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  • From the literally up-in-the-air first scene to the rueful end-of-the-day drink between reluctant allies, smuggler Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) and his top-cop handler Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), in the series opener, this show moves with startling speed. Those who found last year's Da Vinci City Hall and the Intelligence pilot off-putting in their complexity should enjoy the series anyway. The pilot juggled maybe too many balls and sometimes felt jagged as a result. The show does not have that problem. It goes down smooth as Irish whisky.

    The look is cool and different, with a sinuous style--think Miami Vice in 21st century Vancouver. Tracey is fascinating as the conflicted, but ultimately good-hearted, Jimmy. Talk about a guy trapped in a pit full of snakes. Scott is similarly fine as the professionally and personally beleaguered Mary. If you've been missing Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect, you'll quickly get hooked on Mary's tough, no-nonsense style. The fact that she's not your usual little-girl-lost blonde we seem to get in every cop show these days certainly doesn't hurt. It's really nice to get a modern noir story with protagonists you actually like. Jimmy and Mary, at least so far, are the good guys. It's just that they're very unusual good guys.

    This is the kind of show that could claim a wide range of audience if it can get half a chance against the heavy-hitters on Tuesday night. Let's hope.
  • ivko20 January 2008
    I recently stumbled on this show by accident while doing an IMDb search on an actor. Being your typical insular American I had never heard of 'Intelligence' or even the CBC, but I have to say that after watching the first two seasons I am very impressed. Sadly, rumors are that the show has been canceled so I suppose some things about Americans and Canadians are the same; 'The Wire' was never appreciated by viewers here either. The show is an extremely smart (or intelligent; get it? hah hah hah) approach to the world of espionage and organized crime. Shows that I've seen in the past dealing with these topics were most often disappointing in their shallowness and over-simplification of a complex and difficult world. As an example, one of my pet peeves is that often when you watch a show about the CIA you would think that there are exactly 10 people working for the agency. 5 covert operatives and 5 analysts/technical operators. Studio execs will tell you they compress the number of characters so that audiences don't get confused, but to me the whole thing usually just comes off fake. "Meet Joe, he's our computer/linguistic/explosives expert who joined the Navy Seals after getting his Phd's from Harvard and is now a US senator." Fake.

    Not so with 'Intelligence'. The show has a large and diverse cast, allowing the show to explore the facets of characters in a more organic way. Of course, a large cast also means some characters you would like to see more of just can't get the screen time you would like but that's the trade off and, in my opinion, it's well worth it.

    I've always been fascinated with the spy world, all those secrets within secrets makes for fascinating mental games, and the back story of Canada attempting to create their own international spy ring provides great opportunities for story lines. Add to that the very realistic portrayal of life in a drug kingpin syndicate and there is always plenty of interesting plots developing, often independently, in each episode.

    Ian Tracey plays Jimmy Reardon, a weed drug smuggler who has built quite the little empire in Canada. Jimmy has done quite well for his "family", but the difficulties of success are beginning to make his life difficult. His life plays out like that of any successful business exec; constant meetings all day, inept employees, and logistical nightmares of running an organization with hundreds of employees. Contrary to popular images of drug dealers Jimmy is quiet, reasoned, not prone to fits of anger, and prefers to make well informed decisions that avoid violence whenever possible. Eventually, circumstances conspire to bring Jimmy into contact with Mary Spalding, played by Klea Scott.

    Mary is, in basic personality, much like Jimmy. Quiet, tough, and highly capable, she is currently running the Canadian Organized Crime Unit, but is being tapped for a leadership position in the newly forming (or organizing, I'm not really sure which) Canadian intelligence service CSIS. Working in an old-boys network along side some of the worst vipers you've ever seen, Mary is a human intelligence specialist. She recruits confidential informants and, soon, spies. Events unfold that allow Mary to recruit Jimmy as what may possibly be the agencies most valuable asset. Occasionally their interests merge and Jimmy and Mary can help one another, though they maintain a careful cat and mouse routine between the two of them, not really trusting the other.

    The truly fascinating thing (for me) to watch is how the CSIS agency builds itself into a real force to be reckoned with, and the ethical dilemmas that begin to unfold as they succeed. At first many of Mary's recruits approach her, or are in situations where they can help one another, but as soon as her higher-ups realize she's making it happen specific requests start pouring in and the decisions get harder. The agency begins to resort to blackmail and extortion to accomplish it's tasks. It raises interesting points. The CIA has (often rightly) taken a lot of heat here in the states for its actions in the past, but those same critics want intelligence agencies to be affective in preventing the next domestic attack on our nation. There is a definite moral and ethical trade-off that takes place with effectiveness at some point, and the show does a great job of highlighting that.

    I won't bother going into the other characters on the show. As I said, there are a lot of them, but I'll say that most are well created and interesting. The show has enough action to keep the pace up in most episodes and the filming quality is decent though a bit of a step down if you are used to American production values. Definitely worth watching if you get the opportunity.
  • I will admit that I initially began to watch Intelligence because it starred Ian Tracey but even Tracey wouldn't be able to keep me watching if I didn't like the show. And I haven't missed an episode yet.

    Jimmy Reardon (Tracey) is loyal to his family and long time friends while battling an ex-wife for custody of his daughter and business competitors for control of his business. He is hard working man and a loving father. He just happens to be in a different business.

    The show is full of twists and turns. I like the way people have ulterior motives - just like in real life. You never who is going to do what next. Or where their actions are going to lead.

    Chris Haddock has again served us with an intriguing drama. Even though I am Canadian, it matters less to me that this is Canadian and more that it is a great show.
  • I taped this show each week, and if I made the mistake of starting to watch the tape when I had other things to do, thinking "I'll just watch the first few minutes", there was no way I could stop. I had to watch the whole thing.

    When the credits rolled on the season finale I swore loudly at the screen. I didn't want it to end, especially not at the point that they left it dangling at! Next season promises to be explosive.

    "Intelligence" isn't just great character-driven storytelling, it's a fascinating view into the machinery of domestic intelligence-gathering in both Canada and the U.S. as well as the politicking and maneuvering within and between the variou intel organizations and the criminal organizations they're supposed to be monitoring.

    But it's not all wiretaps and whispers, it's robberies, assassinations, and gang warfare. Make no mistake, this is exciting crime drama.

    The characters are vividly drawn and so believable that I expect to run into them in the street on my next trip to Vancouver. They are textured with flaws and weaknesses, exhibiting flashes of decency and kindness one moment, ruthlessness and cruelty the next. There are no clear heroes or villains. There are sympathetic and repugnant characters on both sides of the law. Sometimes I felt sorry for those I had despised, or I felt betrayed by characters I had trusted. I'm invested in all their stories, and I'm dying to know how they resolve next season!

    Hopefully season one goes to DVD shortly. As a tightly-paced serial it will be good to watch all of the episodes back-to-back unbroken by commercials. It would also be an opportunity for many, many more people to get hooked on this show!
  • I came across this old favourite of mine on late night TV today and once again found it a wonderful change from the usual drivel. The plots are well written and character driven; the writer Chris Haddock assumes that viewers have intelligence themselves and writes to entertain adults, not juveniles. I had not intended to stay up so late but could not help myself after just a few minutes into the episode. The acting is excellent and understated and it is that plus the brilliantly complex story lines which drive the show, not bombs, guns and fighting that are so common in most shows. Having said that, when there is action but it is used to drive the plot line, not hide the fact that there isn't one.

    It has always puzzled me why this sort of show along with others such as The Border are cancelled prematurely while so much lesser crud survives. Maybe they are just too real and to the point ? Meanwhile Clint Eastwood seems to have found Haddock and uses him to make great movies, so maybe this is more of our Canadian inferiority complex once again asserting itself ? Like Joni Mitchell said "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til its gone....."
  • 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.
  • paranormaljello17 August 2017
    I demand an explanation. This show is a winner in every way. A veritable needle in the haystack. Superb character development, convincingly acted, and plausible story lines.I was stunned when I discovered it was cancelled. Such a waste of cinematic acumen. Maybe it got a little too close to the truth.
  • I was amazed by the first season of Intelligence, and am looking forward to the second season in a few weeks.

    The ambiguity of the characters has always been a big draw for me: a likable main character is a major drug dealer, a police informant, and a dad going through a messy divorce who occasionally remembers what he saw in his soon-to-be-ex-wife. His biggest business issue is that he can't launder money fast enough to keep up with his sales...

    Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Just what does it mean to be good, anyway? And what does it mean to be bad? If you like these sorts of questions, you will like Intelligence. If you like your drama clear-cut, you won't.
  • i have fallen for this show quite hard. it has all the elements i love, with a cast that i've grown fond of. i believe this show could do well in the US, and in the news it seems that it will have it's chance. i just hope that it keeps the same cast and crew. after watching two seasons, i also can't imagine it set in any place but Vancouver, so i also hope that is kept as well. everyone has heard CIA, FBI, DEA, and similar stories of US agencies a million times over in the various crime drama shows on the air. part of what i liked about this show is that the Canadian Intelligence does some things a bit differently, and it's interesting to see what their forces are like, even if it is just fiction. Basically, I hope FOX doesn't change a thing besides giving the producers more $ to spend on the show, and obviously more exposure. keeping my fingers crossed.....
  • This show took me by surprise! This is a crime drama that does innovative things. For starters there is no good or bad. Or at least it isn't clear cut. Everybody has his own agenda. Inspector Mary Spalding uses informants from the criminal circuit in order to gather information and modernize the Canadian intelligence agency (to fight crime and international terrorism). But at the same time these informants get favors in return to maintain their business. Quite ridiculous if you think about it. But I guess that is needed nowadays. All is done for the greater good. The events are fast paced and demand that you stay focused. But losing the plot won't be a problem since it is so good that you will be drawn in. This show is filled with tense moments and makes it almost impossible to predict what is going to happen. This offers quite some interesting viewing! The whole cast is excellent with no exceptions. The way characters act and react to events are done so realistically that is very hard not to sympathize with them. But Ian Tracey (Jimmy Reardon) and Klea Scott (Mary Spalding) give that something extra to their characters that make the show even better. It is interesting to see how they handle matters and do their work. I never once got the feeling that it was made up or fake. Everything is so believable that it is a joy to watch. "Intelligence" is thrilling to the last minute and is without a doubt one of the best crime shows ever made. I am very sad that a show this good got canceled. At least they could have given the fans an extra episode for a decent closure.
  • How did this only go for 2 seasons? Complex interrelationships with no clear good guys and bad guys and no obvious path or easily resolved outcomes. Substitutes the kind of dark menace of 'the Wire' with a set of situational dilemmas that have the key players trapped in their circumstances. At the same time, manages to keep a dazzling pace up so doesn't lumber along like many police shows and the balance of time between the bad guys and the not so bad guys is very interesting. Excellent.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are very few truly alternative universes created for television. INTELLIGENCE weaves a complex, crime ridden solar system unlike any other I have ever viewed. There are palpable layers within layers, shapes and spheres within the dark inner sanctum of international intrigue, drug trafficking, prostitution and ***spoiler alert*** bulk water sales. You are irresistibly compelled to root for the ethical, misunderstood crook and the incredibly unethical lady crime fighter. The shadows are totally noir; the emotions raw and riveting. I understand some USA ripoff of intelligence is being considered, This would be a creative disaster. There is only one higher INTELLIGENCE.
  • Some time back I stumbled on a British Colombia TV show called Intelligence - it is a serial crime drama about a Canadian drug lord – Jimmy Reardon (played terrifically by Ian Tracey) - and his dealing with the Organized Crime Unit (OCU) in Canada.

    The relationships among Jimmy's family are very interesting (crazy brother Mike - out of control ex-wife Francine) but the relationships – back stabbing – double dealing – lying – threats among the OCU – the CSIS – another Canadian crime fighting unit – the US DEA and FBI – are absolutely delicious. This show ran from 2006 – 2007 – unfortunately there are only 24 episodes – when the CBC Television (total idiots) cancelled the show.

    I rank it above the Sopranos and Deadwood – two of my all time favorites.

    The only difficulty (at least in the first few sessions) is figuring out what they are doing – there is a lingo which is unique to the world of crime fighters and drug lords and it takes a while to get used to it. But once you get into this, if you are like me – you will be sucked in. If you have Netflix - you can watch it on streaming videos. If you don't love this show there is seriously something wrong with you. (just kidding – I get a little carried away).

    Take care DonB
  • kentos-5773228 January 2019
    8/10
    WOW
    Found on Netflix by accident. I'm on the 2nd series and don't want it to end.
  • largentgary3 September 2018
    Just recently got into this via Netflix and was instantly hooke , reminded me in some ways of the The Wire , so disappointed to find it had been cancelled after The second series .
  • kellyrned16 February 2019
    All I have to say is 2 things: Klea Scott and Ian Tracey are incredible actors. The storyline is original. We don't even have a storyline like this is in the US! This show should've never been cancelled. Netflix needs to pick this up & continue with the same characters where it left off in 2007. Not time like the present! Second thing; All of the actors and characters in this show are extremely talented and play them well. Ian and Klea play excellent opponents! I fell on this by accident and making my family and extended family watch this next. It's a must see!
  • blanche-218 November 2017
    Intelligence was an excellent series starring Ian Tracey, Klea Scott, John Cassini, and Matt Frewer. The series was created by Chris Haddock, who was responsible for DaVinci's Inquest, DaVinci's City Hall, Boardwalk Empire, etc.

    Jimmy Reardon (Tracey) and Mary Spalding (Scott) are the heads of their groups - Jimmy heads up an organized crime business, and Mary the Organized Crime Unit in Canada.

    The series deals with the work of both sides and the shades of gray in between, as Mary recruits informants and undercover workers and Jimmy makes various money laundering deals, gets into different sidelines, and seeks revenge against his enemies. In fact, at one point, Jimmy himself becomes one of Mary's informants. He also has an interesting private life - a daughter he adores, an ex-wife who is obsessed with reconciling with him and knows too much, and brothers who depend on him to keep the businesses going.

    Very absorbing show with good performances. It was such a disappointment to see it end after two seasons. Ian Tracey is wonderful, as is Scott. And after a time, it's hard to tell who is good and who is bad, as different people, such as the Frewer character, seem to have their own agendas.

    I caught this on Netflix streaming, and I highly recommend it.
  • This show actually rocked. I found it by mistake on Netflix and decided what the hay. It cut out the violence that is so common in our American shows and dealt with strong characters and awesome scripts and writing. I was so sad when I got the last disc and it only ran for two seasons. The show does not try to make American secret agencies look bad, just shows them for the sleazy con men they are. Klea Scott rocks in this role and I always liked her after seeing her in Millennium in the third season. Matt Frewer is great as a schemer and his character evolves from there. The character Jimmy Reardon is awesome as a mega weed dealer and his wife is one crazy beessaaccchhhh and it is a good story too. The language and topless girls are kind of nice and very realistic.
  • Having been a huge fan of the perfectly executed Da Vinci's Inquest, I was thrilled to see the under-rated uber-actor Ian Tracey cast as the erst-while villain in this thoughtful look at Canadian intelligence services without the usual slams at their US counterparts. Pivotal roles played by Lea Scott and the ever-creepy Matt Frewer add to this authentic portrayal of the challenges facing a small nation intent on protecting its population while not being swept into just following the US-dictated status quo. This smart, thought-provoking, and relevant drama entertains and enlightens while constantly challenging the viewer to judge which are really the bad guys.
  • I happened upon this show on Netflix and I was immediately drawn in by the main character, Jimmy Reardon. This show has everything you want and if you've seen Power on the Starz network, it's very similar but this show was done about 10 years earlier. Such a shame this show is only two seasons long, would have loved to see how this show played out. Love all the players, Canadian intelligence organizations and American; DEA, CIA you name it they are there. Even though it's only two seasons long it's a must see.
  • trajan9619 June 2019
    Intelligence is a hidden gem among crime shows. Depicting the illegal drug world of Vancouver, the characters are 3 dimensional, the stories compelling, and the direction sure handed , energetic, and fast paced without being frenetic . Great , attractive cast and moody jazz soundtrack all add up to a real treat. It's a shame the show was cancelled. Another year would have been well earned.
  • This is my very favorite amongst the Netflix I have seen. Everything was perfection: actors, storyline, location, musical score! As an American, my preference in movies and series is now Canadian. Do not know if I have a Canadian filter at Netflix.

    This was believable and real to me and I believe every word spoken! This should have run for 10 years; and yes, we know what got in the way. It was TOO real! Fast paced. This will be my benchmark in the future. Loved Jimmy and Mary. Canada has talented and real actors! So impressed!
  • gnfnrlives15 November 2010
    The first season was enjoyable if a little silly. The second season was just ridiculous. The ending was beyond stupid. I'm hoping they knew they were getting canceled and just tried to tie things up, but even with that the ending was atrocious. Please ignore any review comparing this show to The Wire. They are not even in the same universe.

    There are so many story lines that don't go anywhere, characters who come and go without reason, and some of the casting is just flat out bizarre. The guy they got to play Reardon's lawyer looked like he was twelve. Max Headroom's presence in the first season was a nice foil for the sometimes annoying Mary but he was completely useless in the second season. Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but ALL the "baddies" were tools and there was no discernible reason why any of them would respect Jimmy. And what purpose did his partner really serve? All he ever did was run the bar. They couldn't be farther from Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale.

    This is a show that desperately wants to be important but falls way WAY short. I hope not all Canadian crime shows are this bad. I like Canada and want to hold them in high regard. But this show makes all those Canadian jokes seem true.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I find the dialog thoroughly difficult to understand. I doubt very much if the entire cast is unable to enunciate. My hearing is fine. I've asked others to tell me what they just heard and they just shrug their shoulders. I do not have this problem with other programs. I have turned the volume on my TV up with no improvement. It simply sounds like everyone is mumbling or speaking inaudibly. I sincerely believe the problem is with your sound, or in this instance, unsound equipment. If you have any suggestions that I might try I would appreciate them. I like the genre, and would really like to be able to hear the show. Also I would be interested if others share my frustration.
  • "Intelligence" is good enough, if you've got nothing better to watch. It's generally well acted. And it's about an organized crime unit and the national spy service, and the way those outfits interact with the criminal underworld, specifically by trying to get the upper hand through surveillance and confidential informants. And it's Canadian, which is partly why I watched it to its (unsatisfying) second-season conclusion. In this world, apparently, everything works and no one gets hurt (well, almost no one). The show consists of a never-ending series of meetings, (nothing else will do) and is accompanied by a dreary soundtrack that's plastered over the scenes even when something is being said that might be of interest. Someone decided that the sitar would add a nice touch. These meetings occur with the brisk efficiency of what one might expect from a Fortune 500 company. Remember, everything works, even when everyone is conspiring against everyone else. And when it's time to off someone, we do not see it happen and are left to deduce that it did, in fact, happen. The antihero is engaged in dealing only weed and trying to launder his profits, and he always prefers to work things out rather than take revenge. The exhausting pace is due to there being at least two subplots too many, and the relentless cross-cutting between them. Never are we allowed to see any scene through to its conclusion. Instead, you'll get conversations recapping what has just occurred. But, hey, it's Canadian. WTF!
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