Dr. Macer gives Jack the injection he needs to stop his spasms, and he tells the FBI to put out an APB on Tony. They do so, but it's a moment too late; Tony shoots a couple of FBI agents dead, disconnects their SUV's tracking system, and steals the car. Jack is remorseful that he vouched for Tony.
At a motel, Tony meets up with Galvez. The money's been wired to Galvez's account, but instead of giving Tony the canister, Galvez pulls a gun on Tony and demands the name of the buyer. He doesn't know who he's messing with. Tony gets the drop on Galvez and kills him. He then finds the canister in the closet. Cara arrives and wants to make the delivery, but Tony says no. They will sit on the canister for six months. Cara says it's necessary in order to replace the 27 lost canisters, but Tony knows the time to strike is now while the country is reeling. Also the FBI is stretched thin and making mistakes.
Meanwhile, Tim Woods tells the President that Hodges tried to poison himself, but the guards intervened in time. He is still alive. Renee and Jack call with the bad news about Tony. The President says she may have a lead, and tells them that Hodges mentioned some bigger group she wouldn't be able to stop. Jack wants to interview Hodges -- not to torture him, but to offer him what he needs: proof of death. This will help convince those threatening Hodges' family to think they have succeeded.
Olivia is horrified to find her mother is considering giving Witness Protection to Hodges, the man who murdered her son. She thinks he should be declared an enemy combatant and tortured. President Taylor says she swore to defend the Constitution. This tears her apart, but it needs to be done.
Cara teleconferences with the secret cabal via laptop. All of them are at laptops, talking via computer with their voices disguised and trying to get permission to go ahead with Tony's plan. The attack will be blamed on an Arab immigrant, Jibraan Al-Zarian, who will be found dead at the scene. Jibraan is an innocent they'll set up to look like a terrorist. The cabal is skittish, but Cara IMs Alan Wilson and coaxes him to weigh in on her side. Wilson tells the group that Hodges did them a favor by pushing the country to the brink. They should seize the opportunity while they have it. The cabal unanimously votes for the plan to go ahead. Cara and Tony share a passionate kiss.
Hodges has regained consciousness and is yelling that they have doomed his wife and family. Jack enters to interrogate him, while the President monitors the conversation from the White House. Jack explains the deal to Hodges. Olivia cannot watch, and she leaves the room. Hodges tells Jack that he was part of a group who can protect the country better than any government ever could. The plan was to launch simultaneous attacks early next year so that the public would see the government couldn't protect them. The people would demand drastic measures and then the group would step in. They were supplying weapons to America's enemies and sleeper cells to offload the blame. Hodges thinks Jack should understand because he was doing what was necessary. Jack replies that they have nothing in common. He's disgusted that Hodges is just protecting his contracts. Jack was serving his country.
If Hodges doesn't confess the names of his cohorts, Jack threatens to go public with the fact that Hodges is still alive. Hodges swears he doesn't have the names, even when Jack's dialing the Washington Post. He tells Jack that everybody was anonymous, even to each other. Tactics were handled through an intermediary, a woman whose name he never knew. Jack confers with the President and says they must be planning to strike today because it would be the right strategic move. The feds would need an immediate threat assessment, which requires a reconstitution of the CTU servers that were sealed by Senator Mayer's investigation. The President orders them re-commissioned.
This action needs somebody already familiar with the protocols, so Jack calls Chloe, waking her up. She asks about Bill and Jack tells her what happened. He also says there's an imminent biological weapon threat and that her expertise is needed. A car is being sent to pick her up. She agrees, then hugs her sleeping child. Chloe wakes Morris, who is sleeping on the couch. She tells him to take Prescott and get out of town. Morris asks Chloe to come with them, but she can't be persuaded.
Jack gives himself another injection as the strain begins to show. Renee and Jack brief a group of FBI agents on the mission. They need to look for fabricated evidence that would offload blame for the attacks. Janis objects to using the CTU computers, but Renee orders her to do so. Chloe arrives and Jack breaks the news to her that Tony has betrayed them. Chloe doesn't believe it, but Jack tells her that the Tony they knew is gone. Jack makes Chloe say out loud that she is still with him.
Tony, Cara and various operatives ready themselves outside of Jibraan's apartment. He's a 27-year-old day laborer with an expired visa. He has no ties to any extremist groups, but his parents were killed in a US air strike near the Pakistani border when he was a child. He raised his brother alone. Inside, Jibraan tells his 17-year-old brother, Hamid, to be careful because it is not a good day to be a Muslim even though Muslims had nothing to do with the attacks. Hamid brushes off his concern. Most of the guys at work think he's Puerto Rican anyway. Outside, another sedan joins Tony and Cara, containing two more operatives. They converge on the apartment.
Aaron Pierce discovers an emotional Olivia drafting Hodges' Witness Protection papers. She vents to him that this isn't justice. Hodges will get to live his life in comfort while her brother is dead. Olivia wishes out loud that Aaron could kill Hodges. She then apologizes and says she was just venting. After Aaron leaves, Olivia calls Martin Collier, a hardball political consultant she's worked with before. He once told her that there was no problem that couldn't be handled or eliminated. She won't tell him what she needs over the phone, so they plan to meet at the White House in fifteen minutes.
At the FBI, Chloe supervises the reconstitution of the CTU servers. Janis complains that they're violating the Bill of Rights and acting as Big Brother. Jack, enraged and goaded by Janis' constant sniping, yells at her. If she doesn't like it then she can leave. In his rant, he says that the servers were re-commissioned by "President David Palmer." Jack stalks off and buries his face in his hands. Chloe is dumbstruck. What's wrong with Jack?
At Jibraan's apartment, the lights go out and the operatives invade. Hamid is chloroformed, and a terrified Jibraan is held by Tony at gunpoint and ordered to keep silent. Tony threatens to put a bullet in his brain.