Jake Foley -
Kyle Duarte -
Lou Beckett -
Diane Hughes -
Keegan Connor Tracy
Sarah Heywood -
OTHER ENHANCED PEOPLE SHOWS
Now and Again
Jake Foley fixes computers at America's National Security Agency, which is a pretty cool job, but he really wants to be a special agent. When he is infected with nanites, tiny computerised machines, he becomes faster, stronger and more observant than any human before him. He is also able to interface directly with computers. The NSA immediately put him to work saving the world.
JAKE 2.0 is a reboot of THE SIX MILLION DOLLLAR MAN, but with a young, attractive lead appealing directly to the geek audience that it is targeting (even to the point of getting Lee Majors to cameo in one of the episodes). Christopher Gorham is appealing and his relationship with his attractive doctor (Keegan Connor Tracy) is extremely sweet, taking the place of the original love interest who is jettisoned by the show barely halfway through its single season run. Unfortunately, the rest of the supporting cast are a dour, serious bunch who never really add anything much to the show.
The plots, too, don't excite overmuch. There isn't a lot here that we haven't seen before, even with the JAKE 2.0 touch. Many of them tread old paths and don't come up with much to add. There is an attempt to make the show more relevant by making the US government less than completely wholesome and introducing a female superior who is out to destroy the team, but ultimately familiarity bred contempt and, though mildly entertaining, JAKE 2.0 had his reboot shut down after one season.
Jake Foley fixes the computers that keep the NSA running, but he dreams of becoming a field agent. When called to a lab, he realises that someone is trying to steal secret files and manages to raise the alarm, but gets infected by nanobots that tune his body to incredible heights, giving him incredible powers. This makes him and the girl from college that he desires targets for the people trying to steal the nanobots in the first place.
This is THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN for the naughties, or it would like to be anyway. Instead of bionics, a tech geek is boosted by nanobots, tiny robots inside his body that enhance it giving him incredible eyesight, hearing, speed, strength and ability to heal. He can also interface directly with computers without touching them.
Christopher Gorham makes for a fairly bland lead and is joined by equally bland Marina Black as would-be love interest Sarah. The plot is OK, but doesn't rise above the average.
It's the origin story and doesn't thrill, but hopefully there is better to come.
A man with a bomb is threatening Washington. The NSA have agents out everywhere looking for him, but Jake may be the best chance anyone has to stop a disaster.
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Jake's first mission is to act as a waiter at a Chinese Embassy party in order to help Kyle hook up with his ex-girlfriend and double agent in order to retrieve some important blueprints. When things go wrong, however, Jake is forced to do a lot more than merely mess with the CCTV cameras.
This is the kind of thing that is straight out of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN with an embassy party, a sexy double agent and a torture room in the basement. There are double crosses and a shoot out and Jake has to dump his cover quickly when Sarah shows up a the party as a guest and he doesn't want her to think that he's a waiter.
Original it's not, but it's slick and moves at a fast enough pace, though not quite fast enough to gloss over all the plot holes.
Arms And The Girl
Jake is sent to keep tabs on the daughter of an arms dealer in the hope that he might make contact and reveal his location. Instead of simply watching, Jake finds himself in close contact and then in the confidence of the young woman. When her father is killed in an NSA raid based on Jake's information, he feels he needs to tell her the truth.
The relationship between Jake and Theresa is nicely captured with scenes about paint restoration that flirt with sight and touch in faintly erotic ways, ramping up the heat between the pair of them. Whilst Christopher Gorham might be very likeable, he's no hunky hero and to believe that the gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui could fall for him is too much of a stretch and tells you everything that you need to know about who is playing whom.
Still, it's all done with some panache and there is a satisfying finale to round it off.
The Good, The Bad And The Geeky
A hacker responsible for robbing the federal reserve is taken down thanks to Jake's skills, but it becomes clear that he was supposed to go to Berlin to hook with four other hackers who were planning something much bigger. Since none of the quintet had ever met, Jake goes undercover, alone and beyond aid as the true deadly nature of the scheme becomes clear.
Since the hackers here are pretty unlikeable characters, this well worn tale of the undercover man coming to identify with his prey, making the inevitable betrayal all the more difficult, is robbed of any real power. Since we don't like or respect them, why should we identify with Jake when he does like and respect them.
There are moments of fun, such as Jake falling foul of German police on arrival, but this is an old tale told in underwhelming fashion.
Last Man Standing
Jake attends his friend's wedding at a time when the nanobots in his system are acting up. Apart from the fact that he is alone when all his friends have dates, including Sarah, there is someone out to kill him. The arrival of Dr Hughes masquerading as his date might be the saving of him in more ways than one.
There are intriguing aspects about this story that are not perfect in the telling, but at least raise the episode above the mundane level of the wedding story. Quite apart from the relationship triangle between Jake, Sarah and Diane, the mysterious stranger out to kill Jake has a twist in its tail and the fight for Jake's life turns out to be more tense than we might have expected.
Dragging out the whole Sarah or Diane conundrum, though, is doing the show no favours since it is clear which way the writers expect, and want, that to go.
Jake's annoying younger brother comes into town just as Jake is starting to get his life all together. Following the capture of a domestic terrorist trying to bomb a subway station, the ring's leader sets out to take down Jake, but ends up kidnapping Jerry instead, leading Jake to take the law into his own hands.
Jake's brother Jerry is supposed to be a charming rogue, but is far more annoying than that, so when everyone is telling Jake that they won't negotiate to get him back it's far too easy to agree with their viewpoint. It's also hard to take seriously a bunch of domestic terrorists who brings a trained NSA agent into their lair and promise to just let him walk out again even though he knows where they are now.
Things are getting a bit heavier with Sarah and that's about time.
Diane's got a new boyfriend and that's more than a little unsettling for Jake, especially when the new boy is better at everything than he is. His attempt to tell Sarah the truth gets shot down in flames and Diane becomes the target of some very well connected people.
Since it's obvious from the get go that the new man in Diane's life is too good to be true nothing that follows comes as any surprise, except perhaps the scene in which Jake tells Sarah the truth and finds that things don't quite go as he might have hoped.
Otherwise, it's a very average episode.
A nuclear warhead has gone missing and the most likely suspects for the job are the Wolfpack, a group of elite soldiers who don't play by the rules and get the job done however they feel like it. They are up for a replacement recruit and Jake is given the job of infiltrating the unit. His nanites give him the physical strength, but what about the mental determination?
The Wolfpack here are mad, psychotic killers with strange views of what constitutes loyalty and acceptable behaviour. For Jake to infiltrate them he has to think in a way that he never thought he could and isn't proud of doing and it's kinda fun watching him do it. The plot also calls for him to make some really hard decisions and shows a much harder, brutal edge than has previously been the case.
The story does suffer from the usual problems with this sort of infiltration tale. A close knit group so close to such a huge job aren't going to accept anyone, no matter what they do, so it's hard to believe here just as it is in most other series.
Still, this episode shows more promise than most.
The Spy Who Really Liked Me
A tribunal sits to consider the success of the Jake programme following a recent case in which some chemical weapon that the US doesn't admit to was taken and used in a revenge plot that Jake not only failed to stop, but ended up trying to help.
The Jake Foley in this episode is completely unlike the character from any of the other episodes. Considering that he has been agonising over kissing the woman he has lusted after for episodes, the fact that he goes straight out and tries to pull a woman once he learns that the nanites can't be transmitted during sex just doesn't wash.
The revenge plot is fine, but chopping it up into the framing device of the tribunal hearing doesn't do it any favours. The comic side of Jake's sex life also goes to undermine the gas attack storyline's seriousness.
It does introduce a running plot arc possibility though.
Prince And The Revolution
Jake is drafted in to act as a bodyguard for the prince of an African nation undergoing a coup d'etat. After a rocky start, they become friends, so when Jake is asked to spy on the prince as well as protect him, there is a falling out. When the prince's father falls from power, the US recalls his protection and Jake is faced with the changing (two) faces of American politics.
Wow, this show is turning out to be pretty harsh on America and its politics. We've already had the US producing and stockpiling illegal chemical weapons whilst openly lying about it and now we have the country abandoning people to certain death when it becomes politically expedient to do so. This is pretty hard stuff on the home country and rather surprising from such an otherwise inoffensive show.
Subtext aside, the plot is pretty straightforward and predictable. It has entertaining moments, but is pretty mediocre.
An ex-soviet agent who never gave up the fight for global communism has come to the US to cause the nuclear disaster that she failed to do the last time around. The ex-NSA agent who brought her down the last time around is drafted back in to help with the fight, but he proves to be not only larger than life, but also more than he appears.
One time SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN Lee Majors guest stars as Dick Fox, the retired NSA agent and he has a great time poking fun at the buttoned up types that populate the show, puncturing their holier-than-thou attitudes. Then the story takes a couple of twists and turns and things prove to be more interesting and less predictable than some of the other episodes, though the big finale is a bit of a let down.
The hacker known as Dumont breaks into the NSA system witha computer virus that threatens a total shutdown despite being locked away in prison. He takes Jake to a lock up where the antivirus is supposed to be hidden, but instead traps the agent, taking his memories and pretending to be his best friend.
A sequel to The Good The Bad And The Geeky, this story plays on the time-honoured amnesia storyline as Jake struggles to deal with what he is being told not matching what he believes. It's fairly predictable stuff, but at least leaves the story on a cliffhanger as amnesiac Jake goes on the run from the NSA and is declared rogue.
Without his memory, Jake gets a job in an underground cage fighting place. Diane manages to track him down and, not telling him who she is, strikes up a relationship with the new Jake that takes a different route from their previous one whilst she looks for a way to bring his memory back.
After the amnesia episode we get the cage fighting or gladiatorial episode. Jake's struggle between what he is being told and what he believes continues, but it is the burgeoning love story between Jake and Diane that manages to keep the story going despite all its familiarities.
Dead Man Talking
When an ex-lover of Lou's is found alive and in a Serbian jail, she mounts a rescue mission, but it goes wrong and Jake is left in a drug-induced coma with burns all over his body. His subconscious, though, is linked through the NSA's computers and he appears to be hurting people, but Diane refuses to believe that.
There really is too much plot in this episode for it to comfortably fit the running time. Not only are there numerous flashbacks to Lous leaving her lover in a war zone (thinking he was dead of course) and their relationship before that, but there is the rescue mission, the new agent set to take Jake's place, the fractious relationship with the man's wife, Diane's clashes with Jake's attending physician and the plotline around Jake's being able to link into the computers even whilst he is in a coma. Better too much than too little, but the balance here is off and none of the storylines gets a fair crack.
It is quite shocking to see Jake in his badly burned condition since he is effectively a superman and it is sad to see that the events of the past two episodes haven't moved the really rather sweet relationship between Jake and Diane on to the next level.
Jake saves a peace envoy's life, but is comprehensively beaten by the assassin in a fight. The assassin then turns up at his apartment asking for Jake to kill him. Matters are further complicated when Jake takes an software update to his nanites before Diane can be sure that it's safe.
This is the last outing for superagent Jake Foley and it turns out to be a rather standard one at best. The sudden switch in the assassin from killer to helping the NSA is somewhat unbelievable to say the least and the new plan to kill the envoy is obvious as soon as the layout of the building where he is to give a speech is explained to the agents.
Jake's upgrade goes pretty much as expected, causing him more problems than solutions and even leaves him blind at a critical moment, but that is worked out satisfactorily.
There is an attempt to build up to a cliffhanger by having Jake's ultimate superior working with his worst enemy, but it wasn't convincing enough to save the show.
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