Taylor and a few soldiers meet up with that Secret Service agent from earlier, who seems to be totally in the loop. He's located General Brucker in Ethan's office, with Rob, who appears to be his accomplice. Taylor's stunned, but she says, "Okay, do it."
After a minute of wandering up and down West Backlot, Bishop has found the van in the alley whose logo matches the one on the key ring he found. He unlocks and carefully opens the back door at 6:24:02. We don't see what he sees, at first, but at least nothing seems to be exploding. At the same time, Taylor is with the agents, who burst into Ethan's office with guns leveled, yelling at Rob and Brucker not to move. Once they're secured, the lead agent calls Taylor in so she can see Ethan insensible on the couch, but still alive. "Get him out of here!" she yells, meaning Brucker, and the general is led out. Didn't Kiefer tell her to confront him? Rob isn't so lucky. "Where is President Hassan?" she demands, facing off against him. Rob doesn't say anything. "Damn you, Rob, where is he?" she repeats. You know when your boss damns you, you are so not getting a bonus at the next review period. Rob claims not to know, and she smacks him across the face, yelling, "Don't lie to me! Tell me where he is!" Yikes, I've had some awkward moments with bosses in the past, but I've never been smacked by one. Of course, I've never been complicit in handing over any of my bosses' friends to terrorists. I think we're all learning something tonight. Still, Rob refuses. "And if it makes any difference, this was not an easy decision," he adds, not helping himself at all. Taylor angrily says it wasn't his decision to make. "With all due respect, you were not elected to sentence tens of thousands of Americans to death!" he says. Taylor doesn't see it that way: She's pissed about the peace agreement going down the shitter, but he insists he protected New York, "and given you plausible deniability in an impossible situation." "I don't want deniability, I want Hassan!" she says. She repeats her question, but when he still doesn't talk, she says, "The charge is treason. It carries the death penalty, and so help me God, I'll throw the switch myself." Rob stays mum, but when she says it's not too late, she's immediately proven wrong by the cell phone ringing in his pocket. It's Bishop, texting him instead of Brucker for some reason. "It is too late," Rob says. "They have Hassan. We have the bomb." Sure enough, the text on the screen says "Swap complete. Bomb in hand. 93rd & Amsterdam." It also says 6:26 AM. I do appreciate when clocks on the screen match the purported time. That can't always be easy. Taylor isn't too high-and-mighty to relay the bomb's location to her lead agent, who starts making calls. Then she turns back to Rob and damns him again, this time in a whisper. "Really, Madam President?" Rob protests. "New York City is safe." And I don't think HR looks kindly on bosses damning people. "Take him away," Taylor orders. They do, and she looks back at Ethan, still unconscious on the couch. Back in the city, Bishop is still standing by the bomb in the van, still at seven seconds. It's 6:26:42. Maybe you want to close that van door, Sunshine.
This is a tough one, dude. I want to be all righteously indignant about Rob and Brucker's betrayal, but I just can't seem to pull it off, and you know how idealistic I can get when it comes to this show. Taylor's argument that Rob derailed the peace process is pretty specious, because the bomb going off would have put an even more decisive end to it. And while I respect the principle, I can't totally get behind the idea of letting the dirty bomb go off. Maybe I'm biased by my feelings for New York and my friends there, and maybe that's why it's a good thing I'm not the one who has to make these decisions. But I think we can all agree that Taylor made one big mistake, and that was sidelining Kiefer to Hassan's protection detail. Up on the surface, he would have found the bomb with twelve seconds to spare.