Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

It's the immediate aftermath of a hostile nuclear detonation in the United States, and what are the country's leaders doing to take control of the situation? They're standing around in the Oval Office watching the news, of course. Over a live feed of the big gray mushroom cloud hanging in an otherwise blue sky, an anchor speechifies about the unthinkable. A square mile of Valencia has been obliterated (you suppose it was the square mile that Spawn lived in?), but the "good" news is that the wind appears to be blowing north, away from the more heavily populated areas. Everyone north of Valencia is like, "Hey!" Wayne shuts off the tube and asks for initial casualty estimates. Tom thinks at least 12,000. That's kind of a lot. Karen comes in at this point to say that she just got off the phone with her husband (although she insists on referring to him as "Bill Buchanan at CTU," like they haven't been on the phone with him pretty much constantly all morning), who says they've just learned that there are four more suitcase nukes in the country and nobody has any idea where they are. The music gets all serious and resolved as Wayne calls for a meeting with the Joint Chiefs and confirms that all civilian air traffic has been grounded. Wayne's Secret Service detail enters, and the agent in charge -- I'm sorry to report that it's not Aaron, who has direct, specific experience in protecting Wayne, after all -- says that they're moving Wayne down to the bunker. I expect Wayne to put on a big production about how he doesn't want to appear afraid, but he quickly agrees. In the process, he deputizes one more speaking role on his staff, saying he wants to make a live televised speech within the hour. Presumably, he's the one who's going to have to write the thing. Everyone heads out, down the hallway, and into the elevator.

Okay, so maybe the people at the very top are entitled to a little tube watching at a moment like this, as long as the people on the front lines, like those at CTU, are all humming with activity. But no, they're all still standing around slack-jawed, still glued to the TVs even as Wayne is already moving. Buchanan enters, and I expect him to fire everyone in sight, but right now he just wants to know about his field teams. They're all dead, of course. Damn, that's gotta hurt. Hiring, training, equipping, and deploying a whole new army of tactical agents is probably going to take hours. After a shocked pause, Buchanan tells Morris to try and find out if Fayed was inside the blast radius. Morris is all over it. What's he going to do, go check the mushroom cloud for DNA?

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