Season 1 Episode 12
"Here and Now"
Charlie quits the CIA to keep her promise to Payton, while Victor Gantry threatens to disclose a secret that could bring the president to her knees.
A wild and beautiful deserted road, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, three years ago. Nick and Charlie are far from home and hiking off to his mountain hut - where he's never brought anyone before. An intimate kiss brings Charlie back to the present, as she gets ready for a difficult night at work... where for the first time ever, security is so tight, she's locked out of the ops center. Inside, the team is watching an aerial view of the Ar Rissalah compound in the Philippine jungle. Once they have confirmation, Jack Dawkins JSOC team will move in for a surgical strike on Fatah and Hakam in no less than two hours. The only trouble is there's a typhoon on the move in the region, which could put the kibosh on the strike. Charlie's fraught with worry over getting Nick out of there alive when he calls to confirm Hakam has arrived, and they have a six-hour window until he leaves. Both Nick and Charlie know his life is on the line - despite her promises to get him out. The only thing working in their favor is the need for precise proof of death on Hakam and Fatah. But Charlie knows she needs to come up with another plan, or POTUS will call in an air strike - potentially creating an international incident - and surely killing Nick.
Over at The Krieg Group, Nick is stunned when Emily pulls up the very same satellite view displayed on the CIA's monitors on her computer. Clearly, TKG is keeping tabs on Bellerophon in real time. When Kurt mentions the stack of international laws they're bending, Gantry pulls him off the op, warning him to evolve or die. Kurt's new assignment: he needs to use his "special access" to gain human intel that doesn't come from a satellite. When Kurt packs up to leave, he gets an eyeful of Emily's monitor - and the typhoon rolling into the Philippines. In the situation room, President Payton is just learning about the storm, which is due to make landfall in 45 minutes. When she calls Dawkins to check in, he's all gung ho to pilot his Blackhawk into the fray, which former pilot Payton knows is wildly dangerous. Charlie calls, so the Payton patches her in, to hear the CIA's opinion: the op is too dangerous to proceed. Furious, Payton orders Dawkins to stand down, while across D.C., a testy Senator Burke contemplates the photo of Charlie, Nick and Fatah. He picks up his phone and dials, springing a leak.
Charlie gets off the phone to desperate to come up with an alternate plan, hoping the storm will keep Fatah and Hakam in place for another three hours. Just then, word comes in that Payton has ordered the air strike. Moreover, she has no intention of postponing her scheduled speaking engagement at the Correspondents' Dinner in less than an hour. There's no way in hell she's going to jeopardize Bellerophon! DD Banks has DP called out of the situation room to inquire as to what's really going on, in hopes of learning the White House's position on Nick's fate. There's no love lost here, and when DD smells that Nick's sacrifice is a distinct possibility, the interview is done. At the same time, Charlie busts into the situation room, asking to speak to Payton privately. When Payton refuses, Charlie point blank tells her she can't send in the F-18s: they'll lose proof of death, could spark an international incident, etc. Eyes narrowing, the president instantly figures Charlie is trying to protect Nick. For Payton, one man on the ground isn't worth jeopardizing the mission... which Charlie reminds her is about one man, her son Aaron. Nevertheless, Payton insists the mission isn't about just one man, it's about all of them. She stood down before when it came to Hakam and Fathah, and she'll be damned if she's going to do it again. Does Charlie stand with her? Yes, she does.
Charlie flashes back to three years ago, when the mountaintop idyll she shared with NIck started to crumble. Charlie knows they can't stay there, but Nick thinks otherwise. They can work Kabul, she'll run Fatah, all from the mountains. But they can't keep the world out. Even a convenience store at the end of the earth has a TV, which is broadcasting a report on a recent Hakam bombing. For Nick, it's just another day, just another mission; all they have is here and now. But for Charlie, Hakam is the mission. She swore to eliminate the threat to her country, and that's what she's going to do. For Charlie in the present, the memory is bittersweet and pregnant with irony. In a panic, she calls Jack Dawkins, begging him to help her figure a way to get Nick out of the jungle before the bombs hit. But they both know there's nothing they can do without risking the mission.
Armed with the very expensive high tech spy toys working for TKG affords him, Kurt sneaks into a home and breaks into a safe to steal a top-secret CIA file. It's only once he's out the door that we realize the house belongs to Raymond Navarro. Back at the White House, the Correspondents' Dinner is kicking off with cocktails. Burke gets cozy with Jules Lambert, who plans on airing the photo of Charlie, Nick and Fatah later that evening. DD takes note of the meeting, and makes his disdain known when he bumps into Senator Burke in the men's room. With only three minutes until the bombs hit, DP calls the president out of the situation room - it's time to make her speech. Once she's out the door, Charlie notices a change on the infrared: the terrorists are heading into tunnels, likely constructed by the Japanese, circa WW II. Charlie knows it's time to abort the mission, since there's no one left to kill. The big question is - who told the terrorists the bombs were coming?
At the dinner, Burke approaches the president to demand whether she's aware of Charlie's relationship with Fatah. When Payton feigns ignorance, Burke lets it be known that her secret is out. At the same time, Mo calls Charlie with the bad news: the photo of Charlie, Nick and Fatah is live on WGN's home page. While Charlie spins out of control in front of the joint chiefs, Mo asks repeatedly, "What do we do?" Charlie answers, "We kill Hakam." But Hakam, Fatah and Nick are safe in the tunnels. Bleeding from his knife wound, Fatah pushes Hakam ahead, then inexplicably says to Nick, "Only to begin anew." He forges ahead, leaving a walkie-talkie where Nick will be sure to see it. Back in D.C., Kurt zips through the empty streets with the purloined CIA file in his passenger seat. Suddenly an SUV pushes him into a high-speed pursuit, backing him into an alley with no escape. Moments later, Syd abducts Kurt at gunpoint.
With no options, Mo asks Lucas to turn up their radio scanners. She's just telling Charlie that nothing's happening, when the scanners pick up a transmission from Nick, telling her to track his signal to paint the targets. Fully aware Nick is sacrificing himself to take out Fatah and Hakam, Charlie patches in Langley as Nick tells her, "It's okay." With tears streaming down her face, Charlie nods to the president, who authorizes the Secretary of Defense to call in the strike. It all spends Charlie spinning into the past, to the letter she left Nick when she abandoned their relationship in favor of her job, and the perceived responsibility to protect her country. In the situation room, the president and joint chiefs watch the bombs hit their mark. On the way out, Charlie tells Payton, "You said this would make killers out of both of us. You were right."
Moments later, Charlie joins Payton, DP and DD in the Oval Office to discuss Burke's leak to WGN. DP wants to spin the photo, but Payton wants to tell the truth. Yes, they recruited Fatah. He helped them destroy Hakam, the most wanted man on earth. Fatah, Nick and Charlie are heroes. On that note, Charlie leaves without a word, showing up shortly afterwards at the safe house where Syd is holding Kurt at gunpoint. Dismissing Syd and taking his gun, an emotional Charlie lays into Kurt for shadowing Bellerophon for TKG. It was The Krieg Group that warned Hakam's men they were coming - how the hell did they pull that off? Kurt is a traitor and Nick is dead because of him! Nick insists Navarro sent him to infiltrate TKG - he's still CIA. In fact, he just broke into Navarro's safe to get proof of his innocence. He's been trying to warn her all day: TKG was protecting Fatah, not trying to kill him. And why does she think there's only one photo of Hakam? Finally, Charlie puts it all together: Hakam doesn't exist. Fatah is the real leader of Ar Rissalah, and he's been playing her the whole time...