I'll admit it right off. I started watching Intelligence (CBS Mondays at 10EST) for one reason: Josh Holloway. I love his Lost character Sawyer so, so, so much -- he's one of those five characters that transcend the word "favorite" for me. So I wanted to see what else Holloway could do, since the only other roles I'd seen him in were brief appearances in Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) and the series premiere of Angel from way back in 1999.
|Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway)|
So after the first episode I figured that the show would involve lots of high-tech spy work, some crime solving, and Gabriel would spend several seasons searching for his missing wife and trying to clear her name. And I was thinking that might be entertaining, but not especially original or awesome.
And so I watched episode two ("Red X"). And they totally upset the apple cart. Shocked me to no end. If this is that speed-plotting thing I keep reading about, then I like it! Three-quarters of the things I expected to see over the course of at least the first season will obviously not be happening at all, and I am wowed.
And then episode three ("Mei Chen Returns") was kind of okay. But episode four ("Secrets of the Secret Service") -- splendid! Finally, lots of spy stuff, an exotic location, lots of suspense and excitement and tension and some plot twists, and Bill Smitrovich playing a former US President! I love Bill Smitrovich! He played Inspector Cramer on A Nero Wolfe Mystery, and he's never anything but enjoyable to watch.
(Random thing that amuses me: remember that Josh Holloway's character is named Gabriel? In Iron Man, Bill Smitrovich played General Gabriel. Other random thing that amuses me: Gabriel's wife Amelia is played by Zuleikha Robinson, who was also on Lost, though only seasons 5 and 6.)
|Riley Neal (Meghan Ory)|
But Gabriel is... nice. Really, really nice. That niceness that Sawyer keeps locked away 99.9% of the time and sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who knows it's there? Gabriel has it all over, in the open -- look at me, I'm a nice guy. I do wish we had some more character development of him aside from the sad-about-the-wife thing. Then again, I've only seen 4 eps so far, and the 5th aired last night so I'll be watching it online probably tonight. Could be it's chock full of stuff about who he is. Episode 4 did have some info on Riley's past as a Secret Service Agent, so I probably need to be patient as they gradually develop who these people really are.
|This picture is here to reinforce the fact that he has short hair now and is therefore Obviously Not Sawyer.|
If you're interested in watching, I honestly would suggest starting with the fourth episode, "Secrets of the Secret Service," which you can watch for free here, on cbs.com, until next Monday, when it will disappear because CBS likes to kill shows by not letting new fans find earlier episodes easily. Episode 5 ("The Rescue") is up there now too. But if you like episode 4, then you can go here to Hulu and find links to where cbs.com is hiding the first three episodes and watch those too, which for some reason I can't find on the CBS website. I don't know how long those eps will be available at those places, so... watch while you can.
My only quibbles so far are that Gabriel gets over Certain Events awfully quickly (though we might see more fallout from them soon), and that he and Riley got over their initial annoyance with each other a little too easily to suit me. They went from wanting nothing to do with working together to being a great team in one episode, and yeah... more conflict would not have been a bad thing. Oh well. I'm not expecting a brilliant show here, I just want an enjoyable and entertaining one. And I have to admit that I'm already caring way more about the two leads than I do about any of the Agents of SHIELD that are not named Phil Coulson.
One warning: the second episode, "Red X," has a scene where Gabriel is remembering an intimate moment with his wife. It starts at 3:37 and runs through 6:03, though from 4:34 on, it's just two people lying with their heads on pillows and talking, and you might want to start watching again so you don't miss important plot points. Or you can skip to 6:03 and just figure out what happened. That's been the only truly objectionable content so far, other than a bit of adult dialog here and there, the occasional bad word, and the violence you'd expect from a spy show.