David Palmer enters the White House. His former Secret Service protector, Agent Aaron Pierce, escorts him to the bunker. President Logan admits to Palmer that he has made mistakes. Now he is asking Palmer to deal with CTU on finding the missing nuclear weapon. Logan wants him to be his full proxy.
After the President leaves the room, Novick offers to leave if Palmer is uncomfortable being with him. Although Novick betrayed him during his Administration, Palmer wants him to stay because of his insider knowledge. Palmer immediately gets to work.
Chloe continues to tap into the laptop amid the crime scene at Nabila's house. She tells Jack that emails about the weapon trigger had been sent from someone using a false domain name inside the United States. Chloe forwards the emails to Edgar so that he can identify the point of origin. Jack compassionately asks how she's doing. She answers that, despite killing someone, she's still on the job.
Edgar finds that the person who sent the emails is a Chinese research scientist who worked on China's nuclear weapons program. Lee Jong had been fired by the Chinese government, and Jack believes he is working as a freelance operative for Marwan because China would not use someone so traceable.
In the clinic, Audrey tells Paul that he can't be moved to a spinal hospital because of the FAA restrictions on air travel. She is trying to get him an exemption. Audrey strokes his arm and says she wants to go with him. She's not so sure about her feelings for Jack anymore.
Jack enters the clinic to check on Paul, and he senses the tension with Audrey. Jack thanks Paul for saving his life before he is pulled out of the room by Buchanan. Audrey tells Paul that Jack doesn't know she is leaving with him.
Buchanan informs Jack that they found Lee, but he's at the Chinese Consulate where the U.S. has no jurisdiction. Jack thinks Lee knew they were coming for him so he went there for sanctuary. Buchanan explains that Logan enlisted former President Palmer for help with the crisis, and that Palmer wants to speak to him.
Palmer tells Jack that he is going to call the Chinese Consul and explain the situation. If they don't hand over Lee for questioning, then Palmer wants Jack to do whatever it takes to bring this man into custody.
Edgar gets the video recovered in the tunnel sent over from Division. He plays it for Michelle and Buchanan. They are horrified when they see Marwan make his speech to the camera. "You wake up today to a different world," Marwan says. They interpret this to mean the nuclear bomb will be set off by dawn. Sunrise on the East Coast is less than two hours away.
Palmer asks Koo Yin, the Chinese Consul in Los Angeles, to hand over Lee to the United States. Koo says that Lee claims he has no connection to the terrorists, but such a request would need to go through proper channels. Palmer asks him to call the Premier in China as an act of friendship between their countries. Koo promises to do his best as quickly as possible.
When Tony gets up to retrieve a fax, Michelle answers his phone. It's Jen, who says she is the woman Tony is living with. Michelle reacts slightly, and she tells Tony who is on the phone. Jen asks Tony if he's working at CTU with his ex-wife.
Tony apologizes to Michelle, but she doesn't want to hear his explanation. Michelle asks if he loves Jen and Tony says no.
Chloe returns to CTU and Edgar approaches to ask how she is doing. Chloe admits that she is worried because she didn't feel remorse for killing another person. She hopes that maybe she'll suffer a delayed reaction later.
Buchanan calls Palmer regarding Marwan's speech and CTU's assumptions about the bomb. Palmer immediately calls back Koo with urgency. Koo cannot promise that he will get an answer back from the Premier in time.
Palmer phones Jack, who is staked outside the Chinese Consulate building. He says that their standstill requires a desperate action. Jack understands the insinuation. Palmer says that no one connected within the government can admit to knowing about this plan. If Jack is caught, he will be tried under Chinese law. Jack accepts this non-official assignment.
Jack calls Tony and explains the covert operation on orders from the White House. Tony is the only person at CTU who can know right now. Jack instructs him to have the satellite monitor the Consulate building, but to alter the satellite logs so there is no record that anything ever happened.
Using infrared, Tony sees the bodily activity in the Consulate building and passes this on to Jack. Jack orders Curtis and his team to wait in the van in order to make the operation deniable. He tells them to hide their faces and use only non-lethal force when he emerges.
Wearing a mask, Jack enters the Consulate building as Tony guides him to the guards' locations. Jack climbs up to an inside balcony and shoots a tranquilizer gun into the neck of a Chinese guard, who drops to the floor.
Jack silently takes down guards who man the room where Lee is. Jack knocks out Lee and carries him. Tony alerts Jack to approaching guards, and Jack runs as they fire at him. Koo comes out and is accidentally shot by his own guards. Curtis and the agents run to the entrance to help Jack, and a Chinese guard briefly unmasks an agent named Bern. Bern recovers and puts his mask back on.
Jack throws Lee in the van and they realize that Lee's been shot in the back. The van speeds away. Jack radios Tony that Lee has no exit wound, but that he should prepare medics standing by. Jack has the translator tell Lee that they will treat his wound and ease his pain.
Audrey lets Paul know that she got clearance to leave on a medical plane at 8:00. She says she will look for an apartment once he's settled into the hospital. Suddenly, Paul has trouble breathing. The doctor sees that the sac around his heart is filling with blood, and that Paul will need to get back into surgery immediately to heal his heart.
Jack has the translator ask Lee about Marwan's location because they have emails proving that he was involved. Lee says that he knows where Marwan is but wants to be protected because Marwan will kill him. Jack agrees to save Lee from prosecution and grant his safety if his information gets them to the warhead in time. Before he confesses to anything, Lee wants it in writing from the President.
Palmer calls Jack, who explains Lee's demands. Palmer promises to get the guarantee from Logan.
Palmer has Novick work on Logan's signed pardon while he takes a phone call from Su Ming, the Chinese Deputy Consul. Palmer is shocked to hear that Koo was killed in a raid on the Consulate building. Su questions whether the American government was involved, and Palmer denies responsibility. Su pledges to launch an investigation.
Novick informs Palmer that President Logan will provide Lee with a written guarantee. Palmer is concerned that Koo's death will set off a political maelstrom with China. If China discovers that the United States was involved, then that could have serious repercussions in the long run.
Buchanan is angry with Tony for keeping him out of the loop about the raid on the Consulate. Buchanan is now certain that reinstating Tony was a mistake. Tony asks if this is really about "something else."
Jack has the translator tell Lee that the President's written guarantee will be granted. Lee doesn't respond. Jack listens to the man's chest and realizes that his lungs are filling with fluid. Jack begs Lee to tell him where Marwan is, but Lee passes out.
Audrey watches through the window as the doctor performs surgery on Paul in the CTU ward. Suddenly, Jack bursts into the operating room with a gurney and demands that the doctor help Lee. The doctor refuses to prematurely stop working on Paul. Jack pulls his gun on the doctor, explaining that Lee can help them save millions of people. The doctor says that Paul will die if they end the operation, but Jack makes him switch patients.
Audrey is stunned as Paul is abandoned. She tries to talk to Jack, but he yells that he is only doing his job. Audrey starts to become violent, and a pair of agents pulls her out of the operating room.
Paul's blood pressure crashes. As the doctor works on Lee, he tells Jack to use the defibrillator on Paul. Jack hits Paul with the paddles twice, but it doesn't work. The doctor tells him where the epinephrine injections are located, but that too proves useless. Jack tries furiously to pump Paul's chest, but Paul dies.
Audrey cries. She attacks Jack with punches. He just stands there in shock. "I hate you, Jack! You killed him!" she screams as she is carried out of the operating room. The doctor continues to operate on Lee.