USA: Various Directors, 2002-2003 (Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran)
The opening 12 episodes of this season is without question the strongest and most exhilarating story arc I yet to enjoy in 24. In fact, I wish in some way the season ended there despite the conceit of the show's title dictating every singe season must have twenty-four episodes occurring in real time. You see the show just can't maintain momentum for such a long run of episodes in the perpetual present of its diegesis. Instead the scripts turn to head-slappingly nonsensical twists and absurd shifts in the behaviour of its principal cast which undermines any characterisation the show has built up.