Just as President Logan is about to sign a new arms treaty with Russia, an assassin targets the only four people who know Jack Bauer is still alive; and he's forced to return to Los Angeles.
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As Chloe helps Jack sneak into Palmer’s apartment to look for clues, the CTU figures out he’s still alive; and Martha continues to insist that Palmer was trying to contact her about a matter of national security.
As the CTU sets up to storm the airport, the terrorists begin killing hostages; Jack scrambles to save Derek, who’s been selected as the next to die; and Martha searches for a transcript of Palmer’s phone call.
While delivering the trigger chip to Erwich’s men, Jack is kidnapped and forced to help release some of the nerve gas at a shopping mall; and Martha is determined to tell the public about Cummings’ misconduct.
As Ostroff prepares to attack the motorcade, Logan learns Martha’s in the limousine but decides not to intervene; Audrey engineers Lynn’s removal from control of the CTU; and Jack falls into a trap at Omicron.
Martha struggles with her feelings after realizing Logan didn’t try to save her; Jack goes to Christopher Henderson’s home, looking for clues; and the CTU rushes to head off a nerve-gas release at a large hospital.
As Homeland Security takes over the CTU, Jack and Wayne Palmer go after Christopher Henderson, who has kidnapped the young daughter of Martha Logan’s assistant; and Audrey signs away her own integrity to help Chloe keep her job.
Having secured President Logan’s incriminating tape, Jack delivers it to Secretary Heller; shockingly Heller turns on Jack, and in the process endangers Audrey; Jack must choose between her life and the vital recording.
Chloe is secretly helped by an unexpected source at CTU while Jack, trapped on a plane bound for Germany, franticly searches for the tape recording; to protect his presidency, Logan must give his most desperate order yet.
To avoid being shot down by presidential order, Jack forces an emergency landing on an LA freeway; with the incriminating recording delivered to CTU, Logan prepares to take his own life...until Miles offers him an alternative solution.
With the help of Henderson and a young officer, Jack takes out the terrorists and aborts the missile launch with seconds to spare; Henderson pays for his crimes; and Jack decides he’ll get a confession from the president, no matter what it takes.