This week starts with President Heller (William Devane) and his cabinet watching the carnage of the Chinese air craft carrier explosion. As Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and Agent Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) continue to take heavy fire, Kate aims for a propane tank, lights some Russians on fire, and the CIA calvary comes in to shut it down. Meanwhile, Cheng (Tzi Ma) is taking Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) along with him; she’s “valuable.” As Kate and Jack arrive at the scene of the hacker disaster, they find a recording on a phone to prove that Cheng is definitely alive. Audrey (Kim Raver) doesn’t take the news very well and after a series of revelations, Jack now knows that the Russians were sent to him courtesy of Mark Boudreau (Donovan Tate). They may have appeared to be working independently, but the Russians and Cheng are heavily involved with each other. After a history lesson from Jack, Kate understands the connection, but they’re both baffled by Boudreau’s involvement. Next stop: Mark Boudreau.
President Heller has a conversation with the Chinese President that doesn’t go so well. He doesn’t believe Cheng is involved and thinks the US has committed an act of war. Finding Cheng, proving he’s alive and getting the over ride device becomes critical. You know, how hard can all of that be? The back-up plan of Audrey speaking with her contact at the Chinese embassy becomes even more critical as President Heller is told that the Chinese forces have moved into action. There’s no way of knowing the target, but they’re not wasting any time.
As Kate and Jack head to the President’s headquarters, Jack places a call to Audrey to tell her about Cheng. The silent pause between them almost says more than everything that is said. However, the foreshadowing of Jake taking care of Cheng once and for all is thick; and things are going to go south for Mark Boudreau as soon as he arrives. After politely asking to speak to President Heller and Mark Boudreau, Jack wastes no time holding a gun to Mark’s head. He weaves an excuse to justify his treason, but we all know he’s a jealous dude and protecting his marriage had to be at the forefront of the betrayal. Heller says he’s being arrested as a traitor, but Jack has some use for him yet. Mark knows where his Russian contact, Stolnavich (Stanley Townsend), lives. Jack intends to use him.
As Jack and Mark head to the Russian foreign minister’s compound, the CIA patches through the schematics of the compound. When Mark asks what to do when the bullets start flying, Jack tells him to stay low. Good luck Mark.
In the truck with Cheng, Chloe sees an opening, grabs a metal bar and wreaks havoc on Cheng’s crew before leaping out the door and tumbling down the hill to safety. After getting caught looking for her by a fleet of British military and told to move along, they leave her behind, but she’s not looking very good on the ground.
Back at President Heller’s headquarters, a spillage of President Heller’s pills makes for some obvious internal questioning by the military leaders in the room. After recommending that the alert level be raised, it’s now inevitable as the Chinese have launched two missiles and the target was the US surveillance. The President now agrees to raise the threat level and we’re on the brink of a major war.
Jack and Boudreau arrive at the Russian compound, and he’s wired and as ready as he’ll ever be. They’re not letting him in though. The Russian Prime Minister speaks to him on the phone and Boudreau tries to make him a deal he can’t refuse. After being let in, he does everything Jack asks and helps them get the security system info and the lay of the land. Boudreau sits down and begins his discussion, and Jack and Kate are ready for the security system jam that will get them through the gates. As the security screens go blank, the Foreign Minister goes for his gun, but Boudreau attacks and succeeds a little too well. The Foreign Minister is dead after an unpleasant shard of glass, and he didn’t give up the goods on Cheng’s location.
As Audrey has a covert meeting with her contact in a moonlit park, she hopes she can buy the US enough time to find Cheng. As her contact walks away though, she is struck down by a bullet, followed by Audrey’s secret security men being shot down too. Audrey’s phone begins to ring and it’s Cheng, telling her a weapon is trained on her and she needs to sit back down. So much for a secure location. Can we get back to a Jack kicking butt again episode? This is setting up for a crazy final episode of retribution and reunion, some sweet, some not so much.
Jessica Bauer (yes, that’s her real name) is a married mom of three, who lives in the suburbs, runs a non-profit USA Swim Club, and answers “like ‘Jack Bauer’” whenever asked how to spell her last name. She credits Kiefer Sutherland for the extra push she needed to obtain her black belt in Okinawan Kenpo and Kobudo, and dreams of writing the perfect memoir someday. In the meantime, you can read more of what she writes on her blog, Black Belt Mama (www.blackbeltmama.com) or follow her on Twitter @blackbeltmama.