But for now, we join the talks currently in progress. President Allison Taylor and her former Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin, now her Secretary of State, sit across a table from a couple of swarthy dudes. One of them is the aforementioned President Hassan, played by Anil Kapoor from Slumdog Millionaire and his giant pompadour. The other is a younger guy with an awful lot of hair for a high-ranking diplomat, not to mention the little flavor-saver under his lower lip. And of course the whole room is ringed by the kind of people doing the kind of things that people who ring rooms do in these kinds of room-ringing scenes. Taylor wants to talk about verification, so Hassan says he's ready to abandon their nuclear program, "with full International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards." Taylor wants American inspectors, and a moment later, Ethan and Hassan's number two are spiraling into a heated discussion over the point. Hassan interrupts with a quiet "Farhad," and tells Taylor, "Please excuse my brother's passion." Okay, but I'm not sure I'll excuse the clumsy exposition. Taylor says it's cool, but she wants to resolve this in the hour before an upcoming press conference. Hassan reasonably asks, "Madame President, what would your Congress say if my Revolutionary Guard were stationed on your soil?" He reminds her that whatever he agrees to, he has to sell it back home. Taylor suggests an adjournment and they take a break. Which is good, because the delegation from the Middle East looks like it has some pretty demanding grooming requirements.
At the doorway, Ethan reminds her, "You are aware he was a salesman before entering politics? Household appliances." Taylor instructs Ethan to give Hassan what he wants, calling Hassan a "once-in-a-lifetime leader," and saying they can't expect many more concessions from him. After all, he's renounced support for terrorists, backed a two-state solution, and is an elected leader who also has a Revolutionary Guard. It's almost as though he's the president of several Middle Eastern countries at the same time!
Kiefer and Spawn of Spawn step off the elevator in his building's lobby at 4:09:23, she still clutching her little bear. Carrying her little backpack that rather clashes with the black leather hoodlum jacket he's wearing, Kiefer squats down and asks if her bear has a name yet. It's "Bear," of course, because kids this age suck at naming things. Hence my cat, Excavator. She runs to hug her parents as they arrive, catching them up on all the developments of the day. Kiefer hands off Teri's stuff and tells Spawn, "I've been thinking a lot about what we talked about." He's decided to move back to Los Angeles with them. He even has a friend who will hire him as a security consultant and rent him a place. That's certainly convenient. Especially since I thought he didn't have any friends left that weren't either dead, or in prison, or Chloe. But somehow the stars have aligned and he's going back with them this very night! Oh, it's all so perfect! Everyone's so happy! They're all fucked! Kiefer walks them out and waves them goodbye, promising to see them in an hour, but I think we all know better. Even if we didn't see that dude who got shot up at the top of the hour, watching Kiefer from where he's parked his stolen car across the street. He reaches down and grabs a wad of newspaper to stuff into his sleeve to staunch his bleeding, revealing a cascade of loose diamonds and a gun on the seat. The latter of which he tucks into his pants before getting out of the car. It's 4:11:26.
4:17:22. At the front of the press briefing area at the UN right outside the Council Chamber, Taylor's Chief of Staff, a youngish guy named Rob Weiss, takes the podium to explain to the assembled reporters how this is going to work, and to let us all know that security is tight. "So unless you've been dying to know what a chokehold feels like, keep your credentials visible at all times, all right?" I think a more urgent question is why Taylor doesn't seem to have a press secretary any more, because this seems more like it would be that person's job. Or maybe she just has too much trouble keeping the position filled, given their tendency to get themselves shot.
Speaking of press credentials, here's a set of them now. But the woman attached to them -- played by Jennifer Westfeldt from Kissing Jessica Stein -- isn't having any luck getting through the security checkpoint with it. Apparently her clearance has been revoked, and that's all the guard knows. And he's kind of pissy about it, too.
Hassan's brother Farhad approaches him in a conference room to tell him that Ethan has agreed to IAEA inspectors, as long as the head inspector is an American. Hassan's fine with that, but his brother is less so. "We've already surrendered too much in the name of peace," Farhad whines. Hassan points out that their nuclear program wasn't doing anything but making their country broke anyway, plus now Taylor is revoking sanctions against their country and offering a huge aid package, so they're getting everything they want. "As long as it's not a trick," Farhad sulks. Hassan's cell phone rings, and it's that reporter who was just turned away outside. Apparently she's on good enough terms with Hassan that she doesn't even have to identify herself when she calls, let alone do much to convince him to get her credentials taken care of. He says he'll still have time for their planned interview after the press conference, and they hang up. Hassan tells Farhad to get "Ms. Reed" back in. Farhad starts to explain why he tried to shut her out in the first place, and says that people are starting to talk. Hassan, possibly naively, says being "friendly" with her won't hurt anything, but Farhad says it could kill Hassan back home. "The mullahs will say that you've been corrupted by the West." Or by the Westfeldt, as the case may be. Farhad admits he doesn't agree with the mullahs on that score, but reminds Hassan that he's married. "Dalia hasn't been a wife to me for a long time," Hassan says, which is probably the worst argument possible. He insists he's done nothing "reckless," and once again, that this Reed chick get her credentials back.
Kiefer's packing his bags in his apartment when a soft knock comes at the door at 4:21:14. He turns, his expression troubled. He doesn't know the half of it. Don't answer it, Kiefer. Just go over that railing in front of you and right out the giant circular window. I don't care what floor you're on. But instead, he looks through the peephole and worse, opens the door. "Victor," he says, finally giving our shot-up fugitive a name. He asks how Victor found him. "I was always resourceful, Jack, that's what you liked about me," Victor says, which isn't any kind of answer at all. Kiefer drags him inside and locks the door. He sees that Victor needs an ambulance, but Victor says the people after him will be listening to emergency channels so Kiefer can't call. He's ready to offer up some information, but Kiefer isn't interested. "I'm out. I don't work for the government any more." Victor says this will interest him: "You're the guy who always does the right thing." Kiefer accepts the flattery as his due, and Victor tells him that President Hassan is going to be hit today at the U.N., "Before he can sign this thing with Taylor." Victor was right -- Kiefer is interested. The reason Victor knows about this assassination is because he's been helping set it up. "And then he tried to take you out," Kiefer says, non-judgmentally. Victor wants Kiefer to call CTU and vouch for him so he can make a deal. Kiefer demands Victor's weapon, and as soon as Victor hands it over, holds it against his neck, and demands the name of the hitter. All Victor knows is that he's "Russian or something," and refuses to say more until his deal is in place. Kiefer glares at him before grunting, "You're lucky I'm retired." Doesn't he mean still retired? I wish he would at least dress more grandfatherly. When shit starts going down, it would be fun to see him in chinos, a powder-blue Oxford, and an argyle sw