Intelligence was a Canadian crime drama series that aired on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Network) from 2005 to 2008. The series came from the same team of Canadian television developers who had previously premiered such massively successful series as Da Vinci’s Inquest and its sequel, Da Vinci’s City Hall. Although the series only ran for two full seasons, interested viewers can now watch Intelligence online.
Cast of Principal Characters
Jimmy Reardon, played by Ian Tracey, is a third-generation member and leader of a West Coast crime syndicate based in Vancouver. Jimmy’s main source of income is the trafficking of marijuana, a.k.a. “BC Bud,” and his activities around this trade form one of the central premises of the action. Although Jimmy is seen as a resourceful, energetic and highly successful businessman, he is also a family man who questions his frequently murky ethics and practical decisions.
Mary Spalding, played by Klea Scott, is a CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) agent who is head of its Asia Pacific Region. She is thus an extremely powerful and influential figure in the Canadian undercover intelligence network throughout the West Coast area. She is a frequently harsh, taciturn and egotistical figure whose overtly abrasive qualities are balanced by her secret loneliness and unwillingness to engage in romantic relationships.
Ted Altman, played by Matt Frewer (best known for his iconic turn in the 1980s series Max Headroom), is Mary’s ruthless counterpart in the undercover crime fighting world. As head of Vancouver’s OCU (Organized Crime Unit), Altman is a vicious, completely amoral individual who frequently displays borderline psychopathic tendencies. He is a raging alcoholic who spends much of his time alone in his office drinking.
Ronnie Delmonico, played by John Cassini, is Jimmy’s consigliore (main advisor). His role in the action is very similar to that of the character Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. Like Silvio, Ronnie is the owner of a popular strip club, the Chick a Dee. Ronnie also takes care of most of the day-to-day oversight of Jimmy’s marijuana distribution network. Although usually a considerate, thoughtful individual who counsels Jimmy against irrational actions, Ronnie also has a darker, more emotive and violent side to his personality that sometimes arises at inopportune moments.
The show also spotlights several minor but important characters. Chief among these is Phan, played by Tuan Phan. Phan is the leader of the Vietnamese crime network who often works in conjunction with Jimmy against the Disciples motorcycle gang.
John Hogarty, played by David Lovgren, is Jimmy’s financial adviser and banker. Jimmy introduced John to cocaine, which has seriously undermined both his moral integrity and his competence as a banker.
Francine Reardon, played by Camille Sullivan, is Jimmy’s ex-wife and the mother of his daughter, Stella. Francine is desperate to regain her status as Jim’s spouse. Her addiction to drugs and alcohol make her a very unstable and dangerous character although she has attempted in recent years to get clean and sober.
Synopsis of Season 1
Season 1 of Intelligence begins with the introduction of the two central characters, Jimmy Reardon and Mary Spaulding. Both are shown as being very conscious of their positions as products of their ancestry and environment. Spalding is shown sparring off against Altman on many occasions while Reardon and Delmonico battle against the Disciples motorcycle gang for supremacy in the Vancouver drug distribution and money laundering trade.
Synopsis of Season 2
Season 2 concerns the efforts of Reardon to avoid capture by the American DEA after a setup attempt goes very bad, ending with him being framed for a murder he did not commit. Meanwhile, Mary is appointed as the head of the Asia Pacific Region of the CSIS. However, the fallout from the murder of an American “mole” agent, Royden, continues to plague her. In the last episode of the series, Reardon has made it safely back to Canada but is shot by rival American gangsters in front of the club that he owns. Unfortunately, the series ends at this point with no clear indication as to the final resolution of the story.
Intelligence Cancellation Controversy
Intelligence was officially canceled by the Canadian Broadcasting Network (CBC) on March 7, 2008. The cancellation of such a massively popular television series, which critics and fans alike believed was only beginning to build to its true potential, was a cause of serious controversy throughout the nation. Although a viewer campaign was mounted that called for the restoration of the show to CBC’s prime time television network, nothing to date has come of it.
A Possible Power Struggle?
Journalist Kevin Baker, writing in The National Post, made an allegation that stunned readers and caused a major uproar. According to Baker, Intelligence was prematurely cancelled by the CBC in order to avoid offending certain members of Canada’s New Government who were apparently looking for any usable justification to shut down the CBC and privatize its infrastructure and all of its various affiliates. Members from the New Government denied any involvement in the controversy. Nonetheless, as of 2014, the show has not resumed production.
Watch Intelligence Online
The show had a short and rocky, but extremely lively, history. It was a favorite of millions of viewers as well as being a standout critical success. Many viewers and critics alike compared the show very favorably to the American classic series The Sopranos. Although the show is presumably off the air for good as far as new episodes are concerned, viewers can still watch Intelligence online.