In addition to presenting exciting storylines that have left viewers on their edges of their seats each week, Intelligence has also begun to delve a bit deeper into the personal lives of each of its main characters. The first few episodes focused primarily on Gabriel Vaughn and his obsession with locating his wife, Amelia, and proving that she was not an enemy of the United States. Then we moved on to Riley Neal and got to sneak a peek into her former life as a Secret Service agent. As we got to know Gabriel and Riley better, Marg’s character, Lillian Strand, however, had remained somewhat of an enigma until last night’s episode. “The Rescue” is the episode that Marg fans have been waiting for — where we finally got a glimpse of Lillian’s personal life, specifically, her relationship with her father. While this relationship doesn’t fully unravel the mystery that is Lillian, it does shed some light on what has made Lillian the woman she is today.
As soon as Lillian’s father, Leland Strand, brilliantly played by Peter Coyote, comes on the scene to request CyberCommand’s help in rescuing a senator’s daughter who has been abducted by a Mexican drug lord, you can tell that he and Lillian have a complicated and somewhat strained relationship. When Lillian starts to question Leland about why and how he is involved since his role is unclear, he undermines her credibility in front of Adam Weatherly by calling her ‘Rooster’, which one can only assume is a ‘pet’ name from when she was a child. The tension radiates off of Lillian, who looks like she wants to strangle Leland. She then questions his respect for her. His response “If I didn’t respect you, would I be here?” doesn’t seem to convince her. Leland then goes on to tell her that she is “relentless” and that it’s a trait she gets from him. Lillian doesn’t appear especially comfortable with the idea of being just like Dad either, but once she realizes that the President is the one who sent Leland to her, she agrees to help rescue the senator’s daughter.
Lillian butts heads with her father again when she realizes that he has been withholding information from her. Because she remembers everything her dad taught her when she was younger, Lillian pieces together that not only does Leland know Hector the drug lord, but Hector is actually one of Leland’s ‘assets’. In exchange for ‘intel’ that can bring down his drug dealing competitors, Hector has basically been allowed to do as he pleases, unchecked by authorities. Leland deems that letting Hector roam unchecked in exchange for his ‘intel’ is the lesser of the evils and balks when Lillian tells him that he needs to get his ‘asset’ under control. This difference of opinion comes to a head once the rescue mission is complete and Riley and Gabriel have the opportunity to bring Hector into custody. In an unexpected move that places both Leland and Weatherly at odds with Lillian, Weatherly tells Lillian: “We have the girl. Your agent is safe. Hector Vi Riall is not your concern.” Against her better judgment and because she feels she has no choice, Lillian follows the order and allows Hector to go free. You can tell by the look on her face that it kills her to have to give in and that she is also disappointed by her father. When she next sees her father, she point blank accuses him of having climbed into bed with evil.
Lillian has the last word though and proves that while she might be relentless like her father, unlike him, she is not willing to make deals with the devil. In what has to be the best scene of the series to date, Lillian, dressed to kill in a sexy red gown, literally does just that. She phones Hector, tells him that he should have taken the deal he was offered. She tells him that he crossed the line when he crossed our border and took those girls and that his services are no longer needed. The lovely young woman who is relaxing in the tub with Hector then stabs him to death, carrying out Lillian’s orders. Lillian’s father walks in at that moment and asks Lillian if everything is all right, she replies with a sly smile, “Better” and off they go to enjoy a night at the opera, Leland blissfully ignorant that Lillian has just put the ‘all boys’ club’ of Weatherly and Company on notice.
I really loved this episode. Marg and Peter Coyote were so great together. I loved the tension that was present in all of their scenes and that it was hard to read how father and daughter truly felt about each other. I hope that we’ll see more of Leland because I’d like to see their relationship explored further. Marg was also just fantastic throughout the episode. She is definitely channeling Hillary Clinton, who is another of my own role models, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Definitely check this episode out if you missed it last night. You can watch the full episode on CBS.com.
GABRIEL AND RILEY HEAD TO TEXAS TO CONTAIN A DEADLY VIRUS AND FIND PATIENT ZERO, ON “INTELLIGENCE,” MONDAY, FEB. 10
“Patient Zero” – Gabriel and the Cybercom team head to Texas to help contain an outbreak of a deadly, rapidly spreading virus, but when Gabriel cyber-renders ground zero of the outbreak to isolate who Patient Zero might be, he and the team are shocked to see that the suspect is a criminal believed to have been executed a week earlier, on INTELLIGENCE, Monday, Feb. 10 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. a
Josh Holloway (Gabriel)
Meghan Ory (Riley Neal)
Marg Helgenberger (Lillian Strand)
Michael Rady (Chris Jameson)
John Billingsley (Dr. Shenandoah Cassidy)
PJ Byrne (Nelson Cassidy)
Tomas Arana (DNI Adam Weatherly)
Nick Searcy (General Greg Carter)
Sandra Cevallos (DHS Anna Rachey)
James MacDonald (DFBI Oliver Sicola)
Ronnie Blevins (Luther Vick)
Carrie Coon (Luanne Vick)
Daniel S. Gonzalez (Tom-Tom Benitez)
David Carpenter (Warden)
Matthew Jones (Jones)
WRITTEN BY: Michael Seitzman
DIRECTED BY: Adam Davidson
Here’s a third sneak peek clip from tonight’s episode of Intelligence. This looks like one that Marg fans have been waiting for!
Intelligence is about to dig deep in the life of its guarded leader Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) when her father comes to town.
Episode Summary: When Gabriel (Josh Holloway) and Riley (Meghan Ory) go in search for the kidnapped daughter of a senator in Mexico, a Mexican cartel demands he end the sale of a U.S. spy satellite in exchange for her safety. But things will become hazy for the team when Lillian discovers a connection between the drug cartel and her father Leland (Peter Coyote).
Check out a TV Guide exclusive sneak peek of Monday’s episode:
Marg did a phone interview this morning with K-Earth 101 where she shed some light on the character that she plays in Intelligence, talked about what it was like to leave CSI, and about some of the odd jobs that she had early on in her career.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview that K-Earth posted on their site. Click the link at the bottom of the post to listen to the entire interview.
Former CSI star Marg Helgenberger has returned to CBS in a brand new action-packed drama Intelligence alongside Lost star Josh Holloway on Monday nights at 10. This morning, Marg called in to the Morning Show to talk a little about her new role as the “mysterious” Lillian Strand, the Director of the US Cyber Command.
“The character is rather enigmatic and mysterious and inscrutable…but that’s what makes her kind of fun and appealing in turn for me because I don’t know what’s around the bend,” she explained.
After her longtime role on CSI, Marg found it easy to transition into her new role on Intelligence, saying that her experience in crime dramas prepared her for what’s to come on the show. Though after CSI, she explained that her return to TV drama was purely by coincidence.
“I was definitely open to anything really,” she said on her role in Intelligence. “I think sometimes you play a role for so long people have a hard time seeing you in another genre, so it’s not like comedies are just like thrown at me because it’s not what I came from.”
Before becoming a huge TV star, Marg worked a few odd jobs in her early career to support her dream of acting. Marg tells us that she was once a weekend weathergirl in Kearney, Nebraska that she said was “a fluke” and only lasted one summer.
Another odd job that Marg had in her early career was working as a boner at her father’s meat packing plant where he was the government meat inspector for.
“It was many jobs, it wasn’t just being a boner…basically you’re given a set of knives and it’s an assembly line and certain cuts of meat would come down the line and you’d have to shape it,” she explained.
It’s that kind of real-life experience that gave Marg the edge and prepared her for her breakout role in CSI and beyond.
Catch Marg back in action on Intelligence for tonight’s episode about a daughter of a U.S. senator who is kidnapped to Mexico by a drug cartel and they embark on a rescue mission to bring her back.
Tune in to Intelligence tonight at 10 p.m. and listen to their full interview with Marg on kearth101.cbslocal.com.