Monday, March 31, 2014

Intelligence Season 1 Finale: The Stars and the Chips

An excellent Intelligence Season 1 finale tonight, which tied up some loose ends, and brought out at least one new one to dangle before our eyes and beckon to a second season.

You can analyze this episode by a look at the stars.

Tomas Arana, who played the bad guy in the 1992 movie The Bodyguard - who portrayed the assassin who masquerades as a bodyguard - reprises much of that role in Intelligence.  He plays an intelligence chief who in fact is one of main bad guys - Iranian super spies deep undercover, out to kill a governor on her way to likely being elected President, and anyone who gets in the way.

Lance Reddick plays another intelligence chief who turns out not to be such a bad guy, after all.  But his character doesn't have much luck, and suffers the same fate as his character over on NBC's The Blacklist, also on Monday night.  The character dies.   Reddick played two memorable, long lasting characters on The Wire and Fringe, but his characters haven't had much longevity since.

And Peter Coyote, an outstanding character actor for decades, and Lillian's father on Intelligence, turns out in a nice twist to be the bad guy who hired Mei Chen.  We'll need a second season to find out why.

Gabriel's mother, played by Debra Mooney, makes her first appearance in the series, and is an important new character who lends humanity to Gabriel.  Not that he needs it - as Riley and everyone who knows him sees - he's a human being enhanced not degraded by his chip.  And that's really the thesis and essence of this story, and what makes the series so good.  It has a balance of tech and human, of digital and flesh-and-blood, which is right where it should be, and where I think it will indeed be in our real future.

My one criticism is the continued refusal to mix pleasure (aka sex) and business by Gabriel and Riley. But that can be easily remedied, and is one of the many reasons I hope Intelligence gets the future on CBS it deserves.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes ...Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24 ... Intelligence 1.4: Social Media Weaponry ... Intelligence 1.5: The Watch ... Intelligence 1.6: Helix meets Rectify and Justified ... Intelligence 1.7: Nanites ...Intelligence 1.8: Heart of Darkness, Cyberstyle ... Intelligence 1.9:  EMP Amnesia and Children ... Intelligence 1.10: Lillian's Daughter ...Intelligence 1.11: American Chernobyl Countermeasures ... Intelligence 1.12: Cyber Adam and Eve

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