Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Intelligence: A Special Agent Special, on Peacock

Where is KAOS from Get Smart when we need them? The enemies of Western democracy are very real and they are on the march. The CCP is committing genocide in Xinjiang and sending spy balloons over the United States. Putin invaded Ukraine, a democracy aspiring to align itself with NATO and the EU. However, the producers and writer-creator of Intelligence cast as their final villain a UK Conservative politician who isn’t as green as they would like her to be. Remember this episode next time a pundit complains about the polarization of society. Of course, a lot of people will probably forget about the one-shot special, because it concludes the entire series. The shticky misadventures of the blowhard NSA Agent Jerry Bernstein and his nebbish GCHQ sidekick Joseph Harries end on a divisive note when Intelligence: A Special Agent Special premieres Thursday on Peacock.

GCHQ has been hacked, which is pretty bad. Even “worse,” they stole the damning climate data that would have undermined the new jobs- and standard-of-living-friendly policy of current Energy Minister Joanna Telfer Fotheringham, who happens to be the estranged sister of GCHQ boss Christine Cranfield. Since the government considers it a bad thing for the UK’s NSA to be compromised, Cranfield is getting sacked. However, in her remaining time left, she hatches a screwball scheme with moronic Bernstein and klutzy Harries to swap in the real data, during Fotheringham addresses the G7.

Given the in media res opening, depicting the bickering Bernstein and Harries in a Perils-of-Pauline-style predicament, it is probably safe to guess their mission went down poorly. If you think G7 climate conferences are dangerous, try protesting for democracy in Hong Kong. Also, try imagining the outcry if one of America’s intelligence agencies interfered with a Jennifer Granholm speech. However, creator-writer-co-star Nick Mohammed apparently believes all laws and rules of decorum are all conditional on agreement with his political ideology.

He could have at least made the
Intelligence swan song funny. Instead, we get jokes about retrieving swallowed flash drives in the men’s room. David Schwimmer makes a third-rate Archer substitute as Bernstein and Mohammed’s sad sack routine as Harries earns cringes instead of laughs. Sadly, there is no real satire in guest-star Jennifer Saunders’ appearance as Fotheringham, unless she is lampooning the left’s disconnected-from-reality fantasies about everyone who disagrees with them.

Having started with the end, it is indeed easy to see why
Intelligence ended. It is also clear why they only got a forty-minute send-off, rather than a feature length conclusion, like Ray Donovan. Skip it all, when the unfun, annoyingly didactic Intelligence: A Special Agent Special starts streaming Thursday (5/11) on Peacock.