Full Name: The Agency
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agency

Creator: Michael Frost Beckner
Time Span: 2001 - 2003


The Agency is the CIA.

That is as simple as it gets since that is the sobriquet normally used for the Central Intelligence Agency and inside the States, no other official government organization would dare (IMHO) try to be known by it since such an action would be a waste of time; the CIA is the agency.

The two seasons of 22 recorded adventures each detailed the dedicated actions of the men and women employed by America's largest intelligence organization, many of these tales having some of the action actually filmed inside the real headquarters of the CIA (I'm guessing very limited access as that place is super-sensitive to security issues and is definitely not a film set).

As in any department in the government in real life, people come and go; they change profession or employer and leave or they retire or they are let go or, as can and does happen - they die. This is definitely reflected in these episodes and sometimes we are let in on why the change and other times it just happens and we are left with questions without answers.

When we first join the action, the main attention focus is troubleshooter and man of action, Matt Callan. He will find himself sent to a wide ranging list of places and danger to uncover problems or to resolve them and then try to get back alive. Callan will have the spotlight on him for the first half of the adventures and then be gone. While he is around, this handsome dark-haired man is in his early 30s. Why he left is (as far as I know) not explained but nevertheless, he is gone.

For the second and last set of missions, the go-to guy is A.B. Stiles, an equally handsome, though more ruggedly so, man with an infectious smile and a tad more brawn. Stiles is likely a couple years younger Callan and a bit more prone to leaping into action.

Assisting in a good number of the adventures is Terri Lowell, a very attractive and quite capable woman who initially is stuck mostly behind a computer screen at Headquarters but who will be given more of an opportunity to head into the field, all around the time Callan went away and Stiles arrived. Out in the world, Lowell might not be the person-of-action that Callan and Stiles are but if you need someone to bug a room or check out a site, she is very capable of getting in and out unseen.

Another individual we are able to follow is an intense African-American named Carl Reese who has been referred to as a "liaison" between those in the field and the Director on the one hand and as a "hatchet-man" on the other. In truth Reese, a fellow in his late 30s with considerable gravitas and a fierce, awe-inspiring scowl, is a bit of both as he is the kind of man you want having your back and the sort of force you do not want to upset.

While there are a fair number of others working important jobs in the Agency, two others needing spotlighting are Alex Pierce, the Director of the Agency when we first start following them and Tom Gage, the man who replaces Pierce after just under a dozen adventures have been told. Pierce is shown to be a man heavily burdened with the pressure and responsibilities of his position so perhaps it is reasonable that he step down and let someone else take over. Gage comes in quite ready and eager for the position with a lot of experience in Washington politics having served for many years on the Hill as a Senator.


Number of Episodes:44
First Appearance:2001
Last Appearance:2003

Gil BellowsMatt Callan [ 1 ]
Jason O'MaraA.B. Stiles [ 2 ]
Paige TurcoTerri Lowell [ 1-2 ]
Rocky CarrollCarl Reese [ 1-2 ]
David ClennonJoshua Nankin [ 1-2 ]
Will PattonJackson Haisle [ 1-2 ]
Ronny CoxDirector Alex Pierce [ 1 ]
Beau BridgesDirector Tom Gage [ 1-2 ]

According to Wikipedia: "The series was controversial in its exploration of contemporary international affairs and its treatment of the ethical conflicts inherent in intelligence work. Beckner's pilot script, written in March 2001, posited a re-invented CIA tasked with a "War on Terror" after Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist organization plots a lethal attack on the West. The pilot was to premiere at CIA headquarters on September 18, 2001, and set to air on CBS September 21, 2001; however, the actual 9/11 attacks convinced the network to hold the pilot and instead air a later episode. That first episode was broadcast later as the fifth episode of the first season.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks changed the way Americans viewed topical entertainment and The Agency, at the time, was one of the most topical offerings on network television. The producers of the series quickly responded to this new American perspective on world affairs, but CBS canceled the show shortly after the second season's final episode."

1 Viva Fidel!
Episode S1-1, first aired 09/27/2001
Director: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: James Bannon

After unearthing a secret plot by Castro's own men to assassinate him, the agents rush to thwart the plan in order to prevent the U.S. from being framed for his murder.

2 God's Work
Episode S1-2, first aired 10/04/2001
Director: Robert Berlinger
Writer: Mason Alley

When the CIA misidentifies a missionary plane in Colombian drug-trafficking airspace and the Colombians shoot it down, Director Pierce must try to clean up the mess, while the former CIA director tempts Carl to betray Pierce. Meanwhile, Matt and Lisa must contend with a dead body when a foreign agent dies while attempting to sell the CIA classified information.

3 The Year of Lying Dangerously
Episode S1-3, first aired 10/18/2001
Director: Nick Gomez
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg

The local governor plans a political coup after some American miners are taken hostage in Indonesia.

4 In Our Own Backyard
Episode S1-4, first aired 10/25/2001
Director: David Platt
Writer: Ed Zuckerman

The CIA and the FBI learn a New Jersey man who was murdered was a former Russian sleeper agent with a suitcase nuke hidden underground in his backyard fallout shelter for more than a decade. Also, Terri's ex husband hires a detective to gather information on her for their divorce.

5 Pilot
Episode S1-5, first aired 11/01/2001
Director: Mikael Salomon
Writer: Michael Frost Beckner

When an agent dies in the line of duty, the CIA learns of an impending terrorist attack somewhere in Europe. Matt tries to convince a Syrian diplomat to divulge information about the location of the attack, but he'll only cooperate if his family is brought safely to the U.S.
Note: This episode was written in March 2001 and filmed as the series premiere once CBS picked up the show for the 2001-02 season; it was moved further down into the Season 1 order so that it had distance from the 9/11 attacks.

6 A Slight Case of Anthrax
Episode S1-6, first aired 11/08/2001
Director: Randy Zisk
Writer: Doug Palau

A terrorist uses anthrax as a biological weapon to murder two Belgian kennel owners and more than 20 dogs, which leads Matt to suspect the killer will strike again on a larger scale.

7 Closure
Episode S1-7, first aired 11/15/2001
Director: Nick Gomez
Writer: Ed Zuckerman

In an effort to learn the truth about his brother's mysterious death, Matt begins piecing together clues and finally forces his superiors to tell him the truth. As Matt begins to gather information about his brother Eric's final mission abroad, he poses painful questions about the mysterious death to his parents and finally forces Jackson Haisley, Carl Reese and Director Pierce to explain the circumstances so he can get Eric's body back for a proper burial. Meanwhile, Jackson, Terri and Joshua are working to entrap an Indian Intelligence Bureau double-agent working for his own country against the CIA to acquire a submarine capable of launching nuclear weapons.

8 Nocturne
Episode S1-8, first aired 11/29/2001
Director: Kenneth Fink
Writers: Michael Frost Beckner, Melissa Rosenberg

The CIA conducts an internal investigation when it suspects Jackson of leaking sensitive information. In order to test Jackson's loyalty to the CIA, Matt and Carl secretly recruit the Persian cellist with whom he is romantically involved to gain information about a terrorist threat at the Yemeni embassy. Meanwhile, Terri must forge a 50-year-old document implicating the CIA in illegal activity involving the Dalai Lama that would prove calamitous for present-day Tibet should it fall into Chinese possession.

9 Rules of the Game
Episode S1-9, first aired 12/06/2001
Director: Nick Gomez
Writer: Ed Zuckerman

When the (NSA learns of a plot to assassinate the King of Saudi Arabia, Matt and Lisa help track down those involved only to discover that there is a larger terrorist plot in the works. Soon after Matt and Lisa catch the would-be assassins, Israeli intelligence informs the CIA that one of the incarcerated terrorists is their own agent on an undercover mission and requests his safe return. Once Matt arranges this, the Agency discovers that Israeli intelligence has deceived them and the man they released is a link to a terrorist they had been pursuing for years.

10 Deadline
Episode S1-10, first aired 12/20/2001
Director: Mikael Salomon
Writer: Michael Frost Beckner

An ambitious journalist plans to run a career-making story about one of the Agency's great Cold War successes, which will expose and therefore cost the life of a now retired Russian general who risked his life to help Director Pierce and the CIA. The journalist refuses to kill the story, and Director Pierce and his team must do everything they can to protect the Russian, even if it means putting another life in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Terri's estranged husband begins divorce proceedings, and Matt pushes Jackson for answers about his brother's mysterious death.

11 Son Set
Episode S1-11, first aired 01/17/2002
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Writers: Doug Palau, Mason Alley

After the young son of a British Intelligence officer is kidnapped and the man fails to report him missing, the CIA and British Intelligence's investigation takes an unusual turn. They learn that the man did not report his child missing because the kidnappers are Iraqis and he has arranged to trade plans for an Allied invasion of Iraq in exchange for his son's return. Matt and Carl join the investigators in London to ensure that the officer's plan is derailed without losing the boy in the process. Meanwhile, Robert Quinn, who is temporarily replacing Director Pierce, starts implementing changes.

12 The Enemy Within
Episode S1-12, first aired 01/24/2002
Director: Philip Sgriccia
Writer: Vivienne Radkoff

After the daughter of the United States Ambassador to Greece is kidnapped by terrorists, Matt and Jackson attempt to track her down. Following the abduction, the CIA reveals to the ambassador that the young woman has actually been working undercover for them for several years. Matt and Jackson think they have successfully rescued her, but then realize they have an impostor and must save the real girl before she is murdered. Meanwhile, Robert uses Lisa to get important information from Patrice, which he turns against her.

13 The Golden Hour
Episode S1-13, first aired 01/31/2002
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Writers: Shaun Cassidy, Ed Zuckerman

An assassination attempt on Lisa strikes Matt instead and leaves him hospitalized and fighting for his life, while the CIA investigates the ugly white guy who shot her. While Robert tries to hide the events from the press, Jackson is forced to work with the chief of counterintelligence to determine who ordered the attack on Lisa and how her position at the CIA was uncovered.

14 The Gauntlet
Episode S1-14, first aired 02/07/2002
Director: Michael Watkins
Writers: Michael Frost Beckner, Melissa Rosenberg

Matt and Terri go to Belarus to gather information about an arms shipment to Iraq. When Terri discovers Matt is in danger, she blows her cover to save him and the mission, and winds up a prisoner herself. Senator Tom Gage joins the agency as the new director.

15 Sleeping Dogs Lie
Episode S1-15, first aired 02/28/2002
Director: Arvin Brown
Writers: Ed Zuckerman, Shaun Cassidy

On his first day as the new director of the CIA, former Senator Tom Gage is immediately confronted with a high-profile crisis when the Agency is linked to the death of a young Vietnamese man in Washington D.C. As Tom works with Jackson and Carl to learn how the CIA was involved, he discovers that when Robert was acting as the director of the CIA, his secret negotiations with a Middle Eastern prince were directly responsible for the Vietnamese man's murder.

16 The Plague Year
Episode S1-16, first aired 03/07/2002
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: James Duff

The CIA tracks an Algerian suicide bomber as he enters the U.S., but the agents do not realize he is infected with smallpox until he is taken into custody. When they learn his mission is to infect the Agency first, the agents race to ensure the virus is contained before more people are infected.

17 Moo
Episode S1-17, first aired 03/28/2002
Director: Robert Berlinger
Writers: Shaun Cassidy, Ed Zuckerman

A former corporal who served under Gage in Vietnam accuses him of committing a war crime that involved murdering civilians. Meanwhile, Matt and Jackson receive word that a visiting Eastern European dictator is near death and they enlist a prostitute to help determine how ill he really is. At the same time, Joshua must deal with a museum curator when he accidentally destroys a cow costume that's part of an upcoming exhibit.

18 The Greater Good
Episode S1-18, first aired 04/04/2002
Director: Michael Watkins
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Michael Frost Beckner

The Agency learns about a chemical weapons plant in the Sudan that must be bombed, although it will put 150 innocent enslaved workers in danger. Jackson devises a plan to save them. Meanwhile, the CIA prepares a memorial service to honor an agent, but Quinn tries to turn it into a media event. Carl and Tom step in to honor the family's request for a quiet tribute.

19 Peacemakers
Episode S1-19, first aired 04/18/2002
Director: Joe Chappelle
Writer: Mason Alley

The chief intelligence officers from India and Pakistan meet with Gage at the Agency's headquarters to head off a nuclear war. Meanwhile, Carl's son visits him and gives his father some disturbing news.

20 The Understudy
Episode S1-20, first aired 04/25/2002
Director: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: James Duff

Jackson assumes the identity of an arms dealer so he can try to sell weapons to the Russian mob, and is taken hostage by the mobsters. As the CIA tries to decide how to handle the situation, he develops an odd relationship with his captor and his son. Meanwhile, Lisa Fabrizzi returns from a leave of absence and brings with her some surprising news.

21 Doublecrossover
Episode S1-21, first aired 05/02/2002
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Writers: Ed Zuckerman, Shaun Cassidy

A CIA agent is murdered in Washington and the CIA is forced to join with the police force to find the killer. Chief Jack Mannion visits the CIA headquarters to meet with Gage and Quinn to learn what they might be withholding. While Matt and Haisley work with Mannion's team, Detectives Temple Page and Kevin Debreno attempt to track down the men responsible.

22 Finale
Episode S1-22, first aired 05/09/2002
Director: Michael Nankin
Writers: Michael Frost Beckner, Melissa Rosenberg

When a CIA agent posing as a diplomat is taken hostage in Uzbekistan, Gage sends Matt and Terri to save him. Lisa predicts another terrorist attack will strike D.C., which raises concerns among her co-workers. Jackson's romance disintegrates when his girlfriend believes he's secretly working against the CIA.

23 French Kiss
Episode S2-1, first aired 09/28/2002
Director: Jeff Woolnough
Writers: Shaun Cassidy, Ed Zuckerman

CIA agents go to France to find Matt's killer. When the Secret Service, CIA, FBI, and INS fail to inform each other, Robert Quinn forms an Incident Response Team to liaise between all the agencies.

24 Air Lex
Episode S2-2, first aired 10/05/2002
Director: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: Doris Egan

Gage must decide whether a hijacked plane carrying Stiles and Lex should be shot down.

25 The Great Game
Episode S2-3, first aired 10/12/2002
Director: Peter Markle
Writers: Jennifer Brandes, Chris Helper

Terri and Stiles receive death threats as they and Lex oversee the formation of a new Afghan Ministry of Intelligence in Kabul, Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Gage deals with the new Afghan Intelligence Minister, who has a shaky past.

26 C.S. Lie
Episode S2-4, first aired 10/19/2002
Director: Michael Watkins
Writer: Larry Moskowitz

When a CIA plane crashes in China, the operatives must hide all the evidence before it is discovered.

27 The Prisoner
Episode S2-5, first aired 10/26/2002
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: Daniel Arkin

When Gage discovers that a potential Iraqi defector has been held prisoner in the U.S. for the last six years, he authorizes a mission to take the man back to his homeland to identify a weapons site.

28 Home Grown
Episode S2-6, first aired 11/02/2002
Director: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: James Kahn

The Agency discovers that a suicide bomber, responsible for the deaths of 14 people in an amusement park, was an American citizen belonging to a terrorist ring.

29 Heartless
Episode S2-7, first aired 11/09/2002
Director: Jay Tobias
Writer: Doris Egan

A blown operation leads to a Senate inquiry into possible wrongdoings at the CIA. The agency tries to turn a Colombian druglord and terrorist into an informant, but the operation goes awry when a DEA officer tips off the police about the operation, causing the deaths of seven people.

30 First Born
Episode S2-8, first aired 11/16/2002
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: N/A

The president's brother is in an accident, which puts the CIA in a bind.

31 Thanksgiving
Episode S2-9, first aired 11/23/2002
Director: Harry Winer
Writer: Larry Moskowitz

When Quinn reports that Stiles is missing, the agents forgo their Thanksgiving plans to help locate him.

32 Trust
Episode S2-10, first aired 12/06/2002
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Writer: Daniel Arkin

Is Gage wanted by the FBI? The agents think so - they're about to discover what he is really up to.

33 Elite Meat to Eat
Episode S2-11, first aired 12/14/2002
Director: Joe Chappelle
Writers: Shaun Cassidy, Doris Egan

Terri is taken to Stiles at his home. The Incident Response Team heads to Ireland to stop arms dealers.

34 An Isolated Incident
Episode S2-12, first aired 01/18/2003
Director: Peter Markle
Writers: Ed Zuckerman, Larry Moskowitz

Stiles and Terri head to the Gaza Strip in search of a U.S. citizen who left America with his wife following a killing spree at a travel agency.

35 Debbie Does Djakarta
Episode S2-13, first aired 02/01/2003
Director: Adam Davidson
Writer: Erik Oleson

The CIA plans to publicly discredit a profoundly anti-American Indonesian cleric who is the favorite to become Indonesia's next President, but former U.S. President James Graydon wants to see the election proceed properly.

36 Coventry
Episode S2-14, first aired 02/08/2003
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writers: Shaun Cassidy, Doris Egan

Lex learns that a possible bomb attack may occur in Australia. Gage doesn't want to act because he is afraid that the terrorists may carry out another attack on the U.S.

37 Absolute Bastard
Episode S2-15, first aired 02/15/2003
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: Daniel Arkin

Stiles heads to west Africa, to help former CIA informants, and runs into someone he used to love.

38 Unholy Alliances
Episode S2-16, first aired 02/22/2003
Director: Harry Winer
Writer: N/A

Gage goes to Israel to help with peace talks.

39 Soft Kills
Episode S2-17, first aired 03/15/2003
Director: Peter Markle
Writer: Erik Oleson

Terri, Stiles and Lex try to stay out of danger when they go to Spain to find out why a number of military wives were attacked and/or killed, while an operation at home finds unusual connections between international terrorists and people of high status inside Spain itself.

40 Spy Finance
Episode S2-18, first aired 04/12/2003
Director: Rod Hardy
Writer: Ed Zuckerman

Stiles tries to stop a drug dealer from helping terrorists. Can Stiles persuade the drug dealer to help capture the terrorists?

41 War, Inc.
Episode S2-19, first aired 04/26/2003
Director: J. Miller Tobin
Writer: Erik Oleson

A CEO whose firm saw over 200 employees murdered in the 9/11 attacks starts a bloody private war against the Saudi Royal Family, and the CIA has to stop the situation from becoming a global catastrophe.

42 Mi Cena Con Andrei
Episode S2-20, first aired 05/03/2003
Director: Ian Toynton
Writer: Doris Egan

After several people die from a super virus, the agency tries to find out if the creator of the virus is responsible. Stiles travels to Mexico City to see if the scientist is guilty, but as his investigations proceed, Stiles begins to believe the scientist is innocent.

43 Our Man in Korea
Episode S2-21, first aired 05/10/2003
Director: Larry Shaw
Writer: Terry Curtis Fox

Terri learns that Brian, the man she dated in college, might be a double agent, because his company could be shipping weapons to North Korea, though this may be without his knowledge.

44 Our Man in Washington
Episode S2-22, first aired 05/17/2003
Director: Alex Zakrzewski
Writer: Ed Zuckerman

As Haisley and Lex's investigation into Terri's abduction reveals more details, Haisley suspects that Joshua may be a double agent. Haisley reports his findings to Quinn, and is shocked by what Quinn tells him. Meanwhile, Stiles' attempt to rescue Terri puts both of them in danger when he is discovered. Her captors are forced to flee with Joshua, but not before detonating the bomb they'd attached to Terri's neck.


I can only imagine what went through the minds of the creator and the executive producers of this show when they are given unprecedented access to and backing from the actual CIA and then go into production and have several episodes in the can ready for launch only ....

The first episode was to deal with the hunt for Osama Bin Laden but two weeks before the scheduled airdate, terrorists under the direction of that evil man took down the Twin Towers in real life. Wow!

But the show did survive this calamitous event and did go on to survive for two full seasons and I watched a good number of them and enjoyed following Callan into action and liked him and then got confused with the replacement by Stiles but liked him, too.

And I always enjoy watching Rocky Carroll in, well, anything. And Paige Turco is never unwanted on my television screen.


My Grade: B+


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