Saddled with the imminent threat of a “dirty bomb” on top of everything else, PJB’s itching for a fight. Forgetting he’s a world leader now and not CTU’s answer to Rambo, he storms in to accuse Chairman Kim of masterminding the whole thing before putting the entire EHC delegation, Chairman and all, in an indefinite time out. So far, so not exactly diplomatic. Meantime, because he’s not just a hothead but a hothead with a crush, he brings Dr Audrey from 24 back yet AGAIN because, as well as super-advanced billion-dollar defence systems, her company has also built a super-advanced privacy- busting search engine. My goodness. Is there anything Dr Audrey can’t do? Um, work for the FBI, apparently: she has constitutional scruples about using her super-smashing tech to help out law enforcement. (But no such issue with using it for the pursuit of her own profit, presumably, or she wouldn’t have built the thing in the first place.)
Happily for law enforcement, however, Dr Audrey’s conscience is no match for the lethal combination of PJB’s puppy-dog eyes and her very own room in the presidential bunker come the apocalypse. While the good doctor searches for the bomber underground, then, Agent Q combs the overground with new partner Paul who has sidled quietly into the recurring cast without any fanfare. Seems like it might be a case of one in, one out: Reed Diamond returns this week and I’m very pleased to see him but my happiness doesn’t last, and neither does he. His entirely legitimate investigation into FLOTUS family corruption (and a load of bad stuff we’ve never really had a decent answer for) having been rebranded by the show as the demented witch hunt that killed her, poor Reed Diamond now has to suffer the indignity of apologising to both Q and PJB for doing his job. Apparently that isn’t enough penance though, as minutes later he’s summarily blown up. It’s meant to be a heroic death, I know, but however you want to categorise it, it’s a sad, disappointing ending for a decent, steady, sane character and there are precious few of them in this show as it is.
Talk of steadiness and sanity, meanwhile, brings us to Emily and PJB, who seem to have abandoned theirs entirely. After Emily’s brainfart last week about the legal implications of workplace relationships, she doubles down on the out-of-character ignorance this week by demanding of the increasingly flabbergasted Kendra “Does it really matter where the evidence came from?” Uh…. Since Emily’s so contemptuous of the idea that yes, yes it most certainly does, I really hope Ms Chief of Staff ends up in front of some sort of congressional committee very soon and learns to appreciate a “procedural nicety” or two for herself.
The potential harm caused by Emily is dwarfed, however, by the actual harm caused by her boss. After a whirlwind thirty seconds where everyone suddenly decides that EHC didn’t kill Reed Diamond and – completely out-of-left-field – Kunami did, POTUS summons the unfortunate Kunami ambassador to yell at him, give him no time to investigate or refute anything, and then yell at him some more, before ordering immediate retaliation. Never mind “waiting 18 months,” PJB refuses to wait 18 minutes and he’s not going to listen to anyone who tells him otherwise. So a unilateral act of war (which will no doubt turn out to be a mistake – I mean, Kunami didn’t do it, did they?) means PJB finally gets the fight he wants. I guess we’ll find out the cost soon enough.