So, who is this Naseri dude? Well, while Carter and his team were looking for Ibrahim bin Khalid, Naseri pretended to be an interpreter, used that as cover to get access to an intelligence asset, and killed him. Oh, and beheaded his children. No-one seems inclined to draw a line under that incident and move on, so Operation Find Naseri is launched, and a phone call he made shortly before the air strike at the end of the last episode is traced to a nearby house.
Naseri’s call was to a CTU security operative, Stephen Grant, from his girlfriend Jennifer’s home, showing her tied up and wearing a bomb vest. The idea is that Grant will co-operate with Naseri’s plan to spring Jihadi, Jr., and Grant, of course, goes along with it. Which means that CTU is, once again, infiltrated by terrorists. It’s been a while. Meantime Carter makes his way to Jennifer’s place, and defuses the bomb in the usual way – cut the short wire, look for the trigger (or whatever, I wasn’t taking notes) – but by the time that news is passed onto Grant, it’s too late: Naseri has Jr.
And – bonus ball – Naseri has someone else as well. Because at the same time as this is all going on, Senator John has also dropped into the CTU building, in order to try and put his marriage back together after the whole your-former-boyfriend-tortured-my-daddy business. But he gets caught up in the crossfire and abducted by Naseri. I’d guess that the Senator will now be used as leverage to get Rebecca to do something she shouldn’t. And if that, in turn, is used as a device to keep Tony Almeida involved then I’m all in favour, because post-torture he’s left the scene, and a fair amount of the show’s excitement has walked out of the door along with him; leaving a gap that Nicole’s continuing but inexplicable attraction to bad-boy-drug-dealing ex Isaac just isn’t going to fill.