As Mandy is held captive, Jack calls Buchanan to find out about the Presidential pardon.
President Logan prepares to sign the pardon. Secret Service Agent Pierce interrupts with a discovery. He has news footage from four and a half years ago when an attempt was made on Palmer's life. The woman they are about to pardon is the same person who tried to slip a deadly virus to Palmer's hand. Although this will grant her immunity for past crimes, Palmer urges Logan to sign the pardon.
Mandy speaks on the phone with someone who confirms that her paperwork is in order. Then she tells Jack that Marwan is at the Global Center where a helicopter on the roof is leaving now to take him to a ship. Jack readies the CTU chopper and has Mandy kept at the site.
Jack warns his team not to use lethal force, even in self-defense. They need Marwan alive.
Marwan and an associate go up to the roof of the Global Center. He tries calling Mandy but she doesn't answer her phone. They don't wait, and get into the chopper. Marwan senses that something is wrong.
As Jack heads downtown, Edgar gives him the location of Marwan's helicopter from satellite imagery.
Jack's chopper comes up on top of the building. Marwan sees this, and orders his pilot to go. They are blocked from takeoff by the CTU helicopter directly above.
Jack fires at Marwan's helicopter and hits the rotor engine. Smoke starts to erupt and they are unable to fly. Marwan pulls a digital device out of his pocket and fires two rounds into it. The device lies in ruin on the floor.
The CTU chopper lets the agents off onto the roof of the building. Marwan flees. Jack, Curtis and another agent chase after him into a parking garage. Marwan fires back, killing the third agent and wounding Curtis.
Jack hides under a car and shoots Marwan's ankle. Marwan goes down and fires the remaining bullets in his chamber. He crawls to an open wall in the building. Jack sprints toward him.
Just as Marwan hurls himself over the side of the building, Jack grabs his arm and holds him from falling. He tries to pull Marwan up, demanding to know where the missile is. With his free hand, Marwan draws a knife and slices Jack's hand. Jack winces in pain but doesn't let go. As Jack's strength decreases, Marwan's hand slides from his grasp. Marwan falls several stories down to his death.
President Logan yells at Palmer for the botched mission that allowed Marwan to be killed. Palmer says that CTU is doing everything they can to find the missile. Novick interrupts with an urgent call from the acting Chinese Consul. From a videophone, Su Ming tells Logan and Palmer that one of their agents has confessed his direct involvement. Agent Bern reads a statement on camera saying he raided the Consulate under orders from Jack. Su wants Jack turned over to China to be tried under their laws.
Logan is furious with Palmer for mishandling this mission. Novick suggests handing Jack over, but Palmer deems that unacceptable. Logan's security aide Walt Cummings questions whether Jack would compromise national security if tortured. Palmer defeats that notion. Cummings then wonders whether to kill Jack so that their problems would be solved. The President refuses to consider this option.
The agents on the scene find a damaged digital device in Marwan's helicopter. It has some kind of tracking or navigation device on it, and they uplink whatever is left to CTU.
Jack speaks to Chloe and Edgar as they try to salvage the data on Marwan's device. They come up with what appears to be a flight path. The missile is heading west towards Los Angeles. Chloe figures out a possible timeframe. Buchanan passes this on to the Air Force, who has planes in place ready to find it.
The F-18 jets over Los Angeles report no sign of the missile. Meanwhile, Jack confirms that the nuclear warhead will only detonate if it hits its target. Edgar asks whether it is possible that the arming mechanism could be triggered if the missile is shot down. Jack says that they have no other choice.
An F-18 pilot spots the missile and fires. The target is shot down. The staff at CTU cheers. Jack is relieved.
Tony enters CTU and Michelle runs to his arms. She admits that she didn't realize how much she loved him until she thought she had lost him. Michelle feels guilty for not doing what Tony did to save her. She was ready to give up his life for the sake of the country. He says they both did the best they could, and now it is over.
Audrey is on the phone discussing the transport of Paul's body when she sees Jack come in. He tells her that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Audrey ends their relationship because he belongs at CTU and she can't deal with his world. She gives him one last kiss and walks away. Jack is stranded in her wake, devastated.
Palmer calls Jack to thank him for what he did for the country. However, Bern's confession gave the Chinese proof that Jack led the raid on the Consulate. Palmer believes the Chinese really want Jack to implicate the American government once he is imprisoned. Jack swears he would never do such a thing. Palmer thinks this is unfair and he is ashamed for his part in it. He promises to make it his life's purpose to bring Jack back to U.S. soil. A Secret Service agent is on his way to CTU to arrest Jack.
Cummings speaks to Secret Service Agent Dale Spaulding, who heads to CTU. Cummings explains that, with Jack's high ranking, he could leak a wealth of information about national security if the Chinese torture him. Spaulding understands the insinuation, and Cummings confirms that this is not coming on order from the President. Any investigation into Jack's death will be brief and superficial. Cummings does not notice that Novick has overheard his entire conversation.
Palmer is troubled by what Novick tells him. He doesn't believe that Cummings would go against the President's orders to not murder Jack. Novick knows that Cummings has been doing Logan's dirty work and Logan always looks the other way. Novick implores Palmer to intervene.
President Logan gloats in his victory. "You played a role," he offers Palmer, who ignores that this is an insulting understatement. Palmer informs him that Cummings plans to kill Jack, but Logan dismisses this. Logan makes a crack about the Palmer administration being plagued by paranoia and scandal, which he hopes to avoid. Palmer realizes that his allegations are falling on deaf ears.
In the CTU locker room, Tony acknowledges to Jack that it isn't fair for him to be forced to take the fall for the Chinese Consulate mission. Palmer calls Jack's cell and warns him not to turn himself in because the man sent to take him into custody has orders to kill him. "Get out of there now," Palmer urges.
Buchanan refuses to turn Jack over to Agent Spaulding until he is debriefed. Buchanan calls Jack a hero, but Spaulding says he is only following orders. Suddenly, an alarm sounds.
Tony calls Buchanan with news that Jack broke away from him and escaped. Tony ordered a lockdown and explains that Jack is somewhere in Section C.
Michelle briefs the team that Jack has disabled all the security cameras. Chloe confirms that Jack is still in Section C. Tony explains that Jack received a phone call and then cold-cocked him in order to escape. Spaulding is frustrated, and wants to go after Jack himself. Buchanan orders Spaulding to take Tony with him to find Jack.
Tony and Spaulding enter Section C, and Jack fires at them. Tony calls out to Jack, who hides. Tony tells Spaulding that he is going to try to bring Jack out on his own, daring Spaulding to shoot him in the back if he tries to stop him. Tony puts his weapon down and approaches. Yet Jack is lying on the ground with a pool of blood at his head. Spaulding checks Jack's pulse and confirms that Jack is dead. Tony accuses Spaulding of killing him without cause. Buchanan, Michelle and Chloe come in and are shocked. Tony lashes out at Spaulding in anger. Buchanan follows Spaulding out.
Michelle gives a syringe of epinephrine to Tony, who injects it into Jack's heart. Chloe comments that Jack really looks dead. When Jack doesn't respond to the shot, Tony panics. He starts pumping furiously at Jack's chest. Suddenly, Jack gasps for air and wakes up. Tony orders Chloe to intercept the local coroner so that they can switch bodies. There won't be an autopsy because the people responsible wanted Jack dead.
Audrey stops Buchanan and wants to know why Jack would be turned over to the Chinese. Buchanan solemnly tells her that Jack tried to escape. Before he can say more, Audrey stops him. She can figure out what happened and she is stunned. A tear falls down her cheek.
Tony drives Michelle in her car out of the CTU parking lot. Jack hides in the backseat. They drop him off near a railroad track. Tony has secured Jack a new identity to get him across the border. Michelle hands him a clean phone with a scramble filter that allows up to one minute of undetected talk. Michelle and Tony are too sad to look at him. Jack gets out of the car with a bag they have prepared, and he thanks them. He shakes Tony's hand and smiles at Michelle.
Jack hides behind some crates and dials Palmer. He thanks him for saving his life. Palmer says that this might be the last time they ever speak. "For all intents and purposes, Jack Bauer is dead," Palmer says solemnly. "Mr. President, it's been an honor," Jack replies.
As the sun rises, Jack puts on a pair of sunglasses and walks along the railroad tracks. He steals away, unnoticed.