I’ve come to expect a wild and entertaining ride each week when I sit down to watch Intelligence and this week’s episode “Patient Zero” lived up to that expectation. The basic storyline for this episode is that there is an outbreak of a deadly, rapidly spreading virus in Texas. Lillian and her CyberCommand team are contacted to see if they can be of assistance in containing the virus through identification of the virus and identification of Patient Zero, who is the carrier of the virus and who is infecting everyone he or she comes into contact with. When Gabriel cyberrenders ground zero of the outbreak to isolate who Patient Zero might be, he and the team are shocked to see that their suspect is a dead man, a criminal believed to have been executed a week earlier. On Lillian’s orders Gabriel, Riley, and Nelson head to Texas to see what they can find out. And the ride just gets even wilder from there…
Before I get to all of the Marg-related highlights, because you know that’s where I’m ultimately headed, let me start out by saying how much I enjoyed the chemistry between Gabriel and Riley in this episode. I’ve enjoyed their banter throughout the series so far, but I definitely felt like their relationship has moved a bit beyond the mere ‘coworkers’ stage at this point. The line “Either we’re partners or we’re not.” seemed to hit home for both of them. I don’t know if we’re headed for a romantic relationship or just a good friendship, but either way, I enjoy the two of them together.
Okay, on to Marg and Lillian Strand…
Wow, how fierce was Lillian this week?! I think all of my favorite moments involved her kicking ass and taking names. From her first scene, when she comes in to view Nelson’s demonstration of a mind-controlled quad copter, you can tell Lillian is not to be messed with. Nelson offers to give Lillian the quad copter technology if she will apologize for accusing him of conspiring with Chinese terrorists to steal the second microchip Nelson’s father had secretly made. I’m not sure how exactly Nelson envisioned this conversation playing out, but Lillian’s response quickly shuts him down: “Well, Nelson, maybe you and your father should apologize to your country for duplicating top secret technology, for exposing the most valuable intelligence weapon in this nation’s arsenal, and for nearly getting the prototype killed.” With those words, she turns a grown man into a child. All Nelson can retort with, once she is too far away to hear him of course, is that “she’s a Disney villain.” Granted this scene was all in fun before the real action starts, but it definitely sets the tone for how Lillian interacts with everyone.
She immediately shows her badass side again once the call about the deadly virus comes in. After assessing the situation and in spite of the protests from both Cassidy and Riley because of their fears Gabriel could become infected, Lillian determines that sending Gabriel to Texas is the best course of action to quickly find Patient Zero and contain the virus. I loved how she abruptly puts an end to their protests by reminding them that she’s the boss and it’s her judgment call: “I’m not asking.”
Another favorite scene for me was during the inter-agency briefing led by Director of National Intelligence Adam Weatherly. Lillian holds her own against the heads of Homeland Security and the FBI, and especially the Director of Defense Intelligence who seems a little put off that he doesn’t know anything about Clockwork. Lillian’s interaction with Weatherly afterwards is a particularly defining moment. Weatherly tells Lillian that while he understands her reasoning for deploying the asset (meaning Gabriel and Clockwork), he wants to make certain that she is aware of what a huge risk she is taking by potentially exposing Gabriel to the deadly virus while he’s trying to stop it. Lillian, still secure in her belief the reward (i.e. stopping the virus and saving countless lives) far outweighs the risk, responds “If we’re not using this program to save American lives, then why have it?” Weatherly, in what might be an attempt to rattle Lillian and make her fear for her job, reminds her that Clockwork will be perilous as long as there’s only one Gabriel. “You want a hundred of him? A thousand? Then the program must not only continue to prove itself, but it must endure. And by it, I mean him.” Lillian doesn’t back down but assures him that she understands the risk.
The absolute best moment of the episode, however, is when Lillian takes down the Director of Defense Intelligence, who as it turns out, was involved in the manufacturing of the virus and in the decision to test it on a man who had been sentenced to die anyway. As he is being led away, the general tries to defend his actions by saying that he was trying to create an antivirus that would ward off a future bioterrorism attack and so was justified in his decision to test the virus on a murderer, especially since he was a cop killer anyway. The general firmly believes that such a terrorist attack is inevitable and tells Lillians: “The monsters are at the gate.” Lillian’s response is simply “Looks to me like the monsters are right here.” I love how Marg delivers that line. Do not mess with Lillian Strand.
Adam Weatherly is a character that is difficult to read and his interactions with Lillian always leave me wondering what to think of him. One moment he is congratulating Lillian on her big win in taking down the dirty general, but then he goes on to say: “You know, the only thing that worries me more than the power of any one agency is the power of any one agent.” Lillian, probably having the same flashback that viewers are to the ‘Checks and Balances’ conversation that she recently had with Weatherly and Tetazoo, replies: “Are we talking about Gabriel, or are we talking about me?” Weatherly declines to respond, indicating that he is perhaps not a fan of Lillian’s badassery, and so the scene ends on a bit of an ominous note.
Is this leading to a showdown of sorts between Lillian and Weatherly? If so, my money’s on Lillian!
I say this every week, but Intelligence just keeps getting better and better. The fast pace, the special effects, and the many plot twists, combined with complex characters that I want to know more about, make for a winning combination and keep me coming back week after week. If you haven’t already, give Intelligence a look. If you’ve looked once, give it another shot. You won’t be disappointed.