The season begins on the California Presidential Primary Day in Los Angeles. Jack Bauer works for CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) and has just managed to get his family back together after he and his wife, Teri, went through a trial seperation. He gets a call just after midnight from a co-worker, Nina Meyers, to come in for an emergency meeting. Before he leaves the house Jack and Teri realises that their teenage daughter, Kimberley, had snuck out.
Kim and a friend, Janet York, meets two boys at an empty furniture store for a party and Kim becomes uneasy when they refuse to take her home. The meeting at CTU is regarding a planned assasination attempt on the first African-American presidential candidate, Senator David Palmer.
Jack blakcmails District Director George Mason to try and find out more about the planned hit on Palmer. Janet's father, Alan York, calls Teri and they drive around looking for their daughters. On a plane to LA a photographer flirts with a girl, they get hot with each other and then the plane explodes.