Intelligence Review: “Athens” (Episode 1.09)

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<i>Intelligence</i> Review: &#8220;Athens&#8221; (Episode 1.09)

This week on Mad Men, Josh Holloway guest-starred as a childhood friend of Don Draper’s struggling to come to terms with his own troubled past.

Oh sorry. I was once again reveling in my fan-fiction of the career Holloway should be having. Instead Holloway was once again headlining a new episode of Intelligence. This week, Will Yun Lee returned as Gabriel’s nemesis, Jin Cong, who infiltrates CyberCom and hacks into Gabriel’s chip. For those of you keeping track, this is the second time Gabriel’s chip has been hacked into in nine episodes. They really need to update their anti-virus software.

Jin Cong is all about idioms in this episode, so I’ve got one for him—while watching, I had no dog in this fight. That’s the crux of the problem with the show. I mean intellectually I know that I should be rooting for Gabriel and his team to prevail, but the reality is I don’t really care. If Jin Cong defeated them, maybe the show would be over?

Jin Cong comes to CyberCom in search of the “Athens list.” As Lillian explains in a moment of really awkward exposition, the Athens list is a list of all the children who contain the genetic mutation that allows the chip to work. How did CyberCom get the DNA of all the children in the country? This is clearly a show you cannot over-think. But knowing that CyberCom and Lillian are keeping a list of children and that this list endangers the children and makes them targets, does make it hard to root for CyberCom, doesn’t it?

The episode was another big excuse to show the CONNECTION between Riley and Gabriel. She’s able to talk him down when he’s confused and thinks that Jin Cong is his ally. Riley urges Gabriel to remember his emotions and his feelings. “You’re not a machine. You have to ignore the data,” she tells him.

Gabriel snaps out of it and is able to help Riley and restore order to CyberCom. And that means the show will be back next week. Sigh.

Other thoughts on “Athens”:
—I did kind of love Jameson taking a chainsaw to the computer wires to shut the system down. Who hasn’t wanted to do that to their technology at some point?
—Once again, Gabriel’s wife Amelia is mentioned, which just fuels my theory that she’s not quite dead yet.
—This week’s prize for inappropriate dialogue goes to Nelson, who after shooting up the ceiling asks, “I don’t have to pay for that, do I?” Because obviously the time for jokes is when you are being held hostage and your colleagues are being killed.

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