In Astana City, Kazakhstan, Mac and Jack drag a hooded man toward a helicopter on a rooftop. As the pilot waits, the prisoner--war criminal Victor Henley--struggles with Jack and Mac, and Riley warns them that security is on their way. Mac wraps victor up in a tarp and fastens it with their belts, and they get him into the helicopter. The pilot, Cynthia, takes off just as the security men arrive and open fire.
Once the team is in the air, Jack takes a selfie of himself and Victor and sends it to Riley for confirmation. Wilt says that it's not a bad way to meet a new boss, and Riley finally tells them that Oversight is sending Matilda Webber to replace Patricia. Jack knows of her as "Matty the Hun" and is less than thrilled. He explains that Matty ran covert ops with Jack, and Wilt points out that Patricia hired him and Riley and now her decisions are under review.
Victor's men fire a surface-to-air missile at the helicopter. Cynthia takes evasive action but a second one comes in. She dives for the ground and pulls up at the last minute. The first missile swings around and Cynthia can't break the lock. Mac cuts up some silver foil to make chaff and tosses it outside. The missile explodes but too close, and the helicopter spirals down and crashes.
When Mac wakes up, Jack is trying to get an injured Cynthia out of the helicopter. They rig a lever using a broken helicopter blade and get her clear, and Jack warns that the shooters will be heading their way. As Mac checks Cynthia's leg and discovers that it's fractured, Jack goes to check the area. Looking around, Mac finds a stick and some tarp and rigs a splint to stabilize the injury. Cynthia says that they're just north of the Kazakhstan border, and they're transponder is damaged beyond repair so no one knows where they are. Mac finds Victor's empty handcuffs and figures that he's alive.
The Phoenix technicians are trying to get a fix on the crash location when two agents, Briggs and Qassim, arrive. Briggs figures that the ground cover is hiding the debris and the team put out the fires to keep Victor's men from finding them. However, there are hundreds of miles of hostile territory, but Riley doesn't care how long it takes to find them.
Mac filters water through tree roots to keep Cynthia hydrated. Jack confirms that the radio is out, and the survival kit is scattered for miles. Cynthia's sat phone is in a backpack in a creek, and Mac puts it in a water bottle to use a vacuum to suck up the moisture. He warns that it will take a few hours, and Jack says that he lost his gun in the crash. Mac finds a blood trail and Cynthia wants to go after him, but the men point out that she's not in good shape. The pilot insists and the agents have no choice but to agree, figuring that it's better than waiting. Mac rigs a crutch out of a helicopter runner and a seat cushion, and they head out.
Wilt checks in with Riley bringing her coffee, who has assigned a recon satellite over the area. He says that he doesn't know how Riley remains calm, and feels completely useless. Riley assures him that he's helping keep her alert so she'll be ready when Mac sends a signal.
The trio continues through the forest and Cynthia talks about how she has been a pilot since high school, and married a pilot. Mac says that he told Jack to tell Sara how he really felt, but Jack insists that it would have been bad luck. Cynthia agrees with Mac and Jack figures that he eventually he would have ruined things. He's also not thrilled that he wasn't chosen to run Phoenix, and would have appreciated it if they had at least considered him.
Riley finds the crash site and scans the area for heat sources. The site is cold and she figures that they walked away. They start making some calls.
The trio follows the blood trail until it ends. Mac finds a bullet casing and figures that Victor used the gunpowder to cauterize his wound. An ATV drives by and Cynthia reports that it fires the type of missile that shot them down. Mac checks the sat phone but it isn't dry enough yet. He says that they could swap in freshly baked wood in to speed up the process, but it would lead Victor's men to them. Mac checks Cynthia and she says that she feels fine. Jack has taken AMOS and says that he can track Victor, and they head off. Jack leads the team downhill and spots some tracks that show he's sliding around, and then privately asks Mac if Cynthia is impressed with his tracking skills. Mac reminds him that she's married.
Wilt tells Riley that the CIA is coordinating with a local military base and sending a helicopter to recon the area. Riley spots a storm heading for them.
The three helicopters head for the area.
Jack continues tracking Victor and they hear the search helicopters. Mac runs to clear ground and tries to signal using the sunlight on his knife. Victor arrives and opens fire on him, forcing him to take cover. Jack runs up and says that Cynthia isn't doing well. They go back and find her convulsing from hypothermia, Mac figures that they have to build a fire even though it will attract Victor's men.
Mac gets a fire going using the battery from the sat phone to generate a spark using tree sap as an accelerant. Cynthia recovers but Mac warns Jack that she needs more time. He tells Jack that he's going after Victor on his own, while Jack stands guard in case the ATV comes back. Mac points out that Victor used his non-dominant hand and figures that Victor broke out his right hand. If he takes out Victor's left hand then he has a chance.
To cheer Riley up, Wilt tells her about how when he and Mac went camping with Mac's grandfather. The grandfather didn't let wilt take any supplies with them, and Mac helped him frighten off a bear. His plan worked, and Wilt assures Riley that Mac could survive the crash if anyone did.
As the storm moves in, Jack counts the lightning and confirms how far away it is. The storm is moving away from them for the moment, and Cynthia asks what they'll do if Mac doesn't come back. Jack insists that he'll come back.
Mac gets ahead of Victor and uses vines to pull down rock sand distract victor long enough to knock him down. He then gags Victor and drags him back, and confirms that the sat phone is dry. He tries to call out on it but the battery is shorted out from when he started the fire. The ATV pulls up nearby and Jack confirms that Victor only has two rounds left. Mac hears the lightning and gets an idea, but warns that it will kill them all if it doesn't work.
Filling the water bottle from a stream, Mac rigs up a lightning rod so that they can use the lightning to charge the sat phone. He puts salt from ground up roots in the water, seals the bottle, and wraps the handcuffs around it as a wire. However, Mac has to take the bottle into the storm to get the charge. Jack agrees to come with him and tells Cynthia to keep an eye on Victor.
The two men move to the center of the storm and Mac finds a clearing where they need to drop it. Jack insists on going with Mac. As they prepare to leave the bottle off, Mac apologizes for Jack not getting the job. They run and a lightning bolt hits the bottle, deafening them as they jump clear. They then go back to get the bottle.
Back at the site, Mac says that he has to cut up her flight suit. She agrees and Mac cuts off a piece of cloth, and then uses the wiring inside to collect the positive and negative terminals of the jar to the sat phone. Once the sat phone is charged up, he transmits GPS coordinates as Victor's men move in.
At Phoenix, a signal comes in and they realize that it's Mac. Riley sends the coordinates to the search team.
The trio is unable to move because the helicopters will arrive there. As the ATV drives up, the helicopters open fire and drive it off. As they wait, Jack says that he's better off in the field and Mac says that he's glad that Jack will continue watching his back.
Late back at Phoenix, Jack and Mac meet with Riley and Wilt. Wilt hugs Mac, and Cynthia limps in on crutches. She jokes about Mac's lightning trick, and Wilt says that he and Riley had their own bonding moment as well but doesn't provide details. Cynthia thanks Mac and Jack for saving her life, just as her husband Scott comes in and they hug.
The team goes to the director's office to meet with Matty. Jack paces nervously and Mac just chuckles. However, Jack says that Matty is the reason he left the CIA, but insists that she didn't fire him. Wilt wants details. The diminutive Matty comes in, tells Mac to get his feet on the floor, and points out that Jack is just getting gray hairs. She then assures him that he's joking, tells Mac to put down the paperclips, and warns them that everything Jack said about her is all true. Matty then says that they have a situation in Kuwait and asks if they're ready to have some fun.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 14, 2017