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.

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“Intelligence” delivered another stellar hour of television this week with their third episode, “Mei Chen Returns”. In this episode, Gabriel’s chip is hacked and the Cyber Command team quickly realizes that not only has Mei Chen survived the surgery that we witnessed in the Pilot episode to implant a chip similar to Gabriel’s in her brain, but her chip also appears to be even more powerful than Gabriel’s. Unlike Gabriel, however, Mei Chen has no interest in using her chip for good; instead, she uses her chip first to taunt Gabriel by invading his cyber renders, but her ultimate goal is to steal the technology behind the chip and sell it so that it can be mass produced and create a new species. As Gabriel aptly proclaims, she is one ‘crazy bitch’ and so Lillian and her team have their work cut out for them: they need Gabriel’s help to stop Mei Chen, but to not take Gabriel “offline” is to leave him vulnerable to the mindgames that Mei Chen seems to enjoy playing with him.

The highlight of this episode for me was watching Lillian at odds with the leaders of some of the other federal agencies. She held her own quite well against her counterparts and even took the CIA Director to task for daring to spy on her agency. Her hard-nosed approach to dealing with them also countered nicely with her staunch defense of Gabriel and his right to mourn his recently deceased wife and her complete faith that he will come back to them and do his job. She might be tough as nails because she has to be, but like Gabriel, she is not a machine. I do still have a lingering question about Lillian’s motivation for not telling Gabriel the truth about Amelia, especially since his unanswered questions are obviously plaguing him and his cyber renders, but I’m sure she has her reasons and that all will eventually be revealed.

In addition to my continuing love for Marg’s character, other highlights of the episode for me were Jameson, Nelson, and Dr. Cassidy. I think Lillian’s boys makes a great team, and I especially enjoy Nelson’s humorous one-liners and his enthusiasm when he’s getting his ‘geek on’: “Booyah!, I’m in!” I also enjoyed the unexpected comic relief that the return of our ‘fat friend’ Amos and his four buckets of fried chicken provided. Those unexpected moments of humor interspersed throughout all of these otherwise intense moments are probably what I enjoy the most about “Intelligence”. It’s just a fun hour of television and I look forward to tuning in each week.


Click the thumbnails below to visit the screen capture gallery for this episode:
Mei Chen Screen Captures Mei Chen Screen Captures Mei Chen Screen Captures