Lynette Rice
January 17, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST


Premise Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) races to stop a plot to kill Senator Palmer (Dennis Haysbert).

Bad guy Mystery man Ira Gaines (Michael Massee)

Daughter in distress Bauer’s kid Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) is kidnapped.

Gratuitous amputation Jack cuts off a guy’s finger to get his fingerprint.

Clock stopper Lesbians get lucky?plane saboteur Mandy (Mia Kirshner) smooches her partner.

Words of doom “Bad things are happening tonight,” Bauer says.

Best time to fast-forward When the CTU phones ring off the hook.

Death toll Give or take 200, depending on how many were on the plane that blew up over the Mojave Desert.

Recommended Paxil dosage to remain calm while viewing Three (out of five)


Premise After quitting CTU, Bauer’s called back into action when a terrorist cell plants a nuclear device somewhere in Los Angeles.

Bad guy Bomber Mamud Rasheed Faheen (Anthony Azizi)

Daughter in distress Now working as a nanny, Kim and her 9-year-old charge are on the run from the girl’s abusive dad.

Gratuitous amputation Bauer shoots a key FBI witness, then cuts off his head.

Clock stopper The fate of CTU chief George Mason (Xander Berkeley) is sealed when he’s exposed to radioactive material.

Words of doom “Today is going to be a very long day,” says President Palmer.

Best time to fast-forward Whenever any of the drama’s five blond women appear on screen.

Death toll Five

Recommended Paxil dosage Four


Premise Back at CTU, Bauer’s tracking a deadly pneumonic virus that could kill millions in Los Angeles.

Bad guys Drug-lord brothers Hector and Ramon Salazar (Vincent Laresca and Joaquim de Almeida)

Daughter in distress Kim’s bummed out because Jack disapproves of her dating a CTU agent.

Gratuitous amputation Jack cuts the afore-mentioned CTU agent from missions after he discovers the relationship.

Clock stopper The virus is inadvertently released into the Los Angeles sewage system.

Words of doom “It’s just gonna be another one of those days,” says President Palmer.

Best time to fast-forward Anytime Kim is on screen as a CTU computer analyst.

Death toll Three

Recommended Paxil dosage Two


Premise Now working for U.S. Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane), Bauer uncovers a terrorist plot to kill his boss.

Bad guy and gal Middle Eastern extremists Navi Araz (Nestor Serrano) and his wife, Dina (Shohreh Aghdashloo)

Damsel in distress Bauer’s new love, Audrey Raines (Kim Raver), is kidnapped by terrorists.

Gratuitous amputation Everyone has their extremities?so far.

Clock stopper In a scene reminiscent of Daniel Pearl, the terrorists broadcast their plans to kill a bound and gagged Heller.

Words of doom “What we will accomplish today will change the world,” says Navi Araz.

Best time to fast-forward Don’t do it! Episodes are blissfully Kim-free.

Death toll About 40

Recommended Paxil dosage Five

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