Agent X: The Devil and John Case continues to suffer from the same lethargic pacing that this TNT action/drama has exhibited since its pilot debut. Jeff Hephner as John Case, aka “Agent X,” still manages to deliver the goods, although his dialogue had been halved this week. Thus far the new series seems to take itself far too seriously with a tendency to manufacture gravitas and Sharon Stone as the vice president, who has a secret agent all to herself, is almost glum in her portrayal of the widowed right-hand of the president.
The show, despite its creeping delivery, has enough plot devices to sink a stereotypical trope ship. Agent X does have a dearth of talent available, Stone and Gerald McRaney represent the big and small screen in terms of acting talent and the guest stars as well as recurring role “fillers” are not small potatoes either.
The “Jack in the box” villain, who shoots the captive man and woman at the end of the episode, who also appeared in the Agent X pilot, is a regular on another “Agent” show. Andrew Howard, who plays Banks on the opposing team to Phil Coulson’s gang on Joss Whedon’s small screen Marvel series, Agents of SHIELD. This Welsh actor proves here that he can be menacing in just about any scenario.
It was also nice to see Carlos Gómez (Gang Related, The Glades) in a cameo role as the corrupt local police chief. The plot of this episode of Agent X takes Case down south of the border to take on a Santeria type cartel boss who is terrorizing the locals and responsible for the death of a undercover DEA agent.
Arturo Del Puerto plays El Diablo, a Bruja (Or Brujo?) leader of the cartel who seems omnipresent until he faces Case at the end of the episode. The drugs lord is searching for a ledger which can incriminate him and his gang. Case has to, find the ledger, stop the cartel and look good while saving the day.
Sadly, the entire episode, with its subplot of the vice president trying to find out if her late husband the senator was having a affair, feels like one long cliche with worn out tropes being shuffled into the plot. With all the reliances on stereotypes it was a little surprising not to see Danny Trejo on board as an aging enforcer…
On a positive note, it was very nice to see that the cancellation of Constantine did not keep Angelica Celaya (she played Zed Martin on the short-lived NBC series) from doing an impressive job as Luna, the local cop who befriends John Case and later fights El Diablo in the dusty street.
In the area of vice presidential subterfuge, the “dead husband having an affair” subplot indicates that there are some governmental things going on that may need Natalie Maccabee’s “Man X” to step in do some bad guy bashing.
Sadly, Olga Fonda as Olga Petrovka, was missing this week and because of this sinful omission, the show felt a bit flat as she is the only performer who seems capable of chewing up bits of scenery, while everyone one else underplays their parts so much they appear comatose.
Energy is needed in this new TNT offering and if the viewer’s interest is to be piqued, then adrenaline needs to be forcefully injected…Stat. Agent X airs Sundays on TNT. Tune in and see just how well film star Sharon Stone translates to the small screen.