Paul's body is wheeled out of the operating room as the doctor works on Lee. Jack goes out to find Audrey crying. He apologizes for what happened. She pushes him away, saying that she can't bear to be near him. Audrey asks Jack to leave.
Buchanan assures Jack that he did the right thing by putting Lee's life over Paul's.
Novick tells Jack that the Chinese Consul was killed by his own men during the raid. Novick wants Jack to make sure each member of the team has an alibi for the time of the ambush. He and Palmer want to avoid a serious confrontation with China.
Chloe discovers that someone on the outside is trying to jam the CTU satellite servers. She alerts Buchanan, who hopes it will lead them to Marwan.
One of Marwan's men is unable to jam the CTU satellite because of their new security system that was installed in the last week. Marwan wants to move the schedule up by an hour.
Palmer and Novick decide to construct a plausible scenario for the situation that doesn't involve the U.S. government. Palmer asks Novick to have CTU come up with a list of anti-Chinese factions that have attacked the country's embassies. Although these groups are Asian extremists, Jack's men wore masks and were unidentifiable.
Cheng, the head of security at the Chinese Consulate, goes over the surveillance footage and finds that one of the masked men's faces was briefly revealed. He has the image of the man's face sent to his home country's intelligence databases for identification.
Jack regroups his ambush team and explains the problem with the Chinese Consul. They must all have alibis for the night. Agent Bern is a little uneasy.
Marwan sets up the warhead to be delivered by missile. He believes that the Americans will look on land instead of searching for a missile.
Jack tells Chloe that he needs Audrey to authorize Defense Department data sent over. Chloe questions whether it will be awkward for Jack with Audrey now that he let her husband die. She offers to be his sounding board if he ever needs a friend to talk to. Jack looks at Chloe incredulously.
Jack asks Audrey for her DoD clearance, and she inquires about Lee's health. There is tension between them.
The CTU team meets. Their primary goal is to figure out how and where Marwan will set off the nuclear bomb.
Cheng finds a match for the face in the surveillance footage. He gets the file for Agent Bern from CTU in Los Angeles.
Michelle takes a call from Cheng, who wants to come over to meet with her even though CTU is in the middle of a national security crisis. Cheng accuses her agency of raiding the Consulate and kidnapping Lee, which can be construed as an act of war. Michelle doesn't confirm or deny this, and she quickly gets off the phone. Cheng calls the U.S. Secretary of State.
Jack cautiously approaches Audrey and encourages her to go get some rest. Audrey snaps at him.
Buchanan lets Jack know that Michelle received a call from the Chinese Consulate about the ambush. They claim to have evidence that CTU was involved. Jack wants to dismiss this, but Buchanan insists that it's vital.
Novick gets a list from CTU of groups that tried to attack Chinese targets. Palmer thinks they can convince China to save face by placing the blame on someone else. President Logan storms in because he just received a call from the Secretary of State about a covert action against the Chinese Consulate. Palmer admits to being the one who sanctioned the attack. Logan is furious that a fragile relationship was tampered with, but Palmer is unapologetic. It was the only course of action that they could have taken. Palmer asks that Logan allow him to do what he was he was brought in for.
Tony tells Buchanan that Lee is out of surgery. Michelle lets them know that the Secretary of State authorized the head of security from the Chinese Consulate to come to CTU to question them. Buchanan says that Novick is working on placing the blame with someone else.
Noting Audrey's change of heart toward Jack, Tony tells Michelle that he hates being without her. Michelle opens up and says that she never wanted them to end up this way. They are interrupted by Curtis alerting them to Cheng's arrival.
Buchanan and Jack greet Cheng in the interrogation room. Jack has changed into a suit. Cheng recognizes Jack's name and asks why he's not with Secretary Heller. He finds it odd when Jack explains that he was kept at CTU for the day. Cheng suggests that Jack is capable of handling a covert operation, and Jack asserts that neither he nor anyone at CTU was responsible for the incident. Cheng pulls out the surveillance image of Bern, and Jack claims that the photo has been altered. He says that their intelligence targeted the People's Freedom Coalition, which has European mercenaries. Cheng asks to speak to Bern and is told he's not working. As Cheng complains, Jack pretends to get a cell call and walks out of the room.
Jack has Chloe get a chopper ready. He tells Bern that the Chinese have a photo of his face, and Bern confesses to his mask being pulled off for a brief second. Jack wants him to leave the city, warning that he may have to answer questions from the Chinese later on.
Lee wakes up and is ready for questioning. Jack runs to the operating room with the translator. Lee says that he doesn't know where the warhead is, but he knows where Marwan might be. Marwan is moving around. Lee lists the three locations in Los Angeles, and two of these CTU already knows about. Jack has Chloe prepare Curtis and his team to move out to the third site.
Curtis lets Audrey know that Cheng wants to question her. The fake hourly reports for Jack list him as working with Audrey at the time of the ambush. Audrey is appalled that Buchanan wants her to lie for Jack, but Curtis says her compliance is really to protect the United States government.
Jack explains to Audrey what happened with the Chinese Consulate. She is frustrated with all the lies and broken protocols, but Jack said that it has helped save her and Heller, as well as stop all but one power plant from melting down. They have to hope that it keeps working.
Audrey tells Cheng that she and Jack worked on data processing with Edgar. Cheng questions why Jack would be brought into CTU only to sit behind a computer. He also notes that the logs show that Paul died during that timeframe, and he believes Audrey was in the clinic with him instead of working with Jack. Audrey doesn't budge, and says that her answer stands.
As he drives with Curtis, Jack gets a call from Palmer. He briefs Palmer on the information they obtained from Lee. Jack also says that Cheng has a photo of one of the CTU agents, but that they feel it is inconclusive.
Palmer has Novick advise the President that Cheng must be removed from CTU because he's slowing them down. Novick thinks he can get Logan to sign off on that.
Novick goes into the President's office and explains the situation with Cheng. Logan feels that to ask Cheng to leave would be to admit complicity, allowing China to escalate the crisis. Novick says that the warhead is the priority, and that they should worry about the lives of Americans first. Logan accuses Novick of forming an alliance with Palmer against him so that the two of them can run the country by themselves. Novick denies this, and asks if he wants Palmer to leave. President Logan caves, and has Buchanan notified that Cheng should be removed from CTU.
Jack and Curtis pull up to the location. Jack radios Chloe, but she cannot confirm that Marwan is in the building because it has an encrypted microwave uplink to it. Although they have no confirmation, they are out of time. Jack gives the go ahead for the raid.
On his way out, Cheng tells Buchanan that he will return in a few days with a formal investigation.
Cheng hears someone address Edgar, and he approaches him. Although Edgar says he is busy, Cheng asks if he was working on DoD files with Audrey. “Yeah, until she was called down to the clinic,” Edgar answers. Cheng then asks if he continued working with Jack after she left. Edgar is confused, and Chloe pulls him away. She calls Edgar an idiot for not keeping his mouth shut. Cheng calls the Consulate with news that it was Jack who led the attack.
Marwan orders the sequence to start. As the countdown begins, he shuts down the computer and leaves with his men. Meanwhile, Jack and the SWAT team stealthily enter the building. They take out Marwan's guards.
Jack traps Marwan and shoots him in the arm. Marwan tells him that it is too late because the missile is already set. Jack is horrified. He sees a live feed of a missile on the computer, and he radios this back to Tony. There is less than a minute to launch. Curtis sends the feed to CTU, but Tony can't trace where the transmission is from or identify the location. Chloe and the team try everything, but the missile fires and leaves its launch pad, carrying the warhead to an unknown location.