Intelligence Pilot Review

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By Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)


A show about a guy who has the government’s secrets in his brain. He must be watched over by a female agent to protect him from himself. Sound familiar?

No, this isn’t Chuck, but CBS’s new drama Intelligence. It stars Lost’s Josh Holloway as Gabriel Vaughn, an almost Sherlock Holmes­ian intelligence operative who has a government super­computer microchip embedded in his brain that helps him on his missions. Meghan Ory, most recently of a Once Upon a Time, plays his handler.


Because of the aforementioned similarities, comparisons to Chuck will inevitably be made. But Chuck this show is not. Remember everything you loved about Chuck? The humor? The heart? The fact that it didn’t take itself too seriously? Take all of that away and you’ve got Intelligence. It’s a straight drama that already takes itself super seriously.


Chuck’s pilot will forever be one of my favorites. Zachary Levi was perfect in the role and I fell in love with his character when he tried to escape his own birthday party. He was awkward, he didn’t have his life together, and he was thrust into the spy world unsure of whether he wanted to continue in it forever.


Gabriel is a no­nonsense macho man who has been an agent for years and wants to solve his wife’s disappearance. He’s charming, but not personable. He’s rebellious. This all lends itself to the show’s mythology and it’s clearly more of a procedural than Chuck ever was.


It’s also darker than Chuck, in tone and cinematography. In fact, it’s probably more like its network­mate Person of Interest. In fact, If CBS can find a way to pair them together, they would have a winning night on their hands. As it stands, Intelligence will be competing with Castle. I think a lot of people would be fans of each and may not want to choose between them. However, Intelligence did bring in big numbers, making it the network’s most­watched new series premiere of the season. The true test will come next week, though, and we’ll find out if people tuned in just to see if it was “New Chuck” or if they are genuinely interested in Gabriel’s life and want to see how the pilot’s cliffhanger turns out.


One thing I do hope will be explained is how Gabriel can turn his brain on and off at will. When he needed to open an electronic lock while being held prisoner by Pakistani militants, it worked. But when he was about to fall off a cliff, why didn’t his all­-knowing brain tell him it was there? Also, when he was in a shootout with the Chinese bad guys, why wasn’t the satellite ready? It was an all­ too­ convenient way to play up the tension. It’s like his brain is a cell phone with shoddy service!


All of this is not to say it’s a bad show. It’s exactly the kind of show that has made CBS successful in the past. People love procedurals and clearly the “government secrets in his head” thing has worked before. It’s firmly a drama and it will be interesting to see if that spells victory for the network.


Did you watch the premiere of Intelligence? What did you think?


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


    7 Comments

  1. DojoLoveJanuary 9th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Total Chuck ripoff -___-

  2. PJJanuary 9th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    some of my favourite reviews/forum posts on Intelligence:
    “If Casey and Chuck had a kid, it would be called Intelligence.”
    “If Chuck was about Bryce and not Chuck, then this would be it.”

  3. Michele SinopoliJanuary 9th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I agree ZacharyLevi always perfect role for Chuck. I think Intelligence isn’t too bad but the show does made me feel pretty much missing Chuck with humor and secret governor inside his brain. Now Gabriel took over from Chuck he pretty much like Casey not Chuck lol. I’m sure Intelligence would be a winner maybe few more episodes but people missed the point of Chuck was really family fun sense of humor and nerdy type enjoyable to watch. If I watch Intelligence first place not Chuck that I would switch around liking Intelligence better and missing out who Zachary Levi was. I couldn’t think of more of Intelligence and I watch it more experience how comparing to Chuck.

  4. Chuckfan2012January 9th, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I agree, its kinda like Chuck without any Life.

  5. GeraldJanuary 9th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    The show really is kind of a cross between Chuck and Person of Interest in terms of story (not style of course) but it really was pretty dry – mostly because the main characters are boring. As for the satellite, it wasn’t a case of ‘not being ready’ but of not being in position (they do move after all) to provide coverage of where he was.

  6. RyanJanuary 13th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I think you’re being a little too harsh on the show. It is a procedural, but it’s nearly just as procedural as Chuck was. Every week Chuck was just doing another mission, and at the same time central plot was always coming to the surface. And if an arc with a villain arises, it would last a couple episodes.

    Intelligence lends itself to the exact same possibilities. I’m praying I’m not about to put my foot in my mouth, because I even have the second episode on my DVR right now, but it seems like a show that could easily be just as Serial/Procedural mixed as shows like Chuck, Person of Interest, and most USA shows seem to be. The only difference is that the tone is more serious, but there’s still laughs now and again, and like you said Gabriel is a charming guy, and I would even say personable. Much more so than Casey.

  7. Josh HarmanJanuary 14th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I Miss Chuck Bring Chuck BACK! 🙁

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