Originally Aired 01/06/03

~ 3.9 - The Return II~


As Wayne Palmer waits outside there is a press conference starting. It is small and a man comes out and says that the President will make a brief statement and there will be no questions. The press members stand as David comes in the room and they sit after he takes the podium. He attempts to explain why he terminated the debate saying it was to do with a National Security threat. He cannot reveal the details but the danger that existed has passed and the country is safe. Palmer apologises to Keeler and to the public for stopping the debate and then prepares to leave. As he does the reporters get to their feet again, this time all talking and firing questions at Palmer. One reporter who asks a question gets Palmer's attention. She questions as to if it's true that his staff manufactured this crisis to protect his friend Anne Packard. Palmer stops when he hears this and turns around. He says that they have proof that the allegations against Anne are false and it is Keeler that will have questions to answer about the issue. He continues that Anne Packard is an individual with the utmost integrity and leaves the press.

Tony is talking on the phone, he has the units in Mexico hold until he gets back to them. Tony asks Gael about the amplification module, maybe they can pick up a weak signal. Gael says he tried but there is no signal at all. Michelle speculates about Jack's cover being blown but Tony says that there is no indication of that. Tony suggests that they try other frequencies and Michelle is already on it but only about one third of the way through. Tony offers to get her some help and stalks over to ask Kim. She takes on the task and before Tony can leave, she asks what the signature is. He turns around and says coldly, "I already told you, 30 over 5." Kim corrects him that he didn't tell her but Tony comes back and says that he knows how hard this is for her with her dad's life at stake but she needs to focus. She apologises and Tony leaves as Michelle watches.

In Mexico there is a small group of SUV's driving. Ramon is on the phone and the cavalcade slows down. Hector asks why they are stopping and Ramon answers that there is no sign of people following them, they will stay there. As everyone starts to get out of the vehicles, Chase is brought out. They start to debate about him again and try and figure out whether he would come down here without back up. Ramon suggests that maybe he came down here to try and save Jack. He turns to Jack and asks if it bothers him that his partner is going to die trying to save him. Jack answers, with no emotion, "It breaks me up". Ramon instructs his people to take Chase and get what they can from him, then kill him. Through the entire conversation Jack is suffering from withdrawal symptoms and now is shaking badly. Ramon says that Amador should have called to set up the meeting already but Jack assures that he will call and they need to have the money ready. Finally the phone rings and Hector answers it. He starts to talk to Amador but Amador will only give the meeting place to Jack. In the split screen we are able to see Chase being led off into a shed not too far away and the door is shut. Jack gets on the phone and Amador gives him directions to the meeting place which is off of a trail 15 minutes north of there. Jack pockets the phone and is having trouble keeping warm. Ramon asks for the phone back but Jack asks what happens if they call back. Ramon answers smartly, that he will take a message. Jack hands the phone over and Ramon mentions Jack's state. He comments that he is a mess and that 'we gotta get you straight or you'll never get through this.' Jack doesn't want a fix but Ramon goes to the truck and gets a bottle of pills. He offers the bottle to Jack saying to take them, he'll feel better. Jack checks the label and then swallows a handful of them without the assistance of water with both of the Salazar's watching closely. Jack says that he needs to use the bathroom and Hector, not really looking at him tells him it's in the back.

Claudia is putting Sergio to bed and he asks about Hector. Claudia says that he is busy. The door opens and Claudia closes the curtain and turns around; it's Jack. He tells her to sit and then looks out the window, checking for others. He comes back and explains the situation he is in. He gets on his knees at Claudia's feet and explains that he set up the deal so his government could get the virus. He cannot allow this to get into the wrong hands but Claudia doesn't seem to care. She is upset saying that he betrayed them once and now he is doing it again. Jack defends himself saying that he is there for the Salazar's, not her. He asks for her to understand, he wanted to come back for her sooner but he couldn't. There are American soldiers not far from there but his transmitter was destroyed. He has nothing to gain by lying, one word from her and he is a dead man. He asks for her to get him a phone and to do whatever she can to keep his partner Chase alive. Claudia is hesitant to dive into this but Jack says that if he can't contact CTU this was all for nothing. He has to get a phone. She agrees to do what she can and a tear falls down her cheek. Jack wipes the tear away and then leans in and kisses her passionately. He stands and says that he has to go, they're waiting for him. Claudia tells him that, "if you're lying to me again I'll kill you myself." Jack tells her to help Chase and then leaves.

Chase has been strung up in a barn and one of the men asks when his people are coming. Chase doesn't answer and receives a punch. He asks again and Chase still doesn't respond. The man behind has picked up a shovel and from the outside in the night we can hear Chase scream. Jack has returned from the 'bathroom' and is shaking again. Ramon accurately states he must be feeling something. Jack says that he's got a 15 million dollar payday after this; Chase can fend for himself. Hector asks, "is he as tough as you?" but Jack doesn't answer this question. Instead he says that Chase still believes in the lie that what he is doing has purpose.

Hector is in the house and is buttoning his shirt up. Claudia says that she doesn't want him to go. Under the guise of kissing him she grabs his cell phone from his jacket on the table. Hector leaves and goes outside where Chase's screams are still the only sound. Claudia follows him out and approaches Jack very slowly with the cell phone in front of her, her back to the Salazar's. He sees it and nods but just before she can reach Jack Hector calls her. He says he left his phone inside. She turns around and says she'll get it. Ramon wants them to go and Jack lets out some coughs and gets in the car as Chase is heard again yelling, this time, "oh God."
Chloe is downstairs and Kim stops her on her way back up. She asks about Chase checking in and Chloe says nothing yet. Kim asks if she checked alternate frequencies but Chloe says no, he hasn't tried yet. Kim presses and asks about satellite. Chloe, dripping with sarcasm says that she hadn't thought about satellite. Kim snaps that she doesn't have to get sarcastic but it is someone that she cares about. Chloe tells her to get a grip and leaves. Kim goes over to Tony who is just finishing a phone conversation. Kim tells him that she needs to finalize the com file but Tony says it should have already been done. She needs the code. Tony gives it as Delta 7-3-3 Golf. Kim tells him that's the one from the previous. Tony takes the trouble to look it up on a computer nearby and then says it is Delta 7-2-3 Beta. She thanks him and returns to Adam saying she got it. Adam says that that was 8 minutes shot to hell on an invalid code. He continues that it could have been a disaster because they can't track the rescue teams without it. Kim watches Tony walk by Michelle.

Palmer is in his office and someone knocks. Palmer says, "come" and Wayne comes in. He says that he has bad news, CTU lost track of Jack Bauer and they don't know if he's in trouble of if he has the virus. There is another knock and Palmer is told that Alan Milligan is on the line. Palmer will take it. Alan is an older man who is sitting in his home office. He has a slight accent as he asks Palmer if he is angry with him. Palmer says no and Alan says that it is his first time in LA in 3 years and he didn't call. Alan says that he doesn't want to add burdens to Palmer but he wants to come by and see him. He knows that Palmer is busy but it's important. Palmer says he will come to him and will be there in 15 minutes. Alan asks a personal favour and that is that he doesn't being Wayne. Palmer asks why and Alan says he'd rather explain in person.

Tony asks Gael where they are. Gael answers that they are unable to pick them up on satellite imagery. Jack's transponder went dead 27 minutes ago and they have his last known location. They can't be more than 30 miles from there. Tony suggests that he may have been coppered out but Gael says they have the sky covered. Chapelle comes down and wants to know what's going on. Tony doesn't know where Jack is and Chapelle becomes angry. He asks how this could happen but Tony doesn't have time for this now. He says that he if wants he can chew them out later but right now they need to find Jack. Chapelle reminds them that if he's still alive, Jack, Tony and Gael will take the fall for this entire mess. After Chapelle leaves Gael asks Tony what will happen if they don't find Jack, Tony doesn't know. The Salazar's will get the virus. After that they don't know.

The Salazar's and Jack pull up to the meeting place and Ramon asks if Jack is feeling better. Jack answers that he's fine as they get out of the cars. Amador comes up and Jack tries to look ready. He introduces Amador to the Salazar's and pulls out some papers. The100 million dollars will be transferred as soon as virus is delivered. Amador tells them that there is another buyer for the virus. The Salazar's immediately ask Jack what is going on but Amador assures them it's not Jack's fault. He explains that the buyer has surfaced in the last few hours. Amador says that they are going to hold an auction and the highest bidder will get the virus. Hector is angry and tries to get at Amador but Jack and Ramon hold him back as the men with Amador level their guns at him. The red lights from the sights are visible. Amador reminds them that he just represents the wishes of his client. Jack asks for a minute and turns to the Salazar's. He says that this doesn't need to be a problem they are still looking at over 800 million dollars in profit if they add another hundred million or so. The other buyer arrives in yet another SUV. The driver and a passenger get out and from the back we see that the passenger is a female with shoulder-length hair. Jack sees her, his eyes widen and he turns his back to her and the others. After a pause Jack turns back around facing her; it is Nina Myers. She immediately knows him and asks what he is doing here, he is a Federal Agent. She instructs her people to kill him and suddenly the lights are on Jack. Amador comes to Jack's rescue and says that the first person that fires will be cut down, that's a promise. Nina admits that she knows Jack and whatever he told them he is lying. Jack takes a few steps towards her and says that he doesn't work for CTU anymore he works for himself. She doesn't buy it and starts to leave. Jack is pleased and tells them to let her go and then honour their original deal. Amador thinks that Nina's buyer won't be happy with her if she leaves. He tells her that there is no military with in 25 miles of there. He says that she knows how he works. He wants to take a few minutes to calm themselves and then they will proceed with the bids. Ramon quickly says fine and Nina does as well.

The Presidential cavalcade arrives at a large house. Palmer gets out of his limo and goes in the house first. He proceeds unescorted to the study where Alan is sitting. He stands and they shake hands. Alan thanks Palmer for coming and for fitting him in. Palmer asks how he is doing and Alan comments that he could use a few new body parts. David thinks he looks well. Alan says that he will be brief but blunt. He wants David's brother off the team. David doesn't understand, he has always been supportive of Wayne. Alan says he was but not anymore. David continues to be puzzled and Alan calls his wife, Julia, into the room. Palmer kisses her cheek and Alan encourages her to tell David why he wants him to fire Wayne. He thought she should explain. Julia tells Palmer that they have known each other for a while back when Wayne was president of Alan's company. Three years ago they became involved. Alan helps by saying that they had an affair while he was recovering from his stroke. Julia says that they saw each other for a year and then broke it off. David says that he didn't know and he can barely believe it now. Julia assures him it is true and Alan dismisses her. After she leaves he says that he had been waiting for David to come back to LA to talk about this. Alan says that he gave Wayne his company and he took his wife now he's taking away his job. David says that Wayne is his closest friend, his Chief of Staff. Alan assures him he is not to be trusted. He reminds David that he's supported him and never asked for anything in return but now he is asking for him to fire Wayne. David doesn't think he can do that so Alan pushes a button that is a buzzer. Alan tells David that he is disappointed, Palmer asks if he is threatening him. As he is taken out of the room Alan says that he should let him know if he changes his mind.

Chase is still hanging from the ropes in the shed. The men that were in there exit and Claudia is approaching them. She asks what they are doing and as he opens a beer one of them says he is taking a rest. Claudia says urgently that there is a pool of oil under Hectors truck and it needs to be fixed before he gets back. He leaves and Claudia watches him go. After he is out of sight she goes into the shed and quickly looks horrified at the sight of Chase. He is spitting out blood and looks like he is in a great deal of pain. His face is bloody and he is trying hard to focus it seems. Claudia rushes over, on the way she picks up a flask and smells the contents. She pours a bit of it out at a time and puts it in Chase's mouth and talks hurriedly. She says that she has a message from Jack. Things are not what they seem. She explains that Jack is going to take the virus. She says there are soldiers from his country not far, they will come to help when Jack calls them. She asks if she can hear him and he mumbles, "Claudia?". She tells Chase that Jack promised to help get her and her family out of there. Chase pleads roughly for her to help him, he sounds almost in tears. She says she can't, there are too many men around. She encourages him to not give up and she will figure out a way. Chase looks at her as she leaves.

Jack explains to the Salazar's that each party will make a final bid in writing. The Salazar's debate it and Hector is the one that wants to do it to win. The debate Nina's presence. Hector thinks that they need to offer at least 200 thousand. They start making the calls and Jack watches everything while drumming his fingers on his watch. Ramon and Jack are alone and Ramon asks about Nina. He asks who she is and Jack says that "I told you, she used to work for me at CTU." Ramon says that there is more between them than that so Jack finally admits, "she killed my wife." Ramon asks if this is going to be a problem and Jack says no.
Sergio is up and about and wants to know what's going on. He asks where they are going and Claudia assures him that they'll be together. Sergio says they are together now and asks about Hector. She snaps to forget about Hector and do what she is telling him. She looks out the window and then starts searching the kitchen drawers not finding what she is looking for. Her father comes in and she quickly explains that Jack said if she helps his partner he will get them out of there. Her father doesn't think she can trust any of them and says that she can go. She wants him to come with her, they are all going and she is not going without him. They hug and after they move apart she continues looking in the drawers and finds a knife.

Tony is on the phone and hangs up as Michelle approaches. Tony lets her know that there's no satellites going through where Jack is but he just second checked it. Michelle sits and says that there have been other mistakes today, Tony asks if they are mistakes she thinks he made. Michelle says with concern that he should still be in the hospital. Michelle persists but he cuts her off snapping, "I'm fine, damn it, end of discussion." Adam comes over and says they found a satellite, they just have to ask for reposition.
Michelle goes into the room where Chapelle is. He is on a call which he puts on hold. She explains that there has been a report that Tony is causing delays. On any other day she wouldn't be worried about it. Chapelle says that if he pulls Tony then that sets them back two. Tony, Gael and Jack have been working on this and unless she thinks his mistakes are significant enough, Michelle cuts him off and says that she does, or else she wouldn't be bringing this it him. Chapelle will wrap up what he's doing and get into it.

David is back and goes into see Wayne. He tells him that Alan wants him to fire him. David asks what he was thinking carrying on an affair with the wife of his biggest supporter. Wayne says that he corrected it but they both know that Palmer cannot make an enemy out of Alan Milligan. He says he will step down. David says he will not resign unless he tells him to. Wayne cautions David that, "Alan is a very dirty fighter, are you sure you want to get down in the gutter with that man?" David says he has left him no choice.

Tony comes into Chapelle's office and asks if he wanted to see him. Michelle is standing with her back to Tony and he crosses his arms and asks what is going on. Chapelle says that his competency has been brought into question. Tony wants to know by who and Michelle says an employee came to her, Chapelle admits it was Kim Bauer. Tony starts to argue but Chapelle has a plan. He says pushes some buttons on his computer and makes the screens behind Tony disappear. He then asks what was on them when he came into the room. Tony sighs heavily and looks frustrated by the entire process. He gives exactly what was there in a flat monotone that tells everyone what he thinks of this exercise. Chapelle says he is right but it doesn't ease his mind considering the slips he has made. Michelle brings up the first slip with Kim where he said that he gave her the signature on the frequency scans and he didn't. Tony says he didn't tell her about them but he put them on his screen 15 minutes before he talked to her. Michelle then asks about the format codes, he didn't load them in time. Tony says that he put them in the shared volume on time and tells them to check it. Chapelle does and as he does Tony stares Michelle down. Chapelle says okay and apologises to Tony saying that they're done there. Tony leaves and Chapelle turns to Michelle and says that she wasted time they don't have.
Amador waits as Ramon, Hector and Jack enter the tent are frisked. Nina is already there and she sits glares at Jack who quickly starts to glare back. Jack stands behind Ramon and Hector as Amador asks if the bids are ready. They both say yes so he asks to see them. He is handed white envelopes and opens them both. First he asks the Salazar's if the banks will verify the presence of these funds. The Salazar's say yes. He opens Nina's and she says that the banks will verify those funds as well. Amador says that the Salazar's have offered 225 million and Nina has offered 240, she wins. Hector is angry and threatens that he is a dead man. Amador says that his people will escort them out and turns to Nina telling her that the exchange will take place in 2 hours. Jack is the last one out and Hector turns on him and says that he told them he would deliver the virus and he didn't. Ramon urges them not to do this now. Amador is giving Nina a paper and saying that he will contact her with the details. Nina will be waiting and hurriedly leaves the area with her thug in tow. Amador gets in another SUV and then jack and the Salazar's get in theirs. As they drive Jack says that they can't just let Nina Meyers walk away with the virus. They have got to put a man on her. He says she will disappear and they'll never find her again. Ramon tells Jack that he had his chance.

In the split screen we see Chase hanging from his arms, Nina, Wayne on the phone and David sitting.

Hector tells the man that is driving that this is good enough. They pull off and stop the car. Jack realizes what is going on and says that they are making a mistake. Ramon tells him to get out. After telling him again and giving him a push he does. Jack stumbles out into the clearing away from the truck. Hector says that he is of no use to them anymore, he failed. Jack puts his hands in the air and asks them to think this through, their buyers are going to know that they've been double crossed and if they don't do something about it the Salazar name will be a joke. Jack pleads that he brought them the deal of a lifetime and asks what he has to do to prove that he is on their side. He says that he can help then get the virus. Ramon asks how and Jack answers that he told him, Nina, he trained her and he can get to her. With fear in his eyes and voice Jack says that 'if I fail you can kill me but if I succeed we all get paid, please'. Hector toys with his gun as Jack stands in terror. Ramon speaks and says that they should play this out a little longer. The brothers turn towards the SUV and Jack realizes what they decided and quickly tries to collect himself. Ramon voices his thoughts saying, "the man has more lives than a cat." And Jack walks slowly back to the SUV into the headlights.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

-Did anyone else think it was humorous the way the press jumped to their feet as an ensemble when Palmer entered the room and then sat down as a cohesive unit? It seems as though they orchestrated it. Perfect timing, not a single person was out of synch.
-Tony is as cranky now as Jack was at the end of last season. Our guys just don't take well to near-death experiences. Go figure.
-What were those pills that Ramon gave Jack? Where does he get a prescription? I hardly think he can just wander over to the drugstore.
-I had to smile when Jack said he needed to use the bathroom. That is the first time in three seasons that we have heard Jack utter those words. Sure we've seen him in the bathroom but we've never really heard that before. A little chuckle from me there.
-When he got there, I expected we were gonna see him toss his cookies and get rid of the pills but it was all a fake! After all that, he didn't even GO to the bathroom, he want to see Claudia instead. He's gonna be in real trouble if he has to pee in the next hour…
-Jack looks rough. Like big time rough. Poor guy.
-It seems like Hector, especially, doesn't want to look at the state that Jack is in. It was obvious that he didn't want to meet his eyes after he told him where the can was. Maybe not wanting to see what the drugs can do?
-Line of the Week contender: Jack: "It breaks me up"
-At least in all of this, Jack can still keep his head. He tries to keep the phone, unfortunately Ramon is one step ahead of him.
-Does Jack love Claudia or is he using her for information and help.
-He must trust her because he just put his life in her hands.
-Sergio likes Hector, he is so gonna spill Jack's secret.
-It is obvious that there is open flame between Jack and Claudia. How in the hell would Hector not see that? Must be the drugs…
-Was it just me, or was the scene between Jack and Claudia in the house just about the most poorly dubbed thing you'd ever heard? When Jack was facing Claudia his voice was a complete different timbre than it was when the camera was behind. It seemed pretty obvious that these were done at different times or on different days or something because his voice was much more gravelley when we looked from the front than from behind. That's a very un 24-ish mistake to make. It seems like maybe they changed the dialogue after it was shot.
-I have thus far been somewhat neutral on the Chase issue but I do have to say I feel bad for the guy. He gets all the way down to Mexico, practically sacrifices his job to save his partner and hot is getting the crap beat out of him. All for Jack. He must really like him.
-I really wanted to know the answer to Ramon's question - if Chase is as tough as Jack. I don't think he is but I'd like to know Jack's opinion on the subject.
-I love how Jack says one thing, but his eyes say something completely different. He says Chase can fend for himself, but his eyes say the opposite. He says Nina will not be a problem, but again, it doesn't look like it.
-I guess Chapelle forgot about Chase. We haven't' seen him yelling and stomping about that yet. Probably to come. It's not an episode unless Chapelle yells about something.
-Nina, Nina, Nina. You should have trusted your instincts and gotten out of there. This is trouble in the making.
-If there are no troops within 25 miles of Amador, where are the CTU troops?
-I'm not a big Alan fan. I think he is threatening Palmer and there is something else going on here. Why else would it be in the show if it didn't pertain to what CTU is doing somehow.
-I had a little teleportation to Radio Shack there when Alan pushed the button to call his person in the room - that doorbell "ding-dong" is very annoying.
-Wayne, that wasn't very nice! Although, I think Wayne and Julia are a better match than Alan and Julia. He looks at least 40 years older than her. It must be the money.
-I wonder what kind of business Alan is in to? He sure has a nice house.
-I wonder if Chase knew about Claudia? He obviously knows about Jack and Kate and their trials and if he really had been talking about Kim and family and all that deep stuff with Chase then you'd think he'd of told him about Claudia.
-Claudia seems like a nice person, I wonder what she's doing with Hector. Although she is kind of a drama queen but whatever, nobody's perfect. I wouldn't mind seeing her with Jack.
-The guy that was sent to fix Hectors truck reminds me forcibly of the airplane-driving terrorist from last season.
-Great pick up by Ramon on the Nina-Jack tension. Beautiful.
-I think the only part of the performance by Sutherland that I didn't like was, "She killed my wife." Anyone else get a picture of children whining? "He stole my toy!", "She kicked me!", "He pulled my hair!", "She killed my wife!"
-While watching Tony look at Michelle I'm reminded forcefully of Robert Ellis from season one. "If you could see what's in my eyes you'd crawl under a rock and cry." I have a feeling that's what Tony's at right now too.
-So, why couldn't Tony just tell Kim where the stuff was when she was looking for it? As well, wouldn't Adam have known where to look for the code? Kim's new but he's been around for a while. If what Tony said is true this is partially his fault as well.
-We seem to see a lot of David sitting in split screens.
-Kiefer puts in a great performance in this show. This 40 minutes of television was one of my favourites. His time with Claudia was almost heart-wrenching the whole time trying to deal with his addiction. Then the stunning performance as the show wraps up. I was left in shock after seeing that, he delivered some great fear for the cameras.
-So, Jack has 2 hours to get the virus from Nina and somehow contact CTU.