It is not often that we come across a show that, while being fairly predictable, manages to deliver an inventive treatment of the narrative that keeps the viewer glued to the screen, despite knowing what could happen. I think it’s us as an audience, having fallen into a rut of watching repetitive content, that we are instantly attracted to any piece that has a short run-time. We loved that “Chloe” was just 6 episodes long. That left absolutely no room for the boredom that can arise from our prediction of what might happen next. As for the premise of the show, it hooked us with something every person is affected by in the digital age—that of constantly comparing our lives to one another. It was dealt with in a rather grounded manner, one that did not carry the notes of idealism that we usually encounter with content that deals with such concepts. It was about a reckoning of self and a journey of accepting the complications of one’s life, as much as acknowledging that others might have the same. Let us find out the story of Chloe, to acknowledge the simplicity behind the complexities of the digital world.
Major Spoilers Ahead
How Are Chloe And Becky Related?
The show begins with Becky Green spending a lot of time stalking the social media profiles of Chloe Fairbourne. It is not immediately clear why Becky is specifically interested in her life, but it is clear that there is a note of envy and longing whenever she looks at her life through the phone screen. It is only as more of the story gets uncovered that we understand Becky’s true feelings and motivations behind her actions. Becky lives with her mother, who is suffering from dementia. She seems to alternate between being highly critical of her daughter and being extremely supportive. Becky seems to be leading a life of loneliness, one where her defining action is that of comparing herself to Chloe Fairbourne. We initially think it is that of someone who occasionally gets obsessed with an online personality, but things change when Becky sees that Chloe has passed away, and she wants to get to the reason behind her death.
Chloe Fairbourne had a perfect life. She was rich and beautiful, with a life full of exotic vacations and a very handsome husband who seemed to love her to bits. All of this was on her social media page. And then, one day, the comment sections of her posts were filled with condolences for her having passed away. This sends Becky down a spiral where she sets out to find the reason behind Chloe’s death. It is eventually revealed that Becky and Chloe were friends in their childhood, and they were each other’s closest confidantes. Chloe was the only person Becky confided in about her sister Sasha’s death from drowning in a bathtub. She told Chloe that while her mother had never blamed her for the death, it had changed their relationship forever.
Chloe and Becky’s relationship had fallen apart when the former moved to a new school and started making friends with a new group. Becky could never get over the loss of their friendship, and it continued to affect her for the rest of her life, especially since she had been the one person she had come to trust with her deepest secrets. We come to know in the final episode that Chloe had written a letter to Becky, in which she apologized to her for ostracizing her after finding new friends. She mentions that she loved Becky, along with some troubling revelations about Elliot, saying that he doesn’t like it when she does things he doesn’t approve of. The note came with photographs of Chloe and Becky from their childhood and various memorabilia of their friendship. This was proof of the fact that Chloe never forgot their relationship. In fact, right before she died, Chloe called Becky, meaning her old friend was the only person she wanted to speak to before her death. This explains the actions of Becky to a large extent throughout the show.
What we love about this show is how realistically it touches upon the topic of the loss of a friendship. Chloe was someone Becky trusted with her entire heart, and the loss of that caused her to be unable to form meaningful relationships with anybody else. What must Becky have gone through when she was ditched by her best friend? Was she not worthy enough? Was she not good enough? Why couldn’t someone she loved so dearly even consider her worthy of some basic decency of communication? Our society really underrates how friendship dynamics can affect us throughout our lives. So when Becky saw that Chloe wanted to talk to her right before she died, she had to find out what it was about. We wonder why she just didn’t go to the police? Maybe it was her life-long trust issues that did not let her place her faith in a legit institution of justice?
Season 1: Ending Explained – Is Chloe Dead Or Alive? Does Becky Get Over Her Past?
Becky has inserted herself into Chloe’s social circle with an alter-ego named “Sasha,” the name of her dead sister. But towards the end, her web of lies is coming undone, and she is now in a race against time to find out exactly what happened to Chloe. She knew that Chloe was not having an affair with Richard as she had previously assumed, but she was definitely unhappy in her marriage with Elliot. He wanted to have a child through IVF, as he thought that was the only way possible for them to conceive, not knowing that Chloe was on birth control, as she did not want a child with him. Elliot was a major bully and extremely manipulative, which led to him having significant control over the lives of everyone he ever came into contact with. This is the reason Richard did not show up to collect Chloe on the night she was making her escape. During Elliot’s speech, Chloe took her chance regardless and slipped away from him, leaving behind the keys to the caravan where she was supposed to go as well as the box of money that would support her, at least temporarily. This was a blunder that cost her dearly. Having no other way, she makes her way to her parent’s house and asks them to not tell Elliot about her. However, Chloe’s mother reveals her location to Elliot, under his persuasion. Unfortunately, the part that follows leaves us with more questions than answers. Chloe and Elliot have a confrontation along the edge of the cliff, right before Chloe plummets to her death. We don’t know if she was pushed by Elliot or if she slipped and fell by herself. Her mother, who was a witness to the whole scene, says that she doesn’t know what she saw. It could mean that her view was as obscured as the TV audience’s or that she couldn’t come to terms with the fact that her daughter was murdered and she was indirectly responsible for it. Because in either of the possibilities, it cannot be denied that Elliot had an active role in Chloe’s death. Maybe more answers will be revealed in the second season of the show, which we really want to happen. It’s been a long time since we wanted a second season of something so badly. And honestly, this is one of the few shows in recent television history that deserves it and would justify it.
When it comes to Becky, Chloe’s confession of the reasons she drifted away from her brought her some closure. Also, throughout the show, as more and more details of Chloe’s life are revealed to her, they bring moments of reckoning for Becky as well, forcing her to confront her own unresolved feelings and trauma. As the show ends, with Becky looking out of the caravan where Chloe was supposed to be, we can deduce that she is on a journey of healing. She has found the answer to the mystery of her friend’s death, though not completely, and we can tell that she is still seeking justice. But her own personal journey of self-discovery has started, and that makes us incredibly happy.
Final Thoughts: Why Does This Show Work So Well?
To answer the question simply, it is because of how grounded in reality it is. And we don’t mean the plot by that; we mean the exploration of friendships, of trauma, and of how it plays out in an age of over-information where you can’t really lose sight of another person despite wanting to. The changing relationship between Chloe and Becky is one of the most realistic portrayals of the long-term effects of the loss of a friendship. The heartbreak is worse than that of a break-up. The only other show that comes to mind in terms of an accurate portrayal of this is “Fleabag.” It is a well-written show, and while the first 20 minutes were slow, the rest of it was nothing short of captivating. A true diamond in the rough. Other than the obvious point of not going by the filtered reality we present online, it is also a lesson in the value of a strong sense of self. And that is why we can’t recommend this show enough. It’s everything we want from a weekend binge and much more.