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Jack Bauer's Worst Day - Review of Season 3
4th September 2020 • 24 Faithful Podcast • Joshua Rivers
00:00:00 00:41:07

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Season 3 is near the top of our favorite seasons of 24, mostly for the second half of the season. It's also (probably) one of the worst days for Jack as well as the nail in the coffin for David Palmer's presidency.

  • Overall thoughts on season 3

    • I underestimated 3A from memory, it’s a mix of the slow-burn nature of season 2 and the big moment-centric approach of seasons 4/5 but it really works
    • 3B is just immense, relentlessly thrilling and edge-of-your-seat stuff
    • There are a lot of threads early on: Kyle Singer, Tony being shot, the Gael stuff, Jack’s heroin addiction, Kim/Chase, Ramon in prison/breaking out, Hector and Claudia
      • By the time we get to, say, 5am, there are very few: outbreak at the Chandler Plaza, Saunders’ demands of Palmer, CTU’s quest to stop Saunders. Then occasionally threads appear: 
        • Odd reappearance of Kim/Chase, the Alan Milliken stuff resurfaces, Adam’s sister etc
    • I love season 3 for bringing us a great team with Jack, Tony, Michelle, and Chloe
  • Jack’s worst day

    • Fairly confident in saying that more terrible things happen to Jack in season 3 than in any other season:
      • Heroin addiction, almost dies in Russian roulette, briefly becomes a fugitive, has to pull the trigger on Chase to prove his loyalty, has to work with Nina, watched both Salazars die, almost killed at MI6, forced to kill his boss, threatens to sentence an innocent 19yo not unlike his daughter to death, chops off Chase’s hand
    • We talked briefly about it but I really love the end scene of season 3, it’s so rare that we get an insight into Jack’s emotions beyond anger, and at the end of such an exhausting season both for him and for us, I think it’s essential to see it
    • I also think that Jack’s breakdown gives the viewer an excuse to feel similarly, so many horrific things have happened today away from Jack (Ted Packard’s suicide, Alan Milliken, Chandler Plaza, Sherry/Julia) that the short epilogue finally gives us a chance to actually breathe for the first time in a while
  • CTU’s newbies

    • Chloe: 
      • If you were new and finished season 3, and someone told you she’d be a mainstay of the next 5 seasons, you’d probably question whether you want to continue watching
      • They well establish her talent and overemphasise her quirks and it doesn’t work in her favour
      • I don’t like Chloe if we are looking at just season 3 by itself; but I do love her in this because I know where her character goes from here
      • She is immensely loyal when she believes something/someone is right
    • Adam:
      • Zachary Quinto is underused, and as a result I’m not wholly sold on Adam’s character
      • He’s almost a bit Carrie just slightly less hard-up, and more willing to accept help/that he can be wrong
      • Zachary Quinto also plays the serial killer, Sylar, on Heroes, so I sometimes see that when I watch him :)
    • Chase:
      • Jack lite, but more committed to not being detached
      • I like the relationships he’s got with everyone from the outset, Kim romance is workable, nicely acquainted with Chloe (they worked together at CTU Washington), he clearly has some respect from Jack for feeling confident enough to challenge him as and when required
      • They got rid of him too soon, but two issues with keeping him: season 4 became an almost total reset in characters, set, style, everything, and only Jack and Chloe transfer over to begin with; he’s too similar to Jack, would steal focus and turn it into a more duo-led show, which I don’t think works
      • I think they could have used Chase in special situations in future seasons - i.e. maybe Chase could be a contact during a mission
  • David Palmer’s compromised morality

    • David’s morality goes out the window here: he agrees to pay off Ted, brings in Sherry to do his dirty work, covers up a murder - all for his own gain, and he’d disguise it as “my re-election is best for the country, therefore I’m doing it for the country” but that doesn’t fly
    • Killing Chappelle but not exposing the spies list is an odd line to draw
    • David clearly realises at the end that the events of season 3 have exhausted him, but it’s also clearly the best thing for his character who falls down a very slippery path the longer this season goes on
    • This season was David Palmer at his worst