Jan 21, 2013

Rescuing Boys on 24, Part 3: Scott

Day 6 (2007-08) of 24, the dramatic series about terrorist-hunter Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) having a Very Bad Day, begins with a covert gay relationship between peers that offers a frame for interpreting the rescuer-rescued relationships that Jack had before, in Days 4 (Behrooz) and Day 5 (Derek), and that he will have later.

High schooler Scott Wallace (Michael Angarano, left) is quite taken with his classmate Ahmed (Kal Penn, below, who is 30 years old and doesn't look anything like a teenager, thus remaining true to the older-younger dynamic of the homoromantic bonds on 24).

When his Dad is arrested as a terrorist, Ahmed has nowhere to go, so Scott invites him to move in.  Later Scott gives him a "friendship necklace."

But Ahmed's feelings for Scott are complex, obvious affection coupled with obvious scorn (“You can’t even pronounce my name correctly,” he snipes.  “It’s Ach-med, Not Ah-med”).  No wonder: He turns out to be a terrorist, like his father.

When he is shot and cannot deliver a package to the terrorist headquarters, Ahmed takes Scott and his mother hostage to force Scott's father to do it.

After the package is safely delivered, the terrorist leader orders Ahmed to kill Scott, apparently trying to get him to prove his loyalty by doing away with the person he cares for the most (the same thing happened with Behrooz in Day 4).

 As Ahmed is struggling, torn between his love for Scott and his duty to the terrorists, Jack Bauer storms in to the rescue.   Then both boys vanish from the story; the main rescue is still to come.

As usual on 24, the boy in need of rescue is played by an actor well-known for gay projects.  Michael Angarano had a recurring role as the flamboyant Jack’s son on Will and Grace (2001-2006), and starred in the overtly homoerotic Lords of Dogtown (2005); both he and Evan Ellingson (Josh, from later in the day) starred in the gay-themed Bondage.