Intelligence Review: Twenty Dollars

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Is the future of technology in the humanization of computers? Or the computerization of man?

Intelligence examines one answer to that question. Gabriel, a man with a chip in his brain, is America's most important asset. He has the ability to search databases, use satellite feeds, surveillance footage and much more on the spot, in real time, and analyze it immediately.

An important national security asset indeed.

On Intelligence Season 1 Episode 1, the show introduced the characters, the technology and the threats that are out there in an engaging, intense manner. The only slower spots were when characters started explaining those things; for example the seemingly never-ending walk and talk between Lillian and Riley.

Intelligence Premiere Pic

The idea of a man with the power of a computer in his brain isn't entirely new, but Intelligence offers a new, fresh, and realistic feel to the story. I never felt like I was watching something futuristic, instead Gabriel felt like someone that could exist in today's reality. Whether that technology or anything remotely close is feasible, I'm not sure, but it felt real.

The chip doesn't give him physical superpowers or allow him to learn and retain information, he's just a guy with access to incredible data mining abilities. His physical abilities come from being Delta Force Tier 1 and serving five tours of duty. Even without the chip, he would be an incredible asset for the country.

The Intelligence pilot effectively introduced the characters and in a way that made me instantly like them and want to see them interact together as a team. The moment that Gabriel and Riley met their chemistry was unmistakable. Not in a romantic way (I hope they don't go there). Instead, they immediately knew how to get to the other. It's a partnership that started with a power struggle and hilarious banter.

The joke about who saved whose life started serious, but developed into a bonding moment for them. Lillian was right, they need each other. When Gabriel gave Riley $20 and said it was for "the next time." Their partnership solidified and they were on the move. Though, it was Riley who made the first move when she sided with Gabriel over Lillian. Her "Well, hell with that," was perfect.

One of the more intriguing threads of the story involves Gabriel's missing and presumed dead wife, Amelia. She was a CIA agent who the government believes became a traitor and helped terrorists. He's determined to find her and will use the chip to do it. At first, Lillian appeared to buy the government's version of events.

When captured by the Chinese, Riley said she would help Gabriel find Amelia. I find Amelia's story to be an interesting addition to the story. Ultimately, it became clear that Lillian actually sides with Gabriel. She traded the disavowed Chinese agent for information about Amelia and then gave Gabriel and Riley the room needed to investigate the lead.

In one episode, I became invested in her story and what happened to her. I wanted Gabriel's faith in her to be right. With the other threats out there, it will be intriguing to find out if the lead on her is fruitful or not. Regardless, I want to know more about her and what she's been doing for the last five years.

Another outstanding thread is the second chip. The Chinese woman woke up! She's sure to play a role going forward. If her chip is more advanced than Gabriel's what does that mean for him and America's national security? They could end up being foes and face off, but that seems too obvious. We'll have to wait and see what comes next for her and where her allegiances will end up.

Overall, I'm looking forward to watching these characters develop as a team while saving the world. The fight scenes and gun fights add to the thrill of the hour. My favorite moment had to be when Gabriel helped Cassidy target and shoot the sniper rifle. I had no clue what was happening at first. A bit of intrigue and a unique way to put Gabriel's chip to work. And, he saved Riley's life!

Dr Cassidy set the tone for the show early in the episode when he said, "Technology is not revolutionary. It's evolutionary."

Will you be back for more Intelligence?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


One of the best new shows of the year. By the way, I think the Chinese agent returns later this season.


Loved the premier episode. I thought the show looked good but wasn't totally sure about it but now I'm glad that I decided to watch it. I love both the main characters and their chemistry is great. The second chip story is interesting and I can't wait to find out if the girl is good or bad or maybe bad then turns good either way it should be interesting. Can't wait till the next episode it looks good.


I got the impression they lab guy and the Chinese gal were in a lab elsewhere; that is why they had not been found. I was a big fan of Chuck too, but I think there is room for both shows. This one was nice because it was ALL cool stuff and you didn't have to wade through the copious amounts of "Geek stuff" at the Buy More. And it was nice to see a main character who is already super-advanced; much like if you took one of the fellows from "The Unit" and implanted him with a super chip. You would expect about this result. Liked it. Will definitely watch more!


I feel the idea behind this show is brilliant and how it is a toned down and more realistic tv series than those of Chuck or in a way Almost Human. I enjoyed the pilot episode, though one thing that left a sour taste in my mouth was the fact everyone forgot about the second chip! Surely the Cyber agency's main priority would be to acquire the second chip, wouldn't the inventor have said, "Oh, by the way, I implanted the chip on a Chinese women, we should retrieve it back". The last scene that shows the Chinese woman waking up shouldn't have happened, it is the writers' deliberate oversight of basic agency protocols that let this happen. Frankly, that was a major disappointment though, I will be watching the next episodes to see how this develops.

Sarah silva

I actually liked this a lot more than I was expecting after reading that lots of people were disappointed.
It has potential and I will tune in again.
It looks like Josh Holloway went to the Stephen Amell school of stunts for some of the stuff he did! I loved when he jumped it one side of the jeep and slid out the other! Very cool.
My one issue is that Lillian did not send a team back to the warehouse to arrest all the guys that were still around including Amos.


I was disappointed that NCIS:LA had to be the "sacrificial lamb" for this piece of mediocrity. The cyber-rendering/hologram effects were OK, but it had more than its fair share of stock characters--the homicidal Asian spy, the brilliant and wholly unattractive "hipsterd" (hipster + nerd), the nebbishy son of the kidnap victim.....


Terms! Terms for anything and everything.. "Make it sound technical" the writing director said. "Oh and toss in 'cyber'. The muggles like that." The character stuff works, the leads click. When they get a chance to.
I like the premise, but this is grinding even to me.


Perhaps the showrunners could themselves heed the title of their show. This was not "intelligent" television.


While I liked the episode, I have gripe with the ending. They did nothing about the stolen chip (or the woman who it was implanted in), the computer tech who sold them out, or other lose threads which they left to be used in later episodes. The Doctor knew about the chip and woman so why was nothing done? It is not as if they did not have the control of lab or the room where the tech was locked up since they were able to take the spy away after shooting him.

@ Bobr

I completely agree with you, but in the show's defence - Riley highlighted the agency's disregard to basic protocols e.g. Letting Gabriel be part of Clockwork even though his wife is officially a traitor.Therefore, their oversight towards not sweeping the lab for the second chip and arresting everyone is part of the amateur-ish agency this show is about.

@ Bobr

That was my thought too. Why was the tech just sitting there? I thought he had become one of the bad guys. I can see why we saw the woman open her eyes.....shock be continued, but why was he sitting there unattended? I missed something, I guess.


I thought the show was stupid. That idea was done so much better and with better actors on Chuck. I'll not watch.

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Intelligence Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Technology is not revolutionary. It's evolutionary. I like that.

Dr. Cassidy

Director Strand: You think protecting the President is more important.
Riley: Respectfully, Ma'am, it is more important.
Director Strand: Funny, he didn't think so.