5 Ways CBS Can Take 'Intelligence' from Good to Great
5 Ways CBS Can Take 'Intelligence' from Good to Great
Margaret McGriff
Margaret McGriff
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Like many people who love technology driven action shows, I was psyched when I watched the previews for CBS's new show Intelligence. Besides the really cool concept of a man with a computer chip in his brain, I was excited to see two of my favorite actresses Marg Helgenberger (CSI) and Megan Ory (Once Upon a Time) back in action. I tuned into the premiere and, like many premieres, it was less than perfect but promising nonetheless. I was willing to tune into the next episode.

Now that we're five episodes in, I'm starting to lose faith in that this show will see a second season at the rate it's going. Here are five things we'd like to see happen this season that just might save itself from cancellation.

Keep the Amelia Story Line Going

When the premiere opened with the mystery of Amelia, I was hoping it would carry through the rest of the season. Ideally viewers would get sprinkles of her whereabouts, what she was doing for seven years, or believe she really was dead throughout each episode. The second episode solved most of that mystery but still left a little wiggle room for her to still be alive. Holding onto hope watching the third and fourth episodes, it was disappointing to see nothing. Besides Gabriel going AWOL the first bit of episode three, he (along with everyone else!) got over it real fast and moved on.

How disappointing!

Amelia's story was one of the major hooks of the season premiere and to do away with it so quickly was a big mistake. The show needs to keep dangling bits and pieces of her story throughout each episode to keep viewers guessing. She's also Gabriel's emotional anchor, the reason that he'll completely rebel against CyberCom and live up to his rule breaking reputation. While producers won't confirm (or deny) that she is dead, so far I'm not seeing anything in the storyline that even mentions her. Hopefully they don't treat Amelia as a loose end that needs to be dealt with at the end of the season. Many viewers may not stick around for that long and if they do, they may not even care.

Intelligence Exclusive Interview: Executive Producers Discuss Whether Amelia's Really Dead>>>

Make Us Believe Gabriel (and His Chip) Really are in Danger

With threats like ingestible bombs, CIA Agents posing as captured journalists, and a second person with a super chip running around doing who knows what, the chances of other criminals finding out about CyberCom's Clockwork project are pretty high. It made sense for Riley to be hired as Gabriel protector--everyone would want to get their hands on Gabriel's chip. That threat came to fruition super early in episode two, the only time Gabriel narrowly escapes death. Since then, he's gone in as a big bad super spy, with Riley acting more as a babysitter than protector. Where are the other criminals that would want to get a piece of Gabriel? I'm sure news has spread about him by now, especially with Mei Chin running around doing who knows what. Who wouldn't to see some type of criminal conspiracy to take Gabriel and Clockwork down -- much sooner than later?

Riley Needs a Back Story

Up until now, everything we've learned about her was told to us by Gabriel hacking into her personal information. We're five episodes in and we really don't know anything about her. Sure, she's a top Secret Service agent who's clearly good at what she does, but beyond that there's nothing for the audience to connect with. The only time we see her is at work. We know what makes Gabriel tick and that helps us care about him. But honestly at this point, if something was to happen to her I wouldn't be all that heartbroken (well a little because I'm a fan of Meghan Ory!) An easy way to fix this is to show her away from work. What's her favorite food? Who are her parents? Who does she talk to about her day? Seeing her apartment in "The Rescue" was such a tease! We need to see the human side of Riley, not just the agent.

Gabriel's and Riley's Relationship Needs to Be More Natural

Since the premiere the chemistry between the two agents was forced. When they met there was instant friction (which was great to see) and by the end she was willing to go against her orders and help him find his wife. How does one crisis instantly make them buddies (that's just not realistic in this type of show)? In any relationship it takes time to build trust and get acclimated to a personality that's so different from yours. Riley is portrayed as an agent who plays strictly by the book while Gabriel does whatever he wants. With two polar opposites like that, there has to be more tension and conflict. I'm not saying they need to hate each other for half a season, but the writers needed to take a few episodes to slowly build the relationship they had by the end of the premiere.

Intelligence Exclusive Interview: PJ Byrne on Sibling Rivalry and Going 'In the Field'>>>

Change the Time Slot

Intelligence can have all of these elements but it would be for nothing with their current time slot. Monday nights are ruled by heavy hitting shows like The Black List, Castle, Almost Human, and The Following. With a lineup like that, it's nearly impossible for a brand new show to survive. On top of that, having the premiere on a completely different night didn't make things any better. The series fell 54%, the second episode only pulling in 6.1 million viewers. While the fourth episode had 6.77 million viewers, The Blacklist had a cool 9.97 million viewers in the same 10pm time slot. Moving it back to Tuesday nights at 9pm would be a great move, putting it between NCIS and Person of Interest to keep viewers on CBS all night long.

Being the optimist that I am, I hope Intelligence uses the next six episodes to turn things around. It's a show with a great concept and a lot of potential.

Fingers crossed.

Intelligence airs on Mondays at 10pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS) 



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