Samir gives her one hour to change her mind. "Mr. Woods knows how to contact me," he adds, meaning Tiny Tim from Homeland Security. "Madam President? Clock stars now." Taylor asks how many people they're talking about. "Between a hundred and a hundred and fifty thousand," Tim estimates. Taylor tells Rob to tell CTU about the threat, but not the ransom demand. She tells Tim to call up the National Guard and start an evacuation. In an hour? Rob cuts in: "I'm just gonna say it: we should consider the alternative." "You mean give in to the demand to turn over President Hassan?" Ethan asks, stunned. Rob argues, "No one man is worth the lives of tens of thousands. And you know what? I bet he would agree." Call him and ask him, then. Ethan can't believe they're even talking about this, which Rob says they need to. "Not unless you're intent on destroying our moral authority," Ethan lectures. "This country's unique place among nations, maybe forever?" Rob weighs it against the people, homes, and businesses, "uninhabitable for maybe a hundred years or more?" Into this long, awkward pause steps Tim, saying he agrees. "Giving up Hassan is wrong, but a forty-block wasteland at the heart of New York City is unthinkable." So wrong > unthinkable. Rob adds that the country would crucify them if people ever found out this could have been avoided. "Now we're talking politics, for God's sake?" Ethan blusters. Rob argues, "We're talking about the primary role of government. Any government. Which is to protect its citizens." The general from before jumps in to say that if Taylor has to retaliate against the IRK, things could escalate and end up destabilizing the entire region. When Taylor points out that he was the one who brought up retaliatory strikes in the first place, he brings up the popular military expression "facts on the ground," which almost always means somebody's about to say something obnoxious. In this case, it's that they've changed: "Now we have a viable option." "Viable?" Taylor repeats disapprovingly, and asks, "Is that the sense in the room, then? That surrendering President Hassan is somehow viable?" She lays out her three points: 1) the bad guys might detonate the bomb anyway, 2) Hassan is a guest and her partner in peace, and 3) "caving to any terrorist demand weakens this nation immeasurably." We already know this about her from last season of course, when she also refused to cave in and as a result got to watch a midair collision right through her office window. And a funny thing, she's still in office even after that. "Now we have sixty minutes [actually more like fifty-eight] to find these bastards, and I believe we will. But if we don't, and the worst happens, we will deal with it. We will pick ourselves up off the floor and deal with it." But why? Because that's what we do? "Because that's what we do!" she says. I knew it. "Americans don't stay down. We rise up together in times of crisis." To amplify her point, she stands up, saying, "We carry on. Is that clear?" No answer except for everyone else standing up. "Start the calls, Tim" she orders, and heads out of the room to wherever else she needs to be. I hope nobody else had anything to bring up in that meeting, because I'm pretty sure it's over now.
Episode Report CardM. Giant: B- | 1020 USERS: B-
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