INTELLIGENCE REVIEWS-SEASON ONE
I'll get a name up for this ep once the official site posts its own synopsis--they don't publish titles before then for some reason and my reviews go up the night of broadcast [It's up now, so the official synop is, too]. Yep, they're that fresh!
And no irreverent comments of, "Is that why they're so bloody incoherent, then?" back there in the peanut gallery, now. You know who you are, even if I don't. Behave.
First of all, the new tune they start off the action with this week is fantastic. They need to get a soundtrack out yesterday. I haven't enjoyed an unpublished soundtrack this much since the U.S. version of Touching Evil.
For those of you who were wondering if Mary really did get lucky last week, the show provides us with a wee postcoital scene between her and the lovely Don, where he's getting dressed while they engage in shoptalk and then he gives her a very not-just-friends kiss. That would explain Mary's cocky grin throughout this ep. Nice to see a female protag get to strut like that in a cop show, for once.
Poor Jimmy, meanwhile, is showing some tendency toward less than wise decision-making in that area when he starts (successfully) hitting on Kristina and admits to Rene that he "likes" Mary (God only knows what he means and Rene sure doesn't want to find out). It's tough to blame him. He's just looking for a little sane loving and that looks to happen about the time Satan buys some zamboni machines for the Lake of Fire. But as much as I like Kristina and as much genuine pathos Ian Tracey is quite successfully wringing out of Jimmy's loneliness, that particular trainwreck is too obvious for me to enjoy it much. Also, is it just me or is anybody else getting tired of Ian Tracey always getting cast opposite tall Teutonic/Scandinavian blondes? It's just so...Aryan. And if they are trying to make some kind of they-look-so-cute-together eugenics point, surely they could get the right landmass. The British Isles aren't that small, you know?
It gets especially icky when Kristina meets with Mary later and makes it clear that she's playing Jimmy. "I like he likes me," she purrs, after mentioning Francine's big blowout. Mary matter-of-factly reminds her not to get too close too soon. "I want you to be able to work there for a while." "I know," Kristina replies. "I'm just playing around a bit." Poor Jimmy!
Besides, the future trainwreck that is Jimmy's whatever-it-is toward his handler is so much more fascinating and potentially so much more fiery in the nuclear sense of the word. I hate to favor Jimmy so much when he's already the lead, but he really does get the best lines this week. For example, when Kristina mentions Francine's big scene last week, he refers to Francine as an "evil hag". It's actually kinda cute when Kristina admits that she doesn't know the term and he goes into a little Halloween-relevant rant about Francine's technique with levitating brooms. Kristina catches on quick and suggests he try hanging garlic around his neck, which gives him a much-needed laugh--yup, Francine's definitely a species of vampire. Or maybe succubus. Or Mammy Watta.
An even better line is when Rene reports to Jimmy on Mary's background. We get some interesting biographical stuff--her dad's an ex-Army Intelligence guy living in the Bahamas and she has two sisters--as well as her work resume, which is both impressive and intimidating. Jimmy already knows about the ex, of course, but lets Rene yak about him, anyway. At the end of the report, Jimmy says wistfully, "I like her. Don't trust her, but I like her." Rene gets a strange look on his face and says, "Yeah, hel-LO," before changing the subject to trying unsuccessfully to get Jimmy to take him on full-time. Mary is the enemy, is Rene's intended subtext, of course. Jimmy claims that he knows this, but it's hard to say if he feels it. "She doesn't know anything. She only knows what I tell her," Jimmy assures Ronnie later, but I couldn't help thinking his comment to Rene was the more honest one. You gotta feel for Jimmy; it looks like he's finally found his soulmate and she's on the wrong side of the law.
But Jimmy's best line comes early on when Ronnie pulls him into the Club office and enthusiastically shows off a pair of bulletproof jackets for meetings with new and current associates to a skeptical Jimmy. "If I gotta wear that, I don't wanna be at the meeting," Jimmy quips back in the best line of the ep. No surprise, then, that the ep closes with an attempt on his life. But more on that later. I love watching Tracey and Cassini together. They're so much fun and Jimmy and Ronnie are genuine friends with some great buddy chemistry. They're like the Blues Brothers, only with brains.
Rather less endowed with brains are Michael Reardon and Casey Whelan, who reappears this week. No real surprises there. Michael begins the ep parceling out the dope he rescued last week and sending it over the border with a bunch of biker-looking dudes on foot at night. So, I guess he didn't rip them off after all--I think. But he's still in big trouble back in the family when Ronnie tells Jimmy about the job he did last week for the bikers. An increasingly irate Jimmy has a good talking--to with Michael--several, in fact. But the last one is shortly before Michael realizes that a suspicious-looking guy has a gun (verboten in the Club) and knocks the guy down just as he goes gunning for the office with Jimmy and Ronnie inside. Ronnie comes out and whacks the guy in the head with a baseball bat. The ep ends with Michael redeemed and the would-be hitman being saved (barely) by a patron calling the cops. So much for teaching Michael a lesson. Realistically, this boy needs to end up either dead or back in jail by the end of the season. He's too stupid and unpredictable to stay safe.
Meanwhile, Casey begins the ep by calling Mary from a payphone. Seems Randy flipped out and hit her. Mary picks her up, listens to her fears, finds her a safehouse--and is rewarded by Casey letting Randy "apologize" to her, backing out of being an informant and refusing to leave Randy. This officially makes Casey the character I most wanted to bitchslap this week. Mary is worried. She admits that Casey's situation is growing dangerous and that it's understandable she should quit (certainly an idea to at least entertain), but that's also an even better reason to leave Randy. Casey shrugs and insists that Randy didn't mean it. Casey is doing that stupid thing that so exasperates the friends and family of battered women where she not only allows the abuser to isolate her, but does it herself because she doesn't want to face up to facts. She'd much prefer denial. And that's the river Casey is floating down this week. Your mileage may vary on how far down you want to float with her.
Mary is doing a lot of handling this week, most of it not Jimmy. Aside from Casey and Don, we see her recruiting an East Indian money launderer under investigation, starting off the ep getting an old buddy (who looks a lot like the black cop from the late and lamented Boomtown) to set up a wire on her mole and recruiting another old buddy, a white cop (played by the guy who was the junkie brother of the girl who got whacked in the parking garage in DVI's season six) who's furious at losing the money launderer. She wants the white cop on board to investigate Randy Bingham's gunrunning operation all the way from Vancouver to Africa. Boy, does that actor look different. Before, he was playing weedy nerds or losers. This new character of his is as fierce and driven as Mary. Meanwhile, the old buddy doing the wiretap for her asks Mary about her marriage. Mary admits that Adam's cheating on her didn't hurt quite as much as she expected because it offered her a way out. Hmm. Lots of home truths being admitted this week.
Speaking of DVI alumni, the guy who played Vin Tuan from season seven shows up in the middle of Jimmy's negotiations about his ATM money-laundering scheme. Jimmy grumps to Ronnie that now they have to set up an armored-car business to transfer the money. Ronnie just chuckles and basically says, "I told you so" regarding the complexity of the scheme. Well, it's true; he did.
There's also an interesting but disquieting scene where Mary meets with the CSIS board for the first time. As the film shots make obvious (and she notes to Mallaby afterward), the room is filled with fat, smug, old white men who are about as out of touch as the late-1980s Kremlin. Mary growls that they need "new blood" in CSIS. Good God, I guess. But don't go feeding it to that room full of old zombies. Talk about graphically showing what's currently wrong with the espionage community in the West.
Maxine and Stella don't appear this week, but Francine does get one scene where she goes to a lawyer. She starts off fairly credibly, if strung-out-looking in a rich-man's cast-off moll kind of way. But as she proceeds through her rant, it becomes clear both to the lawyer and us that she really wants Jimmy back and wants to use the law to browbeat him into doing it. She claims to have had a lot to do with his success, though she comes up with nothing concrete. She also claims to have done most of the raising of Stella. Between snorting lines of cocaine, no doubt.
Finally, we get the least interesting part of the ep: Ted and, alas, Roger. Ted and Roger dig up that DEA guy Mary met with in the pilot and get him interested in taking down Jimmy on U.S. charges. This is not the annoying part. What is annoying is when Ted, to sweeten the deal, starts tattling all sorts of stuff about CSIS's new game plan to the DEA guy. Excuse me, but...isn't that called "treason"? We are a pilot and three episodes in and I still don't have a clue what makes Ted tick. Moreover, I'm rapidly losing interest in finding out. Judith was saying that she thinks Matt Frewer maybe wasn't the right actor for the part. I'm on the fence about that, but I sure am not liking the writing for this character so far. I mean, come on, committing treason is a big deal. Why does this guy have such a hard-on for Jimmy? And why should I care? Ted desperately needs some realistic motivation, and fast, before he sinks under the Great Swamp o' Camp and drags Roger (who is a potentially very good character) down with him, never to be seen again.
[Addendum: I forgot to add that Katarina has her dream come true this week when Mary gives her the visas for her family. As she hugs Mary in gratitude, Mary actually gets a little misty-eyed. Awwww.]
Next week: Eps 4: Jimmy wants to know who tried to have him killed--and he wants to know yesterday.
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This page was last updated on 10/25/2006Return to episode guide