20 months have passed since the events of Day Five. For the past 11 weeks, the U.S. has been under siege by a series of terrorist bombings, with Muslim extremists as the prime suspects. L.A. joins the list of casualties when a bus is bombed in a suicide attack. President Wayne Palmer is torn when he receives conflicting advice from his top advisors. Tom Lennox suggests that the government begin rounding up all Islamic-Americans for detention, but NSA Director Karen Hayes argues that it's too drastic a step in finding the terrorists.CTU Director Bill Buchanan and Curtis Manning meet with Chinese diplomats, who have agreed to release Jack Bauer from custody. Jack is ragged and dirty and hasn't spoken for 20 months. Bill informs him that they've been contacted by a terrorist, Abu Fayed, who can lead them to the man behind the attacks, but he wants to take revenge on Jack for the hug of his brother in return. Jack meagerly accepts his fate, relieved that his death will have meaning.An average family comes to the aid of an Islamic boy when his father is arrested by the FBI, but it soon becomes clear that the boy may be more involved with the terrorists than they realize. Chloe and Morris O'Brian attempt to intervene on Jack's behalf, but their efforts may jeopardize the deal between CTU and Fayed. Jack is turned over to Fayed. Fayed begins to torture Jack, but Jack finds the will to fight for his life when he learns that his death may be in vain.
Jack tries to locate Assad in hopes of warning him about the impending air strike. Assad agrees to help Jack locate Fayed, but Jack worries that he's forgotten how to do his job. Ahmed finds he must take drastic action when his role in the attacks is discovered. President Palmer's sister, Sandra, goes a long way to defend her principles when she finds herself and her civil rights organization to be a target in an FBI investigation.
Assad uses clever tactics to manipulate Fayed's agent into leading them to the place where Fayed may be hiding. Ahmed uses Ray's family as leverage to force him to deliver a mysterious package. Fayed contacts Wayne with a demand, while Sandra bucks the FBI's authority. Jack becomes concerned when Curtis begins to display hostility toward Assad.
Ray uses the component to bargain for his family's freedom, but Ahmed only grants half his wish. Chloe moderates an argument between Morris and Milo, while Walid overhears information in the detention center that may be of use to CTU. Wayne agrees to pardon Assad in the face of his efforts to aid Jack; a gesture that does not sit well with an enraged Curtis. Jack follows a lead given to the police by Jillian, but his information comes too late to stop Fayed from launching another deadly strike.
Wayne prepares to talk to the nation as L.A. deals with the fall-out from the nuclear blast. Fayed tries to set up a deal with a new trigger man who can help with the four remaining bombs. Sandra is outraged when the FBI forces Walid to wear a wire in the hopes of gaining information from his fellow inmates. Assad provides CTU with a lead, but Jack finds that it takes a personal twist when he learns that the terrorists may have connections to his estranged family.
As the nightmarish morning ticks toward what appears to be another long afternoon for Jack, the untimely and surprising faces of his family surface. Meanwhile the country reels from the threatening situation and additional terror attacks. Savvy politico Reed Pollack and Thomas Lennox strategize while President Wayne Palmer attempts to sort out a sticky situation.
Jack's family loyalties are put to the test as Graem reveals his full involvement in the terrorist activities. Wayne convenes a meeting of his cabinet to discuss Lennox's drastic policies, while Sandra tends to an injured Walid. Morris receives some bad news about a relative, and McCarthy sets a trap designed to capture the man who can help Fayed build a new trigger for the nukes.
Jack tries to trace Morris's location, while Fayed uses harsh tactics to gain his cooperation. Lennox contemplates his resignation in the face of Wayne's rebuke, but Reed suggests an extreme course of action that may result in a change in leadership. Wayne meets with Assad and pressures him to publicly renounce terrorism.
In this special two-hour event, the nation continues to reel from the terrorist attacks and Agent Bauer battles unthinkable circumstances. Additionally, savvy politico Reed Pollock and Vice President Noah Daniel's become increasingly involved while Gredenko and Fayed maneuver the threat.
Marilyn tells Jack the truth about his father's involvement in the day's conspiracy. Jack uses her in an attempt to get to Phillip. Chloe covers for Morris when he turns to an old vice after reaching the breaking point, while Milo finds himself over his head in fieldwork. Lennox takes a hard stand as Reed's deadly plan to shift presidential control moves forward.
As a presidential press conference nears, President Palmer calls a staff meeting and unites two unlikely and influential people. Meanwhile, savvy politicos Tom Lennox and Reed Pollock encounter yet another tense situation as CTU copes with an unexpected weakness. A surprising development has Jack Bauer dealing with a familiar foe.
Vice-President Daniels assumes office in the wake of Wayne's injury and makes plans to implement his extreme security agenda. Lennox names the co-conspirators in the attack, but finds himself under Daniels' thumb. Meanwhile, Karen moves to insert herself back in her former job. Jack and Logan pay a visit to the Russian consulate, but Jack takes drastic action when Logan fails to learn Gredenko's location.
While Jack evades Russian security guards, Buchanan assigns a new agent, Mike Doyle, to raid the Russian consulate to capture Markov and rescue Jack.Logan calls on his estranged ex-wife in the hopes that she can help to defuse the brewing crisis between the U.S. and Russia.Gredenko prepares to strike at another target. Meanwhile, Daniels gives a Middle Eastern ambassador a strong ultimatum in order to gain his cooperation in the hunt for the remaining nukes.
Jack learns a devastating piece of news about Audrey upon his return to CTU.As a desperate Gredenko launches his strike, CTU learns that their systems have been compromised by a mole who is obstructing their efforts to find the drone.Karen finds a possible ally in Lennox as Daniels proceeds on his extreme course that will pit the U.S. against the Middle East.
The nuclear threat has unexpected consequences while the investigation into the remaining nukes accelerates. As terrorists Gredenko and Fayed discuss their strategies, the Administration copes with the worsening situation during the ongoing power shifts. CTU commands newcomer Mike Doyle and Jack Bauer on an intense field operation as the clock continues to race.
When Jack relays critical information involving Russian terrorist mastermind Gredenko, CTU must respond immediately. Meanwhile, Vice President Noah Daniels challenges the Administration throughout an intense strategy and policy conference inside the Presidential bunker. As the clock continues to tick on the intensifying day, this hour takes the terror threat and investigation into unforeseen directions and locations as well as a shocking development in the final minute.
Wayne continues to risk his health as he takes a stand that will force cooperation from the Middle East.Jack realizes he won't be able to break Fayed, so he and Doyle concoct a scheme to force Fayed to lead them to the location of the remaining nukes. But Fayed's ally engages in trickery that places the plan in jeopardy.
Cheng offers to exchange the nuclear component for Audrey's life. Jack gains Chloe's covert cooperation, but their plans are dashed when Morris stumbles on to the operation.Wayne gives Daniels an unpleasant ultimatum, but his fragile health soon tips the balance in the vice-president's favor.
Developments involving Jack Bauer and Agent Mike Doyle have CTU operatives and analysts scrambling to gain control of an intense situation. Vice President Daniels prepares to address the country while presidential advisor Tom Lennox participates in a personnel decision that will shake things up.
Nadia approves an interrogation technique that might prove fatal to Audrey. Doyle covertly aids Jack in the hopes that he can save her from further mental trauma.Daniels discovers that he may have a leak in his administration when he is confronted by the angry Russian president.Chloe and Morris's relationship hits the rocks, while Heller delivers Jack a stern warning.
Jack is held in custody at CTU, while Cheng prepares to launch a surprise attack.Lennox uses Lisa as a plant to send a false message to the Russians in hopes of defusing a tense situation.Morris' decision to end his relationship with Chloe begins taking its toll on her as they struggle to maintain professionalism, and Josh shows signs of guilt over the role his father played in the day's terrorist attacks.
Jack runs a desperate tactic to free the CTU hostages from their captors. He manages to intercept Cheng, who plans to deliver Josh to his grandfather in exchange for the circuit board. Jack is forced to allow Cheng to escape in order to save Josh's life.Lennox continues to monitor Lisa as she plants evidence for Mark to deliver to the Russians. The situation takes a nasty turn when all does not go according to plan. Meanwhile, Daniels tries to run a bluff on the Russian president, but finds he's playing a bad hand.Nadia finds herself facing a hostile investigation over the security breach, while a decision from Daniels pits Doyle against Jack.
Doyle takes Josh to meet Phillip in the hopes of retrieving the circuit board, but his conscience bothers him over the exchange.Karen puts her career on the line when she uses Bill to help break Jack from custody. Jack and Bill track Phillip, but not before he pulls a fast move that reaps serious injury to Doyle.Nadia has a conversation with Milo's brother, while Chloe suffers from a mysterious medical problem that strikes her at the wrong moment.
CTU discovers where Philip is hiding and Daniels orders an air strike in a desperate move to appease the Russians. Jack and Bill go after Josh alone before the bombers find their target.Lennox persuades Daniels to grant leniency for Bill and Karen. In the wake of the close call, Daniels begins to question his choices as acting president.Chloe gives Morris some surprising news that alters their relationship, while Marilyn is reunited with Josh at CTU.