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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24

A good Intelligence 1.3 last night, in which the targeted character is a woman who wants to defect to the Chinese and give them a hard drive with all kinds of US intelligence secrets.   Sound familiar?  Well, the character is transparently based on Edward Snowden, who went to China and wound up in Russia with a boatload of all kind of confidential information.

The Snowden story is still in hot dispute.  Some consider him a traitor, and would lock him up if not bring him up on treason charges if the U.S. ever got its hands on him.  Others consider him a hero, seeing as how he revealed that our NSA is spying on us, in some part illegally, as it amasses "meta-data" collecting the numbers and times of every phone call we make, etc.  Given that Daniel Ellsberg is correctly regarded as a hero for his release of the Pentagon Papers, which showed the lies upon which our involvement in the Vietnam War was predicated, I tend to put Snowden on the positive side of the ledger.

Not so in Intelligence 1.3, in which his surrogate character - played by Annie Wersching, aka Renee Walker of 24 - is at best portrayed as a confused woman, and subject to all the criticism leveled against Snowden, such as why didn't he stay and face the music in the U.S. (as did Ellsberg), and the irony of defecting to a country that has such low respect for freedom of expression.   (See my Fraudulent Hunt for Snowden for my views on that.)  But it was great to see Wersching back on television - she's had brief stints in the new Dallas and Revolution - and makes me wish she'd be in the new 24 due on TV in May, which she can't unless 24 pulls another Tony.

But back to Intelligence - the game changer is the follow-though of an ominous flicker at the end of the first episode:  Mei Chen is at large, and her chip is a slightly improved over Gabriel's - since it's newer - which opens up a good plot facet.   In episode 1.3, the collective intelligence of our team, especially Gabriel's insight, is enough to get the better of Mei, but this will not necessarily be the case in the future.

Good continuing story, and I'm looking forward to more.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes


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