CBC's Intelligence is a very different beast from fellow spy shows 24 or Alias. In fact, any comparison to those shows is as ludicrous as Jack Bauer's ability to go an entire day without visiting the men's room (not that I'm hoping for that particular scene). Intelligence builds its characters and intertwined plots slowly and elaborately, without relying on shock value or ever-escalating, supercharged drama. Instead, we're given bits of intelligence on these characters each week, and the tension builds out of their motivations and actions appearing to be on a certain collision course.
What we learn about Michael in "Don't Break Your Brother's Heart" — for example, that he's a junkie and enough of a screwup that Ronnie wouldn't be sorry to see a contract out on him — adds layers to what we already knew. When he's doing any thinking at all, the motivation for his bone-headed actions is to prove himself to his brother Jimmy. Unfortunately, mostly he ends up proving what a menace he is to the carefully constructed Reardon empire.
In this episode, he continues his plan to bring the bikers' pot across the U.S. border, and on his return, tolerates — barely — lectures by both Ronnie and Jimmy. The episode title comes from Ronnie's speech about getting into rehab "before you break your brother's heart any further." Mike guzzles his drink down and vows it's his last. Ronnie looks skeptical but resigned.
Later, Jimmy asks Michael to clean up, if not in rehab, then by getting exiled to their grandfather's farm on the Island. Mike guzzles his new drink down and vows it's his last. Ian Tracey's simple cocked eyebrow conveys Jimmy's skepticism beautifully.
Through these exchanges, we learn more about Ronnie, too. Like the fact he was the owner of The Chickadee until the Reardons bailed him out of financial trouble. He's also more excited than is perhaps warranted about his new purchase, bulletproof vests for himself and Jimmy. (Foreshadowing alert!)