The after-dinner hour starts with a heapin’ helping of panicky-terrorist time in the Mojave, as Gredenko freaks out about CTU finding out where he is, and Fayed promptly calls him a pussy and a fuckup as only Fayed can. The one nuke they managed to load onto a drone and arm gets launched, and they unload the other two back into suitcases and bolt. Gredenko’s stooge occupies himself with guiding the drone by remote and calling Gredenko every couple minutes to kiss his ass and make him feel better about the whole Fayed thing.

The big deal is back at CTU, where Marylin hits on Jack and informs him that Audrey Raines was in China trying to spring him, but she “died” in a “car wreck”. Nobody told Jack, so he puts on a white halter-top and reads her death-file, complete with a charred passport and a picture of a hand. No, I don’t think she’s dead. Somehow, Audrey is coming back.


Which potentially leaves Jack with a big decision to make: Audrey or Marylin? It’s a close call which is the better option, so let’s break it down:



Audrey Marylin


Money situation:


Government employee

Heiress to the Bauer fortune

Advantage: Marylin




Conversation:



Can relate to fighting terrorism thing Mostly rich housewife bullshit

Advantage: Audrey




Baggage:



No kids.

One kid, might be Jack's.

Advantage: Audrey




Ex-husband issues:



Dead, Jack pretty much responsible. Dead, Jack pretty much responsible.


TIE.




Monday television preference:



So down with "24".

Might prefer "Heroes".

Advantage: Audrey



Hotness:



Not as hot as Marylin. Hotter than Audrey.

Advantage: Marylin



So, based on the above factors, Marylin’s the right choice, because she’s hotter.

Meanwhile, Sandra Palmer has teleported to the badunkadunker and spends the whole hour staring at Wayne, who is comatose with a mildly swollen brain. Powers Boothe is pretty intent on nuking something, which means we get to watch Karen Fucking Hayes and Lennox boringly argue reason to him for about half the show. I saw Tombstone, man, it’s not going to work.

Back at CTU, Chloe finds out that someone is leaking info to the Russians so they can steer the drone around the satellite coverage and not get shot down. The investigation is quick: about one second for Ricky Hitler to accuse Nadia of being a mole, and another three seconds for Chloe to find out he’s right. Of course, it will eventually turn out that it’s not Nadia (her only crime is wearing pants instead of a skirt this episode), teaching us all a lesson about racial profiling, but for now Nadia is tied to a chair and generally manhandled by Ricky, who apparently has some Denver-related sadism in his past.


Anyway, CTU lucks out. Morris traces the leak from Nadia’s station to Gredenko’s associate’s location: an apparently unlocked and unguarded office next door to CTU. This is like getting drunk and parking your car on the sidewalk in front of a police station. Jack, in full-on wanting to kill somebody mode, joins Ricky and the team to walk over and take down the joint, which proves pretty easy. Jack shoots three dudes in about five seconds and starts steering the drone away from its intended target, San Francisco. The drone doesn’t get close enough for the nuke to go off (they had a GPS on it, it’s complicated), and Jack lands it on a dock, causing the bomb to bust open and irradiate the area. Local firefighters show up, smart enough to get out of the truck with a Geiger counter, but not smart enough to wear something which might protect them from radiation, so they’re probably dead. Karen and Lennox tell Powers that this is not so bad, but Powers decides to nuke Fayed’s home country anyway, predicting a death toll of 2000 people or so. Dear God please tell me the nuclear button has a drunk-driver breathalizer thing hooked up to it. Anyway, a nuclear sub will be ready to launch and start WWIII right about when next hour ends.

Next week, Karen looks like she convinces Sandra to give permission to Wayne’s doctor to wake him up so he can fire Powers or something, probably killing Wayne in the process.

Lamest spat of the week: Karen and Lennox face off in the bunker, it's intense:
Karen: "What happened to you, did you fall down a flight of stairs?"
Lennox: "I tripped over your ineptitude."
What the hell is that supposed to mean? Whatever, you both suck.

Major character deathwatch: Gotta be the President, and not just because of the brain thing. Looks like a dangerous show to be on in general if you're black. If they don't knock this off soon, they won't be able to get anyone black to be on the show next season, just like they can't find any Arabs this year. Then again, they might not care, especially if the entirety of Day 7 is Jack killing Chinese people in bloody kickass revenge.