24: Chloe Rocks!

Just finished watching the first four episodes of season six of 24, and once again, Chloe stood out for me. Her scene opens with her ex-husband and colleague Morris (we later find out they reconciled) grabbing her bottom, only to receive a stern warning and a threat of complaint for it. She doesn’t care that he’s her boyfriend and a complaint would be a black mark against his name, she will not stand to be treated so unprofessionally, especially not in her workplace. And I figured if she’d complain about her boyfriend, she’d complain about any man who treated her like that.

Later, Morris and Chloe’s ex, Miles, who’s also their boss, have been squabbling constantly, until Chloe steps in, calls them on the fact they’re involved in an immature pissing contest over her, and to bloody well get over it, there’s work to be done. The two men realise what they’ve been doing and come to a truce. In a single scene, this woman has exposed two men to be squabbling over a woman, and made them act professionally.

In another storyline, Chloe has found that our hero, Jack Bauer, a man she greatly admires, who’s been languishing in a Chinese prison for two years, has been released, only to be traded for a terrorist. Jack is facing certain death, and without even the concession of seeing the people who he cares about once more. In one scene, Chloe cries unashamedly.

What really struck me about that scene was that, while she was crying over a man she greatly admired, had saved her life, had helped save his, she wasn’t crying over a man she was in love with. It took me the better part of a week to work out exactly what I loved about that scene, because it’s so much easier to pick up what you hated rather then what you loved.

24 has never played Jack and Chloe’s relationship as anything but platonic. They hold each other in deep fondness and respect, maybe even love, but not infatuation. There has never been any hint that Chloe might be in love with this older man who’s saved her life, who’s always been there for her, who she greatly admires. There’s never been any hint that Jack might have the hots for this attractive young woman who has sometimes been the only one to believe in him.

I loved that their relationship, for all its intense feelings borne of what they’ve done for each other, was always platonic. I love that it never occurred to all involved to play it otherwise.

To all those involve, I send you a huge thankyou.

Comments

  1. SunlessNick says

    I loved that their relationship, for all its intense feelings borne of what they’ve done for each other, was always platonic. I love that it never occurred to all involved to play it otherwise. - Scarlett

    Indeed, they may be the best example of such a relationship we have.

    I often wax lyrical about Sydney and Dixon in Alias, but that deal is a bit queered by Vaughn, who is Sydney’s designated OTP – and thus no legitimate contenders to Sydney/Vaughn-lurve are permitted – and Dixon would so be legitimate competition. While that doesn’t take away from the excellent things Team Alias did with Sydney and Dixon, it does raise the possibility that the same excellence isn’t behind some of the things they didn’t do.

    That’s not there with Chloe and Jack – they don’t have designated OTP. Therefore, the non-romantic, non-sexual, non-crushy nature of their relationship can only be there because Team 24 decided that it was the way to go. Good call, Team 24.

  2. scarlett says

    I actually enjoyed the dynamic Sydney had with ALL the men OTHER then Vaughn on Alias – particularly Weiss, the tech guy and obviously Dixon. But you’re right, I think the only reason those relationships were allowed to be played as nothing other then platonic was because it had been established Vaughn was her OTP. So I think that makes 24 all the more remarkable in that neither has an OTP but they could still write an emotionally intense relationship that was nothing but platonic.

  3. SunlessNick says

    I’d also go it the other way round, and say I liked most of Vaughn’s other relationships better than the one with Sydney: his friendship with Weiss, the cautious bridges he built with Dixon once they were on the same side (and he never seemed to resent that Dixon was promoted right past him, which is cool), the minimal germs of respect he managed to get from Jack (and his hilarious inability to grasp wuite how minimal they were). Perhaps I just object to the idea of OTP.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right.

    I think the problem with OTP is that it’s often built on little more than, “Well, this is our hottest woman and this is our hottest man – they’d look good together in bed to the audience.” Meanwhile, other relationships are given the characterization required for them to make sense.

  5. scarlett says

    Which, coming back to 24, is why Jack and Chloe’s relationship works so well – TPTB established a long history of their trust and admiration for one another and, to boot, it had nothing to do with lustful glances…

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