Last Monday, the world of ‘24’ fans rejoiced when the “real-time” series and Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) finally returned to their televisions.
From the government hunting down Jack to Yvonne Strahovski being a badass to Michelle Fairley showcasing her villainous side to the familiar faces of Audrey and James Heller, ‘24: Live Another Day’ started off on the right foot.
But, the series wouldn’t have been the same without the one and only computer genius Chloe O’Brian, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub. Well, last week, TVRage joined a conference call where Rajskub talked about returning to ‘24,’ this season and Chloe’s family tragedy that’s changed her forever.
As we saw in last night’s episode, Chloe revealed to Jack that her husband, Morris, and son, Prescott, died as a result of a tragic hit and run on their way home from soccer practice. Chloe was supposed to pick up her son that day, so she’s convinced that she was the true target, due to her involvement in helping Jack disappear.
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Rajskub opened up to reporters about Chloe’s tragedy and appearance this time around, in comparison to the previous Chloe fans fell in love with. As Rajskub pointed out, the first eight seasons of ‘24’ Chloe was able “to bring humor to a situation where there was none.”
However, the same can’t be said today. “[Chloe’s] really in a lot of pain, and kind of just holding on. She’s not very happy with Jack and we saw that in Episode 2,” Rajskub said. “For the first time, for me, there are moments where I could always find humor somehow in the most intense of situations or some sarcastic remark, at least -- this time around, she’s in such pain that I wasn’t really able to find any levity at all.”
As we’ve seen, Chloe’s appearance is vastly different from past seasons, which is, obviously, a way for her to showcase her grief, or as Rajskub put it “it’s a reflection of her pain and her trying to hide.”
Chloe struggles each day. And, now that she’s reunited with Jack and, once again, trying to save the world, Chloe’s bound to become even more emotional, especially since she is taking the blame for the loss of her family. But, there’s also one other person Chloe faults.
Per Rajskub, “Yes, I think she blames Jack, and I think she, of course, blames herself. Of course. I think it’s both those things, and I think she’s just been completely beaten down in every aspect, everything that she tried to do right turned out wrong, and then some, and so when we see her in this hackers environment, to me, it was a cool thing that I wouldn’t have predicted for her, but then you start to believe that she could end up there as anti-government and attracted to Adrian Cross [Michael Wincott], the Julian Assange character.
“That becomes her rock, and that becomes her whole view of the world of this giving away government secrets. That’s the polar opposite of what she was, and that’s, I think, from somebody who really doesn’t feel she has a lot to live for at this point.”
Speaking of not having a lot to live for, will Jack and Chloe every truly find happiness? In the world of '24,' that almost seems impossible and Rajskub agrees. “To me, from where I’m coming from, in being a part of the show, that’s always something that can never happen. That’s happening with Audrey right now. It’s that forbidden love. It’s that life you can’t have. I feel like Chloe this time around has been more dragged to the dark side, for lack of a better description, where she’s now part of that in trying to always save the world and deal with these larger than life intense situations. There’s always the personal, simple happiness that doesn’t happen.”
‘24’ fans continue to root for Chloe, and now even more so. As the episodes go on, she’ll most likely continue helping Jack, which means getting lost in her work aka a much needed distraction from her heartache -- for the time being.
Side note and for those wondering: when filming all the complicated computer scenes, Rajskub has no idea what's going through Chloe’s mind. For her, it’s not all about the technology -- it’s about Chloe’s emotions in relation to her work.
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As she told TVRage directly, “No, absolutely not. I don’t. And I feel like I should not even really be admitting it as an actor. I feel like the right answer would be that I know exactly what she’s talking about. But, for me, I feel like I get the gist of what she’s doing and why she’s doing it, and certainly what’s happening in the story so that, you know, the interesting thing over the years -- I was probably more stressed about that early on, about the technical exactness of what is happening in the computer -- I mean, I probably picked up some stuff, like I have a very loose understanding of what coding is -- very loose. But, I’ve always approached it as the realness of what she’s trying to do, you know what I mean, the emotional realness of that, and the technicalities have not been as interesting to me, to be honest with you.”
You can continue to catch ‘24: Live Another Day’ on Mondays at 9/8c on FOX, which is sure to bring more even surprises, and Rajskub concurs.
“‘24,’ it always surprises me. Of course, I never thought this would come back. It’s a once in a lifetime thing that is now a twice in a lifetime.”