saw it in the hands of Cole, who is stupidly chasing his idiot girlfriend around the city. Chloe meets Kiefer at the entrance to tell him that Walker's being questioned, per Hastings' orders, by someone from Justice. Kiefer asks where Walker is now and asks if Chloe can get a look inside. Chloe says no, and asks what's going on. "They're setting her up to take the fall for the failure of this mission," Kiefer says, and stomps away. Remember how the bioweapon Kiefer was exposed to last season dulled his mental faculties? Yeah, he seems to be over that. Bazhaev watches Kiefer go like the no-longer-relevant character he is. Rough night for him; he lost two sons in as many hours, and now it's ten to one we'll never see him again.
Kiefer comes around the corner