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Under Pressure

Cole and Dana get on an elevator together, and Cole's still pretty shut down, standing silently with his back to her. "All we have to do is act natural," he mutters. "Keep our heads. You'll be okay." Dana pushes him to show some kind of reaction, but that doesn't really fit into his schedule for the rest of the night. "We're in the middle of a radiological threat...When it's over, then we'll talk." That works for me, as long as the threat doesn't end until late the next afternoon. Dana lets that go for a while, and in a softer tone, Cole says that while he can't promise anything, "I wouldn't have done what I did if I didn't still love you." Which is just what I said, although with different words. Finally the elevator door opens (because CTU is now a mile underground or something) and they step off, to see Hastings waiting there for them in full glower. "You two have holy hell to answer for," he says. Cole starts to apologize, but Hastings cuts him off and says he should have checked in every twenty minutes, per protocol. Cole says the lead he was supposedly following "didn't pan out," but agrees there's no excuse. As for Dana, "You were supposed to be servicing a faulty relay station. Yet I see you found time to change your clothes." And into something a lot more casual, too, although it's not quite yoga pants. Dana says nothing. Hastings says he doesn't know what's going on with them, and doesn't care. "If we weren't at high alert and you weren't the best at what you do, you'd both be out on your asses for this." He says he'll only ask this once: "Whatever it is, are you finished?" "Yes, sir," Cole says crisply. So Hastings isn't even going to ask where they were? I get that he assumes it was a personal issue between the two of them, but he can't assume that if he's going to run CTU. For all he knows, they were just having an emergency meeting with their terrorist colleagues, or were possibly being coerced somehow into returning to CTU to sabotage everything. This hour's slacker is next hour's mole around here, Hastings. But instead of pursuing it, Hastings tells Dana that Chloe is now her boss until further notice. That's gotta sting. In fact, I'd say it's a bit of overkill for a few hours of absenteeism. I'd say that punishment is more appropriate for, say, masterminding and facilitating a robbery during which a police officer was assaulted, and then helping to cover up the deaths of the robbers themselves. As for Cole, I guess he's still got Hastings' first-hour screw-up to hold over his head, so Hastings simply dispatches him to pick up Elaine Al-Zacar and bring her to Kiefer at St. Julian's. "How you perform form this point will determine whether or not you salvage your careers. Now get to work." They split up, and on her way back to her desk, Dana snags the master remote to the CTU big screen -- the symbol of her power, that's just been sitting on a desk for the past few hours -- and hands it to Chloe, who mostly contains her smirk.

Samir gets a call from Ali, who is set up in a hiding spot right across the street from the hospital, able to watch the milling CTU agents through binoculars. He's also got a tech guy with him who has helped him tap into the hospital's surveillance systems, so they can also see Marcos, and the glowing LED in his vest indicating his one of four completed circuits. Samir in turn tells Ali, "Soon we'll be able to transport the rods into Manhattan." Ali asks whether the radiation sensors are down. "Not yet," Samir says ominously. "Call me when Marcos is dead." Which is also pretty ominous. It's 2:08:52. What an ominous time!

Funny how I've stopped fast-forwarding past Fringe promos.

2:13:12. Samir and some guys meet a whole bunch of other guys in a warehouse somewhere. This is the most fully pre-planned backup plan I've seen since Marwan in Season Four. They open the case either just to take another look at the rods or because Samir is like, "But I want cancer now!"

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