In a press conference at the retreat, the President admits to the media that there is a form of terrorist threat against the country. However, he guarantees that there is no cause for alarm and he will exercise judgement about what to reveal. Avoiding the reporters' questions, Palmer and Novick conclude that his statement will help buy them some time.
As Nina holds Jack hostage in the Angeles National Forest, she tells him that their predicament is not personal. She only killed his wife because Teri had overheard details about her escape route. Unbeknownst to Nina, Jack spots a sharpshooter in the woods, but the shooter does not have a good angle. Jack walks forward to bring Nina into the shooter's range. She threatens him to stop, but Jack says that if she kills him now, she will be in violation of her pardon agreement. Nina moves closer to Jack, and the sharpshooter fires, hitting Nina in the hand. As she falls wounded, CTU agents converge on them and take Nina captive. Jack is saved.
Although Kim and Miguel try to resist being taken back to Los Angeles, the policeman escorts them to a waiting car. Before he gets in, Miguel fights with the officer. A lighter falls out of the policeman's pocket, and Miguel secretly palms it in his cuffed hand. Kim and Miguel are placed in the vehicle.
Novick relays to the President that CTU took down Nina without seriously hurting her. Palmer instructs him to keep Nina out of custody. Although she will still be pardoned when they confirm her information, he wants her delivered to Los Angeles so that she can share the fate of everyone she has endangered.
As he waits for the helicopter to transport him, Jack goes over to Nina and whispers something in her ear. Her face becomes masked with fear. Jack approaches one of the fallen soldiers who tried to kill him. On the dead man's wrist is a tattoo of a coral snake.
Reza brings CTU agents to the Warner Corporation building to show them the alleged transactions. Agent Richards boots up Bob's computer, and Reza guides him through accessing the invoice files.
Kate watches as Mohsen cleans up the mess from Koplin's bloodied corpse. Syed Ali comes in and, speaking in Arabic, asks Mohsen why he did not kill Kate. Mohsen wants to be certain that she has revealed everything before they dispose of her. They embrace, and Ali leaves to pray one last time. In perfect English, Mohsen questions Kate about what she found in Bob Warner's computer and about whom else she told. She once again tells him that she does not know anything. Mohsen menacingly picks up a surgical knife from the tray of instruments.
In a helicopter en route to the address that Nina provided, Jack calls Palmer to tell him that the soldiers who attacked his plane were either Americans or American-trained. Jack recognized a coral snake tattoo on one of the bodies as a signature of an undercover special ops unit under the command of Colonel Samuels that is out of Fort Benning. The President does not know the unit, and Jack informs him that it is buried within the budget of NSA. Palmer wonders whether the soldier was merely working as a mercenary outside of the government. Yet Jack construes that only someone with inside knowledge could have had access to the shot-down plane's flight plan.
Michelle notices Mason's worsening condition. Becoming reflective, he tells her that his job at CTU wasn't his first choice. He advises her to find something that makes her happy instead of waiting for life to happen.
The President asks NSA Director Roger Stanton about both the Coral Snake special ops unit and Colonel Samuels at Fort Benning. Stanton denies knowledge of them, but suggests that perhaps the Department of Defense secretly funded the unit and attached it to the NSA. Saying he will look into it, Stanton leaves the office. Palmer informs Novick and Sherry about what he has learned. Doubting Stanton's honesty, the President wants him arrested. The chain of events that occurred after Stanton's arrival -- the crash of the ambassador's helicopter, the evacuation of military out of Los Angeles, Ron Wieland's release from custody -- all point to his guilt. Sherry is quick to have reservations about Palmer's decision, but Novick argues that Stanton might possibly be impeding the search for the nuclear bomb. Palmer agrees with Sherry that they need proof before they make any move against him. He demands that Novick find a connection between Stanton and Colonel Samuels.
In the backseat of the police car, Miguel shows Kim the lighter. He tells her to reach for the bandanna in his pocket so that he can set it on fire. Kim resists, but Miguel implores that they need to do something instead of heading right back into the blast range. Kim pulls out the cloth, and after Miguel lights it, she puts it into the grate between the front and back seats. The officer reacts to the fire, and as he tries to put it out, he loses control of the vehicle. It swerves and topples into an embankment.
Kim makes her way out of the crashed police car and climbs into the other side where the officer lays unconscious. She takes his keys to unlock her handcuffs, and grabs the radio to call for help. Miguel, who is badly injured, tries to dissuade her. Yet she gives the location of the car to dispatch with news of the two injured people.
In the torture room of the suburban house, Mohsen raises the knife and takes Kate's left ear between his fingers. He asks her whom she told, and Kate again says no one. Mohsen pierces the blade into Kate's earlobe.
Outside the house, CTU agents on the scene prep Jack. Two figures are seen on an infrared image of the house, and they assume one must be Syed Ali. Jack phones Mason and informs him of what is there. Mason arranges for teams around the city to be ready when they learn the actual location of the bomb.
As Reza leads Agent Richards through Bob's computer, Marie shows up at the office demanding to speak to her fiancÃ©. She leaps into Reza's lap and apologizes for what she said to him at CTU. Marie vows that she still wants to marry Reza, and she trusts whatever he has to do.
Mohsen wipes the blood from Kate's neck and assures her that it is only a nick. He trains his gun on Kate and she begs to be let go. Mohsen explains that something terrible is going to happen that will cause much suffering, and she would rather die quickly. Suddenly, the CTU team advances into the house, and Mohsen hears a noise. He sees the shadow of a gunmen on the roof, and instinctively fires holes into the walls around him. Mohsen grabs Kate and yells to the agents that he has taken her hostage. When the agents do not respond, Mohsen assumes that they want him alive. An agent goes in with a shield, and as Mohsen fires, Jack enters behind the shield and shoots Mohsen. Jack takes Mohsen's weapon and retrieves Kate. Suddenly, Mohsen begins to foam at the mouth. He lapses into convulsions and dies. Since no one saw him take anything, they assume he hid cyanide in his mouth. Jack orders an analysis to confirm that this man is Syed Ali.
Kim sits at Miguel's side in the overturned squad car. He urges her to leave before the police arrive. She thanks him, and pledges that she will find him when this ordeal is over. Kim kisses him gently. She runs off into the woods as an ambulance approaches the scene.
Kate sits outside the house holding gauze on her ear. Jack brings her a glass of water and drapes his jacket over her shoulders. She tells him that she and Paul Koplin were kidnapped because the two men thought they knew something. Kate identifies the man that escaped as Syed Ali, and she describes what Ali was wearing. Jack radios to another agent that Ali is still alive. Kate then tears up when she tells Jack that her sister Marie was supposed to get married today.
Sherry informs Palmer and Novick that she has learned about a back channel communications network called OPCOM that the CIA used to operate. Although it has been shut down for twenty years, Stanton had given an order to resurrect it a month ago. Sherry's source is still checking to see whether Stanton used OPCOM to contact Colonel Samuels. The President has Novick call the Attorney General to begin the process of arresting Stanton.
Jack calls Tony at CTU and asks him to run a background check on Kate Warner. Tony recognizes the name, and explains to Jack about his investigation into Reza and Bob Warner. He also tells Jack that Bob does freelance work for the CIA. Since no one in the family will reveal any information, Tony asks whether Jack can make Kate talk. Jack instructs Tony to connect the dots, because for some reason, this family is involved with the nuclear threat. Jack then radios another agent to bring Kate back into the torture room.
Novick uncovers the OPCOM channel, but he needs a password to get in. Sherry finds the still-active code of a retired personnel officer, and Novick takes it to the O.C. Sherry then tells Palmer that she is collecting the dates that Colonel Samuels logged onto OPCOM so that they can link it to Stanton. Palmer praises Sherry for what she has done. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he tells her that he is glad she is there. Sherry touches his hand. "I've always been here," she says.
Struggling to form a connection between the Warners and Syed Ali, Tony asks Michelle to draw up a list of managers and directors at Warner Investments. Affected by what Mason said to her about not wasting time in life, Michelle garners up the courage to tell Tony that she would like to date him. Although Tony is also interested in her, he has been hesitant because of what happened between him and Nina last year. They agree to go out if their case is closed successfully.
In the torture room, Kate recounts for Jack what had happened there. She says that Ali and Mohsen spoke in hushed tones. She knew it was in Arabic because her family had lived in Saudi Arabia when she was younger. Kate only recognized the word for "prayer." Jack looks at his watch, and radios another agent to locate the nearest mosque. It is nearly time for Muslim prayer. Jack asks Kate to go with him to the mosque to identify Ali.
Stanton receives a cell phone call in the O.C. It is Sherry, who says that she told the President about OPCOM. She is working her way into having Palmer trust her again, and she warns Stanton not to talk about her involvement when he is arrested. If Stanton stays the course as they had planned, he will have power, but Sherry must remain in place with Palmer.
On Bob's computer, Reza uncovers Ali's shipping order for Agent Richards. However, it had been entered last January when both he and Bob were in Europe and could not access their terminal. Reza finds evidence of somebody hacking into the system through his laptop while he was gone. Suddenly, a shot downs Richards. Reza looks up to see Marie holding a gun. "I didn't expect you to find anything," she says. Reza is confused, and questions whether the last two years of their relationship really meant nothing. A tear falls down Marie's cheek, and she shoots Reza dead.