This third season of 24 was the weakest season of the show, that being said, it is still in the upper echelon of scripted television. This year started out strong, quickly establishing our primaries, good and bad, and giving the story a direction. The series quickly took a downturn, meandering around with dull subplots, generally spinning its wheels as the writers didn’t seem to be sure where to go. Then towards the last third of the season, the primary plot came back into focus and the action sped up towards last nights conclusion.
Saunders is in custody, Sherry is dead, all seems to be about to clean up nice and tidy. Of course things can’t go as planned, the majority of the show is spent tracking down the last vial of the virus. During this early portion, we lose Saunders as he is shot down in CTU. We get the exciting car chase and school search to find this final courier. President Palmer learns of the death of his ex-wife. In the end Jack saves the day, but at a price.
The episode was paced well, not giving us much time to catch out breath. The were some big problems with the finale too, but I will be forgiving of most depending on how the next season goes. Jack’s heroin problem seems to have been forgotten about, we don’t get much more of the President after he learns of Sherry’s demise. Anyway, the show itself was focused primarily on stopping the spread of the virus, which is where it should, you can only do so much in an hour! I can only assume, that had the writers determined a direction earlier, it could have played out a bit better.
It’s going to be a long summer considering that the Jack Bauer Power Hour won’t be returning until January of ’05. We’ll be sure to have plenty of time to rewatch this season and nit pick it some more once the DVD’s hit the shelves.