After eight seasons — and one short “event series” — it looks like “24: Legacy” has finally noticed the existence of queer people with its first CTU same-sex romance. There’s something complicated going on between Andy Shalowitz (Dan Bucatinsky) and Thomas Locke (Bailey Chase) — at least, that’s the vibe after Monday’s (Feb. 13) episode, “2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.”
Throughout the decade “24” has existed, work relationships and romances have proven pertinent not only to the story as it unfolded but also to the functional integrity of CTU: Jack Bauer’s (Keifer Sutherland) loss of wife Teri (Leslie Hope) put him on a downward spiral that shaped the methods and madness CTU had to endure through the tough times, while Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) and Michelle Dessler’s (Reiko Aylesworth) romance was one of the best parts of the early seasons.
The power couple rebuilt CTU in Season 2, toughed it out through Season 3 and finally settled down together once Season 4 ended — and we were with them every step of the way. The grief Tony felt after Michelle’s shocking death in Season 5 was equally shared by fans far and wide, and since then, the show has lacked a couple anywhere near as powerful or engaging.
Of course, to call Andy and Thomas a “power couple” would assume the two can work past whatever differences they currently face: “He broke it off,” Andy tells Mariana (Coral Pena), “Thought if it got out, it’d screw his career.” While that concept may feel a little dated, it’s believable enough, unfortunately — especially in CTU’s murky, government underworld.
Watching Locke head out into the field to back up Eric (Corey Hawkins) on a mission that ends up going south, we can’t help but think back to all the stand-out romantic couples of “24’s” past — there’s a long way to go bringing Andy and Thomas out from the shadows, but if Locke stays in the field long enough something tells us that catastrophe could be this couple’s cure.
We’re waiting to see what force will drive them back together — and hopeful their bond will only build as the episodes progress, despite the dangers. It’s a common assessment that a relationship in the “24” world is always in danger — we still think the marriage of Eric and Nicole (Anna Diop) is not long for this world — but CTU has been in dire need of an emotional foundation for a while.
Is it possible Andy and Thomas can fill that void? Gosh, we’re hoping so.
“24: Legacy” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.