With a season that has been filled with heart pounding twists and turns, it should come as no surprise that part 1 of the Intelligence season finale, “The Event Horizon” delivers even more thrills than ever before. This action-packed episode features not only a crime scene cyber-render that points to Gabriel as the prime suspect of a multiple homicide, but also another fierce head-to-head match-up between Lillian and her old ‘friends’ Adam Weatherly and Jeffrey Tetazoo. And as if those highlights weren’t enough to guarantee a thrilling and suspenseful episode, we also have the return of both Mei Chen and Leland Strand to add a few more twists and turns. What has become the central theme of this first season of “Intelligence” – trust – also comes to a head as the CyberCom team works to clear Gabriel’s name and discover who is actually behind the murders. With each passing scene, it becomes more and more difficult to determine who can be trusted and who cannot.

The episode opens with three men being murdered in a hotel room – the Deputy Director of the FBI for domestic ops, the former head of Intelligence for the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East, and a security guard. When CyberCom starts investigating the murders, they learn that someone was working behind-the-scenes to clear the assassin’s path, wipe the hotel’s key card system clean, and otherwise remove any trace of who committed the crime. As Nelson quips, this was someone ‘with mad skills’. Gabriel then enters the hotel’s computer system in order cyber-render the crime scene. In an unexpected turn of events, it is actually Gabriel who appears in the cyber-render as the potential assassin.

As Lillian questions Gabriel about his whereabouts so as to make sure he does have his alibi in order before Director of National Intelligence Adam Weatherly arrives, his visit being protocol for this type of investigation, Gabriel reveals an unsettling fact – he woke up that morning with a raging headache and has no memory of the previous night’s events other than that he had a couple of beers with Riley. Lillian and her team, of course, trust Gabriel implicitly and know he couldn’t possibly have committed such a crime so they begin to look for clues as to what has really happened and who is responsible. Weatherly and his cohort CIA Director Jeff Tetazoo, however, apparently do not share a similar trust of Gabriel and, again, per the protocol required for such an investigation, they storm into CyberCom headquarters and place Gabriel into “protective custody” or what Weatherly refers to as “keeping our asset safe.”

Lillian gives Tetazoo "The Look".

Lillian gives Tetazoo “The Look”.

Lillian then has a very tense meeting with Weatherly and Tetazoo. Protocol or no protocol, she clearly doesn’t trust either of them, especially Tetazoo, whom she accuses of spying on her agency again. Lillian and Tetazoo trade a few barbs about common courtesy and information sharing before they finally get down to the business at hand. Weatherly and Tetazoo then inform Lillian that the meeting in the hotel room was an ‘off book’ meeting, definitely not protocol for men in their positions. Tetazoo, however, seems more interested in focusing on Gabriel. He tells Lillian he has two theories to explain Gabriel’s involvement with the murders: 1) One of the men killed was in command of the mission in Mumbai that ultimately led to the death of Gabriel’s wife so it could be Gabriel seeking revenge; or 2) Someone has hacked into Gabriel’s chip and is controlling him remotely. Tetazoo is leaning towards the second theory and presents Lillian with the details of a classified report written by none other than Dr. Shenandoah Cassidy more than a decade ago. Cassidy outlines what he feels could be a vulnerability in the Clockwork program – that it is possible that someone could hack into the chip and cause a “dissociated cerebral action” and basically operate the asset (i.e. Gabriel) remotely. Again, more questions of trust arise: Who would have had access to this classified information and want to use it against CyberCom in such a manner?

Tetazoo questions Lillian about her refusal to believe Gabriel cannot be controlled.

Tetazoo questions Lillian about her refusal to believe Gabriel cannot be controlled.

Once Lillian is briefed, Weatherly and Tetazoo then separate and interrogate both Gabriel and Riley. Weatherly questions Riley as to how far she would actually go to protect Gabriel, implying that she could be considered Gabriel’s accomplice in the murders. Tetazoo and Gabriel have a similarly contentious meeting and when Gabriel takes a cyber-peek at Tetazoo’s files and remarks “Judging from your files, you’re more likely to have committed these murders that I am”, Tetazoo is none too pleased. Gabriel then tries to plead his case, saying that he should be out there searching for whoever has framed him, but Tetazoo informs Gabriel that he isn’t going anywhere because he is “a dangerous weapon that can’t be controlled” and then rather viciously states that as far as he’s concerned, he’ll have the chip ripped out of Gabriel’s head before Gabriel is allowed to leave CyberCom. Feeling that he is being threatened, Gabriel punches Tetazoo and, with Riley’s help, escapes from custody.

Lillian is removed from command.

Lillian is removed from command.

Tensions further escalate after Gabriel escapes when Tetazoo confronts Lillian about her refusal to believe that Gabriel cannot be controlled. Lillian thinks Tetazoo is just mad because his ego got bruised and chides him: “You took a punch, Jeff. Get over it!”. Weatherly steps in, however, and tells her that this incident has caused the President to doubt her ability to control and contain her asset. Weatherly then orders Lillian removed from the command of CyberCommand until further notice, names Tetazoo as Acting Head of CyberCommand, and orders everyone to give Tetazoo their complete loyalty. To the dismay of Lillian and her team, Tetazoo chooses not to presume that they are innocent until proven guilty and launches a full scale manhunt for Gabriel and Riley, ordering that they be brought in dead or alive.
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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.


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