Tony and Michelle brief President Keeler, who has been circling in Air Force One for twenty hours. He wants to land in Los Angeles in order to give a press conference, but Tony and Michelle think it's safer for him to stay in the air. The President refuses.
Jack calls CTU to report that he's at Marwan's hideout. He is surprised to hear Chloe answer the phone. She patches him through to Audrey.
Audrey tells Jack that the doctors think Paul will recover. Jack says they need to talk about how he interrogated Paul. He promises to call her after they raid Marwan's compound.
Michelle and Chloe brief Buchanan. They have determined that eight men are in Marwan's hideout, and they think that Marwan is still there.
Marwan speaks to Nicole, the woman who lured the Air Force pilot into bed to get his passcards. Nicole is at Anderson's apartment, which was shared by Aziz, who was one of Marwan's accomplices. Nicole cannot find a backup hard drive which has the entire plan of the terrorist cell. Aziz was killed before he could tell Marwan where he hid it.
Marwan phones Anderson, who has taken the stealth bomber into the air. Anderson doesn't know where Aziz hid the hard drive in the apartment.
Marwan notices sparks on the phone wiring that Jack configured. He becomes suspicious, and secretly arms a detonator remote.
Jack and his SWAT team blow open the door of the hideout and raid the premises. Marwan runs up a set of stairs as Jack sets out to find him. The agents take out a number of cell members. Jack approaches a computer that is self-deleting. He can't stop it.
Jack sees a red light flash, and he warns the SWAT members to evacuate. As they run, a small bomb goes off and all the computers in the compound explode.
CTU hears the explosion, and Jack radios Michelle that Marwan has destroyed the hard drives. Marwan escaped.
Jack sees that one of Marwan's key aides is still alive. The man warns Jack that he won't be able to stop"it"within the hour. The man dies.
The surgeon lets Audrey know that Paul has become paralyzed from the waist down. It's too early to tell if it will be permanent. Audrey goes in to see her husband.
Buchanan admonishes Michelle for letting Marwan escape, but Tony defends CTU's actions.
Jack finds forged passports and drivers' licenses that survived the explosion. The names and faces are uploaded to the CTU server for matches, and Edgar initiates the facial recognition software.
Buchanan privately apologizes to Michelle for snapping at her. He gently touches her shoulder. Seeing this, Tony asks Chloe about Buchanan's background. Buchanan had served in Seattle, where Michelle had been posted while Tony was in jail. Tony formulates his own conclusion.
Michelle alerts Jack that they have a match on one of the forged documents. Mitch Anderson was in a military prison and, after discharged, became a hired mercenary. Because of the raised threat level, the FBI had sent an agent to Anderson's apartment. Jack asks for Anderson's address as well as a contact number for that FBI agent.
FBI Agent Drake enters Anderson's apartment. Nicole shoots her. When Drake's cell phone rings, Nicole answers it. Nicole tells Jack that she is Drake and she inquires about Anderson's connection to Marwan. Jack informs this woman claiming to be Drake that he is on his way there.
Marwan hides in an alley and gets in a car that has come to pick him up. He calls an accomplice to tell him that Anderson is in the air. The man replies that he is ready to deploy.
Aboard Air Force One, the President asks his nineteen year old son, Kevin, for help in preparing his speech to the nation. Kevin thinks his father should tell the truth.
Jack arrives at Anderson's apartment with another CTU agent. Nicole acts like an FBI agent, informing Jack that the FBI believes Anderson hid a backup file with details on Marwan's next target. Jack pledges to help her search the apartment.
Anderson calls Marwan to confirm that his cover has been taken care of. Anderson knows that the entire world will be looking for him and he wants them to think he is already dead.
Chloe lets Edgar know that OSHA will not be able to get into the area where his mother died because of radiation. He tries to hide his feelings.
Tony surprises Michelle by mentioning her relationship with Buchanan. He asks if she slept with Buchanan while married to Tony. Michelle says no, and refuses to answer whether she's still sleeping with him.
Chloe notices that Edgar has made a mistake. She immediately tells Michelle that she was the one who made the error. Edgar knows that it was his fault and suggests that she would have had her job back if she told the truth. Chloe dismisses him.
Knowing that Anderson has been a civilian for four years, Jack is suspicious when he finds a recent military medal in the closet. He tells"Drake"to let the FBI know that Anderson might be posing as military. Nicole pretends to call this in. While Jack gives the information to Tony, the other CTU agent finds the hard drive in an electrical outlet. Nicole kills the agent and takes the drive. From upstairs, Jack sees the CTU agent's body and he fires at Nicole, killing her.
With a laptop, Jack finds that everything on the hard drive is locked. He calls Edgar for help accessing it and Edgar walks him through the process. Jack unlocks the schematics for a stealth bomber and a flight simulator. He tells Tony and Michelle that Anderson, an experienced pilot, might be trying to steal a stealth fighter.
As Jack drives to CTU, Tony finds out that the pilot of an F-117A which took off on a scheduled mission failed to report in, despite attempts to contact him. Air Force One is set to land in Los Angeles at 11:00.
Michelle calls the President to alert him that a stealth fighter has been stolen by a terrorist and is headed for his airspace. The stealth is invisible to radar and will attempt to shoot down Air Force One. Keeler asks an aide to contact the Vice President.
Tony sends Jack a photo and bio of Anderson, and he gets a recall frequency in order to get through to the stealth bomber.
Chloe reports that Air Force One will soon touch down. Its accompanying fighter planes have no sign of the stealth bomber on their radars.
Tony patches Jack through to the stealth's radio system. Jack addresses Mitch Anderson by name, and says he knows what he is doing. Anderson doesn't respond. Jack begs Anderson to land the aircraft so that they can talk. With still no answer, Jack mentions everything in Anderson's bio. He thinks Anderson should be remembered for his admirable deeds, not the one he is doing now.
Keeler urges his Vice President, Charles Logan, to stay the course if he is killed. The President listens in as Jack tells Anderson that his sister wants to talk to him. Anderson is affected, but turns the receiver off. Chloe lets Jack know that Anderson cut off all communication circuits.
Hearing the call end, President Keeler hugs his son.
Anderson fires from the stealth. An explosion erupts in Air Force One. Chloe reports that Air Force One suffered an indirect hit and pieces of the plane are falling to the ground over the desert. Everyone is horrified.