Clearly, CBS knows what many viewers want to see from Josh Holloway—less clothes, more skin. Probably to the great delight of female viewers everywhere, Holloway donned nothing more than a towel and his washboard abs as the show kicked off its second episode.
And I was right about the opening credits, wasn’t I? They are such a throwback to a ’70s/’80s era show. It just isn’t a great sign when a series has to use its opening credits to reiterate its premise. For its second outing, the show was still stuck in exposition mode with the majority of it still falling to Marg Helgenberger’s Lillian Strand. It’s boring and halts the show’s momentum.
In “Red X,” Gabriel must stop a terrorist on U.S. soil when Lillian and CyberCom learn there is a consumable and undetectable bomb being used in suicide attacks. But the real story was Gabriel’s missing, presumed dead wife Amelia. She ends up being part of the group planning the domestic terrorist attack. “I’m the bomb,” she tells him as Gabriel tries to stop her. “I hate you. I’ve always hated you.” Riley pushes Gabriel out the window as the bomb explodes. Her job, after all, is to protect Gabriel.
We are led to believe that Amelia is dead. But is she? I doubt it. On a show like Intelligence, someone isn’t dead unless you see the body. The drama still seems to be setting up Gabriel and his desire to prove Amelia’s innocence, despite all evidence to the contrary, as one of the major ongoing arcs of the series. I’m fairly confident we’ll see Amelia again this season. Especially because the final moments of the episode had Lillian realizing that Amelia had ensured Gabriel would learn the location of the next attack.
Through all this drama, Riley and Gabriel talk cute and flirt. He asks her about her boyfriend. She moves into an apartment right above his. He knows her favorite ice cream flavor. (By the way, why does Gabriel need a cell phone? Couldn’t they just call the computer chip in his head?)
Their adorable verbal sparring comes to a halt, however, when she pushes Gabriel out the window as the bomb detonates and seemingly kills his wife. “Even if you hate me, I’m glad you’re alive,” she tells him.
In a second episode, a series needs to give viewers a reason to keep tuning in. Unfortunately, “Red X” didn’t do that. So far, the show has failed to distinguish itself as a unique, compelling drama. As I said last week, Holloway’s charm (and abs) will only take the show so far.