First of all: isn't it wild that we're already halfway through 24: Live Another Day? After the months we spent waiting excitedly for Jack to come back, how time flies. But some things stay the same, including something that you're either going to love or hate.
We open in the immediate aftermath of last week's major explosion, finding out pretty quickly that Navarro and Erik are still alive, but that a bunch of other CIA agents are not so lucky. The ambush doesn't go over well with anybody on the political side of things, and Prime Minister Davies gets even more upset when his aide Caroline (hey, it's Miranda Raison!) tells him that President Heller has Alzheimer's.
Heller is meeting with Jack, suddenly more receptive to his plan. "You are to give Jack Bauer whatever he needs, plus silence," the President tells Navarro, adding that Kate is to be assigned to Jack, officially making her his new sidekick. Not even Kate seems to be thrilled about this idea.
Back at Terrorist House, Margot orders Simone to find her now dead husband's sister and "think of what we've sacrificed this far. What you have sacrificed. I trust you to do what needs to be done." Man, Michelle Fairley is sort of cornering the market on women in power that we don't want to spend any time with.
Speaking of people we don't want to spend any time with, here comes Mark, finding an excuse to talk to Jack about Audrey's recent conversation with him. Our hero does not give a damn about him being territorial. "If I live through today, which is highly unlikely, I'm going straight to prison," Jack tells him flatly, although he does throw the other guy the bone of Audrey having called him "a good man."
Mark then fields a call from Russia, where they've reviewed the rendition order and want to know when they'll be taking custody of Jack. Mark says the order has been rescinded, but the Russian diplomats don't want to believe that without word from the President, which they can't get since Mark forged Heller's signature on said order in the first place. You're screwed, dude.
While Caroline continues to needle away at the President's credibility, causing the Prime Minister to want to know what Jack is up to, our hero meets up with Kate. He reveals to her that for the last two years, he's been working for an arms dealer, in order to take out other Very Bad People that Carl the Arms Dealer has been doing business with. Now they're going to use this guy to get to Margot. The one thing Jack doesn't tell Kate until they get to their destination is that he plans to hand her over to Carl - unconscious - to make his sales pitch work. She reluctantly agrees to get tranquilized, and it's not hard to guess what happens next.