Let’s get straight into it.
Intelligence: Cain and Gabriel (110)
Once again, this week’s has little to do with the real CyberCom mission (keeping America safe, one email at a time), but rather the threat of a chemical attack. In a bit of a switch up, director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) travels to San Francisco with Gabriel and Riley, while Jameson stays back with the doctors Cassidy. Lest you think Lillian is brave and necessary to the mission, she’s on board because her daughter lives there. There’s some angst about whether to tell her daughter to leave the city to avoid the potential attack, but the show’s Voice Of Reason (Riley) tells her to act like a mother and not a bureaucrat.
The actual case is one of Intelligence‘s more interesting ones. Someone is orchestrating individuals in witness protection to build and release a chemical bomb which will leave many of San Fran’s citizens completely paralyzed. He’s using a network of security, surveillance, and CCTV cameras to track everyone’s progress. When Gabriel and Riley check one of the potential bomb-making sites, Gabriel spies the camera and taps into the feed, putting him into the same network as our “orchestra conductor” (also called “rider” here, as in the rider/mule/carrot/stick paradigm). The rider uses the opportunity to call Gabriel on his “head phone.” The conversation gives Gabriel some insight into this guy.
I’m impressed with Gabriel’s understanding of the human condition. So why is he considered so boring? My hypothesis: When Gabriel engages in normal conversation, his mouth doesn’t move much, therefore his face isn’t very animated, leading him to seem a bit monotone. But when Josh Holloway smiles? Oh my goodness! All is forgiven. In a scene from last week’s “Athens” Gabriel grins at something Dr. Shen Cassidy says, and his face lights up.
The episode is full of the usual tropes we’ve come to expect from this series. Shen gives Gabriel the weekly “your better than your computer chip” pep talk. Riley provides sage advice once again, if not to Gabriel, then to Lillian. And some plot points fall into a hole. It’s never addressed how our villain became so wealthy and computer savvy. I suppose it was more important to explain how he became a quadriplegic and why he wants everyone to suffer.
The Cassidys do some excellent detective work back at CyberCom. (Jameson’s not quite so awesome this week.). It’s a race to the finish, actually three finishes. First to find the bomb (done), second to disarm it (fail), and finally to neutralize it with science that’s way too convoluted to understand. Basically, it’s by blowing it up in a controlled environment. As Riley and Gabriel flee the explosion, Riley goes down, Gabriel grabs a conveniently located steel table to use as a shield against the blast and covers himself and Riley. It’s pretty cool.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Nothing to Fear (109)
The problem with putting a show on a long hiatus is that it kills all the momentum that had been built up. Not that Once … in Wonderland had a lot of momentum going for it, but the previous episode had ended with some interesting twists. Will used the wish Alice had given him to “end Alice’s suffering.” This freed Cyrus from genie-dom, making him human, but put Will in the bottle. Will’s reaction to becoming a genie? “Bloody ‘ell!” I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Michael Sochi.
When the genie bottle is blown into the river, Alice, Cyrus, and the Red Queen (aka Anastasia) vow to search for Will. Lizard (nee Elizabeth), Will’s old traveling partner, finds the bottle and gets three wishes. She gives one to Will, who wishes for “beers for everybody,” makes herself into what Will finds beautiful (although she was much more appealing before), and lastly wishes Will would feel something for her. He does… when she dies. Damn magic, always coming with a price.
For someone reunited with her true love, Alice is surprisingly bitchy and whiny about being in cahoots with the Red Queen. At one point the Red Queen is kidnapped by angry peasants and set to the stake. Alice and Cyrus try to rescue her, and wind up in the same predicament. They escape so quickly, the kidnapping almost wasn’t worth mentioning. Back on the road, Cyrus proposes to Alice, with the fireworks from Will’s wished-for celebration in the background.
Jafar is desperate to find the third genie bottle and its resident genie. (You know, so he can have all three genies and thus change the laws of magic.) The Caterpillar tells Jafar there is something that might be able to help him in his quest for ultimate evil—the Jabberwocky. Jafar finds the creature in a prison surround by dead men in various states of decay. He releases the Jabberwocky, and we discover she’s a very tall, lithe woman with wild hair and wicked eye makeup.
The new developments bring a welcome change to the series but, like magic, they come with a price. Mainly, we discover that Alice and Cyrus are incredibly dull together.