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Few cliffhangers have been as shocking as the final moment of 24's
second season, when President Palmer was poisoned and possibly dying,
and in case anyone had missed that the scene is shown again right at
the beginning of this episode, before the caption "Three years later"
informs us that a new, gripping day is about to start.
What has happened in three years? Well, for starters, Palmer is alive, though still recovering from the chemical attack, and is currently back in L.A. for a debate with Senator John Keeler, his rival in the upcoming election. Also worth noticing, he has appointed his brother Wayne (DB Woodside) as his new aide. Things have changed a little at CTU as well: Tony Almeida is now officially the director of the agency, and married to Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth), whom he began dating during the events of Day 2. In addition, KIm Bauer works for them now, a fact that irritates several of her colleagues (Zachary Quinto's Adam Kaufman first and foremost) since the only reason she got the job is her father.
And what about Jack? He has a new partner, Chase Edmunds (James Badge Dale), who's secretly dating Kim, and has recently broken up with Kate Warner (Sarah Wynter) because of what his job does to him. More specifically, he spent a year working undercover to get Mexican drug lord Ramon Salazar (Joaquim De Almeida) behind bars. He succeeded, but now everything he fought for appears to be in jeopardy, as a dead body has been dumped in front of a hospital and tests have revealed it was infected with a deadly virus that, if released, will kill millions of innocent people. And who would be behind this threat? Well, none other than Ramon's brother Hector, obviously.
Following the assassination attempt of Season 1 and the nuclear menace of Season 2, the series gets even more ambitious by throwing a biological attack into the mix, with the addition of a truly worthy villain, played with the right degree of sleaziness by De Almeida. Other new characters, like Chase, Adam or Wayne are equally interesting and well portrayed (Quinto's work is worth contrasting to his performance in Heroes), and the old ones have lost none of the charm that won viewers over in the first place.
Then again, in the end this remains Kiefer Sutherland's show, and the episode's ending indicates his character will probably suffer more than usual in this season.
This is my debut in watching a season of this very popular show. I saw
a couple of episodes of the first season, and thats it. Thus, outside
of Keifer Sutherland's lead character, "Jack Bauer," and Dennis
Haybert's portrayal of U.S. President "David Palmer," I am unfamiliar
with the cast and what's gone on in the past. So, until I figure a few
things out, I will just make some general comments and observations.
First, judging from this episode, I got a real bargain buying this brand new for $14.99. This looks like a very entertaining show. I've always found Joaquin de Almeida an interesting actor and always effect in the villain role, so him playing "Ramon Salazar" seems like a good fit. I know Sutherland is a good actor so anything he does I know is going to be performed well. It appears he's an intense character here. I was glad to see Vanessa Ferlito, too, being a fan of hers since watching CSI: New York - The First Season. She plays a Mexican in here, involved with Hector Salazar, but not really a crook or killer like him.
We get stunning revelations and scenes in this season-opener, such as (1) Salazar stabbing his attorney to death with a pen; (2) a dead body dumped at the door of the National Health Services Building; (3) the knowledge that a Type 3 pneumonic virus, which that dead man had, is a very imminent threat, ready to be unleashed on the city of Los Angeles if Salazar isn't released from prison; (4) - His brother, Hector, is behind all of this; (5) If unleashed, something like a million people in the first week will die; (6) the President is in Los Angeles, scheduled for a debate that evening; (6) Jack has a drug habit.
There's more, too, enough to wear one out....but regular viewers of this show, I assume, are used to that. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three years after an attempt on the president's life he is back in the
city of Los Angeles for a debate in the run up to the next election;
fan's of the show will know that his day will not go as planned and the
people working at the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) are going to be in
for a tough twenty four hours. Protagonist Jack Bauer is back from a
six month undercover operation which netted him Mexican drug lord Ramon
Salazar. Salazar is trying to negotiate for relocation to a more
pleasant prison when in a shocking move he stabs and kills his attorney
with a pen! Meanwhile a body is dumped at a medical facility; it is not
contagious but was infected by a deadly virus; if a living person were
to carry the virus into the population much of the city could be
infected in a very short time span. A phone call to the FBI confirms
that it was sent by people demanding the release of Salazar. If that
wasn't enough for Jack to worry about he isn't looking too well
Viewers are thrown in at the deep end as the action starts almost straight away and no time is wasted explaining who is who for those new to the series or those who haven't watched it in a while and may have forgotten things. Personally I don't think that matters as the slight feeling of confusion as the series opens nicely mirrors that of the protagonists at CTU as they try to establish just what sort of threat they are facing and who they are dealing with. Kiefer Sutherland puts in a fine performance as protagonist Jack Bauer and Joaquim de Almeida is suitably menacing as the villain of the moment Ramon Salazar. This episode set things up nicely and I'm sure viewers are in for quite a ride before the twenty four hours are over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three years have passed since the events of "Day 2." CTU, now led by
Tony Almeida, learns that terrorists are plotting to unleash a deadly
virus in Los Angeles unless a drug lord named Ramon Salazar is released
from prison within six hours. Jack Bauer and his new partner, Chase
Edmunds, happen to be signing a deal with Salazar on the same day.
President David Palmer is running for re-election and is preparing for
an important debate with a rival senator. He is accompanied by his
girlfriend Dr. Anne Packard and his brother and chief of staff Wayne
Palmer. A teenager named Kyle Singer is seen examining a large bag of
white powder which he plans to deliver to some dealers later that day,
but is being secretly watched by Salazar's men. Kim Bauer now works at
CTU and has been dating Chase for three months. Kim wants to tell her
father, but Jack has a mysterious health problem that may make things
In summary,here the events that happened during that hour:
1.A dead body infected with the Cordilla Virus was dropped off at National Health Services. If the virus were to be released, over a million people in Los Angeles would be infected within a week.
2.An anonymous call was placed to CTU demanding the release of Ramon Salazar or they would release the Cordilla Virus in Los Angeles.
3.Jack Bauer had been undercover with the Salazars and suspected Ramon's brother Hector Salazar is responsible for the threat.
4.CTU agent Gael Ortega was working as a mole for Hector Salazar
5.A teenager named Kyle Singer was paid five thousand dollars to bring a bag of cocaine into the United States from Mexico.
6.Kim Bauer wanted to tell her father about her relationship with Chase Edmunds.
7.Jack Bauer is addicted to heroin as a result of his time undercover with the Salazars.
Day 3 starts with a new twist especially when we find Jack as a heroin addict.It looks like the things are more complicated.Also,we find that we are in for another long day in 24.
This is one of my favorite seasons, one which is best described as a
slow burn; and the opener is certainly case in point. There's a real
emphasis on building an ensemble as opposed to this being central to
one main character. Jack gets a sidekick, Palmer now has his brother as
chief adviser, and Kim's an analyst with the other desk jockeys at CTU
who feel like they're one solid group. As villains go, it's the Salazar
brothers, one of whom is the magnetic Joaquim de Almeida, and the other
is an also-ran in the strictest sense.
The odd thing about this is just how much these characters do sitting around desks. The episode's best scene is its closing one, with Jack hurting bad for a heroin fix. I guess when you really need to make the good guy a mess, how about narcotic as an occupational hazard?
The season gets better from here, but it's off to a fairly muted start.
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