Friday, February 22, 2013

TV on DVD Review: 24 - Season 3

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong story with weak plot lines kept to a minimum.
Cons: None worth mentioning
The Bottom Line:
Every second counts
And you'll watch every one
Heart stopping action

Still My Favorite Season of This Great Thriller

Season 3 of suspense thriller 24 served up the most suspenseful and most emotional season of the show to date. Once again, they take a story and break it down of 24 hours in one day that will keep you glued to your seat.

Set three years after season 2, Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) is working with a partner named Chase (James Badge Dale). Jack's daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) is also working for the LA branch of CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit). President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), meanwhile, is running for reelection.

This particular bad day starts at 1 PM, when Jack learns of plan to release a virus unless a criminal he just spent six months trying to arrest is freed. This leads to a chain reaction of events trying to get a hold of the virus before it is released into the population which includes hunting down drug dealers, a prison riot, a trip to Mexico, and time in a high rise hotel. The terrorists seem to be one step ahead of Jack and CTU the entire time.

President Palmer, meanwhile, is facing tough rumors again, this time targeting his doctor and new girlfriend. But that's nothing compared to what happens when his main backer demands that Palmer fire his chief of staff, who also happens to be his brother (D. B. Woodside).

To me this is the best season to date. The first few hours are a bit scattered, but things come into focus much earlier then previous seasons and once the story gets going, it stays strong. While there are still a couple soap opera plots, they are kept to a minimum this year. The biggest improvement is Kim's storyline. Since she's working at CTU, we don't get any crazy storylines with her, but things that actually move forward the main story. And the second half of the season gets really intense. The early morning hours especially are emotionally hard to get through. But the episodes where things don't work out are what make this show so wonderful.

Fox again has released a wonderful season set for the show. All 24 episodes are presented on six discs in wide screen and surround sound audio. There are a total of 45 deleted scenes scattered over the six discs and each disc has one audio commentary from various members of the cast and crew. The seventh disc in this set is devoted solely to extras. The 45 deleted scenes are collected in one place, this time with optional commentary by the producers. In edition, there are special features on the gadgets of the show and the reality of a biothreat. Finally, there are a couple teasers and mini-scenes that bridge the gap betweens season 3 and 4.

While I am addicted to several serialized shows, this is by far the most addictive of the lot. Plan plenty of time to watch Season 3 of 24 because once you start, you won't want to stop.

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