So what does Director of National Intelligence Donald Simms have to hide? To the point where he’s prepared to send his unlikeable flunky Daniel Pang into CTU as co-director? Well, the big secret is that Simms was responsible for ordering the abduction of Naseri’s 10-year-old daughter Ara, and for threatening to kill her unless Naseri gave up bin Khalid. Nasty. In order to get proof, though, someone’s going to have to get into Simms’s office – in the Pentagon – and access his computer.
So Senator Jimmy Smits and Carter team up and do just that, which – unexpectedly – furnishes them with the information that Ara is, in fact, still alive. And that, according to Simms, the abduction was actually ordered by Rebecca. You know, I can see that, and it certainly means that I’m still shipping her and Tony Almeida, a relationship now confirmed as having been made in two-fisted realpolitik heaven.
Rebecca herself is, for now, in the custody of bin Khalid. Rather than just kill her, of course, he has something more elaborate planned: blah blah trial, blah blah execution, blah blah streamed around the world. Which will, in due course, give someone a chance to rescue her, but in the meantime affords her the opportunity to try to commit suicide.
Back at CTU, it’s all kicking off: Pang has worked out that something hinky is going on, so Mullins has to give him Jack Bauer’s patented chokehold to subdue him. And while Carter sets off to the house where Ara is being held captive, Simms pulls out the biggest gun of all: he hires Tony Almeida to “clean up” after him. Carter gets there first, and is just about to leave with Ara when Almeida pitches up outside and makes it clear that he ain’t leaving without TCB: “I’ve already been paid. I always finish a job once I’ve been paid. I’ve got a reputation to keep”. Ooh. I feel a little faint.
Anyway, it all means that this entertaining episode finishes with the heavyweight contest the show has been building towards: in one corner, Carter and a 10-year-old kidnap victim; in the other, the Tony Almeida, his squeeze, and two redshirts. Got the cojones for this, Carter? Finale next week.