CBS just announced which shows it’ll be renewing for another season. Unfortunately, “Intelligence” wasn’t on that list. There’s still a chance that the show may be renewed, but it’s not likely, and that’s a shame. This show has room for improvement, and it certainly hasn’t been able to compete in its current time slot against “The Blacklist”. But this show has something that is rarely seen in visual media; it has two strong female characters who play key roles in the story.
Neither Director Lilian Strand nor Special Agent Riley Neal have to prove themselves. They don’t have to constantly one-up the boys. They don’t have to be some sort of ninja warrior with totally kick-butt moves, but neither are they weak damsels in distress. They don’t rely on being pretty or sexy and their attire is appropriate to their professions. It’s evident from the beginning that both women have their jobs because they’ve earned them, as opposed to being there for “diversity”.
Both characters avoid falling into the typical female stereotypes and in so doing, become much more realistic. Director Strand is manipulative, clever, confident, occasionally arrogant, and resourceful. She acts decisively as the leader, without being *ahem* witchy. In short, she’s comes off as a real human being, not a walking trope.
It’s a bit harder to pinpoint exactly why Special Agent Neal is such a great character, and that’s why I like her. You don’t see her gender first and foremost; you see someone dedicated to her job who sometimes saves the day and sometimes becomes a bit of a liability. She’s not a “Watson” whose sole purpose is to make “Sherlock” look better. She exists as a character on her own merits.
I really hope that CBS renews “Intelligence”. Surely people who could write these two characters so well can come up with compelling stories for them.