Monday, November 06, 2006

TV Review: Intelligence - "Jimmy's Got a Money Machine"

(Spoilers for the episode that aired Oct. 31)

Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) gets more than a money machine in the latest episode of CBC's Intelligence, one driven by stylish camera work, insistent music, and characters getting quite possibly deeper and deeper in over their heads. He gets a truckload of money machines, a fake security company to protect the money machines, an unreliable brother in charge of replenishing the money machines, a stake in a restaurant chain to protect the distribution of the money machines, a commitment to help find a less curious bank for the vending company that's fronting the money machines, and, for some strange reason, he gets laughed at when he tells Mary Spalding (Klea Scott) that he's on a mission to go legit in five years. Aww, he's so cute for a gangster.

Mary is possibly a little clueless herself, thinking she's impressing the CSIS bigwigs who have the power to hand her a promotion while they express their doubts and confer about plan B behind her back. As she tries to build a network of supporters to bring with her from the Vancouver Organized Crime Unit, her deputy, Ted, and the man she's being groomed to replaced, Roger, build a network of conspiracies against her. The American DEA is plotting to entrap Reardon, her prized informant, Roger and Ted are getting dirt on her personal life, and everywhere she turns, she's faced with an old boy's network who look at her with suspicion. She does, however, realize that if she can't get convert the mole in her wireroom, her career is possibly doomed.

Jimmy's got problems of his own. He's stymied in his attempts to find out why he and Ronnie were shot at last episode. After hearing a rumour that he's being connected to the death of his own distributor, Colin, Jimmy goes to meet with the biker gang boss - a frightening-looking Robert Duvall type - he suspects is moving in on his territory. Jimmy's declaration that he doesn't want a war is met with cold silence.

On the personal front, his ex-wife is trying to shore up support for a possible custody battle, though Jimmy's sister Maxine (Sabrina Grdovich) is cooly unimpressed by Francine's transparent attempt to garner sympathy. Camille Sullivan brings a perfect pathetic fragility to Francine that makes it easy to want to be sympathetic to the fidgety emotional wreck, but impossible to be actually sympathetic to her manipulative ways and self-serving cause.

Oblivious to some of their problems, fretting over others, Jimmy and Mary come together at the end of the episode. He trades his information on stock broker Randy Bingham's shipment of arms for her support in looking into the nightclub shooter's associations. Though she makes appropriately appreciative remarks about his adorable daughter's photo when he plays proud but sad dad, he can't count on her straight-faced support when he makes that claim that he's going legit before he has to tell Stella what daddy does for a living. As she's proven before, slamming the old CSIS guard to their faces, tact is perhaps not Mary's greatest strength.

The next episode of Intelligence airs Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. on CBC.