Intelligence (2005–2007)

TV Series   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


Episode Guide
Intelligence (2005) Poster

Organized crime and the Organized Crime Unit (OCU) work together to achieve the opposing goals of each respective world.


8.2/10
1,773

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Creator:

Chris Haddock

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User Reviews


5 November 2011 | mforum-1
"Intelligence" Was In Rare Class of the Finest Television Crime Dramas
I think a lot of Americans are just discovering "Intelligence" four years after it was canceled on Canadian television. This American revival of the show began when Netflix began carrying both Season 1 and Season 2 of "Intelligence" in streaming video. It is in the same rare class of crime dramas like "Damages" and more recently "The Killing" which completed it's first season this year on the AMC cable channel.

I was already aware of the talents of Klea Scott. Klea was cast as Special Agent Emma Hollis in the final season (Season 3) of Chris Carter's groundbreaking show "Millennium." She's the first black female to ever be cast in a co-starring role in a television police procedural. In "Millennium" she projected an intuitive intelligence and quiet intensity that serves her so well in "Intelligence." I grew to like Klea Scott's portrayal of Emma Hollis so much, I began to watch "Millennium" as much for her role as I did for Lance Hendrikson's riveting role as Frank Black. The conflicted alliance between Scott's Emma Hollis and renegade FBI agent Frank Black has a strong resemblance to the unlikely bond formed between Mary Spalding and Jimmy Reardon in "Intelligence." It's hard to tell whom is the master and who in the student in the relationship.

The main reason I started watching "Intelligence" was Klea Scott's involvement in the show but I also became an avid fan of Ian Tracey after watching the pilot episode of the show. He's the master of understated intensity as Jimmy Reardon.

"Intelligence" is the first show I've seen that really allows Ian Tracey full command of his acting talents. Like Klea Scott, Tracey is a low decibel stoic actor who projects an utter authenticity and a unique form of anti-charisma in his role as Jimmy Reardon. It's always been the quiet and soft spoken actors that have always seemed the most menacing to me.

Ian Tracey's talent is to transform Jimmy Reardon, a thug and drug dealer into a sympathetic character. Some would even say would say Reardon is a compassionate character but his compassion is reserved for those who serve him well. Reardon even confides in his partner that he genuinely likes his nemesis Mary Spalding, but one wonders if he's merely assessing Spalding's value as an asset to his criminal counter- intelligence operation. Despite Reardon's easy going likability, he never strays too far from his ruthless impulses toward any rival who invades his turf to take his castle to plunder his wealth and do harm to himself, his loved ones or his partners in crime. Mary Spalding has her own set of enemies in her law enforcement agency and many of Spalding's bureaucratic rivals are every bit as despicable and cut-throat as Reardon's rivals in organized crime.

Chris Haddock's creative ideas and writing are a key element of the show but it's the acting chemistry between Klea Scott and Ian Tracey that makes "Intelligence" such a remarkable show. In many ways Scott's Mary Spalding character and Tracey's Jimmy Reardon characters are mirrored images of each other. Both characters are highly intelligent and overly ambitious fixers who know how to use power to get other people to do their bidding. In another life Mary and Jimmy could have been soul mates.

Paradoxically, neither Spalding nor Reardon have great deal of respect for the formal line of demarcation that separates the law enforcement agent from the common criminal. Mary Spalding is pragmatic enough to tolerate the success of an upper-tier cannabis dealer like Reardon because she has bigger fish to fry in the world of organized crime. Why not win the confidence of Reardon?

Spalding's logic is built on the assumption that the survival Reardon's criminal enterprise is equally threatened by the same forces of evil who would do murder and mayhem to innocent members of society at large. In a sense, Reardon is an ethical criminal because he doesn't intentionally prey on the innocent or destroy the fabric of the prevailing social order to make his living. Even so, sh*t happens and innocent civilians get damaged as a result of Reardon's chosen vocation as a career criminal. The same charges could be leveled against any C.E.O. of a Fortune 500 company.

It's this highly unorthodox pact of non-aggression formed between cop and criminal on the basis of mutual self interest, the makes "Intelligence" such a fascinating show to watch. At times it's hard to tell who's the hunter and who's the game. Both players are willing sacrifice the niceties of ethical behavior to their own ferocious ambition. Spalding and Reardon form the same kind of unholy alliance used by nearly all upwardly mobile and ambitious people in everyday life to defeat their ruthless competitors who seek to replace them on the throne, be it in organized crime, law enforcement, or the more mundane world of business. Sleeping with the enemy is an highly effective career strategy for those who can survive the hazards of doing so.

The most intriguing aspect of "Intelligence" is the dance of seduction between Mary Spalding & Jimmy Reardon. It's the story of a scary smart female operative who attempts to win the confidence of the perhaps an even smarter male informant by ritualized and sometime unintentional trade of high value intelligence information. Both characters are inside traders who traffic in the world's most valuable currency: information. Ultimately the most intelligent player who builds the most effective intelligence network will win the game. Everyone else is a pawn in this game. It was a wondrous and harrowing ride through the two seasons of "Intelligence" and I was sad on the day I finally viewed the last episode of the final season. I knew I wouldn't be a crime drama as good as "Intelligence" on any television network for a long long time.

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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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