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24 - Season 1 Roundtable Review

In preparation of the return of 24 in 24: Live Another Day on May 5th, I am running a series of roundtables to look back at previous seasons of the show. Here is our discussion for season one, involving myself, Sean M, Geo N and CJ Allan.

Overall thoughts on the season?

Bradley: I under-appreciate this season. There is some seriously good story in the season, with a lot of shocking twists. I would consider it the slowest of all eight seasons, but the quality of the story makes up for it. It set a very high bar for the rest of the show to live up to.

Sean: The first season holds a special place in my heart, all of the twists were surprising and the cliffhangers were brilliantly executed.

George: I agree with Bradley in that this is the slowest of the seasons, but it set up the show very well. I like how the season is essentially split up into 3 parts. It helps in understanding everything as a whole when you picture it this way. The twists and turns were executed very well and I don’t think there really was a ‘bad’ episode in the first season. I enjoyed the third act the most and the cliffhangers were great.

CJ: The first season is what I will always remember most about 24 and its unique way of storytelling. The show was more focused on storytelling this season than any other and some may find this slow but I enjoyed each episode as the story developed. It really made you feel that no one can be trusted.

Favourite episode of the season? Why?

Bradley: Has to be the finale for me. Everything came together perfectly. The ending was just incredible, unpredictable, saddening. David leaving Sherry was brilliant. And hey, why wouldn’t you want to watch Jack kill everyone?

Sean: The season finale had it all - an amazing action sequence, great character development, and one of the most shocking twists on television. The silent clock at the end was a nice touch.

George: I am a sucker for penultimate episodes and I think that sometimes they are better than their finale counter-parts. They usually have the most suspense and the set-up for the following episode is sometimes better than the actual finale. This is not always the case, and choosing one episode in the first season of 24 is difficult. For me it will have to be a tie between the penultimate episode and the finale. Can I make that my answer, lol? The ending for the finale was perfect though. This first season really changed the landscape of TV for the future.

CJ: I always find it hard picking one episode of 24 as a favourite because they are all so interlinked and connected, one doesn’t always stand out from the rest. However the penultimate episode’s reveal of Nina as being the mole the whole time is possibly one of the stand out moments for season 1 and 24 as a series.

There were a lot of major twists, shocks, reveals - which one surprised you the most?

Bradley: Definitely Teri’s death. You don’t expect a show to go and kill off someone that close to the main character in the first season.

Sean: Nina being revealed as a mole was huge, but Teri’s death in the finale topped it. Jack spent the whole season trying to rescue his family only to be unsuccessful in the end. No one saw that twist coming.

George: I will also have to say that Teri’s death ws the most shocking. I did not see that coming at all. Usually on shows I say to myself that if someone was ‘saved’ once then they are a lock to survive the season, but this show goes against most conventions.

CJ: For me the reveal as Nina as the mole is the biggest shock. They were so close early on identifying Nina as a mole which totally tricked the audience into trusting her from that moment on. Teri’s death was a big shock, but lets be honest, she had it coming most of the season.

Thoughts on the villains?

Bradley: The Drazens’ were very good villains because of how they wanted pure revenge on Jack and Palmer, rather than trying to attack the country. This made the story more thrilling, When you consider the other seasons are all about attacking the country, this serves as a nice difference between them.

Sean: I really liked Ira Gaines with his sarcasm and witty remarks and thought it was cool how it transitioned to the Drazens.

George: I would have to say the Drazen’s, but Ira Gaines takes a close second. The Drazen’s were perfect and formidable and a great first season villain. The personal vendetta, rather than an attack on the entire country, was a nice touch.

CJ: For the whole season the villains were great but maybe a bit more understanding of them as characters could have possibly made them scarier. Maybe even the reveal of Nina sooner could have really added to the tension. The Drazens however will possibly be one of the greatest enemies of Bauer over the seasons

How did you feel about the Bauer family crisis storyline?

Bradley: It wasn’t the most enthralling. I think, when you consider the ending, it was necessary. It was one of the reasons that the season seemed quite slow, but it was worth it towards the end.

Sean: I liked that it was a smaller scale story with personal stakes for Jack. It kind of lost steam in the second half with Kim being kidnapped again and Teri getting amnesia but the payoff was worth it.

George: I think it was what slowed the first season, but it was necessary to set-up some of the important characters and also explain the intricacies of the CTU unit to the audience. It was important to show the risks that Jack would being underataking and what better than his family?

CJ: I think after the initial kidnapping the family drama was not really needed. Kim started to become annoying and unneeded other than a kidnapping plot extension. Terri’s death was a shock but the whole amnesia thing seemed too far stretched for me

Thanks to all for participating, and thanks to you for reading. We'll be back in a couple of days with season two's roundtable, but for now please leave a comment with your thoughts, and follow us on Twitter at the handles below.

Bradley Adams
15 year old in England. Love Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, NCIS LA, Person of Interest, Elementary, Criminal Minds, Nikita and Arrow, and the new The Blacklist, Hostages and The Tomorrow People. I am reviewing Person of Interest and The Tomorrow People for Spoiler TV. I run an Arrow blog, ArrowFansUK. Aside from TV, a keen cricketer.

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