CBS’ new tech-drama Intelligence is not groundbreaking, it offers predictable storytelling, and a not so original starting premise. So why am I asking for more?
It has potential. Plain and simple, this show’s positives outweigh its negatives.
Let’s start with its lead. Josh Holloway (formerly Sawyer on Lost) stars as Gabriel Vaughn, an ex-Delta forces operative with a microcomputer chip implanted in his brain. He’s the newest and shiniest gadget of the U.S. government. One problem … he’s a real human being, flaws and all. The chest, I mean charm of Holloway transcends lackluster writing. He’s got scoundrel attitude mixed with genetically engineered looks down pat. After watching an hour of Gabriel kicking ass while being a smart ass, you can’t help but want more.
Then add his playing partner, the beautiful Meghan Ory (Red from ABC’s Once Upon a Time) as Special Agent Riley Neal, and you’ve got enough chemistry for a Walter White Blue Stuff starter set. These two kids flirt and make goo goo eyes at each other like they’re 8th grade lab partners. It is super cute. Throw in their witty banter and I for one can’t wait to see where it all goes.
The show is action packed with movie-like sequences full of special effects and stunts galore. The action comes with its share of violence and to its credit the series doesn’t shy away from showing it. Last week, two CIA agents were getting their fingernails ripped off, and this week’s show featured a head sans body in the trunk of a car with a cell phone in its mouth. Ringing. Seems more Netflix than network, but I like the fact that it doesn’t sugarcoat the violence, breaking away to commercial before you see what really happened.
We learn a little more about the characters each week through the dialogue or storyline. Last week, we found out that Riley has bad taste in men and was in love with a jerk who betrayed her and stole her promotion. This week, we discover that Gabriel comes from a long line of dead military men. He’s the only one in his family to return from a war not in a body bag. These little reveals into character are another reason we need to keep this show on the air.
So yes, in spite of its shortcomings, Intelligence deserves to finish out its season strong. It is a diamond in the rough, an undiscovered star, has untapped potential, and any other cliché about something on its way to being great.
My last argument in making the case for more Intelligence is that maybe CBS will jump on the Chicago Fire/PD crossover bandwagon and give us what we all want. Jin and Hurley from Hawaii 5-0 show up on Intelligence to snap Sawyer back to reality. Freckles even makes an appearance. And there’s J.J. Abrams narrating the entire thing in a Rod Serling-like cameo appearance. A girl can dream.