TV Review: Intelligence – "Down But Not Out"

Let me preface this by saying that if we don’t hear soon about a season two of Intelligence, I will personally hire a Henchman Bob to do some damage. OK, I won’t, but I’ll be really, really peeved.

The season one finale, “Down But Not Out,” resolves some issues – mostly issues known as Dick Royden – but ends on a cliffhanger. And we’re hanging from a very tall cliff here. If the show does come back, obviously Jimmy’s an integral part of the show and I don’t believe he’d be killed off. If it doesn’t come back, we could be left thinking he’s a goner, except that title offers a some hope, if we choose to look at it that way.

The season’s ratings weren’t great, but you could say that about most CBC shows this year, and I can’t believe the network has anything surpassing the quality of Intelligence in the pipeline, or that scheduling it against frequently top-rated House didn’t have an effect on its popularity.

Written and directed by series creator Chris Haddock, the season finale is another pulsating drive toward a frenetic conclusion, all to a pulsating soundtrack by series composer Schaun Tozer. Jimmy is frantic to find out who in Canada’s intelligence community is threatening to out him as a rat, giving Ian Tracey a chance to show the menace that is always bubbling below the surface of the generally diplomatic Reardon.

In the meantime, he arranges his affairs as best he can, including getting his undercover cop connection to scout out the guy’s identity; spreading the word that Dante’s Disciples are out to smear the Reardon empire, to counteract any word on his informant status that may leak to the street; and to get his banker to stash Reardon’s cash. Bankers are trustworthy, right? Ronnie shouldn’t worry when no one can find banker Hogarty by the end of the episode, right?

Mary is frantic to stop Dick Royden , American mole and Jimmy’s unknown target, ascend to the job she covets – head of the Asia/Pacific region of CSIS. So she gets faithful – or is he? – subordinate Martin to wire Royden’s hotel room, and old friend Eddie to drop a hint to the Americans that their mole has been exposed. “Which one?” ask the CIA, complicating matters further for that second season that better be on the horizon.

Her senator connection has reiterated that Royden is untouchable, implied Mary’s job is in danger, and taken her off the case of proving Royden’s American connection, so Mary has also had to warn informants Randy Bingham and Katarina to get ready to run.

Ted, who is ecstatic to learn Mary will be losing her job and he’ll be finding it, is less frantic than relieved that Jimmy plans to head down to the US to talk to his American distributor – the guy who’s been coerced to work with the DEA as part of Ted’s master plan to have Reardon arrested on American soil. He’s a little less relieved that Jimmy is bringing ex-wife Francine and daughter Stella along for the ride. Is it possible Ted has a shriveled little heart somewhere in that chest cavity? There’s even further evidence when Jimmy arrives in Seattle with his family and Ted discovers that his DEA connection might just be planning to kill Reardon instead of arrest him.

Ronnie takes advantage of Jimmy being away to give Bob orders counter to Reardon’s own – to let Phan take care of Dante if he’s so inclined and therefore remove that particular threat to the Reardon empire.

Jimmy’s undercover cop has come through and narrowed the search for the person threatening to expose him to Dick Royden. Mary and her team overhear Royden talking to his American handler and head to arrest him. Katarina, who’s been warned to pack her bags and get her family prepared to move – again – makes arrangements to see Royden, against Mary’s orders.

Those three threads come together when the Organized Crime Unit’s wireroom overhears room service (otherwise known as Bob, perhaps?) enter Royden’s room, then later, a woman screaming in that room. When Mary and Martin arrive, they find Royden dead and Katarina swearing that someone got to him before she could.

Jimmy meets his American distributor in a bar, but realizes it’s a setup and finds himself trapped in the bathroom with a gun that doesn’t work, a bar full of armed DEA agents, and a cell phone that lets him tell his daughter – who has discovered what her daddy really does for a living – that he’s sorry for the life he leads and that he loves her. It also lets him tell his clingy and slightly insane ex-wife Francine that he’s always loved her. Stress does bad things to people.

The next episode of Intelligence … well, we don’t know yet. But it better air sometime in the fall. Don’t make me hire a Bob.

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4 Responses to TV Review: Intelligence – "Down But Not Out"

  1. Chet says:

    Diane, have you ever watched the Tuesday AND Friday night airings of the same episode? I usually watch it on Friday night and there is nudity and language that I’m sure doesn’t appear in the Tuesday night broadcast.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    Hmm, I usually watch or record it Tuesdays, so I can’t really compare. The season finale had more nudity than I’d noticed before (a stripper finally took her clothes off!) and there’s always at least a couple of variations of the F word. It would surprise me if the airings are different, but anything’s possible.

  3. Chet says:

    Tuesday is my bowling night. I don’t bother taping Intelligence because I know it will be on again on Friday. I’ve seen nude strippers on previous episodes and I think it was your comments about the strippers never taking their clothes off that made me wonder if I was watching a slightly different version. Maybe not.

    Watching Intelligence and Rick Mercer on Friday makes for a pretty good night of television. All on CBC. Rick Mercer, Jozi-H, Intelligence, Arrested Development and Hustle (recently replaced by Doctor Who re-runs). (During the news, I switch channels and watch South Park.) For all the criticism CBC takes, a lineup like that makes me think they’re doing something right.

    I’m still really pissed about what they did to that Cracker movie a few weeks ago, though.

  4. CAROLINE says:

    I would be shocked if they aired two versions. You should email viewer relations at CBC – they’ll know.

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