With CTU knocked out, the terrorists think they're free to carry the rods across the East River in a motorboat. That's the plan, anyway, but then Kiefer, Cole, Owen, and a CTU redshirt show up to engage them in a firefight. Tarin and Samir get away with the rods while Kiefer tries to figure out how to warn NYPD with all their communications being jammed. The only problem with his plan is that it counts on Owen and his fellow rookie sticking to it, which they don't, and both end up dead. Kiefer takes a few bullets himself, but fortunately Walker shows up and does with a handgun in thirty seconds what a heavily armed CTU squad couldn't manage all hour.
Meanwhile, NSA is called in to get CTU back up and running, and of course they're total dicks. Chloe locks horns with the head engineer on the best way to get things working again, and when they don't see it her way she takes over the repairs at gunpoint. When security busts in, she talks Hastings into letting her finish. Not only does it work, she doesn't get herself killed in the process.
Dana sends Prady packing, or so she thinks, but he wants to talk to Hastings. So she garrotes him and stuffs his body into a wall panel. If this doesn't exactly seem like a long-term solution to her problem, fear not; we then find out that she's been working with Samir this whole time. So clearly she's not a long-term type of girl after all.
The previouslies freeze-frames feature Dana Walsh, Samir Mehran, Kayla Hassan, Jack Bauer, and CTU New York, the latter of which of course got knocked out by an electromagnetic pulse at the end of the last hour. But not to worry; Los Angeles recovered from an EMP attack in barely an hour just four seasons ago, without any help from Chloe. And hey, shouldn't there be a two-hour night of 24coming up, if the rest of the season is going to fit into the time between now and Memorial Day? I know I didn't sign up for a two-night, four-hour season finale.
From what's left of the CTU security tunnel, a phalanx of armored CTU agents enters with weapons at the ready. Thanks, guys. Where were you five minutes ago? The whole place is in chaos, of course, with battery-powered emergency lanterns being handed out and everything. Technology is the lifeblood of this place, and it's been pretty well exsanguinated. Chloe catches up with Hastings in the corridor to give him a damage report, which doesn't take long: everything's fried. End of report. Arlo adds his own good news, which is that they've lost contact with the aerial surveillance drones. The good news is that rather than just falling out of the sky, they'll go on autopilot and circle around until they run out of gas. "But we've lost all aerial surveillance and radiological detection capability?" Hastings asks. "Basically," Arlo says. Hastings assigns Arlo to find the agent who's leaving on foot to contact the outside world and tell him to have the FAA take care of getting the drones out before they crash into someone. I don't envy that agent. I even hate making office food runs, let alone being tasked with a list that includes flight plans. In the pause while Arlo leaves, Hastings grimaces in pain. Seeing this, Chloe asks if he's okay. Hastings kvetches, "An EMP just took us out of play and now we're dropping the ball on the radiological threat against New York City, so no Chloe, I am not okay. And I won't be until we find those rods." But at least he should be out of physical danger now that he's kicked loose that giant chunk of exposition shrapnel that was lodged in his abdomen.
Dana comes up to say Kayla's been checked out at Medical. That was quick, but then it must have been a short exam with nothing working. "Good news, Ms. Hassan: your EKG, EEG, x-rays, ultrasound, CAT, and MRI are all clear. Now just pee on this stick with the digital display and we'll know you're not pregnant as well." Hastings wants her brought back to the U.N. so she can be evacuated along with her parents, but he'll follow up on that himself so Dana can pull together the division heads for a briefing in ten minutes. "Tell them to come with full damage assessment reports," Hastings instructs. Dana asks how they'll do that with no computers. "Tell them to use a pen and a damn legal pad," he says. Do they even have any of those? Something else to put on the list of the guy who's walking to the surface.
A subtitle reads "National Security Agency, Washington, D.C." as a tall, Curtis-looking guy named Phil walks down the hallway. Apparently they never sleep, but in deference to the hour, he's got his tie loosened. He gets a call from Kiefer in his CTUmobile, telling him about the terror situation and the EMP that disabled CTU. He wants an NSA satellite to scan the city, but of course NSA doesn't have any in place; it was all being covered by CTU. Phil agrees to try traffic cams in the search of the gray SUV that Tarin and Samir were seen getting into last hour. Kiefer also tells him to shut down the bridges and tunnels. "Done," Phil says. Wow, that was easy. Knowing the NSA can instantly do that certainly makes me feel a lot safer, how about you?