TV Recap: Agent X, Series Premiere

Written by Aaron Sarnecky

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AGENT X, ‘PILOT’ & ‘THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY’ PLOT SUMMARIES

After she is sworn in as Vice President of the United States, Natalie Maccabee (Sharon Stone) learns that a secret part of the Constitution puts the VP in charge of a special agent to handle extraordinary crises. During her first days in office, Maccabee tasks Agent John Case (Jeff Hephner) with rescuing the FBI director’s daughter. Later, Agent X is forced to team up with an enemy spy, Olga Petrovka (Olga Fonda) to prevent the sale of stolen nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the FBI and CIA grow suspicious.

It kind of feels like I already reviewed this show when I reviewed The Player. They’re both about special individuals employed by a secret organization who have a penchant for shooting people. And while The Player deals with gambling on and stopping crime, and Agent X deals with handling missions too sensitive for the President, CIA, and FBI, both pilots feature the titular character rescuing the daughter of a government official. Furthermore, both concepts are rather odd. If you need any more convincing, go ahead and read my review of The Player series premiere. Despite the similarities, I find Agent X to be the more believable of the two shows, at least in concept.

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The idea of the show is probably its best aspect. If you have ever taken an U.S. government class, you might know that the Vice President has almost no duties outlined in the Constitution. However, in Agent X, there is a part of the Constitution that the Founding Fathers purposely hid, in order to provide the President with plausible deniability. It might not sound very exciting to some, but it is given a good amount of build up in the show, which involves a secret room in the Vice Presidential mansion, Number One Observatory Circle (that’s really what it’s called).

I will admit that the concept is a little silly when you think about it though. Why would the Founding Fathers provide the Vice President with only a single agent? That’s hardly any resources in the world of intelligence, especially when you consider that they drafted the Constitution in 1787, when travel took a lot longer, and the fastest means of transportation were horse drawn carriages and ships with sails. It’s also a little hard to believe that no one would discover the existence of Agent X for hundreds of years, but the first time Maccabee uses him, the FBI picks up on things pretty quickly. Granted, the FBI isn’t as old and didn’t have computer technology back in the day

If you let all of that slip, there is some fun to be had, as the both episodes showcase a good dynamic between John and Olga. She admittedly does most of the work as the femme fatale, but John is supposed to the stoic one. And his one line, “You must have been fun in high school” is pretty humorous. When it comes to other characters, Sharon Stone’s Maccabee is sort of bland, though her interaction with Malcolm Millar, Chief Steward (Gerald McRaney) of the mansion, is nice. I dare say Millar is even charming. He seems to be a former Agent X himself, if I’m not mistaken. James Earl Jones plays the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but he’s criminally relegated to one scene in the pilot in which he explains the importance and significance of Agent X, though Agent X’s dubious legality doesn’t seem to match from episode to episode.

Photo Credit: TNT
Photo Credit: TNT

The action itself is pretty entertaining, maybe as creative as The Player, such as a moment in which John repels down a rope with a hostage in tow, as well as some of Olga’s acrobatics. Despite good action in both episodes, the plot of the second seems like more of an excuse to get to it rather than to tell an intelligent story. To think that Chechen terrorists can so easily hijack nuclear weapons. If it were that easy, it would have happened. It becomes even more ridiculous when the bad guy holds a fancy party to sell them to the highest bidder. It’s like one of the goofier James Bond movies.

However, if you take a step back, suspend your disbelief, and relax, it’s not that bad, perhaps not enough to differentiate itself from the crowd, but a decent attempt with a couple of enjoyable character interactions and some fairly good action scenes. Still, I could have done without the premiere being two hours.

RATING: 6 OUT OF 10 (AVERAGE)

AGENT X AIRS SUNDAYS AT 9PM ON TNT