They haven't missed a step yet this season on this crackerjack thriller. I love how the show offers office politics on a grand scale -- Homeland Security is using the terrorist attack as an excuse to absorb CTU into its department and bigfoot the people in charge. But in reality, it's just about how annoying a new boss and new coworkers who suddenly expect you to jump to their demands can truly be. Jack Bauer, of course, makes them look foolish as he plays games with the "wet list" -- the super duper top secret list of all known terrorists in Germany -- that he uses as bait to get the info he wants. The most iconic moment for me: when a sexy intelligence broker is brought in for questioning and we see her handcuffed to a metal cage, one leg nonchalantly crossed over the other and showing off her leather knee-high boots to tremendous effect. This is popcorn fun of the highest order. And exactly how many people can Bauer choke in one season? He shows the Heimlich maneuver for the panty-waisted, outdated technique that it is.
As for Prison Break, it's a comic book compared to the James Bond-like tension of 24. I never wanted to see these shows paired since their cliff-hanger appeal is so similar. Certainly PB comes off the poorer, though I can't stop rooting for Wentworth Miller.