It's Kiefer, calling from his apartment and asking to talk to the director. So it seems like for once, Kiefer and Chloe have been keeping in touch between seasons, to the point where Kiefer has her direct line and Chloe already knew about Kiefer's plans to move back to L.A. before Spawn did. Chloe says "Mr. Hastings" doesn't like to be interrupted, so Kiefer tells her, "It's about a plot to assassinate President Hassan. See if that gets his attention." Chloe drops her headset and crosses the floor, which is when we get our first really good look at CTU NY. Unsurprisingly, it looks like a combination of a design studio and Minority Report, with glass everywhere, brown wood paneling where the concrete used to be at CTU LA, and glowing glass cube-walls.
But of course the boss's office is still an upper-level fishbowl, and in it, Brian Hastings (played by Mykelti Williamson, the original "Bubba" in the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company although slightly less mentally challenged in this role) is on his Bluetooth going over images of security measures for the conference. He's not thrilled to see Chloe enter his space (no one ever is), but he gets off his phone call when she tells him what's up. A moment later, he's on the line with Kiefer for the first time. Kiefer says he's with an informant who's telling him about a hit on Hassan planned for today. He goes on to say that the snitch is Victor Aruz, who Kiefer worked with on the "Salazar op." Funny, I don't remember him from Season Three, but then I probably wouldn't, since I missed most of it. Chloe gets to work pulling up Victor's file on Hastings' computer while Kiefer adds that Victor wants CTU protection and immunity in exchange for the info. Hastings is uncertain, and Kiefer asks if they've pulled Victor's file yet. "No," Hastings says with a sour look at Chloe. Heh. Hastings tries to blow Kiefer off, saying he's got it covered. "CTU isn't the organization you knew," he adds. One would hope not. But Kiefer gets snotty, threatening to call President Taylor if anything happens to Hassan. Hastings bitches impatiently at Chloe for the file, and Kiefer presses him to make up his mind already. Hastings wants to talk to Victor. Kiefer puts his phone on speaker, and we see that he's bandaged Victor's arm as Hastings asks Victor for corroboration. Victor names his two dead confederates and Hastings agrees to check with the cops. So that's a done deal. Hastings asks for Kiefer's address. "1145 West 18th," Kiefer says, which is going to be a little tricky to find, seeing as it sounds like it's either in a part of Chelsea that's so trendy it doesn't actually exist or in the middle of the Hudson River, but Hastings says he'll send a helicopter. Show-off. He asks Kiefer if they can get to the 12th Precinct, five blocks away. Kiefer says he can, and Hastings says the chopper will be there in twenty minutes. Doesn't all of this seem a lot more risky than just calling a car service? Before hanging up, Kiefer warns Hastings not to use official channels. The call ends, and both parties get into motion.
Out on the CTU floor, a tech nerd with a scruffy beard that's going to be a continuity nightmare is monitoring aerial video of the city that's being transmitted by remote-controlled camera drones. Either that, or he's watching a rerun of Without a Trace. Oh, except it's one that features a bikini chick sunbathing on a roof, so he can zoom in and ogle her creepily. Cole comes up to him, calling him Arlo, and tells him that Hastings just called an emergency briefing. "And if he ever catches you doing that, you'll be out of a job," he adds, as though Arlo's giant monitor isn't visible from the entire floor. Arlo is creepy some more, then hands off control of the drones to some other operator before following Cole. Let's hope whoever is controlling the drones now will fly them with both hands.
At 4:28:22, Hastings meets his employees -- the ones with speaking parts, that is -- and gives them the sitch. "How good is the intel?" Dana wonders. "According to Jack Bauer, very," Hastings name-drops. "Who is Jack Bauer?" Arlo wonders. Everyone looks at him like he just asked, "What's a Jonas Brother?" but no one bothers to answer. Hastings tells Cole to take a small team along, and declines to give him a second team to help him secure the landing site, instead having Arlo deploy a drone, which I'm sure will work out just splendidly. Hastings instructs Arlo to send an aerial drone to cover it. They all split up to their respective jobs.
An NYPD patrol car pulls up next to the shot-up car Victor stole earlier, which is still parked outside Kiefer's building. Damn their efficiency! Of course we've all heard the horror stories about New Yorkers' stolen cars turning up within a half hour of being ganked. Meanwhile, Kiefer makes sure the alley outside the back entrance is clear and leads Victor out. Neither of them is aware that the uniformed officer is calling in the stolen car, and that the call is being monitored inside a bad-guy hideout, telling them right where Victor's car is. The scanner is being operated by the guy who played creepy bile-creature Eugene Toombs on The X-Files, with all of that actor's usual charm and magnetism. The two failed assassins from earlier listen to where they need to go and promise, "We'll take care of it." Unimpressed, Toombs demands in a vague East-European accent, "When am I going to have to step in? Now would be the time to tell me." They make more promises, grab a couple of machine guns, and stomp out, leaving Toombs to contemplate his wall of Hassan photos. It's 4:30:27.
4:36:22. At the U.N., Ethan reports to Taylor that Hassan is going along with their counterproposal, which means they're not far from a signed agreement. "It's an extraordinary accomplishment, Allison," he says. Familiar, much? She sinks into a chair with relief and satisfaction, but Ethan can tell something's wrong. "I was thinking about Henry," she admits. "Achieving a comprehensive peace agreement with the Islamic Republic was something that he and I talked about years ago." Seriously? What a couple of dorks! Ethan's surprised she's missing him now, because apparently he was kind of a dick during the divorce. Fortunately, before this can get much more boring, the Chief of Staff suddenly bursts in with news of the threat against Hassan. He also name-drops Kiefer, and Taylor's surprised that he's involved. She should really know better. It'll take more to get Kiefer out of action than retirement preceded by a brush with a fatal disease after giving himself up in Sangala, where he originally went to avoid prosecution for crimes committed before he was turned over to a terrorist who insisted on getting him released by the Chinese government who had been holding him after learning that he wasn't dead like they thought...do I have to go on? Weiss says he just raised the security level, but they need to let Hassan know right away. Ethan is aghast at the very idea. "He might scuttle everything. Out of concern for his own safety." Rob argues that Hassan isn't afraid of risks. "Plus if Hassan finds out we knew about this and didn't tell him, all the trust we built up over the last year goes out the window." All Taylor says is she'll think about it, but it seems like a no-brainer to me. Ethan leaves her to it, Rob makes his case again, and Taylor dismisses him. How is this a difficult decision? If only Kiefer were here to tell her what to do.
Out in the hall at 4:39:03, Ethan pops a pill from a prescription vial. He makes no attempt to hide it as Rob comes up to apologize for maybe coming on so strong inside the meeting room. Ethan assures him it's all good: "Don't worry, kid. I ain't dead yet," he assures Rob with an avuncular smile. On this show? Is he trying to get himself killed?
Leading Victor down the street, Kiefer calls Spawn on his cell phone and understates, predictably, "Something came up." He says he'll be a little late, and offers to meet her at the airport instead. Spawn's