The idiom “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” came to mind when I was watching Intelligence this week. The series marks the second time this season I had high hopes for a CBS drama only to be disappointed.
And while Intelligence is a better show than Hostages was, that, my friends, is setting the bar pretty low. Instead of having the intrigue of Alias or the humor of Chuck, Intelligence has settled into being a middling, by-the-numbers drama. Even this week’s episode title is boring and uninspired. “Mei Chen Returns” is the equivalent of “See Jane Run.”
As the literal title suggests, Mei Chen, who received the same chip in her head as Gabriel in the series premiere, is back. This time, she’s hacked into Gabriel’s chip and is able to control his render, the thing Gabriel does when he recreates and walks through past events. Of course, Gabriel is recreating the seconds before Riley pushed him out of the building, the hospital exploded and his wife Amelia died.
The episode also featured the return of Amos Pembroke, the tech wiz/traitor who was revealed to be in cahoots with the Chinese in the series premiere. Amos offers up some mild comic relief, the best being when he tells Riley about Mei Chen, “I maintain her chip. In exchange, she doesn’t kill me.”
Annie Wersching (24) guest starred as a CIA operative who had access to Gabriel’s technology and is willing to turn it over to the Chinese government. She’s storing it all on a contact lens (which turns out to be real thing—Google is currently developing a smart contact lens.)
The series seems to be racing through its plot points. Amelia allegedly died last week. This week, Gabriel goes off the grid and is in mourning. But that’s all pretty much wrapped up in the first fifteen minutes. The biggest problem is the series seems to want to set up Mei Chen as one of the show’s main antagonists. but she is simply not that interesting. Even her verbal sparring with Gabriel falls flat. She tells Gabriel they could be the next Adam and Eve, the beginning of a new species. “You’re not Eve, sweetheart. You’re the serpent.” I mean everything is a little bit better when Josh Holloway says it, but the show is giving him some awful, awful lines.
Last week, Intelligence lost 50% of its audience from its premiere and is down 8% in the ratings this week. So my guess is I won’t have Intelligenceto kick around much longer. And I don’t need any special microchip in my head to tell me that.