Every series starts out with a few explanatory episodes – who are these people? What’s their deal? Who are the bad guys? If a series doesn’t grab you in these first few episodes, forget it. Intelligence just aired episode 4 – hubby, who is watching with me, agrees that this series did a reasonably good job with its introductory cycle, and is worthy of our continued viewership.
In last night’s episode, there was no mention of Chinese agent Mei Chen, but we’re sure she’ll be back at some point; and only one short, veiled reference to Gabriel’s wife Amelia, who may or may not have died in a bomb blast in episode 2. This most recent story focused more on what Gabriel can do with the extraordinary abilities powered by the chip implanted in his brain, on the growing trust and relationship between Gabriel and Riley, and set up a government agency vs. agency conflict that could be very interesting, especially given the current political climate.
Two journalists have been taken prisoner in Syria, accused of being spies. Gabriel and Riley are attached to former President Finnegan’s Secret Service detail, when Finnegan agrees to head up negotiations for their release. Finnegan, we learn, was the man who originally signed the order that brought Clockwork to life, setting up some “Luke, I am your father” lines. The younger Cassidy (son of the genius Dr. Cassidy, developer of the implant chip) is going to be the class clown and comic relief! Charlie Griffin, the leader of the detail, is a man Riley worked with in Panama, on an assignment that put a kink in her career and in a position to be assigned to Clockwork. She won’t talk about it; you know Gabriel will find out, despite his promise not to cyber-dig into her past.
The group learns quickly that these negotiations are the cover for another issue, and that Syria is using the talks and the breakdown that will be engineered as an excuse for war. During the rescue attempt, one of the two journalists tells Gabriel that they are really CIA, on a mission to find a scientist working on a missile guidance system and extract her – Gabriel must identify and grab the scientist before the agents will allow themselves to be rescued. The scientist turns out to be an American married to a Syrian, with a child she won’t leave. (The husband seems expendable, however.) Despite orders to get her on the plane and go, leaving the agents to their fate in the Syrian prison, Gabriel returns for the agents – the male agent has died from his wounds, but the female agent is grabbed, and they run for the presidential plane. Gabriel operates under his own sense of right and duty, a tendency that already, in the short run of this series, has caused some consternation. We have here a man who thinks for himself, takes orders when he believes them to be right, but makes decisions on his own.
The mission is not as straight-forward as it seems, however – the agents’ real assignment has been to kill the scientist before she can help the Syrians. Riley and Gabriel keep her from killing the scientist on the plane, and return both scientist and agent to the US. Gabriel learns the secret of Riley’s career problems with Griffin – he took credit for a rescue in Panama and threw suspicion on Riley for problems encountered during that operation.
Back at Cyber Command, Lillian is told that the CIA director, with whom she has a prickly relationship, will now be part of Clockwork’s oversight team. Gabriel’s tendency to go off script has created concern. “There’s a thin line between improvisation and insubordination, and the President is concerned about the day we won’t be able to control Gabriel at all” Lillian is told. Are they setting up a Gabriel-Goes-Rogue plotline? There’s a lot to be explored yet about what Gabriel can accomplish with his intelligence-gathering capabilities. And lots of questions still about Amelia, which I’m sure won’t go away any time soon. When former President Finnegan asked Gabriel why he consented to have the chip implanted, Gabriel seemed to not know how to answer, and Riley stepped up, saying “For love…” and after a quick telling glance from Gabriel, she finished, “of country.” Given that he’s already shown his determination to find out what happened to Amelia, I think he would have ended that sentence differently. And it should be fun to see what he can do!
Full episodes are available at cbs.com.