Season One takes place on the day of a fictional presidential primary.
The season's main plot revolves around an assassination attempt on Maryland Senator David Palmer, a candidate for the presidential nomination, on the day of the California primary.
The central character is Jack Bauer, a former Delta Force operator who is the Director of the fictional Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in Los Angeles. Bauer becomes professionally as well as personally involved when his wife Teri and daughter Kim are kidnapped by the people behind the assassination plot.
The season is essentially divided into three acts:
The first act revolves around a mercenary group's efforts to control Jack Bauer and force him to kill Senator Palmer by kidnapping his wife and daughter. This culminates in Jack's successful rescue of his family.
In the second act, a second wave of assassins is discovered. As CTU tracks its activity, Jack learns why he and the Senator are being targeted.
The final act reveals the true mastermind of the day's events; he initiates his contingency plan to eliminate Jack and the Senator.
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