Originally Aired 11.26.02
2.5 - The Return


CTU is starting to look less like a disaster. They are told that they are allowed to be in some areas, but a building inspector informs Mason that no one can enter a certain area and if there are people in there, he will throw everyone out. They are working on getting back the power and the calm. They are still trying to bring Paula around and Tony is getting ready to leave. Mason questions where he is going and Tony informs him that he is following up a lead. Mason urges him to send someone else, telling him he needs him there. Tony becomes frustrated and asks why, exactly does he need him there, to watch Paula die? Mason demands that Tony stay but there seems to be no one else to send, they are all dead. This finishes the conversation and Tony leaves. After he walks away Michelle walks by and Mason throws out a "What are you looking at?" at her.
Jack gets on the phone to Mason and fills him in that it was Nina that gave the information. They conclude that they must have bombed CTU to cripple their response about the nuclear weapon. Jack has already called Chapelle he is getting Nina to CTU and Mason tells Jack to go to division and finish his work there. We know Jack wants to go to CTU and he tells Mason not just to hand her over to the FBI. Mason tells Jack that he did a great job but now it is time to go somewhere safe and then hangs up on him. Mason turns to Michelle and tells her to get a interrogation room ready, they have someone coming in. She wants to know who it is and Mason tells her. Michelle obviously never met Nina but knew her reputation, she asks if that is the agent that killed Jacks wife. Mason confirms this and tells her that they need as close to maximum security as they can get, 3 guards and everything.
Palmer is getting briefed about possible targets for the nuclear bomb. There is a bit of banter between him and Lynn about the Ambassadors chopper and when it is landing.
Kim is waiting at the hospital for Megan and she sees a cop pull up. She knows that they are looking for her so she heads down a series of hallways to try and get away. She turns a corner and Gary is standing there. He assures her that everything is going to be okay and now she realizes that he is there. Gary offers to make a deal with Kim, if she walks away and leaves them alone, he will tell the police that it was all a misunderstanding but if she doesn't then she will be arrested for kidnapping. Kim asks where Carla is and he doesn't say where, just the she will back him up. He pulls Kim's phone out of his pocket and practically dares Kim to phone her and ask. Kim starts to back away and he barks at her to stay away from his family and she leaves. As she does the police show up.
Palmer is still trying to cover up all the happenings to do with the bomb. He is informed that Roger is there and they meet. Roger expresses his concern about everything that happened with Eric and Palmer tells him that there are 29 dead at CTU and counting. They bring up the topic of a meeting with the Ambassador and Roger doesn't like it. He thinks that the US has everything to lose. Roger believes that they just want to be able to say that they tried to stop the bomb. Palmer agrees with Roger, but he thinks that they still need to meet.
Michelle gives information to Mason while she is getting patched up by an attendant. We learn that Nina is on board a chopper and on the way to CTU. Jack walks into his old office and looks totally lost. He walks slowly and checks everything out. Mason sees him and comes over asking him "what the hell are you doing here?" Jack wants to do the debrief at CTU but Mason doesn't want Jack anywhere near Nina not all the information he needs is at CTU, not division. Jack is informed by Mason that most of the people he knew are dead and as he looks around he sees one working with a sling.
The ambulance attendant tells them that Paula is awake but they need to move fast. Mason asks her if she can hear him and she replies with "What happened?" Mason gets right to the point and asks her if she remembers the encryption codes. Michelle jumps in and asks if she remembers the files to which the answer is yes. They ask if there is a copy of the source key and Paula answers yes again. They ask her what is it and it is a sub-volume. Michelle goes to a computer and asks which one. Mason asks her again and Michelle starts to panic because there are over 5- sub-volumes. Paula gets out "18" and Michelle finds it. Mason is relieved and tells her that that information will save a lot of lives. As they wheel her toward the ambulance she starts to crash. Mason and Michelle watch as they shock Paula, then she Flat-lines and finally she is gone. Michelle and Mason both look at the floor.
Reza and Kate show up back at the house. Kate is all smiles now. Bob, their father is outside and Reza takes the stuff in the house. Bob asks Kate what she thought about the house and she gets kind of mad at him for not telling her that he knew. He again reassures Kate that the private investigator she hired could probably connect him to the Mason family, that is what PI's do. A car containing Tony and agent Richards show up and they ask Bob and Kate for Reza. Bob takes charge and asks if it can wait since Reza is getting married to his other daughter today. Tony, very much an agent, takes off his glasses revealing a bruise and says that no, in fact, it cannot wait. Bob asks what is going on and Tony vaguely tells him that it is a matter of National Security and he is hoping that Mr. Naiyeer can help him. Kate is sent to go and get Reza and she finds him in the kitchen. She tells him that there is a man here that wants to talk to him, he is from the government, a counter terrorism agency. Reza asks Kate what it is about and gets no answer. He angrily tells her that Marie is in her room finalizing the dress and she'd better not find out about his.
Palmer is meeting with the Ambassador and he is informed that they have taken four suspected members of Second Wave in. Palmer getting right to the point, wants to know what they have learned. They are still working on it. Roger brings out aerial photos of their country showing that there still are compounds. The ambassador hides behind the excuse that they do not have the kind of technology that the US does. He tells Palmer that he feels that they are in a tight spot here because if they do everything they can and the bomb still goes off, he thinks Palmer will retaliate against them anyway. Palmer opens to floor to their proposal and the Ambassador suggests a mutual exchange of information. They need access to the US files to help but Palmer is not sure that is in their best interest. Palmer will think about it. When the Ambassador leaves, Roger starts right away saying that they can't give up the files because it will expose the people they have in the country. Palmer says to take the names out. Roger then says that this is setting a dangerous precedent but Palmer isn't really worried about that. Roger just doesn't trust the Ambassador so Palmer asks Lynn and she agrees with Roger.
Jack is working on a computer and the phone rings. It is Kim calling from a pay phone outside the hospital. He asks her if she is alright and she assures him she is fine but wants to know if Jack was at CTU when the bomb went off. He says no, he wasn't and again tells her that she needs to go to Aunt Carols. Kim brings Jack up to speed on Gary but Jack says it doesn't matter, just go because something bad is going to happen. She asks what and he looks around and then tells her that there is a nuke in LA that might go off today. She takes it quite well and then says okay, she'll go. She wants to know about him, whether he is coming too and he tells her he will finish at CTU and then meet her at Carols. He reminds Kim not to tell anyone because they don't want to start a panic. She is given instructions to call him as soon as she gets there. Before she hangs up she tells Jack that she loves him and he replies, "I love you too sweetheart, now go."
Mason is watching Jack and he makes eye contact with Michelle. She heads over to Jack and offers her help. Jack tells her that he knows Mason wants him out of there but she doesn't need to get caught in the middle. Just after a group of guards come around a corner with Nina in shackles and handcuffs. Jack spots her and watches her walk towards him. She looks right at him as she passes and then looks away. Jack watches intently until she is out of sight with an expression of someone lost for a feeling.
Mason enters the interrogation room and Jack is left outside looking distraught and watching the guards. Mason stands with is hands on his hips "Hello Nina." He sits across from her and studies her. After it is obvious that she isn't going to respond he continues, "So you weren't just working for the Drazens, you were selling information to anyone who would buy it. What do you know about this nuke?" Finally she speaks, "Here are the terms, George, and they are non-negotiable. I'll give up all my contacts, the background material, all my intel and work with whoever you want here or in the field. For that I want a full presidential pardon, third party certification, guaranteed in writing." Mason replies simply that that is not going to happen. She tells him to take her back then. "You're not buying a used car here, you have to work within the confines of reality. You have to produce results." Nina replies that "It's in my interest to produce results." Mason leaves her sitting here, walks over to a phone and asks if it is working. Jack asks Mason if she is going to help but Mason just tells him to finish his debrief and go. As Mason walks away he starts to cough badly and he pulls out a handkerchief as Jack watches.
Tony is questioning Reza in the dining room. Reza really wants to do this another day and gets up. Tony tells him 3 times to sit down and Reza finally does. Tony wants to hear about Ali. Reza reminds Tony that he told him before that he doesn’t know him. Tony turns his laptop around and asks how his name appeared in Reza’s personal computer files. Reza states he doesn't know but Tony isn't buying it asking "Why don't we start again?" Outside Kate and Bob are waiting. She asks Richards how much longer but he doesn't know. Kate starts to ponder cancelling the wedding but Bob says they are not cancelling anything.
Palmer and Roger are watching the Ambassador though some windows. Palmer wants to monitor how they use the US intel and then a call comes it. It is Chapelle from division informing Palmer that Nina wants a full pardon.
Jack gives Michelle a CD with the debrief on it. She thanks him and Jack walks over and watches the guards standing outside the room that holds Nina. Michelle follows Jack and tells him that she is supposed to get him out of there but accurately states that that is not going to happen, is it? He doesn't say anything and starts a thought saying, "its the first time I’ve seen her since ..." and then breaks off and looks at floor. Michelle sees that he is having trouble with it all and asks, "Why are you doing this to yourself Jack? Mason's right, you should get out of here." Jack just keeps staring at the guards and a phone rings. Michelle goes and answers it, the voice on the other end asks for Jack. Michelle calls him and Jack doesn't respond, he is still staring absently at the guards, not really seeing. Michelle approaches Jack and again tries to pull him out of his trance, saying "Jack, its for you." He takes a second to respond and he responds, looking like she scared him, like he forgot she was there. Jack takes the phone and just says "Yeah." He is told to hold for the president. Palmer comes on the line and thanks him for his work this morning. Then Palmer says there is something else, it's about Nina Meyers. Palmer says he "is going to have to grant her a shadow asylum." Jack spits that "that sounds like a pardon, sir," as a look of utter disgust crosses his face. Palmer confirms that it is but she will be deported to another country. Palmer gives his sympathies, telling Jack that "[He] knows how difficult this must be for you to hear, it was a painful decision," but she has the information. Palmer expresses his wishes that there was another way and Jack says so does he. Palmer encourages Jack to work on getting them through this day and then "eventually we'll make it right." Jack just responds with a "yes sir." and puts the phone down. Michelle had been not to far away and asks Jack what it was but Jack has no answer for her, he just returns to his previous state of absentness and we know that he is thinking about it all as his face bunches up in anger and sadness. Well after Michelle walks away Jack quietly seethes "they're gonna let her go."
Kim, using the same pay phone from outside the hospital, calls her boyfriend Miguel. He is in a recording studio and his phone had been off. She says she needs him and he tries to be cool by saying "I really need you, too." She quickly shoots him down, telling him to quit it, she needs him to come and get her. He resists leaving since his band is recording and he has a studio full of people but she urges him to come asking him to trust that she wouldn't ask him unless it was important.
Mason is at CTU in the bathroom taking some pills. He wipes his face and Jack shows up behind him. Jack tells Mason what he found out from Palmer and insists that he gets the case, saying that he knows how Nina thinks. Mason says no, flat our and leaves the bathroom, leaving his bottle of pills behind.
Michelle is setting things up for the interrogation of Nina and Jack interrupts, asking for all of Mason's login sheets. Michelle doesn't have time to get them all for Jack so he tells her to give him clearance. She wants to know why Jack is so interested in Mason and he avoids the answer just saying he wants to be sure he is still fit to run this place. Jack reminds Michelle that, believe it or not, he used to run CTU and he just wants to help.
Marie is finished with her dress and tells Kate that she is hungry but doesn't want to eat because the dress fits perfectly. Kate lets her know that there is a problem. Marie is okay with a problem, she is expecting them since it is her wedding day. Kate tells Marie that it's about Reza as Marie walks in and sees the agent guarding the door. Marie demands to know where Reza is and she is told by Bob that she is in the dining room with another agent. Marie tries to get in but Richards steps in front of the door. Marie flies off the handle and demands that they get out of their house. Kate drives Marie out of the room and tells her that all this started with her. Kate confesses that she hired a private investigator to check Reza out and he was connected to terrorists. Kate says she just did it to protect Marie but Marie doesn't really feel the same way. She is very angry that Kate went behind their backs and did this, pulling out a "how dare you?" Marie accuses Kate of being insane for hiring an investigator and Bob steps in reminding them that they are a family. Marie says they aren't one anymore and that she doesn't want Kate at the wedding. Kate apologises for what she has done and Marie accepts her apology but still doesn't want her there. 12:50
Miguel arrives at the hospital in cab. Kim asks in frustration where the car is to which he responds that he let Ross take it. Kim tells him that they need it and he suggests that they take a cab but Kim says they can't. This arouses his suspicion and he asks what is going on? Kim brings him up to speed about Gary and the police. Miguel thinks that Megan is safe at hospital, Kim just needs to talk to Carla. Kim tells him it is too late for that and she spills everything that Jack has told her about the bomb. Miguel asks if she believes her dad and Kim replies "of course I do." He gets the response Jack wishes Kim had and suggests that they get out of there but Kim says no, not without Megan.
Mason is heading up to his office, coughing all the way. He opens the door and Jack is sitting there. Mason asks him what he is doing to which Jack responds "How long did they give you?" He goes on to tell Mason that he knows he was exposed to radiation and Mason wants to know how he found out and Jack shows him the meds and says he just made a few calls and checked the logs. Jack says that "I'm not the only one who shouldn't be here today." Jack sits down and hands the pills to Mason and asks again how ling. Mason tells Jack that he will probably be dead by this time tomorrow and wants to know what this means to Jack. Jack, as usual, has a plan and wants to know what Masons plans for Nina are. She is going to tell everything and Jack enquires as to who the handlers are. It is O'Neil but Jack wants Mason to forget about O'Neil, he wants to do it. Mason says "I'm dying, Jack, I'm not crazy, you and Nina together are a recipe for disaster." It is only after Jack threatens to phone district and tell them about Masons condition that he concedes and allows Jack to have the case. At this point Jack has what he wants and doesn't seem to know what to say so he settles with "I’m sorry." and he leaves.
Palmer is told that the Ambassadors plane has taken off and he wants it monitored. He wants a meeting with the joint chiefs, Palmer anticipates that they are not going to be happy about the information exchange. Roger shows up and turns on the TV, they are getting an internal feed from Fox news that shows a chopper crashing. Palmer asks if this is LA but Roger informs him that it is right there and that was the Ambassador's chopper.
Jack walks into the min-security office they have set up at CTU and sees Nina on the monitor. He looks at her and then she looks right at the camera. Jack turns away as if she can see him and he doesn't want to make eye contact. Jack looks lost again.

Miscellaneous Thoughts
- I just love how Mason, after his argument with Tony asks a passing and un-expecting Michelle "What are you looking at?" I think her best reply would have been "not much" or something along those lines.
-Has there been another Nina that sold information to outside sources recently or are we beating a dead horse by calling her Nina Meyers all the time?
-Nina can't be that obscure because Michelle, the rookie, knew Nina's reputation
- I totally loved bad-ass Tony when he showed up at the Warner home. He was totally in the part of a government agent that had business here so stay the hell out of my way.
-By showing us the intolerant side of Reza when he snapped at Kate only has made him more of a suspect but having it be Reza is too easy.... I wonder what the answer is?
-I actually laughed out loud when Bob Warner said the PI could probably connect him to the Manson family. That would be an interesting meeting.
-I am about 98% sure that Gary either killed or severely beat the crap out of his wife, but I'm leaning toward killed.
-A notice to all of you out there that have teenage children: the best way to get them to listen to you is to threaten them with a nuclear weapon. Then they just might listen, after they do some other things first.
-I like Kim's boyfriend Miguel simply because he had the right reaction about the nuke, lets get out of here. He has a head on his shoulders, therefore he is good for Kim.
-I'm not sure, but I think Jack could have said "sweetheart" more times on the phone with Kim. Maybe if he put it every second word.
-Speaking of that conversation, he gives Kim 2 orders 1) Go to Carols and 2) Don't tell anyone. Well, in the rest of the hour she didn't do either, in fact the first thing shoe does is call her boyfriend and tell him. Maybe a nuclear threat doesn't work.
-Does Nina honestly need 4 guards? Maybe Jack would, but not Nina
-I like Mason's analogy that Nina is "not buying a used car". but she sure got the price she wanted, didn't she.
-Have we ever met Chapelle or is he just a disembodied voice? I doubt that they have even cast anyone for the part, the guy on the phone is probably one of the cameramen.
-Michelle picked up a measure of Jack pretty quick, she already knows he won't leave and she's only known him for 4 hours.
-I loved the lines Jack had while he was on the phone with Palmer, just sheer anger and disgust. Sutherland did an excellent job of portraying this. Jack seems just like this shell of a man now, he is hollow all because of this woman.
-I hate that ring that Miguel has on his phone, I believe it is called "Nokia" and it just makes me crazy.
-It was great when Kim called Miguel and told her she needed him and he tries to pull out the "I need you too" all suave but not cool at all and then he gets big time shot down. Great.
-Again I marvel at the crapiness of the CTU bathrooms.
-Marie, you did a great job of waving your hands in circles while you were accusing you sister of being insane. Those were great. She looked pretty insane too
-I wonder what would have happened if Bob had told Marie that he hired an investigator too. Maybe it would have been an exorcist moment with her head spinning around and stuff. :-)
-When Miguel asked Kim if she believed her dad I wondered what she has told Miguel about Jack. We know she'll lie, look what she told Rick last season.
-Jack finally gets what he wants out of Mason and I guess there really isn't anything left to say but "I'm sorry." nice touch