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Intelligence Review: “Being Human”

(Episode 1.13)

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CBS optimistically called last night’s episode of Intelligence a season finale. Even more optimistically, Intelligence ended on a cliffhanger. Could the series return? Oh, please, please, please I hope not. As long discussed, everyone in the series, particularly Josh Holloway, deserves a better project.

The finale hit on two of the show’s favorite themes: the ongoing flirtation between Riley and Gabriel, and Gabriel wondering and worrying if the chip has somehow made him less than human. This time, Gabriel’s mother got in on the Riley/Gabriel action, telling Riley, “Glad to see he’s met someone he cares about” while Gabriel and Riley protested too much. Seriously, guys, find a room. I promise not to tell Lillian if you two hook up.

In their final scene together, Riley assured Gabriel, “The chip doesn’t make you less than human, it makes you more than human.” Yawn. How many times can the series revisit the same question? (How about “never again”?)

The show has also struggled to find an ongoing story arc. The drama quickly abandoned the story of Gabriel’s traitorous wife and kept trying to make Mei Chen a formidable opponent. She frames Gabriel for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s revealed that he was set up by a group of Iranian sleeper agents who want him out of the picture and want to take over the presidency. A group of the most elite sleeper agents are referred to as the Tigers.

In the episode’s big twist, we learn that Adam Weatherly, the Director of National Intelligence is a Tiger sleeper agent. (Cue the overly dramatic music!) Weatherly ordered the hit on Gabriel, and he plans to assassinate a presidential candidate. On a different show, this big reveal may have been shocking, but Intelligence hasn’t created a series where I’m even remotely curious about what’s happening on the screen.

Along the way, the show made its typical and ludicrous plot decisions, and Gabriel had his share of inappropriate and quippy one-liners. (“I’m a little busy right now trying not to die.”) After being shot, Gabriel heads to his mother’s house. She was an Army nurse, so of course she’s equipped to remove a bullet from her son’s body. I could have even dealt with that. But the idea that his mother’s house wouldn’t be the first place everyone looked for Gabriel is ridiculous.

Still, we go from ridiculous to out-and-out ludicrous when the injured Gabriel and Riley are the only two people dispatched to stop Weatherly from killing the presidential candidate. (I just envision Chris Jameson going, “Guys, I’m right here. I can totally go. Pick me! Pick me!”)

The final shot showed Lillian’s father, Leland Strand, as the one who hired Mei Chen. He pays her for killing Weatherly and tells her he has more work for her. Could he be the presidential candidate the Iranian sleeper agents are ready to put into office? Do you care?

Other thoughts on “Being Human”:
—Monday night dramas have not been kind to Lance Reddick. His characters died on both The Blacklist and Intelligence.
—The one bright spot of the episode was seeing Debra Mooney as Gabriel’s mom. I’ve loved her since Everwood.
—Please don’t let the show be renewed.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.

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