Intelligence: Athens (109)

Riley consults with Doctor Shenendoah Cassidy.

What worked in “Athens”: Riley and Shen

Intelligence keeps missing its mark.  The main themes of the episode were supposed to be Gabriel’s hacked computer chip, causing him to turn on his friends and co-workers, and the Athens List.  But it’s the humor that was the most memorable.  Well, that, and Riley’s awesomeness!  She just happens to have a knife hidden in her pants during a hostage crisis, she subdues an out-of-control Gabriel, and helps him get in touch with his inner feelings.  All while being gorgeous.

This CyberCom is even more screwy than the real CyberCom.  It’s supposed to be the United States’ premiere cyber organization, yet its network gets hacked by the Chinese.  Then there’s the Orion Protocol, which consists of cutting through the communications trunk with… a circular saw!  And the saw is kept in a glass case to break in case of emergency!  Hilarious!  I don’t think it was supposed to be funny, but it was.

When Jin Cong and his minions stormed through the door, I wondered how hard it would be for the enemy to physically penetrate the real CyberCom operations center.  I started to list all the gateposts and checkpoints, then thought Hmm, better not.

The Cassidy’s have never been in finer form. Nelson, whose lines usually leave me groaning, was enjoyable, actually eliciting a laugh or two.  His ineptness as an action hero was both funny and admirable.  Although shaking when he had a gun to his, he was still willing to to risk his life.  And then he killed the ceiling!

We learned Papa Cassidy was arrested for public nudity and possession of a controlled substance, which of course just makes him even more entertaining.  Oh, to have a picture of Shen in combat gear.  There’s something about seeing John Billingsley in helmet and flak vest, ready to save the day, that strikes the fully-bone.  However, if one goes to the garage to thwart the enemy’s get-away plan, slashing the tires would probably have served a better purpose than planting a stun bomb.  Just my 2¢.

Terrorist invade the US Cyber Command server room.

Crisis in the server room!

The Athens List, the goal of the Jin Cong-led invasion, turns out to be a list of children with the gene mutation that makes them eligible for a chip implant.  In his hacked state, Gabriel was furious when he found out.  But in fairness, normal Gabriel would have been incensed, too.  ‘Cause that’s just the kind of guy he is.  Nelson was definitely upset, and Shen was ready to quit because of it.  All I could think was, Why children?  Adults would be of better use.  Unless they planned to go the way of Doctor Who‘s River Song.

Lillian talks Shen off his Ladder of Outrage when she delivers the ultimate slam.  “We’re not dealing with respectable scientists.  We’re dealing with the United States Department of Defense.”  Oof.c

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2 responses to “Intelligence: Athens (109)

  1. I liked the episode for the same reasons you mentioned. As a die-hard romantic, I LOVED the Riley/Gabriel parts. But yeah, I kept thinking, “that’s too easy” about the bad guys’ penetration. And how did they doctor so many documents to fool Gabriel? (I know the *real* documents weren’t doctored, but it was still a boatload of data.) I would have thought Doc would have disabled the vehicles AND done the stun bomb. The stunner keeps them from running when they discover the cars won’t work. (Slashed tires won’t actually keep the vehicles from moving, also.) So they missed a point there.

    And I kept wanting someone to counter, “We were never going to implant children!” It makes sense to me that they’d have identified children (probably in addition to adults–they did have three volunteers before Gabriel, after all). Once they finally succeeded with the chip, they’d have to test it thoroughly, work out bugs, improve it, etc. By the time they were ready to roll it out as a full-team (or even army) thing, identified adults would be too old to be trained or to get enough value for the expense of the program. Children could be guided into the types of careers that would be helpful to the government, whether as military or scientific or political tools, so they’d be positioned once they were ready to do more implantations. Completely Machiavellian, but not necessarily evil.

    Of course, bad guys like Cong would have more nefarious intentions. Hence deciding to destroy the list. All in all, even with all the holes and stuff, I thought it held together just well enough to be enjoyable. 🙂

    • Oh, I forgot. One other thing about this show is that they keep surprising me with how BIG they go. They didn’t drag out Gabriel’s wife thing (though I’m sure it’s not over). They gave him a nemesis just like him and dispatched her. They invaded what should have been uninvadable. I know that’s in response to the success of go-big, fast-paced shows like Scandal, but where does it leave them to go in the future? (And don’t say they don’t have one, I’m being stubbornly optimistic. LOL)

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