- "To stop a weapon that has no cure... You need a man who knows no limits."
- — "Season 3 Promotion"
This time, another day begins for Jack Bauer as bioterrorists are attempting to release viral capsules into Los Angeles and eventually throughout the United States. President Palmer must deal with a scandal as he seeks re-election against a Republican senator, John Keeler. Jack is again thrust into action as he tries to tie Ramon Salazar to the viral threat; however, presumed-dead Operation Nightfall operative Stephen Saunders turns out to be the mastermind behind the release of the Cordilla virus.
Day 3 begins at 1:00pm PDT (4:00pm EDT) on a Thursday, taking place 3 years after Day 2 and 4 years and 6 months after Day 1. It is likely Day 3 takes place in late September, around the time that the first presidential debates are held in election years in the United States.
The season can essentially be broken up into three acts:
- The first act revolves around drug kingpin Ramon Salazar's release from prison against the threat of the release of an engineered virus if he is not set free. The main antagonists in this act are Ramon Salazar and Hector Salazar.
- In the second act, Jack, Tony and Gael Ortega enter the final phase of a complex sting operation to destroy the virus. The main antagonists in this act are Michael Amador, Ramon Salazar, Hector Salazar, and Nina Myers.
- During the final act, the original purchaser of the virus uses the disease during his call to vengeance against the United States for abandoning him on a covert mission. The main antagonists in this act are Stephen Saunders, Michael Amador, Marcus Alvers, and Arthur Rabens.
Major subplots Edit
- Sherry Palmer complicates things as David tries to be re-elected amid political scandal.
- Jack Bauer almost reaches the tipping point recovering from a heroin addiction while trying to stop the viral threat. Soon, he learns of the relationship between Kim and Chase.
- Tony Almeida, now director of CTU, is nearly killed in an attempt to apprehend a suspect.
- Kim now works for CTU and has a hidden personal relationship with Jack's partner, Chase Edmunds.
- A strained relationship between Tony and Michelle causes conflict throughout the day.
- Saunders' Achilles' heel: his daughter attends college in California, in close proximity to the viral threat.
- Tony is forced to make the choice between his career and the love of his life.
- Jack unexpectedly encounters Nina Myers, the murderer of his wife.
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer (24 episodes)
- Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer (24 episodes)
- Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida (24 episodes)
- Reiko Aylesworth as Michelle Dessler (24 episodes)
- James Badge Dale as Chase Edmunds (24 episodes)
- and Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer (24 episodes)
Guest starring Edit
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian (24 episodes)
- DB Woodside as Wayne Palmer (24 episodes)
- Zachary Quinto as Adam Kaufman (23 episodes)
- Jesse Borrego as Gael Ortega (14 episodes)
- Paul Schulze as Ryan Chappelle (14 episodes)
- Joaquim de Almeida as Ramon Salazar (12 episodes)
- Vincent Laresca as Hector Salazar (12 episodes)
- Vanessa Ferlito as Claudia Hernandez (11 episodes)
- Paul Blackthorne as Stephen Saunders (10 episodes)
- Greg Ellis as Michael Amador (9 episodes)
- Glenn Morshower as Aaron Pierce (9 episodes)
- Wendy Crewson as Dr. Anne Packard (8 episodes)
- Gina Torres as Julia Milliken (7 episodes)
- Christina Chang as Sunny Macer (6 episodes)
- Geoff Pierson as Senator John Keeler (6 episodes)
- Riley Smith as Kyle Singer (6 episodes)
- Lothaire Bluteau as Marcus Alvers (5 episodes)
- Agnes Bruckner as Linda (5 episodes)
- Alexandra Lydon as Jane Saunders (5 episodes)
- Andrea Thompson as Nicole Duncan (5 episodes)
- Joe D'Angerio as Osterlind (4 episodes)
- Albert Hall as Alan Milliken (4 episodes)
- Lucinda Jenney as Helen Singer (4 episodes)
- Doug Savant as Craig Phillips (4 episodes)
- Carlos Gomez as Luis Annicon (3 episodes)
- Daniel Dae Kim as Agent Tom Baker (3 episodes)
- Alan Dale as Vice President Jim Prescott (1 episode)
- Sarah Wynter as Kate Warner (1 episode)
- and Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers (6 episodes)
|Picture||Title||Number||Production Code||Original Airdate|
|"1:00pm-2:00pm"||49||3AFF01||October 28, 2003|
|A body infected with a deadly virus is dumped outside the National Health Services. President Palmer returns to Los Angeles for the first time since the attempt on his life. Kim is working at CTU and secretly dating Jack's partner, Chase. Jack, the head of Field Ops, deals with his addiction problems.|
|"2:00pm-3:00pm"||50||3AFF02||November 4, 2003|
|Chase and Jack argue about the former's relationship with Kim. Kyle Singer's girlfriend leaves him when she finds out he's dealing drugs. Wayne Palmer approaches the President with potentially damaging information about his girlfriend. Someone at CTU isn't who they seem to be.|
|"3:00pm-4:00pm"||51||3AFF03||November 11, 2003|
|Chase Edmunds finds himself on the sidelines when CTU and Hector Salazar both search for Kyle Singer. Tony leads an operation to bring Kyle in, but things take a disastrous turn when Salazar's man gets there first.|
|"4:00pm-5:00pm"||52||3AFF04||November 18, 2003|
|Kyle and Linda are abducted by Hector's men. Michelle struggles between her personal and professional obligations. Wayne offers Palmer an "opportunity". Jack takes drastic action in response to the Salazars' threat, but Chase gets in the way and complicates matters.|
|"5:00pm-6:00pm"||53||3AFF05||November 25, 2003|
|Jack and Ramon's plan hits a snag when a group of inmates takes them hostage. Chloe discovers Jack's addiction and reveals his secret to Kim and Michelle. Palmer begins his debate with John Keeler. Kyle decides to kill himself to save Linda. CTU saves the two, but Jack has already escaped with Ramon.|
|"6:00pm-7:00pm"||54||3AFF06||December 2, 2003|
|President Palmer postpones the debate because of the prison break. Jack and Ramon continue to evade CTU and the police. Doctors reveal a startling revelation about Kyle's health. Kim discovers Gael's secret, but she isn't able to warn Michelle in time.|
|"7:00pm-8:00pm"||55||3AFF07||December 9, 2003|
|Ramon wants to kill Jack on the way to Mexico, but learns that Jack and Hector are working together. Adam Kaufman rescues Kim while Gael is captured as he tries to escape from CTU. Chase heads for Mexico to rescue Jack. Tony stops Gael's interrogation and reveals that Gael is part of a secret operation.|
|"8:00pm-9:00pm"||56||3AFF08||December 16, 2003|
|Hector tries to convince Ramon to let Jack live in order to purchase the virus. Claudia Hernandez expresses her fury about being left behind when Jack arrested Ramon. Anne ends her relationship with President Palmer after her ex-husband commits suicide. Hector's men capture Chase and Ramon forces Jack to prove his loyalty.|
|"9:00pm-10:00pm"||57||3AFF09||January 6, 2004|
|President Palmer learns of a conflict involving one of his biggest contributor and his brother. Kim and Michelle question Tony's ability to make decisions. Jack and the Salazars face an unexpected competitor when they pursue to buy the virus.|
|"10:00pm-11:00pm"||58||3AFF10||January 13, 2004|
|Jack and Ramon decide to intercept the virus. Chloe's work at CTU is disrupted by a baby. Claudia helps Chase escape, but tragedy strikes during their getaway. President Palmer asks Sherry Palmer to help him deal with Alan Milliken.|
|"11:00pm-12:00am"||59||3AFF11||January 27, 2004|
|President Palmer meets with Sherry, who agrees to help him with Milliken. Jack convinces Nina to work with him to get the virus from Michael Amador. Hector wants to pull out of the deal after Claudia's death.|
|"12:00am-1:00am"||60||3AFF12||February 3, 2004|
|Kim becomes suspicious of Chloe when her backstory about the baby doesn't check out. Sherry discovers a witness who can damage Milliken. A firefight ensues as Jack, Ramon, Nina and Chase all attempt to secure the virus. They soon discover that Amador intends all of them dead, and the auction is just a trick.|
|"1:00am-2:00am"||61||3AFF13||February 10, 2004|
|Nina gives CTU a phone number that ends up initiating a computer worm. Chappelle detains Chloe O'Brian when she refuses to discuss matters about the baby, but releases her to deal with the computer crisis. Sherry goes to see Julia, but ends up confronting Alan, leading to his death. Kim Bauer learns the baby's real identity.|
|"2:00am-3:00am"||62||3AFF14||February 17, 2004|
|Chappelle insists that Jack undergo a medical exam because of his addiction. President Palmer confronts Sherry about Alan Milliken's death. Julia Milliken asks Wayne for help. Tony questions Nina about Marcus Alvers, but before she can say more, she attempts to escape.|
|"3:00am-4:00am"||63||3AFF15||February 24, 2004|
|Jack is almost removed from the investigation for killing a material witness. CTU sends a tactical team to the hotel where the virus is scheduled to be released. Gael Ortega finds the armed mechanism that contains the virus, but wasn't able disarm it in time.|
|"4:00am-5:00am"||64||3AFF16||March 30, 2004|
|Jack and Chase allow Amador to escape, hoping that he will lead them to the man behind the virus attack. Sherry blackmails President Palmer and forces him to support alibi during the time of Milliken's death. Michelle deals with mass hysteria at the hotel.|
|"5:00am-6:00am"||65||3AFF17||April 6, 2004|
|After Michael Amador's death, Stephen Saunders threatens to release more vials if President Palmer doesn't comply with his demands, and one of his requests tests CTU on how far they are willing to go to stop the virus from being released. Jack and Chase tries to find a lead to get info on Saunders. Michelle proposes a solution to the suffering at the hotel after Gael dies.|
|"6:00am-7:00am"||66||3AFF18||April 18, 2004|
|CTU races to capture Saunders before 7:00, the deadline for his latest ultimatum: the death of Ryan Chappelle. Michelle initiates a frantic search when she discovers that a potentially infected hotel guest may have slipped through her fingers. Palmer rests on Jack's hands an unbearable execution.|
|"7:00am-8:00am"||67||3AFF19||April 20, 2004|
|Kim goes undercover in a mission that may help CTU gain a bargaining tool for Saunders. Chase finds the man who left the hotel. CTU learns that the virus has begun to spread to the general public. Saunders makes another demand to the president.|
|"8:00am-9:00am"||68||3AFF20||April 27, 2004|
|Michelle finds out the results of her test as Adam finds out the virus has infected someone he knows. Jack tries to use Jane Saunders as leverage to force Saunders to surrender. Tony commits treason when Saunders exploits his only weakness.|
|"9:00am-10:00am"||69||3AFF21||May 4, 2004|
|Tony attempts to free Jane from CTU before Saunders' men hurt Michelle, but Jack and Chloe become suspicious of his behavior. Sherry offers Senator Keeler a chance to guarantee victory in the Presidential elections.|
|"10:00am-11:00am"||70||3AFF22||May 11, 2004|
|Jack catches Tony and forces him to work with CTU on the hostage exchange. Senator Keeler meets with President Palmer and demands his resignation. Wayne participates in a covert operation to recover Sherry's incriminating evidence.|
|"11:00am-12:00pm"||71||3AFF23||May 18, 2004|
|The tables are turned as Jack exploits Saunders' weakness to disclose the location of the other vials. President Palmer meets with Sherry to work something out, but she becomes suspicious of his offer and leaves. Tony faces a harsh sentence as a result of saving Michelle. Julia and Sherry square off, leading to unexpected deaths.|
|"12:00pm-1:00pm"||72||3AFF24||May 25, 2004|
|Jack and Chase track down the last vial of the virus, Chase making an incredible sacrifice. Gael's devastated wife visits CTU and seeks vengeance on Saunders. President Palmer makes an unexpected announcement after Sherry's death. The day's events take a toll on Jack.|
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