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Season 1 of 24 began in November of 2001 on the Fox Network. It was created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, who were also executive producers along with Brian Grazer, Tom Krantz, Howard Gordon and Stephen Hopkins.

Fox initially ordered half a season of the show to try it out. The successful rescue at the end of the first half of the season was planned as a series finale in case the show was not picked up for the rest of the season.

24: Season One was released on DVD in North America on September 17, 2002.

Season Overview

The first season (2001–2002) revolves around an assassination attempt on Senator David Palmer, an African American candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, on the day of the California primary election. The central character is Jack Bauer, a former Delta Force operator who is the Special Agent in Charge of the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles. CTU and Jack lead the investigation on the Palmer threat, and Jack becomes personally involved when his wife, Teri, and daughter, Kim, are kidnapped by the people behind the assassination attempt.

The season, like others, is essentially divided into three acts:

1. In the first act, a mercenary group tries to force Jack Bauer to kill Senator Palmer by kidnapping his wife and daughter. Jack works to rescue his family and keep Senator Palmer out of harm's way.

2. A second wave of assassins are discovered, as CTU tracks their activity, Jack learns why he and the Senator are being targeted.

3. The final act reveals the true mastermind of the days events and he initiates his contingency plan to eliminate Jack and the Senator.

Major subplots

  • A mole at CTU Los Angeles is sabotaging efforts to stop the assassination.
  • Political scandals, centered around Senator Palmer's son, who is accused of killing his sister's rapist in the past, threaten to erupt.
  • The members of the Bauer family are struggling to rebuild relationships after Jack and Teri's separation.
  • Romantic conflicts between Jack's girlfriend while he and Teri were separated, Agent Nina Myers, and her new boyfriend, Agent Tony Almeida.
  • A member of Senator Palmer's staff is unknowingly involved with the terrorists trying to bring down Palmer.
  • Jack's personal conflict to choose between helping his family and protecting Senator Palmer.
  • Sherry Palmer only cares about seeing herself in the White House, and will allow nothing to get in her way.

Summary

CTU Los Angeles learns of a potential assassination attempt aimed at Senator David Palmer. As Jack and CTU investigate the threat, Jack's daughter Kim runs away but ends up being held against her will when the guys she's with kidnap her under orders from Ira Gaines. Jack's wife searches for Kim and later becomes kidnapped too. Gaines uses Teri and Kim in an effort to force Jack to assassinate Senator Palmer and take the fall for his death. Jack eventually finds and rescues his wife and daughter and takes down Gaines' terrorist cell in the process. He learns about a second group of terrorists that hired the first cell. The second cell is led by the men who are ultimately responsible for the day's events: Andre Drazen and Alexis Drazen.

The Drazen's motives are revealed after we discover that years prior to this day, Jack Bauer was sent as part of a classified team to Kosovo on the orders of a secret Congressional panel headed by David Palmer to kill their father, Victor Drazen. In order to keep the operation totally secret, the panel never met nor knew the team of operatives, and vice versa, meaning David Palmer and Jack never knew about each other's involvement. The Drazens found out about both David Palmer's and Jack's role in their father's death and sought revenge on both of them. Because Jack was thought to be the only surviving member of the special ops team, he was targeted to carry out the assassination plot. The Drazens hoped that by the end of the day, Senator Palmer would be dead, Jack would be imprisoned for the assassination, and Jack's family would be killed.

While following up on a lead in the investigation, Jack discovers that Victor Drazen is actually alive and being held in a top secret underground holding facility under classified security. The Drazens' ultimate goal is to free Victor Drazen and kill Senator Palmer and Jack and his family. They storm the holding facility and free their father, capturing Jack in the process. They also abduct Kim again and use her for leverage to force Jack to contact Senator Palmer in person and have their famliy assets unfrozen. After a cell phone rigged to explode detonates in Senator Palmer's hotel suite, Senator Palmer goes along with a story that he was killed in the blast in order to fool the Drazens and save Kim. Andre Drazen tells Kim that his mother and sister were killed by Jack years earlier, but Kim does not believe him. She formulates a plan to escape, and when a guard allows her to get a cup of coffee, she scalds him and runs outside. She's being held at the Port of Los Angeles, and hides on the docks. Jack confesses to CTU that Senator Palmer's death was faked, and a mole inside CTU calls the Drazens to tell them that Senator Palmer is still alive. Victor Drazen knows that Jack is coming to trade himself for Kim, but fears that Jack won't show himself he sees Kim. Drazen instructs his mole at CTU to lie to Jack and tell him that the Coast Guard found Kim's body in the harbor. Jack is devastated when he hears the news, and the Drazens wait for him to show up and avenge Kim's death.

When Jack arrives at the harbor, he charges the dock and kills everyone. After a backup team arrived, including members of the Coast Guard, Jack requested that he be allowed to claim his Kim's body. The Coast Guard informs Bauer that they found no body that night. Jack realizes that someone at CTU was working for the Drazens, and that the mole is the person who told him Kim had died. He calls the Director of CTU and tells him to order a lockdown.

Meanwhile, at CTU, the mole was preparing for exfiltration by erasing all of her incriminating information. Teri Bauer, who was at CTU waiting for Kim and Jack to return, stumbled upon the mole and was tied up to prevent her from hindering the escape. Jack returned to CTU and caught the mole in the parking garage, then went inside to be with his family. He discovered a dead security guard in a hallway and started a panicked search for Teri. He found Teri hidden in an IT room, tied to a chair and facing the wall. He spun her chair around and saw that she had been shot in the stomach. He untied her and checked for a pulse, but she was dead. Jack held her in his arms and cried as the final clock ticked to 12:00am.

Although it is not clear what year the series is set in, some fans have assumed it is for the 2004 election and therefore, the date would be Tuesday, March 2nd 2004. However this is incorrect, since, during Season 1, Jack Bauer explicitly said that he took part in a covert operation against Milošević's government two years before. Since Milošević was ousted from office four years before 2004, Season 1 could not have taken place at that time.

The season has a dramatic and unexpected ending: the death of Teri Bauer. Many fans were dismayed by this sudden plot twist, while others applauded 24's genre-defying willingness to kill major characters with little warning. The producers also filmed an alternate ending in which Teri, Kim, and Jack are reunited, and another in which Teri is shot, but survives. However, they eventually decided to go with the death of Teri Bauer as the climax of season one. The first alternate ending is available on the Season 1 DVD boxed set, although it is noticeably less dramatic than the eventual ending that was aired.

Main Cast

Episodes

Picture Time Episode Number Production Code Original Airdate
150px 12:00am-1:00am 1 1AFF79 November 6, 2001
Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim sneaks out of the house to go out with friends. As Bauer and his wife, Teri try to figure out how to find Kim, Jack is called in for a meeting at CTU Los Angeles in response to a threat on Senator David Palmer's life. Bauer discovers that there may be a mole inside the CTU, and Senator Palmer gets a disturbing phone call.
150px 1:00am-2:00am 2 1AFF01 November 13, 2001
Jack's plans to find his daughter, Kim, are sidetracked when he gets a call from Richard Walsh, who is being stalked by assassins connected with the David Palmer hit. Mandy passes the ID card on to Ira Gaines. Kim realizes that she and Janet York may be in danger, while Teri Bauer and Alan York search for them.
S1e03f1 2:00am-3:00am 3 1AFF02 November 20, 2001
The files on Walsh's key card finger Nina as a dirty agent, but she has an alibi. Gaines has Mandy's girlfriend Bridgit shot when Bridgit tries to extort more money for the ID card. Kim and Janet escape, but Janet is hit by a car and left for dead while Kim is recaptured.
S1e04f1 3:00am-4:00am 4 1AFF03 November 27, 2001
Jack follows a lead from Walsh's card, while Jamey and Nina run interference with George Mason. Kim is handed off to Ira Gaines. Janet is taken to the hospital, with Teri and Alan following.
S1e05f1 4:00am-5:00am 5 1AFF04 December 11, 2001
Palmer meets with Maureen Kingsley, who explains that she has two separate sources accusing Keith Palmer of murdering his sister's rapist. Kim and Rick are taken to Ira Gaines' compound. Jack finds an unidentified body connected to Gaines in the trunk of a car. Alan and Teri watch as Janet flatlines in surgery.
150px 5:00am-6:00am 6 1AFF05 December 18, 2001
Jack and Teri are briefly reunited at the hospital, where Jack warns the doctors not to let anyone near Janet. Ira Gaines contacts Jack and tells him that he has kidnapped Kim and Jack must follow his orders. Teri leaves with Alan to continue searching for Kim. Palmer discovers that his entire family has been keeping secrets from him, but he needs them if he is to come clean before Kingsley breaks the story herself. Jamey helps identify the body from the car, and Nina calls Teri to tell her it was Alan York.
S1e07f1 6:00am-7:00am 7 1AFF06 January 8, 2002
On Gaines' orders, Jack replaces the key card Milo was working on with a fake and takes Nina out to a cliffside to shoot her, but not before giving her a flak jacket. Teri escapes from NotAlan (actually Kevin Carroll) long enough to be captured by more of Gaines' goons. Nina wakes up and walks off.
S1e08f1 7:00am-8:00am 8 1AFF07 January 15, 2002
Nina and Tony realize that Jamey is working for Gaines and lock her up in the Internal Technical Support room. Using instructions and equipment from Gaines, Jack gets in to see David Palmer's apperance at the San Clarita power plant, but is taken into custody by the Secret Service. Gaines begins Plan B.
S1e09f1 8:00am-9:00am 9 1AFF08 January 22, 2002
Sherry convinces Maureen Kingsley not to run her story by promising an exclusive on the assassination attempt. Jack breaks out of custody. Eli tries to rape Kim, but Teri offers herself instead. Jamey is found with her wrists slashed.
S1e10f1 9:00am-10:00am 10 1AFF09 February 5, 2002
Jamey dies in the hospital. Teri gets ahold of a cell phone and calls Jack, giving him clues to her whereabouts. An Acting Director, Alberta Green, arrives at CTU and declares Jack a fugitive. Jack follows a lead from Jamey's computer to Ted Cofell.
S1e11f1 10:00am-11:00am 11 1AFF10 February 12, 2002
Cofell has a heart attack and dies, but Jack extracts Kim and Teri's location from Kevin Carroll. Concerned about the possibility of another mole, Nina and Tony agree not to tell Alberta Green anything. When Eli comes to kill them on orders from Andre Drazen, Teri wrestles his gun away and shoots him. She fires a second shot to suggest a second death and she and Kim hide Eli's body.
S1e12f7 11:00am-12:00pm 12 1AFF11 February 19, 2002
Jack Bauer makes it onto Ira Gaines camp, but Gaines is on to him and starts attacking him and his family. David Palmer tries to talk Dr. George Ferragamo, but discovers that Carl Webb has been there before him. Alberta Green tries to turn Nina and Tony against one another.
S1e13f6 12:00pm-1:00pm 13 1AFF12 February 26, 2002
Jack Bauer has a final confrontation with Ira Gaines, David Palmer plans to talk to the D.A. about Dr. George Ferragamo's murder, Carl Webb changes his mind. At CTU Nina Myers discovers that a second assassin has arrived in LA, which means that Palmer's life is still in danger.
S1e14f5 1:00pm-2:00pm 14 1AFF13 March 5, 2002
Jack Bauer is returned to CTU, but can't stay with his family because Alberta Green places him under arrest. Green wants Tony Almeida to make a power play. Nina Myers escorts Kim Bauer and Teri Bauer to a hospital, but comes across evidence they may still be targets. David Palmer discovers a link between himself and Bauer, and decides to take matters into his own hands.
S1e15f1 2:00pm-3:00pm 15 1AFF14 March 12, 2002
Jack and Palmer finally meet face to face and learn of their connection through Operation Nightfall. They work together to track down those who are seeking revenge on them. Teri and Nina have a revealing conversation about Jack at the safehouse.
S1e16f1 3:00pm-4:00pm 16 1AFF15 March 19, 2002
Keith takes matters into his own hands when he arranges a secret meeting with Carl. Elizabeth Nash realizes who Alexis Drazen really is and immediately comes forward. The safehouse is attacked, but Teri and Kim manage to escape. They are then separated by an unforseen accident.
S1e17f1 4:00pm-5:00pm 17 1AFF16 March 26, 2002
Teri is struck with amnesia and must turn to an old friend for help. Kim goes to Rick's house in hopes of finding a lead. Jack sets Elizabeth up for a sting against Alexis, and she takes the opportunity to stab him.
S1e18f1 5:00pm-6:00pm 18 1AFF17 April 2, 2002
Palmer and Sherry clash over the handling of the evidence against Carl. Kim finds herself in a sticky situation with Dan's brother. Jack poses as Alexis and meets with a stranger who has vital information, but an agent with a grudge from Jack's past picks a bad time to get even. Teri and Dr. Phil return to the Bauer home, putting themselves in further danger.
S1e19f1 6:00pm-7:00pm 19 1AFF18 April 9, 2002
Jack and Mason investigate the area where the power was to be turned off. Nina tries to warn Jack about his family's disappearance, but Mason hampers her efforts. Teri explores her home in hopes of regaining her memory as Drazen's man closes in for the kill. Kim finds herself in the middle of a botched drug deal, while Palmer breaks the story about Keith to the press.
S1e20f1 7:00pm-8:00pm 20 1AFF19 April 16, 2002
Kim lands in jail when the cops don't believe her story. Jack stumbles onto a secret detention center. He arrives just in time to bluff Andre and his men out of freeing a prisoner who is being transferred in. Jack confronts the prisoner and discovers that it is Victor Drazen. Before Jack can learn any more, Andre and his soldiers make another run on the prison.
S1e21f1 8:00pm-9:00pm 21 1AFF20 April 23, 2002
David Palmer wins the primary, taking not only California, but all eleven states. Kim is released from prison when Melanie tells the truth, but is recaptured by henchmen of the Drazens. Jack and DeSalvo are ambushed by Andre's men, and Victor explains the connection between himself and Jack. Jack offers Alexis Drazen in exchange for his freedom. Victor and Jack escape the facility just before CTU enters.
S1e22f3 9:00pm-10:00pm 22 1AFF21 May 7, 2002
Ryan Chappelle refuses to trade Alexis for Jack, so Nina calls in a favor from David Palmer, who promises George Mason a promotion if he makes the trade. Sherry Palmer enlists campaign worker Patty Brooks to spy on her husband and sleep with him if necessary. The Drazens take Alexis but destroy the homing device CTU planted on him. Jack is released, but Kim is still a captive.
S1e23f3 10:00pm-11:00pm 23 1AFF22 May 14, 2002
Alexis Drazen dies. David Palmer fires Patty for conspiring with Sherry against him. Victor Drazen attemps to kill Palmer with an exploding cell phone, but Jack saves him just before the explosion and decides to cover up his survival for the moment. Unknown to Jack, Kim escapes from the Drazens. Andre Drazen takes a call from his source inside CTU, who tells him that CTU has faked Palmer's death. The source is Nina Myers.
S1e24f1 11:00pm-12:00am 24 1AFF23 May 21, 2002
David Palmer tells Sherry he wants a divorce. Conspiring with the Drazens, Nina tells Jack that Kim is dead. Jack kills Victor for revenge, and CTU helicopters chase down the remaining Drazens. After learning that Kim is alive, Jack warns Mason that Nina must be the mole. Nina is captured, but she has already killed Teri.


Previous season:
First episode:
12:00am-1:00am
Next season:
Season 2
Previous day:
Vanishing Point
Timeline:
Day 1
Next day:
The House Special Subcommittee's Findings at CTU
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