Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot” | Original air date: Jan. 7, 2014
- “Intelligence” is bland, unoriginal and visually irritating to watch. It wastes the charming presence of former “Lost” star Josh Holloway. CBS-TV plans to put this up against NBC-TV’s “The Blacklist” on Monday nights. Judging by the pilot, it doesn’t have the moxie to win that fight despite a debut to nearly 16.5 million people.
- Holloway plays Gabriel Vaughn, a U.S. secret agent with a microchip in his brain allows him to control computers with his brain. The premise is basically “Chuck” or the short-lived “Jake 2.0,” but instead of putting the super computer stuff in a nerd, the government actually put it inside a competent agent.
- Vaughn visualizes crime scenes in his brain using the data. The special effect looks like a 3-D video game. It’s unimpressive and kind of tedious. No one has found a way to make computer stuff interesting on TV. This PlayStation effect leaves me cold and bored. This is likely going to be a regular part of the series. It’s not something to look forward to.
- Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) is Vaughn’s handler. She hires Secret Service agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory) to guard Vaughn on his highly dangerous missions. Neal has a sappy backstory. Her dad beat her and her mother. She killed him, but it got swept under the rug. Now she’s a Secret Service agent. On TV and in movies, nobody enters law enforcement unless they have a dark, sad motivation. Vaughn is searching for his wife, who apparently is a double agent who turned traitor in some unseen backstory.
- There’s a plot in the pilot, but it doesn’t matter. Everybody is saved in the nick of time by Vaughn’s manipulation of technology. Ongoing story threads are laid down, but they aren’t very compelling. It’s nice to see Holloway in a lead role, but I don’t think he’ll be holding this one long.