24: The Story So Far

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After a four-year absence, Jack Bauer is making a triumphant return to our screens, with an all-new Power Hour. But as you dive back into 24’s world of kidnapping, torture and unnecessary shouting, refresh your memory on all that’s come before with our complete refresher of all eight seasons. Warning: consists entirely of MASSIVE SPOILERS.

24 Season 1

The short version...

Jack Bauer is an agent for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in LA. His daughter Kim – and later his wife Teri – get kidnapped. This is all to set up Jack to frame him for a planned assassination of presidential candidate David Palmer. Turns out a Kosovan warlord is behind the conspiracy: Victor Drazen. He’s trying to get revenge for Jack and his black ops team having killed his wife and daughter two years ago, when they were trying to kill Drazen. Palmer was also involved in authorising the raid. Kim and Teri eventually escape their captors and seem to be safe, although Teri finds out she’s pregnant and briefly gets amnesia. Jack ends up killing Drazen, but a mole at CTU – Nina Myers – kills Teri. Jack is sad.

*The long version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

Aside from episode one (for obvious reasons), each episode in the first season begins with a gruff voiceover from Kiefer Sutherland to the effect of, “Right now, terrorists are planning to assassinate a presidential candidate. My wife and daughter have been kidnapped… and people that I work with may be involved in both. I’m Federal Agent Jack Bauer and today is the longest day of my life.”

Presidential candidate David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) is campaigning hard in Florida. At the same time, a fresh-faced Jack Bauer is sitting at home with his wife Teri (Leslie Hope) and his innocent daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert).

But it turns out Kim has snuck out of her room and headed off to a cool club with her cool friends, complete with crimped hair. But there’s no time for Jack to worry about his daughter’s terrible hairstyle or chronic absenteeism. He gets a call from co-worker Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke) telling him to get back to the office – the Counter Terrorist Unit, or CTU. There, he’s told of the planned assassination of Palmer. Worse still, there are suspicions of some inside involvement within the agency. “For the next 24 hours, I want you all over this,” says his boss. What a convenient amount of time for Jack to be needed.

Meanwhile, a plane blows up. Specifically, a lady with sunglasses (Mia Kirshner) shags a photographer in the toilet, steals his ID card, straps into a parachute and blows it all to hell, before floating away.

Meanwhile, Teri Bauer decides to go out looking for her daughter, accompanied by Alan York (Richard Burgi), who says he thinks his kid Janet may be with Kim. And she is! The two girls party with some lovely young men, who then promptly kidnap them. Kim and Janet escape briefly, before Janet gets hit by a car and Kim is recaptured. But Janet’s not dead!

Teri and Janet’s dad Alan rush off to the hospital where Janet is taken. Meanwhile, Kim’s kidnappers meet with Ira Gaines (Michael Massee), who takes over her abduction.

Jack’s boss gets killed chasing up the mole, but gives Jack a keycard with incriminating evidence. CTU is placed on lockdown by big boss George Mason (Xander Berkeley) and Jack is placed under supervision – but Jack doesn’t care and escapes. He heads off to an address found on the keycard. At the building, he chases after Greg Penticoff (John Hawkes) and once in custody, Greg tells Jack that if he wants to see Kim again, he’ll get him out.

Oh, while all this is going on a reporter is threatening to publish a story that David Palmer’s daughter’s rapist didn’t commit suicide, but was killed by Palmer’s son. This makes David Palmer a bit stressed.

Jack joins Teri and Alan at the hospital, but then gets a call from Ira Gaines telling him to follow instructions or Kim will die. Also, a dead body turns up that’s ID’d as the real Alan! Alan’s not Alan! Run, Teri!

Jack goes rogue and starts to hinder the Palmer investigation in order to save his daughter. But he’s sneaky – when they tell him to kill Nina, he pops a bullet-proof vest on her and just pretends to kill her. Elsewhere, Teri gets kidnapped by fake Alan and joins Kim.

Jack rocks up to a Palmer press event at a power plant (after following instructions from Ira Gaines), in order to frame him for Palmer’s planned assassination, but gets detained by the Secret Service. Then he escapes.

Meanwhile Jamey (a suspected CTU mole) is found dying in CTU by Nina and Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard). She dies. Teri manages to call CTU with a stolen cell phone, so Jack, Nina and Tony try to trace the call to find the kidnappers. Acting CTU Director Alberta Green (Tamara Tunie) decides that Jack’s a fugitive, but Jack – once again – doesn’t care.

Teri kills one of the kidnappers and Jack soon arrives to rescue them. He goes after Ira Gaines, who then gets killed by an unknown assassin. More assassins start arriving.

With Teri and Kim safe back at CTU, Teri has an ultrasound and finds out she’s pregnant. She goes with Kim to a safe house, figures out that Jack and Nina used to be lovers and gets sad. Then more assailants arrive. Teri thinks Kim has died after the car Kim was in falls down a hill and as a result develops amnesia and wanders around aimlessly for an episode. She nearly gets kidnapped again, but is eventually rescued by Tony Almeida and suddenly remembers stuff again. Oh and although Kim isn’t dead, she is kidnapped. Again. Then she escapes. Again.

Meanwhile David Palmer arrives at CTU to see Jack Bauer. He wants to know who the bloody hell this bloke is. Turns out Bauer was in Kosovo two years ago with a team of special ops commandoes to kill Milosevic crony Victor Drazen (Dennis Hopper). The mission was overseen by Senator Palmer.

However, Victor’s still alive (Jack having killed a body double in Kosovo), a secret prisoner in the US and it’s his gang who are behind the current plot. They want Palmer dead and Bauer imprisoned for it, all in the name of revenge. Victor also blames Jack for the accidental deaths of his wife and daughter, hence the kidnappings.

Meanwhile, Jack helps fake David Palmer’s death. Then it turns out the real mole in CTU is Nina and the freed Victor Drazen tells her to tell Jack that Kim is dead even though she’s not. This doesn’t go down terribly well: Jack gets pretty upset, kills Drazen’s son, the guards and Victor himself.

Then Jack finds out that Kim isn’t dead, so figures Nina must be the mole. Nina, meanwhile, erases the evidence of her dirty deeds on the CTU network, but is interrupted by a freshly non-amnesiac Teri, who at first trusts Nina and then realises that she is the mole. Nina kidnaps Teri. Jack gets back to CTU and races to capture Nina, only to discover Teri’s been shot in the chest. Jack holds her in his arms and says he’s sorry.
Also, David Palmer decides to get a divorce from his wife Sherry (Penny Johnson Jerald).

24 Season 2 - David Palmer

The short version...

David Palmer is now President. Jack is called back into CTU to infiltrate a group of terrorists threatening to explode a nuclear weapon. He has a beard, then he shaves. He cuts off a paedophile’s head then reluctantly watches while undercover as terrorists attack CTU and later learns that Nina Myers helped plan the attack. Nina’s brought in, Jack interrogates her, she betrays him, she’s arrested again. Kim encounters a cougar, then gets caught in a cougar trap, then gets kidnapped, then escapes, then gets kidnapped, then escapes. Again. CTU finds the nuke and Jack goes all Batman, flying it out to the desert (since it can’t be disarmed). But then CTU head George Mason – who was earlier a victim of radiation poisoning – turns out to be in the back seat and flies the plane instead. Jack parachutes to safety and then tries to track down those behind the conspiracy. It looks like it’s some countries in the Middle East, but in fact it’s a load of businessmen and the head of the NSA who are responsible. Jack – with the help of President Palmer’s ex-wife Sherry – manages to prove this and the strikes in the Middle East are called off. Then Mandy the assassin (who blew up the plane in season one) shakes Palmer’s hand and he starts going into shock. Maybe he’ll die!

*The really long version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

David Palmer is now President of the USA and LA is under threat of terrorists – apparently called Second Wave – who are planning to explode a nuclear weapon today. Who else can Palmer call but Jack Bauer? He’s got a big beard, a difficult relationship with Kim and his breath probably doesn’t smell too great, but he agrees to come back in.

Jack is asked by the CTU team to become a double agent, infiltrating Second Wave. Their connection is Joseph Wald (Jon Gries), who Bauer went undercover with in the past and ended up putting in jail. Bauer needs to regain his trust. He does so by shooting Marshall Goren (a paedophile who had been granted immunity in return for informing on Wald) straight in the chest, then cutting off Goren’s head with a hacksaw. Then he has a shave. This seems to do the trick. Jack’s accepted by Wald’s crew (Wald is nowhere to be seen) and is roped into helping with his plan: blowing up CTU.

Kim, meanwhile, is working as a nanny. The father, Gary (Billy Burke), is a creep who ogles Kim. However, she hears her boss abusing his wife so she takes action and locks herself and the family’s daughter – Megan (Skye McCole Bartusiak) – in the bathroom. She then drives off with Megan, pursued by creepy Gary. Eventually she decides to call 911.

Unfortunately, Gary has already reported Kim for kidnapping Megan! Kim kidnapping someone else? The irony!
Meanwhile, CTU boss George Mason (still Xander Berkeley) goes to investigate a lead in the bomb plot, finds nuclear material, gets attacked and is exposed to plutonium. He’s given anything between a week and a day to live. Kim takes Megan to CTU, as she feels it’s safe there. CTU is promptly blown up.

Kim takes Megan to hospital, but they accuse her of abusing Megan.

Jack finally catches up with Joseph Wald and tries to convince him to give up the source who enabled Wald to blow up CTU. Wald hands over a dossier, then shoots himself. It turns out Nina Myers was the one who gave the group their crucial info to enable the attack on CTU. Nina is transferred from jail over to CTU for interrogation. She demands a full pardon, which is granted, while Jack demands to be the one who is assigned to deal with her.

Meanwhile, President Palmer and other government officials meet with the ambassador to an unnamed country who say they can help track down Second Wave. Palmer thinks the country may actually be in league with Second Wave. Soon after meeting Palmer, the ambassador dies in a fiery helicopter crash. Oh and Palmer’s ex-wife Sherry rocks up to warn her husband about a growing alliance against him within his own administration.

Kim is notified of the nuclear threat and escapes from the hospital with Megan and her boyfriend, Miguel (Innis Casey). Unfortunately, Kim and Miguel get pulled over for speeding and are promptly accused of murdering Carla (Tracy Middendorf, as Gary’s wife), since it turns out her corpse was in the trunk the whole time.

Back in CTU, Jack drugs another agent so he can interrogate Nina alone. Then Nina and Jack go and get on a plane to find Mamud Faheen (Anthony Azizi), who could lead them to the bomb. They land, Nina goes to talk to Faheen, but then she tries to escape. Jack stops her and takes Nina and Faheen back onto the plane. Unfortunately, Nina kills Faheen and the plane is hit by a surface-to-air missile. It promptly crashes.

Meanwhile, Kim is arrested along with Miguel. Clever old Miguel starts a fire in the police car, which lets Kim escape. She wanders around in the forest, is pursued by a surly cougar, runs away and gets caught in a chain trap. Eventually a not-at-all-creepy man turns up and offers to let her stay at his cabin which, naturally, she agrees to.

Jack survives the plane wreck and resuscitates Nina before they’re both attacked by soldiers. They team up to defeat the soldiers but then Nina betrays Jack and turns her gun on him. She gets President Palmer on the phone and demands that, in return for telling them where the nuclear device is, she will be pardoned in advance for the murder of Jack Bauer. Palmer agrees and they get the address (where someone called Syed Ali (Francesco Quinn) is stationed), but Nina is then taken down by a SWAT team.

It transpires that the soldiers were a Coral Snake team and the order came from NSA director Roger Stanton (Harris Yulin), who is also thought to have caused that helicopter crash that killed the ambassador. Stanton is arrested and tortured, on presidential orders.

Jack gets hold of Syed Ali and has masked men capture and threaten Ali’s family back home. They shoot his oldest son. Ali watches this in horror and reveals the location of the bomb: Norton Airfield. Oh and it turns out Jack had faked the assassination of Ali’s family.

As Stanton is tortured, he reveals to President Palmer that Sherry is involved somehow. Also, it turns out Stanton knew about the nuclear bomb weeks in advance. Palmer confronts Sherry and orders her to leave.

Meanwhile, Kim is at the cabin with the man who saved her, Lonnie McRae (Kevin Dillon). She tells him of the nuclear threat, but he lies and says it’s already gone off, because he’s lonely and wants some company. Eventually, Kim figures out the bomb didn’t really explode and demands that McRae let her go. He does and even gives her a gun to defend herself against any more angry cougars.

At CTU, the increasingly sickly George Mason steps down as CTU director and appoints Tony Almeida as his successor.

Jack goes to the airport, only to find one bomb is a decoy. Then he finds the real bomb. It can’t be defused, so Jack decides to fly it away from the city in true Batman style. He calls Kim to explain and make up with her. It’s all very emotional. But hey! It turns out George is on board the plane for some reason. He’s looking rather worse for wear, but convinces Jack to let him take over the plane and Jack parachutes to the ground. The plane crashes and the bomb explodes.

Kim sees the explosion, thinks her dad is dead and goes to a liquor store to use the pay phone. The store owner, Frank Davies (Brent Sexton) lets her in, but locks the door behind him… Then another guy turns up – Ramon Garcia (Lombardo Boyar). Garcia has seen the explosion and is very worried. He demands to be let into the store and when Davies refuses, he smashes the window. Davies and Garcia fight, before Kim gets her gun out. Garcia grabs the weapon from her and starts doing his shopping. Then the police turn up. Garcia ends up shooting Davies accidentally, then takes Kim as a hostage. Eventually she manages to escape.

After all that nuclear business, the government races to find those responsible. A recording suggests that three Middle Eastern countries are involved and the cabinet is keen to start bombing immediately. Fun fact: one of his officers advising him is General Bowden, played by Dean Norris. President Palmer wants more solid evidence.

But wait! It turns out the recording is a forgery and Jack can prove it. He tracks down Jonathan Wallace (Gregg Henry), executive officer of Coral Snake, who eventually gets shot. Jack sees on an x-ray that the memory chip that could prove that the recording is a forgery is inside Wallace’s chest, for some reason. Jack cuts the bloody chip out of his bloody chest.

Since the chip had a transponder, Jack has it removed. Unfortunately, some heavies turn up and kidnap Jack to find out where the chip’s gone. He is tortured, but doesn’t reveal the chip’s location. He is tortured some more. Then he dies. Then he’s defibrillated back to life! Then they start torturing him again, this time with chemicals. Then he escapes and gets dressed. Oh yes, he was naked. Did we mention that?

Meanwhile, the cabinet vote to relieve Palmer of his position and the Vice President orders the strikes to go ahead. Kim goes back to Gary’s house to get her stuff, an officer in tow, but Gary shows up! He chases her round the house. Kim calls Jack, who tells her to shoot Gary. She shoots Gary.

Jack follows a lead on the chip and when he turns up at the location, Sherry Palmer is there. She is now keen to help Jack and reveals a government conspiracy of some kind. But then she gets stabbed! It’s ok, though, she’s fine. The man who stabbed her is Alex Hewitt (Rick D. Wasserman), who faked the recording. Jack chases after him but Hewitt dies when Jack shoots him in the leg and he suffers a fatal fall. Jack then crashes his car.

Back at CTU, Tony Almeida is fired by Ryan Chappelle (Paul Schulze), the acting big boss. So Tony decides to drug and detain Chappelle so he can carry on helping Jack. This is discovered fairly quickly and Tony gets arrested, along with his colleague Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth). When Chappelle comes to, he reluctantly pardons them in order to track down Jack.

So, the recording is a fake and some evil businessmen are behind it. They want to benefit from high oil prices that would follow an American intervention in the Middle East. (You might not be surprised to learn that this season was broadcast in late 2002 and early 2003…) Jack needs to prove this, so he rigs Sherry Palmer up with a wire and gets her to meet up with evil mastermind Peter Kingsley (Tobin Bell). Sherry meets with Kingsley at a sports arena, with a sniper trained on her. Their conversation manages to incriminate Kingsley and before he can have Sherry shot, Jack saves her. Then his heart acts up and he can’t shoot Kingsley. Fortunately, a CTU helicopter turns up and kills Kingsley anyway. Sherry Palmer is taken into custody.

Just in the nick of time the strikes are aborted, President Palmer gets back in the Presidential seat and fires his Chief of Staff, Mike Novick (Jude Ciccolella), for not being loyal enough.

Everything seems fine, but wouldn’t you know it, Mandy turns up! You know, Mandy? Mia Kirshner? That assassin from season one? The toilet shagger/plane blower upper? Anyway, she shakes hands with President Palmer after his press conference, thereby infecting him with a biological agent that makes him collapse. Will he survive? Find out next time on 24!

24 Season 3

The short version...

David Palmer’s alive and still President and Kim is working for CTU. Jack’s a heroin addict after going undercover with the Salazar brothers, who are drug kingpins. He has a tense relationship with his young partner Chase, who is dating Kim. There’s a biological threat to the country and the terrorists demand that Ramon Salazar (who’s in jail) is returned to his brother Hector. Jack does this and Chase follows him all the way to Mexico. Jack convinces the Salazars he’s on their side but before the exchange of the bioweapons goes down, another buyer turns up, represented by Nina Myers. The Salazars end up dead and it turns out the vials in Mexico are dummies. There are already couriers with vials across the US. Nina is flown back to CTU, tries to escape and is finally killed by Jack. The real enemy turns out to be Stephen Saunders, a former government agent. He has lots of demands, including that they kill Ryan Chappelle, the CTU boss. President Palmer approves and Jack shoots Chappelle in the head. The end of episode countdown is silent out of respect. Senior CTU agent Tony Almeida secretly gives in to more of Saunders’ demands after his wife Michelle gets kidnapped. People find out and Tony gets arrested. Eventually, by threatening Saunders’ daughter, Jack finds out where 10 of the 11 vials of viruses are and Jack and Chase track down the final courier with the last vial. They corner him in a school, where Chase locks the vial (with a timer) onto his wrist. Jack chops off Chase’s hand with an axe and throws the vial in a fridge, where it safely explodes. President Palmer decides not to run for re-election due to scandal and Jack has a good cry.

*The obscenely long, almost never-ending version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

Three years later and Jack is working with his young partner Chase Edmunds (James Badge Dale). They’re about to get Ramon Salazar (Joaquim de Almeida) to sign a deal giving up his terrorist connections in exchange for a lighter sentence. Jack’s spent the last year infiltrating Salazar’s drug ring and has developed a bit of a thing for heroin. Salazar is about to sign, then stabs his own lawyer with the pen.

A body gets dropped off at the National Health Services building. It’s infected with a virus. CTU Gets notified of a possible outbreak. Tony Almeida’s still there and now he’s married to Michelle Dessler. Also, in a shining example of nepotism at work, Kim Bauer now has a job at CTU.

Oh and David Palmer’s alive! Hooray! He has a new Chief of Staff, too: his brother Wayne (D. B. Woodside). More nepotism! Today, the President is preparing for a debate with presidential opponent John Keeler (Geoff Pierson).

Jack and Chase return to CTU and Jack meets his new coordinator: one Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Also, turns out Chase and Kim are having a relationship but Chase doesn’t want to tell Jack. Jack, meanwhile, starts to take some heroin, then decides against it.

The virus strain is identified as the Cordilla virus and everyone gets worried about who is responsible and what they’re planning. CTU gets an anonymous call demanding that Ramon Salazar be released or the virus will be unleashed on Los Angeles. Also, CTU has a double agent in its midst: Gael Ortega (Jesse Borrego), who’s working for Hector Salazar Vincent Laresca).

Kim tells Jack about Chase. He’s not thrilled. CTU figures the virus is in the form of white powder and could be being circulated as cocaine. At the same time, we find out a young teenager – Kyle Singer (Riley Smith) – got paid $5000 to take a bag of cocaine to the US from Mexico. Jack, meanwhile, starts to take some heroin, but is interrupted.

CTU gets wind of Kyle’s cocaine. Meanwhile, Kyle is confronted by his dad, they tussle over his bag of what they think is cocaine and the bag gets slightly ripped. A fan blows the powder in the air…

Back at the prison, Luis Annicon (Carlos Gómez, the prosecuting district attorney) goes to meet Ramon Salazar. Annicon is attacked from behind by the prison guard, whose son has been taken hostage by the Salazars, and Ramon chokes Annicon to death.

Bio-agents come to Kyle’s house, but his mother panics and flushes the bag of drugs. Jack catches her in the act and believes that the virus is now in the sewage system. But no, the tests come back negative. Jack realises that Kyle would have come into contact with the real virus in Mexico: given the 14 hour incubation period, Kyle is the carrier and they have three hours before he develops symptoms. Tony Almeida goes with a CTU team to apprehend him in a mall, but gets shot in the neck by Gomez, a Salazar goon who was tipped off by Gael. Tony is taken into emergency surgery.

Jack calls President Palmer and offers to break Ramon Salazar out of prison, making it look like an authentic prison break and return him to Hector Salazar, thereby averting the virus attack. Palmer tacitly approves. Jack gets Kim to create a prisoner transfer document for Ramon and heads to the prison, but Chase arrives first. Chase beats up Ramon, before Jack shows up and knocks him out.

Then he breaks Ramon out of jail and starts a huge prison riot. It’s all very dramatic. Chase comes to and runs after Jack. Along with a SWAT team, he corners Jack, who says he has to deliver Ramon straightaway to Hector. Jack gets in a chopper (pursued by other choppers), heading for Ramon’s private jet.

Meanwhile, Kim learns that Jack lied to her, while Kyle Singer tries to kill himself in hopes of destroying the virus. He fails and is brought in by CTU agents. CTU then try and alert Jack that there’s no need to hand Ramon back to Hector now that Kyle is contained, but they can’t reach him. Kim also discovers that Gael is a double-agent.

Jack is knocked unconscious and bundled on board the jet, flying down to Mexico with Ramon, who tries to kill him on the plane. Jack turns the tables, keeps Ramon hostage and delivers him to Hector. Hector is convinced that Jack has definitely switched sides and isn’t working for CTU. Ramon’s not happy about this. Jack reconnects with his old drug dealing buddies, especially Claudia (Vanessa Ferlito as Hector’s wife) – he had promised to take her away from her husband.

Chase finds out where Hector Salazar is in Mexico and catches a flight there himself. When he arrives, he finds Jack working with the Salazars and attacks Jack. In the process, Jack’s watch (with homing beacon) is destroyed. However, Claudia reveals to Chase that Jack was planning on getting the virus away from the Salazars and that she was going to help him if her family could be saved from Hector. Chase then gets captured by the Salazars and is tortured.

It this point, another buyer for the virus turns up to rival the Salazars: Nina bloody Myers. She’s representing an unknown client. Michael Amador (Greg Ellis), the seller of the virus, holds an auction between Nina and the Salazars and she outbids them by $15 million. The Salazars are going to kill Jack, then decide not to.

While tied up, Chase gets tortured lots. Hector shoots him in his hand. Then Eduardo, a goon, pours gasoline onto it. Then Claudia shows up and rescues Chase, who decides to use a hot poker to cauterize his shot hand. They escape together and are caught in a gunfight with Hector and his guards. Claudia gets shot in the head.

Meanwhile, Michael Amador calls Nina and they arrange to meet up so he can give her the virus. But Jack and the Salazars kidnap Nina, forcing her to agree to give the virus to them after the pickup. Nina convinces Hector that Jack is still a CTU agent, but Ramon is so desperate to get hold of the virus that he kills Hector when his brother gets cold feet about the whole thing.

Nina picks up the virus and hands it over to Ramon, who then tries to shoot Jack. However, CTU’s Delta Force arrives in the nick of time. So does Chase, who shoots Ramon. He escapes, wounded and with the virus in tow. Jack and Chase corner Ramon, who agrees to hand over the vial – but it explodes in his hand. This kills him, but also reveals that this wasn’t the real Cordilla virus. Amador was scamming them the whole time! Jack and Chase go after Nina instead.

They capture Nina, who tells them about one of the couriers of the virus: Marcus Alvers (Lothaire Bluteau). They fly her back to CTU, where she tries to escape. She’s stopped and tortured, but she moves while being injected causing the needle to hit an artery. She then escapes the medical ward, but is cornered by Kim. Jack arrives and kills Nina.

Michelle tracks down Alvers, the courier, but things go wrong and the virus still starts to get out into a hotel ventilation system. Oh dear. Still, Gael Ortega gets infected, so it’s not all bad. Michelle asks Tony to let her distribute suicide capsules to all the staff and guests in the quarantined hotel. This is approved. Meanwhile, Michael Amador delivers the virus to his actual boss, Stephen Saunders (Paul Blackthorne).

Ok, so the real big bad is Saunders, a former government agent. He blackmails President Palmer into following his wishes. His first demand is that CTU boss Ryan Chappelle is killed. Palmer reluctantly agrees and Jack takes Chappelle to a dockyard and shoots him in the head. It’s terribly emotional.

The next demand is for Palmer to provide Saunders with a list of all the foreign operatives employed by the US. Wayne Palmer considers this treason and tells his brother so.

Meanwhile someone manages to escape the hotel, infected with the virus. President Palmer gets nervous and Saunders threatens to release more of the virus. However, Tony finds out that Saunders has a daughter and Jack decides to use her as leverage. To do so, they kidnap Jane (Alexandra Lydon, the daughter) and pop Kim Bauer in a wig, so she can pretend to be Jane. Chase isn’t happy about this. She heads to the local library. While there, she’s caught by one of Saunders’ men and she shoots him. Now Saunders knows they have Jane…

Jack tracks down Saunders, but Saunders contacts Tony to reveal he has, in turn, kidnapped Michelle. Tony agrees to divert his SWAT team in exchange for Michelle. Jack finds out and they have a big argument and Jack takes over as Director of CTU. Tony goes rogue and grabs Jane from CTU in order to return her to Saunders and get Michelle back. Jack and the rest of CTU find out what Tony’s doing and arrive to find the trade taking place.
There’s a big gunfight and Jack chases after Saunders. Saunders runs to get into a helicopter, but two massive planes arrive and blow it up. Still with us? Good.

Saunders refuses to tell Jack where the eleven unaccounted vials of viruses are. Jack threatens to put Jane into the infected hotel (he’s nice like that) and he eventually tells Jack that all the vials have GPS trackers. He gives Jack the code, which shows up 10 of the 11. Saunders claims not to know why the 11th is not showing up, or where it is.

Tony is arrested for his actions and told the best he can hope for is 20 years. Harsh!

Chase and Jack track the courier of the last virus down to a subway station. The courier escapes and makes it to a local school. Jack and Chase give, er, chase and follow him. Chase encounters the courier and fights with him and then clamps the vial of virus to his arm with a bracelet device to stop the courier escaping with it. The courier arms the device, but is then killed by Jack. Jack tries to defuse the timer, but can’t, so he chops Chase’s hand off with an axe then throws the device in a fridge, where it goes off and only infects the food.

Oh, we forgot to mention: President Palmer’s involved in a big scandal throughout the day. One of Palmer’s big backers, Alan Milliken (Albert Hall), finds out that Wayne Palmer has been having an affair with Julia Milliken (Gina Torres). David Palmer asks Sherry (his ex-wife) to deal with Alan Milliken, which she does by denying him his medication. The President’s opponent, John Keeler, uses this as leverage. Finally, Julia Milliken kills Sherry Palmer in revenge, then shoots herself. After all that, David Palmer makes the understandable decision not to seek re-election.

Jack then gets into his car and has a good cry. Then CTU gives him a call asking him to come and interrogate one of the other couriers they’ve caught and he drives off to do some torturing.

24 Season 4

The short version...

Jack is working for Secretary of Defense James Heller and going out with Heller’s daughter, Audrey Raines. They all go to CTU (who had fired Jack for that whole heroin addiction thing), where Jack gets dragged into figuring out a new terrorist plot. The bad terrorist this time around is Habib Marwan (Arnold Vosloo), who tries to kill Secretary Heller (whom Jack rescues), blow up nuclear plants, kill the president by shooting down Air Force One and set off a nuclear missile. None of these things work and Jack eventually loses his patience and nearly captures Marwan, before Marwan makes the sneaky move of throwing himself off a multi-story car park to avoid interrogation. However, it’s all a bit of a conspiracy and the Chinese are involved. Jack breaks into the Chinese embassy to get hold of a suspect, which makes him persona non grata. With the help of Tony Almeida, Michelle and Chloe O’Brian (rapidly becoming his go-to girl), Jack fakes his own death.

*The mercifully slimmed down long(ish) version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

For the sake of your continued sanity we’ll try to pick things up a bit. 18 months after Day 3 Jack works as head of security for the Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane) – CTU wouldn’t tolerate his heroin addiction, apparently. He’s also dating Heller’s daughter, Audrey Raines (Kim Raver).

Jack gets wind of a train bombing that morning and is coincidentally in CTU with Secretary Heller. He’s desperate to uncover the plot and asks CTU boss Erin Driscoll (Alberta Watson) to reinstate him. He interrogates a suspect they’ve brought in, mainly by shooting him in the leg, which seems to work. The suspect says that they were planning on targeting Secretary Heller and Audrey Raines. Secretary Heller and Audrey Raines are promptly kidnapped.

Essentially, there’s a big bad terrorist called Habib Marwan (Arnold Vosloo), who’s keen to attack the US somehow. The setup involves the Araz family, which isn’t important except to say that Mrs Araz (Shohreh Aghdashloo) spends many of the episodes bellowing “Behrooooooooooz!” incoherently at her son Behrooz (Jonathan Ahdout). Anyway, Marwan initially tries to kidnap and execute Secretary Heller on live TV. Then when that doesn’t work, he tries to send all the nuclear power plants in America into forced meltdown. Then when that doesn’t work, he tries to steal a stealth fighter and shoots down Air Force One. Then when that doesn’t work, he tries to obtain the nuclear football. Then when that doesn’t work, he tries to steal and launch a nuclear missile. Eventually, Jack corners Marwan at the top of a multi-storey car park, but Marwan slices Jack's hand, forcing Jack to let go of Marwan, who falls to his death.

In fairness, it’s not all plain sailing. Air Force One does get blown up, but President Keeler survives. Vice-President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin, the spitting image of Nixon, which should be a tell) is forced to take over and asks old mucker David Palmer to help him. The nuclear football is also successfully obtained from the wreckage of Air Force One and the terrorists do launch a nuclear missile, but it gets shot out of the sky.

The whole thing turns out to be a big conspiracy involving the Chinese, and Jack even breaks into the Chinese embassy to get hold of a suspect. When the suspect is shot, Jack forces medics to save the suspect’s life rather than that of Audrey’s estranged husband. Audrey doesn’t like this. Moreover, the Chinese really don’t like the fact that Jack invaded their embassy. The US government suggests that Jack could be killed to smooth things over.
Jack fakes his own death (with a little help from Tony and Michelle and of course Chloe) and heads off into the sunset.

24 Season 5

The short version...

Weasely, sweaty, Nixon lookalike Charles Logan is President and is about to sign a treaty with Russia. Former President David Palmer gets assassinated, as does Michelle. Tony Almeida nearly dies and Jack realises that he’s being framed as the assassin and that Chloe will be next. He saves her but then has to deal with a plot to steal nerve gas by Russian separatists. However, it turns out that the whole plot has been masterminded by people within the administration. Tony Almeida winds up getting killed and Jack finds out that President Logan is involved in the conspiracy. Jack manages to get evidence that incriminates the President, who is arrested at David Palmer’s funeral. Audrey Raines turns up and reconciles with Jack, but then Jack is kidnapped by the Chinese.

*The still sensibly-sized long version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

Jack Bauer is working on an oil refinery, because he’s a real man. That same day, President Charles Logan is about to sign an anti-terrorism treaty with the Russian President. But – shock! – former prez David Palmer gets assassinated in his hotel! Jack is framed for the murder and the same assassins want to implicate him in the planned murders of Tony, Michelle and Chloe (what with them helping fake Jack’s death at the end of the last season). Michelle gets killed, Tony gets injured, but Jack saves Chloe.

Jack heads to an airport for more information, but it’s promptly attacked by Russian separatists who take hostages in order to stop the treaty being signed. In fact, this is all a diversion to steal nerve gas. Jack is hot on their tail when he finds out that an ex-CIA guy James Nathanson (Geraint Wyn Davies) and current Chief of Staff Walt Cummings (John Allen Nelson) are involved. The plan is to release the nerve gas in Russia, which will allow them to invoke the military clauses of the treaty, thereby allowing the President to consolidate America’s energy interests in the region. Palmer was assassinated because he knew about all this and was planning to expose it.

However, the gas gets released at a mall and unsuccessfully at a hospital. Jack captures a former co-worker, Christopher Henderson (Peter Weller!), about it, who tries to kill Jack, so Jack brings him into CTU and tortures him. Lead terrorist Vladimir Bierko (Julian Sands!) arrives with friends and releases nerve gas and everyone gets quarantined in various safe rooms. Some CTU staff die, including lovable Edgar Stiles (Louis Lombardi). Chloe is upset.

Oh and Kim Bauer is brought into CTU just prior to this and finds out that Jack’s alive after all. She’s none too happy about the whole fake-death thing, but they eventually reconcile.

Once the nerve gas is cleared, Jack finds that Henderson has killed fan fave Tony Almeida and escaped. Together with Homeland Security, CTU tracks down the remaining nerve gas canisters to Wilshire Gas Co, where Jack incinerates the pipes, thereby stopping it from being released. With the help of Wayne Palmer, Jack realises that this thing goes all the way to the top: President Charles Logan is responsible!

Jack chases people and evidence until he makes it onto a plane – he gets hold of a crucial recording that incriminates President Logan by taking one of the pilots hostage. The President nervously demands that the plane is shot down, citing terrorism fears, but his cabinet gets suspicious about this. Bauer lands the plane with the recording in hand and takes it to CTU, where it is promptly destroyed by a double agent.

Bierko had been caught, but he escapes with one last canister of nerve gas. He uses it to hijack a Russian submarine, complete with 12 common-or-garden missiles. Jack makes a deal with Christopher Henderson (who is now in custody) to help take down Bierko, which they do together. Jack then kills Henderson.

Then Jack manages to get a listening bug planted on the President, which provides all the evidence they need. Logan is arrested. Hooray! And Audrey Raines turns up and kisses Jack! Yay! But then Jack is captured by angry Chinese agents, after his misdeeds in season four. Boo!

24 Season 6

The short version...

Jack is released in a deal negotiated by President Wayne Palmer (David’s brother) with the Chinese, but is then handed over to terrorist Abu Fayed, who has been threatening to explode nuclear suitcases around LA. Jack escapes, but one of the suitcases is set off, killing thousands of people. Turns out the conspiracy goes deeper: the Chinese are involved and want Russian nuclear codes. Also involved are Jack’s father Phillip and his brother Graem (whom Jack interrogates and Phillip ends up killing). Eventually they all go to an oil rig with Jack’s nephew Joseph, but Jack manages to rescue Joseph and kill a Chinese official, before an airstrike kills his dad. Afterwards, Secretary Heller convinces Jack to let Audrey go, since he’s put her in danger too much. Jack agrees and is lonely.

*The getting slightly longer again version... [Hit me with it!*](#)

After almost two years being tortured in a Chinese prison, Jack Bauer is released back to the US – and he’s got his big shaggy season two beard back! Unfortunately, he’s handed straight over to evil terrorist Abu Fayed (Adoni Maropis), in order to prevent Fayed from detonating five nuclear suitcases across Los Angeles. He just can’t catch a break, that guy.

Then again, the administration is desperate because for the past 11 weeks the US has been rocked by repeated terrorist attacks. President Wayne Palmer (that’s right! Wayne’s the new David!) has negotiated Jack’s release from China, only to ask him to give himself up to Abu Fayed. The government believes that Fayed intends to give up Hamri Al-Assad (Alexander Siddig), the orchestrator of the attacks, but Jack soon realises that Fayed himself is the mastermind and that Assad actually wants to stop the attacks. Jack teams up with Assad and together they stop a suicide bomber on a subway train. Specifically, Jack kicks him out of the window.

CTU agent Curtis Manning (Roger Cross) doesn’t care and holds Assad at gunpoint, due to their past history: Assad and his fighters had killed some of Curtis’ team during Desert Storm. Jack is forced to kill Curtis and then can’t handle what he’s done. He does a sick.

No time for that though! The first nuclear suitcase actually explodes over a California town. Jack watches and can’t quite believe what’s happened. Then he decides to sort this shit out. He finds out that both his dad (Phillip – played by none other than James Cromwell) and his brother Graem (Paul McCrane) are involved in this terrorism. He chases after the terrorists, with the help of his nephew and sister-in-law, Josh (Evan Ellingson) and Marilyn Bauer (Rena Sofer). The gang’s all here! Except that Jack violently interrogates his brother Graem, and Phillip then kills Graem with an overdose to ensure he won't give anything away.

Jack ropes in former President Logan to help him find a Russian general, Dmitri Gredenko (Rade Šerbed