Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Air Force One has suffered an indirect hit and goes down "hard and fast" over the Nevada desert. While CTU is trying to determine whether or not President Keeler survived, Mike Novick (Jude Ciccolella, last seen in season two) advises Vice President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) to prepare to be sworn in as president. Keeler is found alive, but badly wounded. Buchanan (James Morrison), sensing hostility from Tony (Carlos Bernard), tells Tony that, much to his chagrin, his relationship with Michelle (Reiko Aylesworth) has always remained professional. Audrey (Kim Raver) explains that the "nuclear football" went down with the plane, and that Heller wants Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) to retrieve it. They also discuss Paul's unstable medical condition. While Jack flies out to the desert, a young couple on a camping trip, Jason (T.J. Thyne, the infamous Todd from Ghost World) and Kelly (Claudette Mink), find the football, and contact the police, who put them in touch with Jack. Jack tells them to wait for him to arrive, but when Jason notices headlights approaching in the distance, Jack realizes that someone else has the transponder frequency for the football, and has Jason and Kelly disable the transponder and escape to a location where he'll connect with them. Unfortunately, Marwan (Arnold Vosloo) gets there first, putting the couple in grave danger, and the country's entire nuclear arsenal at risk.