Left alone on the highway, Doyle tries to flag down oncoming cars. One finally stops. He orders the driver out and steals the car.
Doyle uses the man's cell phone to call CTU. He says he screwed up and lost Jack. With the tracker on the component board, Morris gives him Jack's location. Doyle promises to catch Jack before he disengages the tracking device.
Buchanan announces to the staff that Jack has gone rogue. He asks Chloe if she can be trusted to work on the task, and she answers affirmatively.
Jack pulls up underneath a set of power lines. He removes the tracker from the circuit board and drives off.
Morris loses signal on the tracking device. He sees on the satellite that Jack has been driving alongside the power lines. Doyle is notified.
Milo asks Chloe if she thinks that Jack would give up Audrey's life rather than turn over the circuit board to the Chinese. She has no answer.
White House Press Secretary Ellen Price briefs the reporters about Wayne being taken to the hospital. She informs them that Vice President Daniels will be addressing the nation at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.
Daniels questions Lennox over his plans to use the incriminating tapes. Lennox says it wasn't his idea to force Daniels to resign. He only wanted to protect himself and prevent Daniels from challenging Wayne. Daniels feels relieved that he has Lennox's support. Lennox gives his word that he won't use the evidence over him.
Daniels asks Lennox if he thinks Karen will be a detriment to their plans. Lennox notes that she is smart and provides balance. Daniels agrees to let her stay.
Jack calls Cheng, telling him that CTU is now looking for him. Since he knows CTU's satellites, Jack chooses the location for the trade. Cheng reluctantly agrees to meet Jack in a condemned hotel.
Despite Karen's appeal for CTU's authority, Daniels charges Lennox to put all ancillary agencies in pursuit of Jack.
With everyone cleared from the Oval Office, Daniels confesses to his aide Lisa that, with all that is going on, he can't stop thinking about her. They kiss. She goes home to pick up a change of clothes so that she can spend the night with him.
Doyle pulls up near the power lines and sees fresh tire tracks. He can tell Jack is headed east. Nadia checks which freeways are in that direction, but Doyle is sure that Jack would take the one without Caltrans cameras. He asks Nadia to see if there's any transmission between one of the terrorists' stolen cell phones and Cheng.
Nadia has Chloe pull anything from that area's cell towers in the last few minutes. Chloe sends it to Morris, who's annoyed that she had the information take over his screen without a warning. He accuses her of being hostile, and they argue about who is to blame. Milo intercedes with their fight, and Chloe asks for his help instead of Morris's.
Morris becomes jealous and he and Chloe bicker. While trading barbs, she makes a crack about him arming the nuclear bomb for the terrorists. Chloe realizes her gaffe and quickly apologizes. Yet this hits Morris hard, and he walks away from her.
Karen is warned that Peter Hock from the Department of Justice is waiting in her office. Lennox cautions her to tread lightly because Hock has clout on Capitol Hill.
Karen goes to her office and greets Hock. He has been interrogating Reed Pollock, who claims that Buchanan held Fayed in custody but then let him go. Reed says in the video deposition that Karen covered this up with a "blue code" at Homeland Security to protect her husband.
Karen explains to Hock that Fayed was apprehended in a border sweep two years ago but that there was not enough evidence to keep him. Besides, Fayed was not considered a high-level threat at the time. It is standard practice to "blue code" these released people so that they do not have their freedoms stripped. The only reason Karen resigned from the White House twelve hours ago instead of having this come out is because she didn't want the information to be used against the President or her husband while the country was under attack.
Hock insists that someone will have to be blamed for the terrorist attacks. He suggests that Buchanan take the fall because he is farther down the food chain from the President. Yet Karen knows it will either be her head or Buchanan's on the chopping block.
Jack arrives at the abandoned Calderone Hotel.
After CTU finds Jack's call to Cheng, Nadia tells Doyle. Jack was traveling on the road that he suspected. Nadia will keep decrypting the call to find out where he is meeting Cheng.
Buchanan gets a call from Karen, who seems troubled. He says they are closing in on finding Jack and can't talk. She asks him to call back when he's free.
Karen goes to see Lennox, rationalizing that Reed is using anything he can to bargain his way out of the death penalty for treason. Hock wants to distance the President, and needs either Karen or Buchanan to be blamed. Lennox says that Buchanan is already in the crosshairs and will ultimately be responsible because his signature is on the Fayed release. Karen considers resigning again, but Lennox advises her to not risk her own job since she can't save Buchanan.
Jack plants C-4 plastique in the walls of the empty hotel. Then he calls Buchanan's personal voice mail and leaves a message, explaining that the circuit board will be incinerated in the explosion at the Calderone Hotel. Jack wants Buchanan to take care of Audrey if he doesn't make it out alive.
Morris asks Buchanan to be transferred out of the comm unit because he and Chloe are having problems. Buchanan agrees to work something out.
Karen calls Buchanan again and tells him that the Justice Department is "out for blood" about Fayed's original release even though it was all by-the-book. "I can't let this touch me," she explains about protecting the Administration. Her only option is to immediately fire Buchanan. Buchanan is furious because he didn't do anything wrong. He hangs up on her. Karen tries calling back, but Buchanan doesn't pick up.
Doyle checks surface streets for Jack. Suddenly, he sees Jack's truck parked near an abandoned building.
Buchanan summons Nadia to the conference room and informs her that he was fired from CTU. She will be taking over.
Buchanan won't explain the circumstances of his departure to Nadia. "It's just politics," he sighs. Security comes in to escort Buchanan from the premises.
Nadia announces to the staff that Buchanan has stepped down. Until Division can send a replacement, she will be acting director of CTU.
Doyle takes weapons and ammo from Jack's truck. He radios CTU that a limousine has just pulled up and that they should send support.
Doyle sees Cheng emerge from the limo.
Cheng walks in, demanding the component. Jack refuses until he can see Audrey. Cheng has his men bring her in. Doyle relays all of this to CTU.
Audrey's mouth is gagged. Jack removes it, tenderly touching her face for the first time in almost two years. He apologizes to her. Jack instructs Cheng to have Audrey walk out alone, away from the Chinese snipers. Once he knows she is safe, he will hand over the weapon's circuit board.
Outside the hotel, Doyle sees almost a dozen gunmen surround the building. He again questions Nadia about the field teams.
Jack tells Audrey to go to a gas station nearby. There will be a taxi picking her up to take her back to CTU.
Audrey leaves the building alone as the Chinese gunmen train their weapons on her. Doyle becomes impatient. Nadia tells him the field teams should be there any minute, but he needs to do something fast because Jack is about to hand over the circuit board.
Jack gives Cheng the component. As he is about to detonate the C-4 plastique, shots ring outside. Doyle has taken out one of the men. Jack goes to return fire, but is hit in the chest over his flak jacket.
Suddenly, the CTU chopper and SWAT teams arrive and engage in a firestorm with the Chinese. Cheng bolts from the hotel to one of his armored cars and speeds off into the night accompanied by two exact vehicles. The helicopter follows the three fleeing cars until it is hit by a missile. It spins out of control.
Cheng gets away. The other two Hummers go in separate directions as a diversion.
CTU agents apprehend Jack, who tells Doyle that he was all set to detonate the circuit board. Cheng escaped with the component. Nadia radios Doyle that Cheng was spotted in one of three black Hummers that fled into the mountains. More choppers are on their way. Nadia orders Doyle to place Jack under arrest.
Doyle reluctantly puts Jack in handcuffs. "I had this handled! Why the hell didn't you listen to me?" Jack pleads.
Audrey is brought back to the hotel. She is mumbling the same phrase over and over: "Help me, Jack. Please don't let them do this to me." Jack realizes that she doesn't even recognize him. The Chinese have done something to her, and Jack insists that Doyle help her.