Prior to this week's season finale of Intelligence on CBC, I half expect to hear: "Previously on Intelligence ... everything goes to hell."
The last episode, "Dante's Inferno," takes the threads of the previous 11 episodes, wraps them around the necks of Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) and Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), and leaves us with a divine drama that somehow must be at least somewhat wrapped up this week, or leave us with a hell of a cliffhanger before we've heard about a second season.
Jimmy and Ronnie are too late to save Johnny, the Vietnamese tortured by Dante's men to reveal Reardon's connection to his nephew's death. Did he talk? What does Dante know? Hard to say. It's always hard to say with this show - who knows what.
Jimmy's furious with Mary for not instantly answering her phone while they were pursuing Dante's car, but she was busy shredding files rather than let them fall into the hands of her CSIS overlords, who are infiltrated by moles. Besides, Jimmy needs to save some rage for later, given how the episode ends. For now, he insists she preserve his anonymity in the murder investigation, which she does reluctantly.
Dick Royden, who Mary suspects is an American double agent, meets with Ted to coax from him his files and a statement on Mary's culpability in the death of their wireroom mole, Lee. Royden dangles Mary's old job as the carrot in front of Ted, and the threat of being the scapegoat himself as the stick.
Ted's DEA pal is still working with Reardon's American distributor to lure Reardon down to their jurisdiction. And the convergence of events in this episode make the option of fleeing to another country appealing to Reardon. So things are looking good for Ted so far.
Things aren't looking quite so good for Mary. At the not-particularly-polite request of her senator friend's flunky, Mary is attempting to gather hard evidence to prove Royden is a double agent, with the help of Katarina's patriotic prostitution allowing her access to his incriminating cell phone activity (and allowing him access to her wallet - so now how much does he know?).
Mary's also protesting the directive to let Royden make his move up the CSIS chain while trying to turn him back from the dark side again. When flunky threatens Mary's job if she doesn't cooperate, Mary threatens to go to the media about Canada's infiltrated intelligence agency.
Jimmy's got more personal issues on his mind. His first thought, in case Dante knows the truth, is to protect his daughter Stella. He asks ex-wife Francine to take her away, but she convinces him to let her move into his house (and his bed) instead. It's understandable that Jimmy is drawn to Francine, who's been through this with him before - she's the comfortable old shoe who looks like the sexy stiletto. And like a stiletto, Jimmy would be wise to keep her away from any sensitive parts.
Later, Ronnie makes an even more strained analogy about beautiful water being full of poison, then throws the glass in his friend's face. "You do not want to get involved with Francine again. Wake the fuck up." Yeah, that's what I was going for, too, only using nicer words.
Jimmy's got bigger issues than his messy relationship, though he doesn't yet know that. When Ted stalls Royden on the statement about Lee and lets him know that Mary's taken the informant files, Royden is less than pleased. He stalks into Mary's office to make an astonishing threat that leaves her looking as shaken as we've seen her: Give me the files, or I go to the media with Jimmy Reardon's name as your star informant.
When Phan learns of his cousin's death, his first thought is getting retribution for the bikers' act of retribution, and he looks to Jimmy's henchman, Silent Bob. In order to stall him, Bob convinces Phan to think big. "You want to kill a snake, cut off its head, not its tail." Bob, who has spiritual and humorous depths until now unseen, counsels Jimmy to give Phan time to allow his grief to work itself out, though Ronnie's tempted to simply get out of the way so Phan can take care of their Dante problem.
Jimmy, ever the pacifist first, vigilante second, pays a visit to Dante to see what he knows, in the guise of making peace. And while you really do need a scorecard on this show to figure out who's screwing whom, Dante's done the math and added up the death of Jimmy's man Colin being tied to the bikers, the fact that Jimmy's been working with the Vietnamese, and the Vietnamese's involvement in his nephew's death, and come up with 2+2=4. Jimmy tries to convince him it's 3, or 5, but the sums are stalled when a cop arrives to chat with Dante about the shooting.
Mary's day isn't going any better than Jimmy's. Katarina overhears Royden's phone call where he rather indiscreetly - or setting her up? - says "Don't worry about Mary. I'm taking care of her. She won't survive the week." Literally, or figuratively? I wouldn't bet my life on him meaning job survival, and Katarina warns Mary to watch her back.
Mike Reardon is facing a tussle over bank machines in his club, which may pay off later but seemed an annoying distraction from the increasing stakes of the rest of the episode.
In a move that may end up getting her more involved in the increased stakes than she might want, Ronnie gets Sweet to convince Dante's sister - who I have to say is considerably hotter than her brother - that Reardon had nothing to do with his nephew's death. Even though he kind of did. Shhh.
The tense final scene unites Mary and Jimmy in her car as she lets him know about his possible pending exposure as an informant, and advises him to disappear. He angrily hammers home the point that his family, friends, and associates are doomed right along with him, whether he disappears or not. He demands Royden's name, but Mary, looking sick, steadfastly refuses. "I can't. I won't."
The season finale of Intelligence airs Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. on CBC.