Jack gets checked by a medic, who finds that he is suffering from floating rib fragments that could cause internal bleeding. Although Jack still wants to be involved in the mission, Doyle sends him back to CTU.
Buchanan briefs the Vice President about the aerial drones armed with nuclear warheads in the Mojave Desert.
Fayed has only one drone ready to launch. Gredenko hurries him because the Americans are aware of their plan, and Fayed is furious that Markov spilled the beans. Gredenko orders his man operating the drones to launch the first one prematurely. The man pilots it remotely as it takes off from the desert. Gredenko and Fayed pack up their teams and head out.
Chloe catches sight of Milo taking Nadia's hand. She tells them that she knows Nadia has been using Milo's security codes, forcing Nadia to come clean about being racially profiled. Even though what they are doing is a felony, Chloe will not report them.
CTU spots the aerial drone over the desert and Buchanan notifies Andrews Air Force Base to have an F-16 intercept it. Suddenly, the drone disappears from the CTU radar. Morris panics.
Gredenko's man has disabled CTU's tracking capabilities so that they cannot detect the drone.
Vice President Daniels can't understand why the most sophisticated satellite network in the world lost a small drone. He asks Lisa to quickly summon the Joint Chiefs of Staff so that they can assemble their own nuclear strike against Fayed's country. Lennox is horror-struck.
Chloe determines that San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix might be potential targets for the bomb.
Jack arrives at CTU and sees Marilyn. "I always regretted things didn't work out between us," she says. Marilyn leans in to kiss Jack, but he turns his head to avoid it. He explains that he was with someone before he was captured by the Chinese. Marilyn realizes that he doesn't know that Audrey Raines is dead and tells him that she was killed in a car accident a few months ago in China. Jack stumbles away from Marilyn in anguish.
Jack rushes to Chloe's desk and demands to know why he wasn't told about Audrey. Buchanan didn't want him to find out at first, and they assumed they would tell him when the mission was over. Chloe describes how Audrey was using back channels to save him once she found out he was taken by the Chinese. Jack wants to see her file.
Lisa lets Daniels know that Karen Hayes will be in attendance at the Joint Chiefs meeting even though he wanted her excluded.
Karen enters at the White House bunker and tells Lennox that she is there to represent Wayne.
Daniels announces to the Joint Chiefs that he is prepared to engage a nuclear military response if a second bomb befalls the United States. Shocked, Karen advises the Vice President that this will only encourage other countries to start a world war against them. Daniels dismisses her presumption and orders a nuclear strike submarine to stand by.
Despite Milo's reservations, Nadia thinks Morris is fine. Milo asks Chloe to make sure.
Chloe goes up to Morris and kisses him. "Just checking your breath," she says.
Karen questions Lennox about his support for Daniels's plan because she could see the doubt in his eyes. Lennox claims that he is at the service of the Vice President and that all of Wayne's decisions today have been wrong. Yet he never reveals to her what he stands for.
Chloe realizes that the drone pilot has access to CTU's satellite. There is a leak, but it will take too long to find it on everyone's system. Doyle insists they run a trace on Nadia's station because she has been tagged as a Muslim. Milo argues, and Doyle wonders if he's defending her because wants to sleep with her. Milo is ready to throw a punch at him when Buchanan intervenes.
Chloe finds that it is Nadia's station causing the leak, but she cannot shut her down without affecting all the systems. Doyle calls security, and goes to Nadia's desk. He grabs her, demanding to know where the drone pilot is. Nadia looks at him incredulously. Despite Nadia's pleas, Buchanan has her sent to holding. Morris runs a back-trace to the leak on her station.
Gredenko gets word from his man that the drone will detonate over San Francisco within twenty minutes.
The White House doctor tells Karen that he had to induce a coma on Wayne to relieve cranial swelling. She asks if the President can be woken for a matter of national security even though it may cost him his life. The doctor would need consent from Wayne's family.
Milo wonders whether Nadia is really a terrorist, but Chloe doesn't know what to believe. He makes a crack about Doyle, who is interrogating Nadia.
Morris comes up with a location for the source of the feed. It is only a few blocks from CTU.
As he grabs Nadia by the throat, Doyle warns her that he will do anything to get answers. She says she knows what happened in Denver and that he enjoys hurting people. Nadia is adamant that she isn't guilty.
Milo barges in and tells Doyle to stop because they got the address for the drone pilot. Doyle storms out. Nadia claims she had nothing to do with this, but Milo says nothing.
Jack sits in medical with his chest wrapped up. His shirtless back is scarred. He goes over the file about Audrey's death in China. Jack sees rumblings in CTU and a field agent tells him that they have a location for the drone pilot.
As Buchanan readies the teams, Jack puts on a shirt and asks Chloe for a PDA and a phone. He tells Buchanan that he is going with the field team to avenge Audrey's murder. "Please, you have to let me finish this," he asks.
Gredenko's man reports that his drone bomb will reach the target in about three minutes. Gredenko asks to be called when it's done.
Jack, Doyle and the SWAT teams wait at the location. Chloe tells them where to enter. Before they advance, Jack winces in pain. Doyle asks if he should lead the team instead, but Jack says he is fine.
They move in, taking out guards as they progress. The drone pilot hears the scuffle and fires back. He's about to set off a hand grenade, but Jack shoots him.
Jack sits down at the pilot's computer and sees that San Francisco is the target. The bomb is triggered to a GPS device that will set it off once it crosses the zone of the city. He taps Chloe in and starts to steer the drone away from the target.
Jack manages to veer the drone away from San Francisco's perimeter, but because he had to turn it sharply it stalls. He begins to lose control of its routing. It needs a stretch to land, and Chloe finds an industrial park.
Jack puts the drone on the ground, and the team watches from its monitors as it endures a bumpy crash landing. None of the first responders have reported a detonation. The bomb did not go off on impact.
A fire and rescue team arrives at the landing site. A Geiger counter indicates the presence of radioactive material among the flaming wreckage. The drone's cone is cracked wide open. All personnel are told to move back.
Buchanan reports to the Vice President that they were able to find the drone and land it, but that radioactive material was released on its landing. Daniels still sees this as an attack on the nation even though the nuclear material was not widely dispersed. "Proceed with the warning strike as planned," Daniels commands. Karen argues that the attack was averted and Lennox adds that their response was only to be instituted at the detonation of a nuclear device. Yet Daniels sees this as a technicality. He wants to hit back, and gives the Defense Secretary the order to launch the nuclear missile once the submarine is into position. It will be there within an hour.