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TV Review: Intelligence – “Not a Nice Boy!”

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With two episodes remaining in season one of CBC's Intelligence, Mary Spalding and Jimmy Reardon seem no closer to unraveling their respective messes. In fact, they seem far more raveled.

Mary's not riding as high as last episode, after her senator ally first orders the investigation on CSIS director Dick Royden to go "black" and then cuts off direct ties with her. Through her proxy, the senator orders Mary to simply watch and wait as Royden moves in on the Asia/Pacific region directorship she'd been promised, until she can turn the suspected double agent. Did I mention, while watching Royden take over the job Mary desperately wants? Nice.

Despite his American distributor getting caught in the DEA plot to catch Reardon, Jimmy seems to be riding higher this episode. His plan to set up an offshore bank to take care of his money laundering woes is working out, though he's put his shipping business up as collateral. Ronnie nags him about ensuring Francine the loose canon won't rat on them, but Jimmy is strangely unconcerned, and his confidence is surprisingly not misplaced.

He stages a drug bust that catches an unsuspecting Francine, but she refuses to inform on her ex-husband in exchange for dropped charges. It's hard to imagine the price Jimmy has paid for that loyalty, but he was definitely confident of it before the test. Still, she did change her mind about her drug purchase when reminded of her family, so there might be a loyal heart in there somewhere.

Loyalty is bought in many ways on this show. Mary has bought Katarina's by reuniting her with her family, so she can now ask her to prostitute herself to Dick Royden in order to position herself as a long-term informant. Stripper Tina's loyalty is harder to discern, but she's another example of swapping sex for intelligence. And coke. The world of intelligence is definitely not a nice one.

Neither, of course, is the criminal world. Michael Reardon really is like a big kid. A big, dumb kid. A big, dumb kid with criminal tendencies. He discovers that his nightclub deal is not exactly legit, and the previous owner has disappeared with Mike's cash payment. He and his associate hunt the guy down at his shrieking mother's apartment.

Mother: Please don't hurt him He's a good boy.

Mike: No, he's not a good boy. He's a very bad boy.

He evades them during their fairly pathetic search, but they ambush him later as he tries to escape with the money. Score one for Mike, whose loyalty to Jimmy is one of his only good boy traits.

Jimmy and Mary exchange favours in one of their patented car meetings. Mary assures Jimmy that his cooperation in an arms deal with stock broker Randy Bingham is protected. What she offers him in return for that cooperation is assistance getting away from tricky questions about his bank machine deals, as well as hooking him up with someone who can help with a currency exchange. That favour seems superfluous now that he's set up an offshore bank. She apparently doesn't know about that yet – despite her supposed informant Tina's knowledge. He apparently either wants another money laundering option or he's happy enough with the clue that she doesn't know about that yet.

In a rare glimpse of Ted's personal side, he has a strange exchange with a man in a bar, first exchanging stares, then confronting him in the bathroom to ask what the guy's looking at. Is Ted homophobic? Gay? Both? Paranoid, but not enough to not talk about CSIS's political machinations in a bar?

He earlier discovered from Roger Deakins that Mary was moving to oust Royden, which would leave her position at the Organized Crime Unit open – possibly for Ted, if he plays his cards right. Now he learns that Royden is moving to oust Royden and step in as director of the Asia Pacific region, which also puts Ted on track to taking over Mary's current job. Both sides see Ted as the devil they know, which is not particularly flattering, but puts Ted in a win-win situation. Unless he rocks the boat. Like, say, getting caught at his little plan to trap Reardon in the DEA's snare. Seems a little late to put those worms back in the can, but I won't count crafty Ted out yet.

Phan, Jimmy's Vietnamese connection, doesn't want to lie low after his part in the botched currency exchange raid that led to biker leader Dante's nephew getting killed. His partner Johnny pays the price.

Dante pulls his car up outside the Chickadee to talk to Jimmy and Ronnie about any news on his nephew's murder. After their "gosh, we don't know"s, he opens the back window to reveal a beaten and bound Johnny, with a not-so-veiled threat to torture him further and do some serious damage to Jimmy's empire if he finds out they were involved.

Uh oh.

The next episode of Intelligence airs Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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About Diane Kristine Wild

  • Chet

    Wow. I just saw tonight’s episode. Haddock is a genius. All season long he’s been introducing these little plot threads, dozens of them, leaving them dangling, unresolved until you wonder whether they meant anything at all. Then suddenly, subtly, there’s one little twist of the writer’s fingers, one flash, and you realize all those threads have been tightly woven into a short little fuse, and you’re about to witness one hell of a big explosion.

  • http://unifiedtheorynothingmuch.blogspot.com Diane Kristine

    I am equally in awe. And beautifully put, Chet. I’ll try to refrain from stealing your words for my review ;-)

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    I haven’t watched any of Intelligence but it does look like something I would enjoy. Any word if it will appear on dvd?

  • http://unifiedtheorynothingmuch.blogspot.com Diane Kristine

    Nothing announced yet but I’ll try to write about it when it is.