24 Season Three
Written By: Joel Surnow and Michael Loceff
Directed By: Jon Cassar
So far this season of 24 really has a different kind of vibe going for it. Not worse per say, just different. The soap opera elements that were kind of downplayed in the second season have resurfaced with a vengeance this season. I mean think about it, we have three ongoing love stories being play out right now: Kim and Chase, David Palmer and Ann, & Tony and Michelle. And for all we know, we haven’t seen the last of Jack and Kate just yet either. Oh, and then there’s Hector Salazar and his little seniorita, but that’s not quite love is it? One of the results of this love fest seems to be the downplaying of the high octane action that has always been a hallmark of this show. Although this episode did have a nice little drug house shootout. Since it is the first couple of episodes this season, it’s hard to tell if this will be the general tone of the entire season, or simply a pre-amble to the tension filled episodes that have defined 24 in the past.
Jack of course is still struggling with kicking his heroin habit. Keifer does a remarkably good job portraying the strained desire and inner weakness that an addiction of this sort can inflict upon anyone. Chase is the only one who knows what’s really going on, and Jack insists that it remains that way. He is not willing to go on record with this drug addiction and receive the clinical help that he might not need.
Kim is still trying to let her father know what’s going on between her and Chase, and finally she confronts him in his office and lets him know what’s going on. Jack is somewhat stunned by the bombshell, and doesn’t quite know how to respond to Kim. But in the face of this imminent terrorist threat he doesn’t really have the time to either. CTU comes up with a lead on the whereabouts of the dealer whom the coke/virus will be going too, which prompts Jack and Chase to go out into the field and bring him down.
David Palmer is getting ready for his debate with the Senator, who ends up being played by Geoffrey Pierson. Now while the man has had many roles in his lifetime, I think I’ll always remember him talking to tattered bunny rabbit voiced by Bobcat Goldweith. So seeing him as a respected politician was somewhat jarring.
Wayne Palmer is making plans to try and get a copy of the senator’s prep for the debate, but his brother refuses to accept it. Friction is obviously brewing between the brothers Palmer, and David implies that
The threat that now exists in the hands of clueless teenager named Kyle Singer. His family is in a bad way financially, and the teenage kid stupidly agreed to smuggle a bag of cocaine into the country for 10K. Of course that bag is not cocaine at all, but the virus which early estimates predict will kill over nine million people in LA should it get loose. And if the virus should spread from there, the results could be utterly catastrophic. Kyle’s mother becomes suspicious of her son though when he pays the rent to the landlord, because there was no way he should have been able to come up with the $1800.
Hector Salazar is having domestic trouble of his own, as his girlfriend and father are arguing over her life. The father believes that Liz is whoring herself out, and Liz is upset that her father has became a puppet for Hector. At this point it seems kind of obvious that one of these two will end up tipping off the CTU to Hector’s whereabouts. Now it’s just a matter of time to see which one betrays Hector first.
Hector’s brother Ramon has problem’s of his own. Locked down in solitary, the DA is desperate to know what’s going on. However when Ramon threatens the DA’s wife and children should he be freed, DA snaps and starts attacking Ramon.
Jack and Chase are on their way to visit the drug dealer when Chase tries to talk to Jack about his relationship with Kim. Jack points out that he got Kim a desk job at the CTU for the express reason of keeping his daughter safe. And dating a field agent is the last thing in the world that will accomplish that. Jack then brings up the fate of Teri and the fact that Kim was almost killed by the Drazen’s as well, all because of Jack’s work as a field agent. There is no way that Chase can have this career and a successful relationship of any sort. And with those words it becomes apparent why Jack broke up with Kate Warner. Chase tries to argue this, but Jack simply dismisses him as they arrive at the drug den.
The police have sectioned the place off, letting Jack and Chase be the only one’s who enter. As they make their way through a multitude of crack whores and addicts, the two find themselves confronted by a bouncer. Pity the bouncer. Quickly dismantling the guy, he manages to shout out a warning to Zach, the drug dealer they were looking for. A shoot ensues, but the outcome is hardly ever in doubt. Jack drops Zach with a shot in the leg, and after a healthy dose of torture Zach is willing to tell Jack and Chase whatever they want to know.
Jack finds out about Kyle then, and quickly pieces things together. He lets the CTU know about his findings and then goes to try and intercept the kid before the virus is accidentally let loose. He also dismisses Chase, pointing out that if the man wants to date Kim, then Jack has to stop putting him in danger. Chase can’t have it both ways. Though he’s indignant about it, Chase is forced to obey Jack and goes back to the CTU with Zach.
In the interim, David Palmer is taking some time out with his doctor/girlfriend Ann when his brother calls for him. David finds out that
Finally we settle down on Hector’s mysterious partner, a man who has been keeping track of Kyle and other scenario’s in a room full of television and computers. The person gets off the phone with Hector and leaves the room, revealing him to actually be a CTU agent.
At this point, the CTU really does have a long and dangerous history of plants. Between Jaime, Nina, and this new guy the government really has to learn to screen its agents just a little bit better.
Besides the slightly more soap opera dynamics, or perhaps because of them, the tempo of this season is noticeably more casual. Before every episode sought to keep on raising the levels of tension and danger until the viewer was sitting on the edge of their lazy boy in anticipation of what was coming.
Now the show has more languid kind of pacing, slowly building itself up and gaining speed. This year 24 didn’t hit the ground, but next week looks like the point where the show will finally find its stride once more.
7 out of 10