Season 2 debuted on November 29, 2002 on the Fox Network. The season was produced by Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran, Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer and Kiefer Sutherland. The season was more more plot based than the previous season, which was more character based.
The second season (2002–2003) takes place a year and a half after Season 1, and follows the work of now-President David Palmer and agent Jack Bauer to stop terrorists from detonating a nuclear weapon in Los Angeles. Introduced into the situation is Kate Warner, a woman who ends up getting vital information related to CTU's mission.
Like the first season, this season can also be essentially broken into three acts:
1. The first act involves CTU attempting to find a Middle Eastern terrorist cell who are planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles.
2. In the shortest act, the leader of the terrorist cell is found and Jack must force them to reveal the whereabouts of the bomb, and stop its detonation.
3. In the final act, Jack, Kate, and CTU try to prevent a misdirected retaliatory strike from the U.S. by exposing the real masterminds who let the terrorists acquire the bomb.
- Kim is on the run, having rescued a child from her abusive father
- Kate Warner suspects that her sister's Middle Eastern fiancé is a terrorist
- President Palmer faces traitors in his own cabinet, who attempt to remove him from power to advance their own agenda
- George Mason, Special Agent in Charge of CTU, is dying of radiation exposure
- Jack's personal anguish: worried about Kim; develops a heart condition after being tortured by terrorists
- CTU is blown up with C4 to divert resources away from the bomb and to cripple their ability to stop the bomb
The season starts and ends at: 8:00am (LA time); the action begins in Seoul, South Korea (midnight, Seoul time).
The first fifteen hours deal with finding and disposing of the nuclear bomb. After the bomb is disposed of safely, the story focuses on the United States' retaliation against the people responsible for constructing it. A recorded conversation between a terrorist involved with the bomb and high-ranking officials of three Middle Eastern countries (which are never specified) is used to implicate those countries in the plot. However, Palmer is reluctant to order military action against them until he has absolute proof that the recording is genuine. Several members of his Cabinet then vote to relieve Palmer of his position under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, believing his hesitation to be a sign of indecision and weakness. The Vice-President then orders military strikes against the three countries to continue.
Jack, Michelle and Tony race to find the evidence that the recording is a forgery, and they eventually discover that a group of American businessmen fabricated it in order to wage war with the Middle East so that they could benefit from rocketing oil prices that would result. The strikes are called off and Palmer is reinstated as President after the proof is produced, thanks largely to his ex-wife Sherry Palmer (who risks her life). The seven cabinet members and Vice President James Prescott tender their resignations (Palmer does not accept them), and Palmer then tells his staff that he believes that the strictest evidence of hostile intent is required before waging war. The President does relieve his Chief of Staff, Mike Novick, who did not support David until the eleventh hour.
Like the first season, the second ends with a surprise twist. The nuclear weapon situation is resolved without massive loss of life, but President Palmer collapses after being attacked with a biological weapon, presumably in an assassination attempt. Viewers were forced to wait until the third season to see whether Palmer survived the attack. The sudden shift from a nuclear to biological threat also foreshadows the third season, which initially centers on the threat of an engineered virus being set loose on the general public.
There were several large plot threads left unresolved from the second season into the third and fourth seasons, most notably the characters of Max and Alexander Trepkos, two men who seemed to be the driving force behind the day's events, as well as President Palmer's assassination attempt. How the assassination attempt ties into a war for oil is something that never quite fit together, and many have suspected that they may have had some larger and more sinister goal in mind. They were never seen again, and the only clue to their fate is a cryptic hint given by Wayne Palmer in the premiere of season 3. However, some of the the events directly preceding season 3 were chronicled in the video game , 24: The Game, released in March 2006.
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
- Sarah Wynter as Kate Warner
- Elisha Cuthbert as Kimberly Bauer
- Xander Berkeley as George Mason
- Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
- and Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer
|Picture||Time||Episode Number||Production Code||Original Airdate|
|8:00am-9:00am||25||2AFF01||October 28, 2002|
|President David Palmer learns that Second Wave is planning to set off a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles sometime that day. George Mason is ordered to contact Jack Bauer, who isn't interested in returning to work, but changes his mind. Kim overhears her boss abusing his wife, so she locks herself and their little girl in the bedroom. A Marie Warner is marrying a man who may have connections to the leader of the terrorist group.|
|150px||9:00am-10:00am||26||2AFF02||November 5, 2002|
|Jack establishes his cover with a small group of domestic terrorists. He learns that their target is CTU. Kim takes Megan and runs from the house, but Gary pursues them. Palmer and Eric Rayburn disagree over a possible evacuation.|
|150px||10:00am-11:00am||27||2AFF03||November 12, 2002|
|Jack warns Lynne about the impending bombing of CTU, but her efforts to alert Palmer are sabotaged by Eric, who wants to maintain Jack's cover. George locates the warehouse where the nuclear bomb was built, but falls victim to radiation poisoning. Kim takes Megan to CTU, believing that it is the safest place for both of them.|
|150px||11:00am-12:00pm||28||2AFF04||November 19, 2002|
|George returns to CTU where he orders the medics to revive a badly injured Paula, who has vital information. Palmer fires Eric for his deception. Kim takes Megan to the hospital, but the staff accuses her of abuse. Jack locates the leader of the American terrorist cell. He learns that the woman who gave them inside information on CTU is Nina Myers.|
|150px||12:00pm-1:00pm||29||2AFF05||November 26, 2002|
|George refuses to allow Jack to assist in Nina's interrogation. Jack resorts to blackmail to change George's mind. Palmer and Stanton meet with a Middle Eastern ambassador who may be in league with Second Wave. Tony visits the Warner home and questions Reza about his possible connection with Syed Ali.|
|150px||1:00pm-2:00pm||30||2AFF06||December 3, 2002|
|Jack begins his interrogation of Nina and pushes all boundaries in order to force her to divulge the name of her contact. Palmer is surprised and suspicious when his ex wife Sherry returns and claims to have information about a conspiracy against him from within his own administration. Kim and Miguel plan to kidnap Megan from the hospital in order to take her out of LA and away from the nuclear threat.|
|150px||2:00pm-3:00pm||31||2AFF07||December 10, 2002|
|Jack forces Nina to help with a sting operation against her contact in the hopes that he can lead them to the bomb. Palmer and Mike try to gage Stanton's loyalty when they investigate the chopper crash. George has a final conversation with his son.|
|150px||3:00pm-4:00pm||32||2AFF08||December 17, 2002|
|Kim and Miguel are arrested and the police plan to take them back to LA. Tony questions Bob Warner at CTU and learns he works for the CIA. Palmer discovers a traitor in his ranks when the journalist whom he was holding is set free. Nina kills her contact, setting herself up as the main player in the search to locate the bomb. Their plane is attacked.|
|150px||4:00pm-5:00pm||33||2AFF09||January 7, 2003|
|George pits Bob against Reza in hopes of learning which one is working with Second Wave. Sherry and Lynne clash over Palmer's speech to the press. Kate is interrogated by Syed Ali, who believes she knows too much about the bomb. Jack and Nina fight off Coral Snake while waiting to be rescued from the crash site. They nearly escape when Nina takes Jack hostage and demands to speak to the President.|
|150px||5:00pm-6:00pm||34||2AFF10||January 14, 2003|
|Two traitors are uncovered. One is Roger Stanton. The other is the Marie Warner family who helped Syed Ali to bring the bomb into the country. Jack learns of Ali's location and tries to rescue Kate. Kim and Miguel crash their police escort in order to escape from LA.|
|150px||6:00pm-7:00pm||35||2AFF11||February 4, 2003|
|Kate helps Jack to locate and identify Syed Ali. Palmer places Stanton under arrest, but he won't break. Palmer utilizes torture to make Stanton talk. Kim hits her low point of the day when she encounters a cougar in the woods.|
|150px||7:00pm-8:00pm||36||2AFF12||February 11, 2003|
|Jack threatens Syed Ali's family in order to break him. George questions Bob Warner to learn more about Marie's motivations for helping the terrorists. Kim is rescued by a mysterious hunter who offers her asylum. Lynne receives a dire warning from Sherry.|
|150px||8:00pm-9:00pm||37||2AFF13||February 18, 2003|
|Jack and his men prepare for a confrontation with Stanton's renegade soldiers as they converge on the bomb. Kim becomes suspicious of her host, but is forced to stay because of her status with the police. Stanton finally breaks down and gives Palmer the location of the bomb.|
|150px||9:00pm-10:00pm||38||2AFF14||February 25, 2003|
|Jack and Kate try to break Marie's resolve so they can learn the location of the bomb. Palmer confronts his ex wife with the information that Stanton gave them. George finally steps down as director of CTU and hands the position over to Tony. Kim discovers her host's deception.|
|10:00pm-11:00pm||39||2AFF15||March 4, 2003|
|Palmer, Mike and Lynne discuss various ways to dispose of the ticking bomb. They conclude that the desert is the best place to set it off. Jack determines that one man must pilot the plane carrying the bomb. He chooses to fly the plane himself and bids a tearful goodbye to his daughter. Mason eventually takes over for him. Tony and Michelle become suspicious of a Middle Eastern intelligence agent who is asking questions about the evidence against Syed Ali. Palmer departs for Los Angeles.|
|150px||11:00pm-12:00am||40||2AFF16||March 25, 2003|
|Jack and Michelle question Syed Ali, who claims that the audio recordings are false. Palmer prepares to wage war against the three countries who were involved in the nuclear strike. Kim gets caught in a hostage situation. Jack is contacted by a man who wants to exchange information for Kate Warner.|
|150px||12:00am-1:00am||41||2AFF17||April 1, 2003|
|Jack meets with the surviving Coral Snake Commando, who demands Kate Warner in exchange for evidence about the recordings. Tony and Carrie spy on Michelle when he suspects that she is working with Jack. Mike and the Vice-President turn up the pressure on Palmer, when he expresses his doubts about the impending war.|
|150px||1:00am-2:00am||42||2AFF18||April 8, 2003|
|Jack, Kate and Wallace fight to escape from a deadly band of commandos. Palmer decides to take a stronger stance against the civil unrest resulting from the bomb explosion. Tony's trust in Michelle is broken when he suspects her of betraying him. Kim's worries seem to be over when she learns the charges against her have been dropped.|
|150px||2:00am-3:00am||43||2AFF19||April 15, 2003|
|Jack is captured and tortured by men who want the chip. Kate and Yusuf run into a group of angry rednecks before they can deliver the chip to CTU. Tony and Michelle share a tender moment after her brother flips out. Palmer leans towards holding off the attacks, while Lynne that the Vice-President is planning to use the 25th amendment against Palmer.|
|150px||3:00am-4:00am||44||2AFF20||April 22, 2003|
|Jack finds an ally who may help him escape from Kingsley's men. Lynne is forcibly held before she can warn Palmer of the conspiracy against him. Chappelle interferes with Tony's efforts to assist Jack. Kate offers her captors money in exchange for the chip.|
|150px||4:00am-5:00am||45||2AFF21||April 29, 2003|
|The cabinet debates invoking the 25th Amendment to remove David Palmer from office. Jack Bauer finally gets a hold of the chip, but has been damaged. When Jack follows up on his next lead, he discovers Sherry Palmer is involved in the threat.|
|150px||5:00pm-6:00pm||46||2AFF22||May 6, 2003|
|Jack locates the man who forged the audio evidence, but his efforts to break him down are sabotaged by Sherry Palmer. Kim returns to the Matheson home, where she encounters Greg. Palmer searches for an ally who will help him get a message out to CTU. Tony and Michelle take Chappelle out of action when he hinders their efforts to help Jack.|
|150px||6:00am-7:00am||47||2AFF23||May 13, 2003|
|When Jack hits a dead end with his lead, he realizes he must persuade Sherry to help him get evidence against Kingsley. Things go awry at CTU when Division becomes suspicious of Chappelle's absence. Michelle goes off-site to work with Jack. Mike and Prescott ask Palmer to aid them as the bombers get closer to their targets.|
|7:00am-8:00am||48||2AFF24||May 20, 2003|
|Jack uses Sherry to lure Kingsley out into the open, where he reveals the recording is false. Palmer's attorney convinces Mike to release Palmer from custody. Palmer and his cabinet gather to watch as Sherry meets with Kingsley. Mike orders Chappelle to reinstate Tony and Michelle. Jack sends Sherry in for the meeting with Kingsley, and he is killed. There is an assassination attempt on Palmer.|
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