Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Intelligence - Cain and Gabriel

When an evil super-genius (Alan Ruck) hacks the protected WITSEC database and begins blackmailing former criminals into his complicated terrorist plot involving releasing a weaponized toxic gas in San Fransisco, Gabriel (Josh Holloway) and Riley (Meghan Ory) take a trip to the golden state along with a concerned Lillian (Marg Helgenberger) whose estranged daughter (Laura Slade Wiggins) has made the Bay Area her home. More concerned with protecting her daughter than warning her, Lillian spends much of the episode frozen in indecision while Gabriel and Riley hunt for the puppet master through his blackmail victims.

The episode attempts to correlate the villain's loss of use of his physical abilities and increasing reliance on technology with Gabriel's reliance on the chip. The object is to present the idea that technology can overcome and overwhelm the human condition, but the argument itself is poorly made. It's our bad guy's emotional outrage to his condition, not cold logic, that puts his plan into action. Also, we've seen no signs at all over the show's first dozen or so episodes of our main character ever lacking in the humanity department. In fact the show's primary focus has largely been how Gabriel's personal emotions and feelings can get in the way to use the chip as Cyber Command and the U.S. Government wish.

By the end of the episode Gabriel and Riley are able to catch the mastermind and prevent his agent from releasing the toxin, Lillian spends some quality time with her daughter, and Gabriel remains the agent who is controlled as much from his gut-reflexes as the chip in his head. The situation itself certainly adds tension, as does the level of evil genius Cyber Command battles, but neither the storyline involving Lillian and her daughter or the metaphor comparing Gabriel and the villain are that compelling.

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