Television: Intelligence, "Patient Zero"

At the brink of lethal injection, a death row convict in Texas promises "[his] boy Tom-Tom" he will reach up from Hell and drag Tom-Tom down for what he's done.

And then some kind of new and terrible virus surfaces at a Texas Arts and Music Festival. When Gabriel renders the scene, he finds our dead convict (name: Luther) in the images.

I still don't entirely buy this whole "rendering" thing. Here they try to cover it by saying these are partially Gabriel's imagination . . . So then how can they even consider acting on his renderings?

In any case, Gabriel wants to go to Texas to see if Luther really is out and about. Of course Cassidy and the others are against it since it means risking Gabriel catching this disease. The goal is to find "patient zero," the person who first caught this illness—Luther? They need him in order to develop a cure for whatever this is.

So Gabriel (and Riley) go anyway.

It's a sweat virus. Eww.

And then something about one of the prison guards on the phone to the Pentagon, but then the guard's car blows up. So, you know. That.

The running theory: A private contractor hired by the military has used Luther as a test subject for a pathogen, some kind of bioweapon.

So then it becomes Gabriel and Riley versus the military guys . . . But when two sides fight each other, doesn't that just leave their common enemy free to run? Stupid bureaucracy.

(It's not "Route" 35, btw. It's I-35. And probably actually out on FM 1325 or something. Maybe out by Hutto? I know me some Round Rock; I was raised in Georgetown, went to UT, and later my parents lived in Round Rock.)

Anyway, using Gabriel's ability to access lots of info from various sources, they find letters written to Luther while he was in prison, from a woman who has a farm house outside Round Rock. And sure enough Luther is there. But then the military guys show up and lock an infected Riley and an uninfected Gabriel in a shed. And set the shed on fire.

Geez, way to suck, military dudes.

This episode feels a tad over the top, actually, as an attempt to vilify the military/defense industry. I mean, they're laying it on a bit thick.

Of course Gabriel and Riley get out, and they find Luther (or he finds them), resulting in a fight wherein Gabriel also gets infected.

The general/defense guy gets arrested for, you know, turning prisoners into lab rats and also developing illegal weapons. Cliché dialogue includes the general saying, "The monsters are at the gate, Lillian," and Lillian replying, "The monsters are already here." Blech.

But the antibody is apparently created in record time since in the very next scene everyone's getting shots to cure them. And the episode ends in a cute phone call between Gabriel and Riley as they recover.

So . . . It was an interesting idea but the hack job of making the military the bad guys was so banal it dragged the whole thing down. While I can appreciate the attempts to create layers of plot by adding additional red tape—enemies within as well as without—in recent episodes the show has started to tip away from the core interest by focusing more on Lillian and all the government stuff. This would be fine if they were making it compelling at all, but it's just the same thing over and over again: Government guys saying they don't trust that Gabriel will follow orders, that they don't like that he has all these abilities, etc. It's repetitive and starting to get boring. So they'd better either go somewhere with it soon or lay off it, cuz we're tired of hearing it.

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